Submitted by the Bedford Cultural Council:
State Sen. Mike Barrett, State Rep. Ken Gordon, the Bedford Select Board, Town Manager Matthew Hanson, and Bedford Cultural Council (BCC) Chair Barbara Purchia, are pleased to announce the award of 39 grants totaling just over $16,000 for cultural programs in Bedford or for Bedford residents.
Among the awardees are popular returning programs, such as the Utility Box Art Project and Job Lane House Family Field Day, as well as several new projects that reflect Bedford’s diverse community, including a Ukrainian art exhibit, an Indigenous Peoples’ Day art project, and a traditional South Asian dance showcase.
A complete list of recipients and grant amounts can be found below and at https://www.bedfordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3358/FY24-BCC-Grant-Recipients.
Town Manager Matt Hanson said he is “proud to join the entire Bedford community in celebrating the remarkable achievements of the Bedford Cultural Council and its grantees. We commend their dedication to fostering a vibrant cultural landscape through innovative programs that enrich our community.”
He added that he “eagerly anticipates the positive impact these diverse initiatives will bring to Town in the coming year.”
The Select Board has for many years allocated money to the BCC to supplement the funds received from the Mass Cultural Council (MCC). This year, Chair Bopha Malone renewed the Select Board’s “commitment to fostering a vibrant community.” She also thanked the BCC on behalf of the Select Board for “their dedication and commitment to enhancing cultural richness and providing opportunities for people to come together in meaningful ways. [The Select Board] also want[s] to congratulate all of the grant recipients! Thank you for using your talents and creativity to make a difference in our community.”
Select Board member Emily Mitchell, who serves as the Board’s liaison to the BCC, said “The Select Board is delighted with the results of this year’s grant cycle, and appreciates the Cultural Council’s thoughtful work evaluating the applications. Bedford is a richer community because of its cultural offerings, and we’re proud to be a partner with the Bedford and Massachusetts Cultural Councils in bringing more artistic, educational, and multicultural activities to our residents.”
Bedford’s representatives in the Massachusetts legislature, Barrett and Gordon, have long been key advocates for appropriating funds for cultural programming. Renewing again his commitment to the arts in Bedford, Gordon said, “the Bedford Cultural Council brings our community closer by supporting a collection of cultural activities and artistry from people in our neighborhood. I look forward to seeing the impact of the BCC’s work this year, as these grants support projects that will bring meaningful and inspiring opportunities to Bedford residents.”
Barrett extended his congratulations as well, noting that “year after year, these awards ensure that Bedford’s wealth of cultural groups continue to flourish. Hats off to the local volunteers who managed to support an impressive 39 organizations with this grant money.”
This year’s grants include:
- Several music and theatre performances at the Council on Aging
- Upgrades to studio and remote audio equipment for Bedford TV
- A guide to native and invasive plants produced by the Bedford Garden Club
- A Bedford Historical Society-curated exhibit called “Bedford at Work”
- Numerous projects benefiting Bedford students, including A/V upgrades for the performing arts programs, the BHS Tenacity Challenge, Destination Imagination, and Girl Scout Troop 72147
About the Bedford Cultural Council
The Bedford Cultural Council (https://www.bedfordma.gov/597/Cultural-Council) is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences, and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.
Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a board of municipally appointed volunteers. The members of the Bedford Cultural Council are: Annemarie Creason, Breena Daniell, Bobbie Ennis, Dianne Grattan, Angel Pettitt, Michelle Puntillo, Barbara Purchia, Erin Sandler-Rathe, Susan Schwartz, and Julie McCay Turner.
Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) award more than $4 million every year, supporting more than 6,000 cultural programs that include everything from field trips to lectures, festivals, public artwork, and dance performances.
To Apply in the Next Grant Cycle
The Bedford Cultural Council will seek applications again in the fall. For guidelines and information on the Bedford Cultural Council, visit the website at https://massculturalcouncil.org/local-council/bedford/ or contact Barbara Purchia at 781-275-2464 or [email protected].
Applications and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available online at https://massculturalcouncil.org/communities/local-cultural-council-program/.