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Milford Daily News: Franklin Cultural Council gives out $9K in grants

April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010
By Ashley Studley, The Milford Daily News

FRANKLIN — The Cultural Council awarded $9,020 in grants to 24 local organizations yesterday at its first ever awards reception at the Franklin Country Club.

Co-Chairwoman Amy Kessler Welsh said the council wanted to show its appreciation for the artists who continually contributed to the town’s cultural scene over the years.

“We wanted to have something other than grants to give back, show, and make a visual acknowledgement (with a reception) and to bring people together and truly thank them,” Welsh said.

She said a majority of the recipients were present, including Concerts on the Common, Franklin Performing Arts Company, Franklin Historical Museum and the Fourth of July Celebration committee, among others.

Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting, state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, Massachusetts Cultural Council Program Coordinator Tara Ahmed and Craig Carey, an aide for Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, spoke of their support for the council, Welsh said.

“There was a lot of representation from the Town Council, School Committee members, local government and state government,” she said. “It was just great.”

Town Councilor Glenn Jones appreciated the event.

“I think it was great to have the Cultural Council reaching out to the town of Franklin in hopes of keeping arts programs and the cultural aspects of Franklin thriving,” Jones said. “I think the work they’re doing is tremendous, and the more people willing to step up and volunteer with the Cultural Council – it’s a great opportunity to help keep the culture of Franklin thriving.”

Welsh said grantees applied in October, and after an evaluation process guided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, were selected in January.

“The Massachusetts Cultural Council is very specific on criteria – there has to be a venue in Franklin, and the grants are for artists who are going to benefit the community in Franklin,” she said.

Welsh explained that Franklin is one of over 300 cultural councils in the state, and that her council awarded the grants with the help of a $2,000 donation from the town as well as state funds secured by Vallee.

“When we fund, we fund in part things like the Fourth of July celebration, activities at the senior center, historical depictions at the schools, or concerts on the common…things like that that are truly beneficial to the community and bring people together,” she said.

The council will again seek applications in the fall. Information and forms are available at massculturalcouncil.org or at the Franklin town clerk’s office on 355 East Central St.

Ashley Studley can be reached at 508-634-7556 or astudley@cnc.com.

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