Organizations receive grants from Marlborough Cultural Council

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By Vicki Greene, Contributing Writer

MARLBOROUGH — The Marlborough Cultural Council recently awarded $17,500 in funding to 11 organizations, offering aid in what has been a difficult year for many in the arts and education communities.

The grant allocations ranged from $500 to $5,000. A total of 16 organizations had applied for grants, leaving 11 winners to be chosen based on criteria developed by the Marlborough Cultural Council.

Organizations that received funding offer programming in music, education and the humanities.  

Gratitude from grant recipients

The Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning received a $2,083 grant that supports the participation of Marlborough High School students in its “Perspective of Earth – Team Mentorship” program.

Center Director Irene Porro says the program aims to encourage problem-solving of community environmental issues while promoting STEM learning and practices. 

The online program pairs students with mentors from the high school and the McAuliffe Center as they develop real-world projects on topics such as food, plastics and energy waste reduction. Students also create an environmental awareness campaign for their local communities. Students then end the program with presentations and videos.

Beyond the McAuliffe Center, The Goodnow Bros. Elementary School PTO received a $5,000 grant.

That has school community members celebrating. 

“The Cultural Council Grant will allow us to significantly increase the number of cultural arts enrichment programs that we are able to provide to our students,” PTO member Cheryl Crowley said in a recent interview with the Community Advocate. “Without the grant, we would likely only be able to provide one or two school-wide events.”  

The Goodnow PTO is planning to offer cultural enrichment events to complement the curriculum at each grade level. Programs will be chosen by the school’s Enrichment Committee, which will consist of parent volunteers and a teacher representative from each grade.

Additional Cultural Council spending on local programming

The Marlborough Cultural Council is one of 329 local councils in the state that receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The latter, in turn, gets its funding from the annual state budget.

As Marlborough gets its Cultural Council money, it has set aside 15% for local programming, according to Marlborough Cultural Council Chairperson and City Councilor Samantha Perlman.

Upcoming community survey

Perlman noted that the Cultural Council is developing a community survey as required by the state. It must complete that survey every three years and, this time, plans to simultaneously roll out an electronic survey of grant recipients.

In the meantime, the Cultural Council is developing a Facebook page and building out its social media presence.

For more information, residents can contact the Marlborough Cultural Council via email at marlboroughculturalcouncil@gmail.com

The full list of groups receiving Marlborough Cultural Council grants, this year, includes the Northborough Area Community Chorus’ 50th Anniversary Celebration; “Adventures in Life, long Learning” program; Framingham State University in Collaboration with Framingham Library; Assabet Valley Mastersingers; Duo Pianists, Composers & Educators Whipple & Morales in Concert; Virginia Thurston Healing Garden’s expressive arts therapy program; Liminal Space, video original solo flue composition with visual art that chronicles pandemic experiences of local artists; The Discovery Museum’s “Open Door Connections” program; River’s Edge Arts Alliance and Symphony Pro Musica. 

Though some of these organizations headquarter themselves outside of Marlborough, the Cultural Council determined them all to provide sufficient levels of programming to actual Marlborough residents.