The Medford Arts Council is pleased to announce its grant awards for 2018. With a grant budget of $56,000, we funded 52 projects. A complete list of recipients can be found at www.medfordartscouncil.org.
Investing in the vitality of the city’s neighborhood squares and business districts is a local priority of the Medford Arts Council. In keeping with this priority, the Medford Arts Council allocated more than $13,500 to various large-scale community projects, including Circle the Square, the Mystic River Celebration, Arts Across Medford, West Medford Open Studios, the Medford Eats festival, and a music performance series to be held at the Medford Farmers Market.
Several proposals this year focused on bringing the arts to a wider audience and new communities. Building upon previous arts council grants that helped launch their initiatives, the Mystic Makerspace was granted $4,010 to deliver classes and other programming throughout the city, while the Medford Arts Center, Inc. (MACI) was allocated $4000 to take the Medford Arts Resource Vehicle (MARV) on the road.
Two highlights from grant proposals in the humanities, another local priority, came from the Medford Historical Society, which will mount a new exhibit recontextualizing the life and work of local author and abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, and will also develop a digital map of historic Medford.
The Medford Arts Council awarded funding to several exciting new proposals in theater and film, including a performance of Shakespeare in a Medford park, a student film festival, and the development of a new performance project that will draw on local history, current events, and audience input.
The Medford Arts Council reaffirmed its commitment to local hubs for arts and culture by allocating more than $4000 for the Medford Public Library, $8500 for various programs to take place at the Medford Senior Center, and $2400 for programs held at the West Medford Community Center.
The Medford Arts Council funded 17 projects at 100%, which represents the largest number of fully funded projects on record, and the average grant size rose to $1,077, an increase of 29% from last year.
“We continue to be very proud of the great work cultural organizations and individuals in Medford are doing to bring arts, culture, and education to the City of Medford, and appreciate the Medford Arts Council’s thoughtful distribution of these important funds,” said Mayor Stephanie M. Burke, “The City is proud to be a partner in this program by appropriating $30,000 in funding to the Medford Arts Council.”
Established in 1980, the Medford Arts Council is a city-appointed commission of volunteers dedicated to bringing high-quality cultural programming to the community. The funds we distribute are an annual allocation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council through their Local Cultural Council (LCC) program. The Council also receives funding from the City of Medford.
The Medford Arts Council is seeking public input on its future funding priorities and planning. The free, anonymous survey can be accessed here.
– Submitted by Gary Roberts