Montague Local Cultural Council awards $16K in grants

MONTAGUE — The Montague Local Cultural Council has awarded 28 grants totaling $16,146 to support local cultural programs as part of its annual funding distribution.

Grants are awarded to projects that can demonstrate strong public benefit and adherence to the Local Cultural Council’s priorities, which are: elevating the voices and experiences of marginalized groups to highlight the current and historical diversity of Montague; creating opportunities for artists and community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ, Latinx, refugees, immigrants, and/or having a disability; and highlighting creative projects or projects focused on Montague-based history or science.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Alexis Hott’s “Customers from Hell,” a queer, community-based sketch comedy series;
  • Amanda Bernhard’s Montague Swing Dance providing monthly dance instruction at the Montague Common Hall;
  • Amy Kotel & Community Creation Theater featuring everything from spoken word and puppetry to music and clowning;
  • Antenna Cloud Farm’s Music Festival and Retreat;
  • Weathervane Community Arts performances by Montague Street Beat, a community-based musical ensemble and educational organization focusing on historically underserved and underrepresented communities;
  • Carrie Ferguson and The Grumpytime Club, presenting interactive concerts for children at the Carnegie Public Library in Turners Falls;
  • Casey Wait’s “Sickos,” a weekly podcast about chronically ill individuals;
  • Christian McEwen’s “The Listening Ear,” in conjunction with the Great Falls Discovery Center’s “Food, Farms and Factories” programming;
  • David Neill’s concert by the Fanfare Brass Ensemble at the First Congregational Church of Montague;
  • Eggtooth Productions’ “Orlando,” a presentation of award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s gender-bending, period-hopping novel;
  • Eli Elkus’ musical storytelling and folk music;
  • Franklin County Pride’s annual gathering and parade of LGBTQ community members;
  • Human Agenda Theater’s 2024 season, premiering with “Gorgons” by Megan E. Tripaldi;
  • Jay Mankita’s Makerspace Build Along: Chain Reactions, a day of workshops at Great Falls Middle School;
  • Marshall Escamilla’s “Discovering Dinosaurs in the Pioneer Valley,” a place-based science podcast for kids in partnership with New England Public Media and Tumble Media;
  • Montague Catholic Social Ministries’ collective art making to support bonds between young children and caregivers;
  • Montague Community Band’s summer concert series at Peskeompskut Park, plus a Christmas concert in combination with the Turners Falls High School band;
  • Pioneer Valley Symphony’s “Oliver Towne” 2024 education concerts, a free, six-week music program for third and fourth grade classes;
  • Piti Theatre Co.’s “Inclusion Improv,” a seven-visit, improv-based theater residency at Sheffield Elementary School;
  • Real Live Theatre presents “When the Mind’s Free,” an original theater piece lifting language and story from William Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and placing them in the contemporary context of a lesbian family dealing with early onset Alzheimer’s and addiction;
  • Roger L. Tincknell’s children’s songs and singing games;
  • Shea Theater Arts Center’s SHEAkspeare Series, celebrating the work of Shakespeare in a modern context;
  • The Brick House Community Resource Center’s Liberation Playback Theater, an interactive form of theater using storytelling as a means for community-building and healing;
  • The Nolumbeka Project’s Full Snow Moon Gathering and Eastern Woodlands Social Dance and the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival, celebrating Native American art, music and cultures;
  • “Mother Tongue” by First Generation Ensemble, an original multi-lingual physical theater piece;
  • Tom Goldscheider’s “At Swords Point,” a one-hour radio documentary on the history of trade unions in the machine tool industry in Franklin County in collaboration with the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage and New England Public Media; and
  • Wes Brown’s Blood Drum Spirit — A World of Music, an internationally known quartet presenting music in the African-American tradition.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) allocates funds to each of the 329 local cultural councils for distribution within their communities, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year.

This year, the MCC allocated the Montague Local Cultural Council $8,300 funds. Additional cultural programming was supported thanks to a $7,846 local match provided by the Town of Montague using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

For questions/comments or to express your interest in serving on the Montague Cultural Council, please contact culturalcouncil@montague-ma.gov. The council seeks grant applications each fall, with a deadline around October 15. Guidelines and complete information are available online at mass-culture.org.