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Annual Report 2012
Submitted by Barbara Estabrook


At the beginning of fiscal year 2013 the ABCC was allotted $7740 from the MCC, level with our allocations in FY2011 and FY2012. Also we had a rollover of funds unexpended from previous grant cycles that had to be granted in this cycle, bringing our total amount available to grant to $7840.

It was another competitive grant season. We publicized the availability of grants through emailed and posted fliers and press releases in The Beacon and Action Unlimited. Also we provided telephone and email consultation to several applicants. Application information was available at our staffed display table at the Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market in August and at West Acton Oktoberfest. We received 44 applications requesting a total of $30,015 in funding. The number of applicants and the total amount of funding sought have been consistent over the past several years. After very difficult and lengthy deliberations the ABCC chose to fund 33 projects that give the greatest benefit to our communities including projects at the elementary schools, the public libraries, the Council on Aging, the Recreation Department, the Historical Society and Iron Work Farm, the Boxborough Harvest Festival, ABRHS’ involvement in the Massachusetts High School Drama festival, and nine other Acton-based organizations and individual artists. Final approval from the MCC of local council grant decisions is expected in late January; grantees are notified and grantee names and grant amounts are announced to the public at that time.

D. Local Funding and Council-Initiated Events

The ABCC was once again generously supported by both Acton and Boxborough town funds via warrant articles and line items. The dedication of the voters, Boards and public officials in both towns is truly remarkable. Acton provided the ABCC, through a Warrant Article, with $2000. Boxborough provided $1,500 for exclusive use in Boxborough. Few local cultural councils enjoy this level of local support. We are extremely grateful and seek every opportunity to acknowledge the support of our two towns. We are grateful also for the physical support that the two towns provide: meeting spaces, access to the town copiers, etc. 2012 was the fourth year the ABCC benefitted from the excellent support of the Information Technology Department of the Town of Acton, to scan all 44 grant applications and provide online access to all Council members to the scanned documents through the Town website. This saved thousands of sheets of paper and many hours of labor. Our "green" grants cycle has received statewide recognition from the MCC.

We are also thankful for the continued support and active involvement of our liaisons, Acton Selectman Janet Adachi and Boxborough Selectman Raid Suleman.

The ABCC sponsored and collaborated on several exciting events in 2012. Details are below.

1. Chinese Music Night, December 2, 2012

The Cultural Council continued its collaboration with the Acton Chinese Language School and the Acton Recreation Department as a co-sponsor of this hugely successful event at ABRHS. More than 1000 people attended the program which received rave reviews.

2. Bluegrass Festival, June 16, 2012.

For the second year, the ABCC was pleased to provide financial support for the Recreation Department’s Bluegrass Festival held at NARA. Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council Annual Report 2012

3. FY12 Grantee Reception April 27, 2012

The ABCC held its annual Grantee Reception at Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough. This event provides a valuable opportunity for grantees to meet, to publicize their projects, and to network with other arts-minded individuals and groups. In addition to our FY12 grantees, our state and local legislators and officials were invited to attend. Each grantee had a chance to speak briefly to acknowledge supporters and collaborating artists and organizations and to highlight upcoming events. Acton Selectmen Janet Adachi and John Sonner, and Boxborough Selectmen Les Fox, Becky Neville and Frank Powers attended. Performances by 2012 grantees included a group of singers from the Acton Community Chorus, and the Yankee Doodle Dixieland Band that is mostly an offshoot of the Nashoba Valley Concert Band. Attendees also were treated to a scene from "The Redcoats are Coming" performed by actors from Theatre with a Twist, written by Jane Ross, descendant of Abner Hosmer and directed by Mary Spinosa-Wilson of Acton. Also we took the opportunity to thank and celebrate retiring ABCC member Anne Krinsky and our four graduating seniors of the ABRHS Advisory Group.

4. Fourth annual "Our World" International Film Series, May 2012

Following 2008’s year-long festival of cultures called "Our World," we have offered an annual international series of acclaimed films for adult audiences. Once again ABCC member Greg Hutchins coordinated the series, which included the films "Local Hero" (Scotland) and "The Wedding Banquet" (China) . Due to scheduling difficulties, the Turkish film "Bliss" was acquired but not shown; it will be rescheduled in 2013. Showings were held at Acton Town Hall, and the films shown have been donated to the Towns’ libraries for their collections. We hope to continue the series in 2013 and beyond, with the theme and slogan "May is Movie Month". The Acton IT and Facilities Departments were especially helpful with the 2012 film series.

5. A Short Night, Friday, June 8, Sargent Memorial Library

An evening of short films was held at the Sargent Memorial Library , curated by ABCC member Greg Hutchins and by Todd Davis, filmmaker and Boxborough resident. One of the filmmakers was on hand to discuss the films after the showing. Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council Annual Report 2012

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6. Sculpture purchase and permanent installation

In the fall of 2011, the ABCC held "The Art of Recycling" a project that included a free sculpture workshop at NARA Park followed by a month-long exhibit of recycled art indoors and outdoors at the Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough. In the winter and spring of 2012, the ABCC under the leadership of Boxborough members Pascale Belin-White and Nancy Kumaraswami worked with the Trustees and staff of the Sargent Memorial Library to select an outdoor work from the exhibit, "Hollyhock" by Madeleine Lord, for purchase and installation at the Library. With additional assistance from the Boxborough Department of Public Works and the Boxborough Garden Club, "Hollyhock" was placed in a flower bed at the west end of the Library building , where it can be viewed and enjoyed from the Library driveway and lawn as well as from the large adult reading area indoors.

The success of "The Art of Recycling" and the warm reception for "Hollyhock" has provided the impetus for a gift of sculpture to the Town of Acton, coordinated by Linda Mayer, and Barbara Estabrook, Acton members of the ABCC. They met with Tom Tidman, Department of Conservation Director, Cathy Fochtman, Department of Recreation Director, Cathy Hatfield, Friends of the Acton Arboretum President, and Bettina Abe of the Conservation Department and Friends of the Acton Arboretum. The group considered the Arboretum but decided that NARA would be a more suitable and more easily monitored site for sculpture. Linda, Barbara, Tom and Cathy Fochtman toured NARA in November to identify possible locations within the park, and Cathy created a map with photographs by Linda that can be provided to sculptors interested in submitting pieces for consideration. A call to artists for submissions will be issued in winter 2013, with the intention to select, purchase and install one or more pieces by the end of the calendar year.

Photo: Unveiling of "Hollyhock," Sargent Memorial Library, Boxborough, September 2012. Frank Powers, Boxborough Selectman; Barbara Estabrook, ABCC chair; Janet Adachi, Acton Selectman.

7. Piano Cabaret, Acton Memorial Library Foundation, October 2012

The ABCC supported a piano event of the AMLF by arranging and paying for tuning of the historic Fitzgerald piano the day before the event.

View Annual Report 2012 in detail 











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