By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer
MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough Cultural Council (MCC) is collecting responses to a community input survey to determine which arts programs and services the Marlborough community is interested in seeing.
Part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MCC is required to hold a survey to determine the artistic interests of the people of Marlborough every three years. They did their last survey in 2017 and, although they were unable to do one in 2020, they have resumed it this year.
“This is one of our best tools to learn about what the people here really want to see,” MCC Chair Emily Wilde told the Community Advocate. “This survey allows us to get a lot of information all at once, which is really valuable for us.”
The survey is open not just to residents, but also to people who work in Marlborough and who frequently visit the city. She said the survey was also translated by volunteers into Spanish and Portuguese to allow for as many responses as possible.
The survey asks respondents if they know about the MCC. It also asks respondents which kinds of arts and cultural programs are important and whether they think that Marlborough’s programs are thriving.
“So far, it seems like people feel that there could be improvement, that we could really boost the arts and culture programming here,” Wilde said.
Another question listed is whether respondents know that artists, schools and community groups can apply for MCC grants. Wilde said the responses indicated that many were unaware of this.
The survey also asked more specific questions, like what type of performing arts activities people would like to participate in. It also asked about visual arts, applied arts and media like web design and filmmaking among other things.
“We wanted to get really specific with people and find out what kind of things people will like to see in the future, so that will help us decide what grants we approve every year,” said Wilde.
Speaking on Aug. 13, Wilde said that responses to date indicated that people want to see more musical and theatrical performances as well as painting, photography, woodcraft and landscape design opportunities.
Wilde also said the survey results are showing that most respondents learn about cultural activities from Facebook.
“That’s good information for us, it will help us know how to communicate with people,” Wilde said. “We will hopefully get some information out about the survey on our Facebook page.”
The survey will be open throughout the rest of August. Wilde said that the new MCC grant cycle will begin on Sept. 1, with the survey results informing the awarding of grants.
Wilde also encouraged people to volunteer to join the MCC, which currently has five out of a possible 22 members. Volunteers can apply by sending a statement of interest and a resume to Mayor Arthur Vigeant’s office.