Bedford Cultural Council Awards 36 Projects in Another Record-Setting Year

Submitted by the Bedford Cultural Council

State Senator Mike Barrett, State Representative Ken Gordon, the Bedford Select Board, Town Manager Sarah Stanton, and Bedford Cultural Council (BCC) Chair Barbara Purchia, are pleased to announce the award of 36 grants totaling $13,837 for cultural programs in Bedford or for Bedford residents. This represents the greatest number of projects funded by the BCC in one year. A complete list of recipients and grant amounts can be found below and at https://www.bedfordma.gov/597/Cultural-Council

Select Board Chair Emily Mitchell commented on the board’s ongoing commitment to enriching cultural life in Bedford, saying, “Bedford has so many artistic and cultural opportunities to offer our community – even more so now that our Cultural District has been recognized by the Commonwealth and officially opened this past summer.” 

Mitchell also serves as the Select Board liaison to the BCC and helped allocate additional funds at the Town level. 

“With the Town’s support, the Cultural Council’s local budget for project grants was increased this year, and we’re delighted that so many artists, educators, and performers are receiving grants this cycle.” she said. “Our whole community benefits from a thriving arts scene, whether it’s additional public art, new opportunities for local artisans to show their work, or concerts and performances for the whole family. Kudos to the Cultural Council for their hard work and support!”  

Stanton added her approval, saying, “Congratulations to the Bedford Cultural Council and all of its grantees on another successful, and record-setting, round of cultural grants! The past few years have underscored the value of these grants, and helps us realize the importance that art, music, and other cultural and educational offerings have in our lives. I am excited to witness this diverse group of initiatives roll-out and enrich the Bedford community over the coming year.”

For many years, Barrett has been a key advocate for funding cultural programming, as has Gordon. 

“Congratulations to all the recipients of the Bedford Cultural Council’s FY23 grants,” said Gordon. “I’m happy to see our community continue to experience the wonderful cultural activities and artistry of the people of Bedford. I’m thankful for the BCC’s work to support and promote the expression of art to bring our community together.”

This year’s grants include:

  • Bedford Desi Group for Diwali and Holi celebrations
  • Sarah Scoville for additional utility box murals
  • Bedford Free Public Library for Traveling Makerspace with Jay Mankita
  • Bedford Schools for a number of projects including a field trip for the Black Student Union, an author visit, world language celebration, and new theater spotlights at the High School and Science Sensory Stations at the Lane School
  • Bedford Historical Society for The Preservationist newsletter and community lecture series
  • Council on Aging programs with Howie Newman for a “Musical Baseball” program and Delvena Theatre Company for “Louisa’s Girls”
A list of the recipients receiving the 2023 Bedford Cultural Council Grants. Courtesy Image.

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: Breena Daniell, Bobbie Ennis, George Epple*, Dianne Grattan, Rebecca Hazelton, Angel Pettitt, Barbara Purchia, Erin Sandler-Rathe, Susan Schwartz, and Christine Wojnar.

Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) award over $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 bsrpurchia@aol.com. 

Applications and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available online at https://massculturalcouncil.org/communities/local-cultural-council-program/. 

* Editor’s note: George Epple passed away on Dec. 24. In addition to being a member of the Bedford Cultural Council, he was active in many civic organizations in town.


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