With public art campaign efforts underway, Northborough Cultural Council seeks new members


With public art campaign efforts underway, Northborough Cultural Council seeks new members
Northborough Cultural Council is seeking new members to join their board. (Photo/Courtesy Lori Tiron-Pandit)

NORTHBOROUGH – With members being limited to serving two consecutive three-year terms, the Northborough Cultural Council is seeking new faces.

Council members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. However, according to member Suzanne Cox, the members must sit out a minimum of one year before they can reapply.

“Our challenge now is that we’ve begun some major work for placemaking in Northborough — to use the art, use the money we’ve funneled through grants, use our CultureFest, the Love Northboro campaign, [for] placemaking, to help Northborough find an identity,” Cox said.

Chair Terry Underwood noted that members don’t have to be an artist to be a member of the council.

“It’s about connecting — connect the dots in the community, connect the people, connect the organizations, and we can have a lot more fun when we do it together,” Underwood said.

Members have a variety of stories of how they came to be on the council. Underwood joined after shooting an event for Northborough Cable Access Television. Cox was approached after two of her friends were on the council and got excited about efforts to impact Northborough outside of giving grants.

“When you fix the space, the restaurants come. When you have a nice space and nice food, people come,” Cox said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the council came up with the idea of a public art campaign called “Love Northboro” that would include temporary and permanent exhibitions and collaborative art.

The campaign kicked off with the “Go Out Doors” exhibit, and last year, artist Sophy Tuttle transformed the wall of Top Energy Gas next to the Town Common into a mural.

“We’re coming up where a bunch of us in a year-and-a-quarter are going to be out the door, and we’ve started this huge momentum,” Cox said.

Four of the six people on the committee will soon be leaving.

According to Lori Tiron-Pandit and Underwood, five is the minimum number of members for the purposes of voting, and if it’s less than five, the council doesn’t get funding from the state.

In 2022, the council awarded 19 grants for a number of programs like Northborough Free Library’s Chinese Brush Painting and Northborough Historical Society’s “Challenger: Soaring with McAuliffe.”

“We get to choose what that next year is going to look like or what programming is going to come out,” Underwood said.

If you are interested in joining the council, contact Underwood at [email protected] or attend their next meeting on Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. For more information, visit https://www.town.northborough.ma.us/cultural-council.

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