Sunday, October 16, 2011

... and the Tanglewood Marionettes!

Columbus Elementary School students also got to see the Tanglewood Marionettes presentation of "The Fairy Circus" last spring. The show began with a demonstration of the art of puppetry and then showcased twenty marionettes dancing and playing instruments.

Helen Keller, live at the Columbus

We get pictures from our grantees throughout the year and we love to see them!

Last spring, the Columbus School brought a Historical Perspectives performance of Helen Keller to the school for all students in grades K-5. The show included the story of Keller's remarkable life and a Braille book for students to examine.

Read more about Historical Perspectives and Helen Keller here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Arts Council meeting tomorrow night

The public is invited and most welcome to all Medford Arts Council meetings.

This week we will be planning for the grant proposal review process - discussing logistics, and we will also be voting on the final dollar amount available to allocate in this grant cycle.

Medford Arts Council

Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 7-8 pm, City Hall room 207
Grant review process prep meeting


1. Welcome, approve minutes (5 min.)
2. Fundraiser report (10 min)
Discuss leftover donations (5 min)
3. Final grant amount for 2012 (10 min)
4. Application binder prep (10 min)
5. Review grant review process including conflict of interest process (10 min)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Take our money, please!

If you have ideas, we have money!

We’re the Medford Arts Council. We award grants each year to individuals and organizations who create public arts and cultural programs in Medford, including concerts, festivals, performances, classes, and field trips.

Our grant applications are short and easy to fill out. Go to our web site at and click on “Apply for funding” for details!

The application deadline for 2012 grants is October 15, 2011.

We’ll have more money for these grants if you come to our fundraiser in Davis Square on September 27, so please tell your friends.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pizza for the Arts Tomorrow Night

When you come for dinner (or get take-out), Medford audiences win!

Thanks to the generosity of Flatbread Pizza/Sacco's Bowl Haven, the Medford Arts Council and YOU have an opportunity to help fund Medford artists and creative projects for all of 2012!

Tuesday night, 5-10 pm. 45 Day Street in Davis Square. Hope to see you there!

Please spread the word to your family, friends, neighbors, fellow school parents, co-workers... and you can see a list of the projects we've funded over the years here.

Photo courtesy of the kind and talented Brad Kelly,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Best Medford Silent Auction and Raffle Ever!

Get ready for next Tuesday, the 27th - not only can you eat delicious Flatbread pizza and support Medford arts and culture.... You can also bid on an array of fantastic items in the first-ever Medford Arts Council silent auction, or try your luck in our raffle!

Auction bidding begins at 5 pm and ends at 8:30 pm (winners do not have to be present to win).

Check out this partial list of wonderful auction items, many by local artists (fair market values in parentheses):
And these outstanding raffle items:
  • a year of free bread from Panera Bread
  • gift cards from Flatbread Pizza, Whole Foods, Bertucci's, Jannabee's Bakery and Shell Gas
  • basket of hair styling products from Jean is Hair, Medford
  • crocheted double afghan by Jean Goldman
  • 4 admission tickets to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
  • Medford notecards set

And did we mention there's delicious Flatbread pizza too?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Save the Date - Pizza and Fun for the Arts in Medford

Photo courtesy of Plutor
S A V E  T H E  D A T E!
When: Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011
5-10 pm

Where: Flatbread Pizza at
Sacco's Bowl Haven
45 Day Street
Davis Square, Somerville

How: Come down to Sacco's and have dinner, or call for take-out

Why: Support the Arts in Medford!

Flatbread Pizza/Sacco’s Bowl Haven and The Medford Arts Council are pleased to
announce an evening of good food, bowling, and an opportunity to take home original art and community gifts.

These will include items from the Tufts University Community Music Program, Jannabee’s Bakery, Whole Foods Market, Flatbread Pizza, tickets to museums and events, and original artworks by local artists. The proceeds, along with a portion of total pizza sales (including take-out) from the evening, will go to support local arts and cultural programming in Medford through the Medford Arts Council's annual grant program.

*All* proceeds will directly benefit Medford Arts Council grant recipients. In past years these beneficiaries have included:

Medford Public Schools
Medford Family Network
West Medford Open Studios
Medford Public Library Community Read and School Vacation Performances
Medford Senior Citizens Inc./MCOA
Saving Lives Summer Concerts
Handel & Hayden Outreach in Schools
Dance in the Fells
Medford Boys and Girls Club
Medford Historical Society
CACHE in Medford
Royall House
Medford Office of Human Diversity
+ other organizations and too many individual artists and performers to list here!
(check out our past 5 years of grantees here)

The restaurant will accept call-ahead seating and bowling lane reservations. This is strongly urged, especially for groups of 10 or more. (617) 776-0552

Join us for a night of fun, or call in for take-out, and help increase the amount and quality of arts and cultural programming in Medford in 2012!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Revising our local grant guidelines

Revising our local guidelines is on our agenda for our next public meeting on July 20, 2011, 7:00-9:00 pm, Medford City Hall, Room 207. If you have feedback or suggestions, please come to the meeting or post a comment here! (Council members cannot post our opinions here about what we should do, because that discussion must take place during our public meetings. But we can answer questions about how our guidelines work.)

The decisions we make will affect our 2012 grant cycle. The deadline for 2012 grant applications is October 15, 2011.

Medford Arts Council local guidelines

Our local guidelines and funding priorities are at along with a link to our scoresheet.

Decisions to make: Should we add, change, or remove any of our local guidelines and funding priorities? Should we change our scoresheet?

Revised state guidelines

For 2012 grants, the state has revised several guidelines. You can see an explanation of these changes at

Here are the areas the state has revised:

  • Clarifying who can serve on a council
  • Clarifying how our funds must be managed
  • Clarifying the timeframe for eligible projects
  • Clarifying that religious and non-profit schools are eligible to apply for funding for cultural programs that do not advance religion (subject to the same criteria and restrictions as public schools). For-profit schools continue to be ineligible
  • Revising the "no substitution" criteria
  • Removing the "no dependency" criteria
  • Creating a new reconsideration process
  • Clarifying the reimbursement timeframe
  • Creating a new process for handling incomplete projects
  • Changing the guidelines and applications for cultural field trips (no longer called PASS grants)

Timeframe for eligible projects

The state guidelines continue to say that the broadest allowable timeframe for LCC programs is from July 1 preceding the application deadline to December 31 of the following year. The state also says that local councils can define a shorter timeframe. The Medford Arts Council's local guidelines have said that programs must take place during the calendar year following the application deadline.

Decision to make: Should we change our timeframe for eligible projects?

Funding projects over many years

LCC grants have never been meant to be a fixed source of funding for projects occurring year after year. The previous guidelines advised LCCs that a good rule of thumb was a three year cap on funding for the same project. In response to LCC and applicant feedback, this guideline has been removed entirely as a state review criteria, however…

Councils are encouraged to develop local guidelines regarding matching funding or funding limits over time so that new projects can receive funding and the council can continue to meet the community's needs. Councils that want to continue to use Non-Dependency as a review criteria must publish this in their local guidelines before September 1.

The Medford Arts Council has considered the non-dependency guideline in the past, and has given some priority to new projects in our local guidelines and in our scoresheet.

Decisions to make: Should we revise our local guideline (which currently says that 20% of our funds go to new projects) or our scoresheet (which gives some extra points to new and evolving projects)? Should we establish a local guideline which limits funding to long-term projects in some way?

Cultural field trips (formerly known as PASS)

Changes have been made to this type of grant, but the core goal remains the same--to send children on cultural field trips. Local councils may choose to fund cultural field trips for children, grades pre-K through 12, by subsidizing the cost for children to attend programs in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences (including performances, educational tours and exhibits). Based on community input, each local cultural council may determine whether or not they accept requests for field trips, and if so, what types of expenses are eligible (student ticket cost, transportation, chaperone tickets, guide fees, etc.).

The Medford Arts Council has local guidelines based on community input which state that we do not fund transportation for field trips, and that up to 7% of the Council's funding will be granted to the schools for field trips.

Decisions to make: Should we revise our local guidelines for field trips?

New murals at the Medford Boys and Girls Club

The Medford Boys and Girls Club now has two great murals painted by the kids themselves thanks to a 2011 art project funded by the Medford Arts Council. See photos and read all about it at!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 16: What the Trees Saw: Their Perspective on Medford History

Do not miss the opportunity to hear historian Dee Morris give a talk at the Medford Public Library on Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 PM about "What the Trees Saw: Their Perspective on Medford History."

We may not think about trees very often but they contribute to our landscape and surroundings and have been witness to past and present history. Dee will talk about some of Medford's famous trees. This program is funded in part by the Medford Arts Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Back Pocket Dancers in West Medford on June 3

Friday June 3 at 7:00 p.m., come see Back Pocket Dancers give a free performance at the West Medford Community Center!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Students are delighted by Sonho Meu afterschool programs

Sonho Meu shared with us some of the wonderful notes that students wrote to them after their afterschool programs at the Columbus School!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

CACHE fundraiser on April 26

Medford's arts coalition CACHE is holding a fundraiser on Tuesday, April 26 at John Brewer's Tavern. The flyer is at:

Print the flyer and bring it to John Brewer's Tavern on April 26 any time from 6 p.m. until closing, and 20% of your total bill for food and drinks will support CACHE and arts in Medford! The flyer is really important, because CACHE only receives 20% if you bring the flyer. There will also be a raffle with prizes from local businesses.

Please come on April 26, bring your friends, and pass this message along!

CACHE Organizations: Coming together to connect you to arts and culture in Medford
- Brooks Estate Land Trust
- Chevalier Theater Organ Society
- Friends of Chevalier Auditorium and Gene Mack Clubhouse
- The Historic Connection
- Medford Arts Center, Inc.
- Medford Arts Council
- Medford Artists Critique
- Medford Chamber of Commerce
- Medford Historical Society
- Monkeyhouse
- Outside the Lines
- Poetry Discussion Group
- Royall House & Slave Quarters
- Springstep
- Take a Book Leave a Book (TABOLAB)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Members of Brazilian Samba Group Sonho Meu Perform at Andrews Middle School

On Friday, March 25 and April 1, 2011, two members of the local music group, Sonho Meu, treated the music students at the Andrews Middle School to a presentation. The band, whose name is translated from Portuguese to "Dream of Mine", is lead by Medford resident and Brazilian music enthusiast, Diane Amelia Read. Diane and her guitar player, Nando Costa, a native of Brazil and Berklee College of Music student, dazzled over 180 AMS students in grades 6-8 about the importance of music in Brazilian culture. Students experienced the presentation music by listening to, singing, shaking, and even dancing to live Samba music.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Congratulations to Dance in the Fells, 2011 Gold Star Award Winner

Dance in the Fells, which the Medford Arts Council helped fund in October 2010, is receiving a prestigious 2011 Gold Star Award from the state. Local cultural councils like ours fund over 5000 projects and events around the state each year, and only 6 of those projects are chosen by the Massachusetts Cultural Council for Gold Star Awards for excellence in community cultural programming. We are really proud that Medford was home to a project that ranked in the top 1/10 of 1% state-wide!

The Gold Star award is based on "artistic quality, success in reaching out to underserved constituents, extent to which the project highlights a unique quality of the community, and ability to engage with the community." Dance in the Fells was a perfect example, bringing dance lovers into our tremendous natural resource in the Fells and bringing a day of performances to hikers and dog walkers and bikers.

Dance in the Fells was created and organized by Two Roads, a performance project company founded by Kyna Hamill and Wanda Strukus. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in October, the Middlesex Fells were filled with new outdoor, site-specific work by EgoArt, Inc./Nicole Pierce, Joan Green, John Kramer, Monkeyhouse Dance, and Sara Smith. Performances took place throughout the Fells at Wright’s Tower, Panther Cave, South Reservoir, The Sheepfold, Molly’s Spring, and Bellevue Pond.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in supporting Dance in the Fells: Springstep, Friends of the Fells, our colleagues at the Winchester Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, and many more. And a huge congratulations to Kyna Hamill and Wanda Strukus for organizing Dance in the Fells, and to the choreographers and performers, the many volunteers, and everyone who came and made the event such a success!

The official presentation of the Gold Star Award to Dance in the Fells will take place later this spring.

Photograph of Nicole Harris, Monkeyhouse Dance, by Wanda Strukus.