The Medford Arts Council is pleased to announce its grant awards for 2017. The total grant budget of $56,000 is the largest amount on record (going back to 1998), and increased by $10,700 over last year. Altogether 67 projects were funded, which is the greatest number of approved submissions in 15 years. A full list of recipients can be found at this link: 2017 Grants.
Some notable highlights include an award of $4,500 to the Medford Arts Center, Inc. (MACI) to help launch the Medford art bus; this allocation is also the largest single award on record. In addition to funding for the art bus, the Medford Arts Council allocated more than $11,000 to various large-scale community projects, including Circle the Square, the Mystic River Celebration, West Medford Open Studios, and a music performance series at the Medford Farmers Market. Investing in the vitality of the city’s neighborhood squares and business districts is a local priority of the Medford Arts Council.
“Arts and culture are an integral part of any community,” said Mayor Stephanie M. Burke. “The funding distributed by the Medford Arts Council is of paramount importance in making these programs happen. The record-breaking number of grants and amount of money distributed is a sign of the quantity and quality of valuable and diverse cultural programming in Medford.”
Projects that look at Medford’s history featured prominently this year, and include exhibits on the 100th anniversary of World War I; the life and work of artist Emilius Ciampa; the community and architecture of East Medford; archaeological artifacts from the Royall House and Slave Quarters; and early American samplers. A grant was given to the Medford Historical Society and Museum for the creation of a new permanent display case dedicated to the 20th century.
In response to a call for more projects in the humanities, the Medford Arts Council funded several proposals involving oral history, community storytelling, writing workshops, poetry, and theater in the schools.
The Medford Arts Council also funded 11 new applicants, which represented an encouraging step towards the goal of diversifying their applicant pool. The average grant rose to $835, an increase of 28% from last year.
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 they 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.