Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council 2016 Annual Report
Submitted January 22, 2017 by: Sunanda Sahay, Chair
Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council
P.O. Box 2291
Acton, MA 01720
A. About the Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council
The Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council (ABCC), established in 1982, has as its mission to award and administer Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Grant funds, to promote the arts, and to help develop cultural programs in the Acton and Boxborough communities. Volunteers are appointed to the Council by the selectmen of each community, but it functions as a single entity undertaking these activities:
- Review of grant applications from individuals, libraries, schools, and arts and community organizations; and awarding MCC grant funds to projects that provide a local public benefit. The ABCC is one of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) that are funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council through an annual appropriation by the state legislature;
- Sponsorship of cultural programs for the Acton and Boxborough communities using funds generously designated by Town Meeting of each community. These funds have been used by the ABCC to present jazz, classical, and world music concerts, vocal performances, films, opera, public art installations and more;
- Advocacy for the arts through community outreach and publicity.
The ABCC’s activities take place from September-June; calendar year 2016 encompasses the second half of FY16 (September-December) and the first half of FY17 (January-June). This Annual Report gives preliminary results of our FY16 Grant Cycle in which we plan to support 47 individuals, schools, libraries and arts organizations using state funds allocated to us by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This report will also highlight the local events, programs and collaborations the ABCC was able to undertake in 2016 thanks to the continued financial support from our Towns.
B. ABCC Members
Acton: Sunanda Sahay, Linda Mayer, Beth Davis, Dawn Wang, Palma Cicchetti, Suman Adisesh, Diana Nestorova, (Appointed Sep 2016). High school Youth member- Christina Pathrose
Boxborough: Nancy Evans, Ramika Shah, Sheila Hanrahan, Sharon Garde (appointed Sep 2016), High school Youth members-Anthea Bell from Boxborough (resigned due to school activities but available for our special events),
Sunanda Sahay has been the co-chair since fall 2013 and chair since June 2016. Sheila Hanrahan serves as Secretary. Sunanda has been the Grants Coordinator for FY2016-17. Ramika Shah and Linda Mayers are serving in the roles of Treasurer and Publicity Coordinator respectively, while Beth Davis and Nancy Evans have been the foreign film series coordinators.
Recruitment: We work closely with the Acton and Boxborough Boards of Selectman, Town staff and other Town volunteers on our continued membership efforts. Currently we have 4 active members from the town of Boxborough. We are proud to have high school youth members in our council this year.
C. Mass Cultural Council (State) Funding for FY17:
The ABCC is one of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) through an annual appropriation by the state legislature. Each fall, we are required to distribute this annual allocation through a grant process. We review each application and award monies considering the quality, originality, and creativity; planning, budget, and most importantly, community benefit of each proposed project.
At the beginning of fiscal year 2016-17 the ABCC was allotted $9681.00 from the MCC.
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. We received 47 applications requesting a total of $30,080 in funding. The number of applicants has pleasantly surpassed the last few years. After very difficult and lengthy deliberations the ABCC chose to fund 37 projects that give the greatest benefit to our communities including projects at the public libraries, Recreation Department, High school magazines(Window Seat, Spectrum), the Farmers Market Band(Nashoba Valley Concert Band), Plays and many other activities.
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 $1500. 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. We are also thankful for the continued support and active involvement of our liaisons, Boxborough Selectman Susan Bak and Acton Selectman Janet Adachi.
The ABCC sponsored and collaborated on several exciting events in 2016. Acton and Boxborough related detailed report can be found below. Click on the links
Acton Town Annual report
Boxborough Town Annual Report
E. Looking to the Future
While we are exploring various avenues including supporting Open Art studio throughout both the towns, we are looking to create China Garden at the Acton Arboretum with the help of our local Chinese community, considering to partly fund the repair expense of the patio of IronWork Farm as well as inviting a Mentalist/Illusionist for entertainment as some of our council initiated activities.
Thanks you so much for your kind support.