Winchester Cultural Council 2021 Grants

Submitted by Council Chair on

The Winchester  Cultural Council awarded $9,745 in LCC grants to 13 individuals and organizations for 2021. Disruptions due to COVID-19 delayed this year's grant cycle; grant decisions were not finalized until March 1, 2021. Grant funding was again strong thanks in part to a continuing commitment to the arts from the town of Winchester in the 2020–2021 budget: three grants were made solely using town funding. The funded projects celebrate and strengthen our community through culture and the arts. Grant projects and recipients are:

  • Authorfest (January 2021). An annual celebration of children's literature conducted by the Winchester Foundation for Educational Excellence which is designed to inspire students to love reading and to consider themselves budding authors and artists. For over 20 years, Authorfest has brought 18 to 21 authors and illustrators to Winchester for a day of presentations, primarily for children ranging in age from 5–18. In 2020, presentations will be virtual, on Zoom, but students will continue to share the experience of "meeting" a published author or illustrator.
  • Arts and Health Online Classes (April and May 2021). To support online seminars/classes by artist and psychologist Dr. Alice Yen-Ling Chen to show people how to use music, dance, visual arts and other forms of arts to release stress and improve health. The sessions are an initiative of the Winchester School of Chinese Culture in response to the likely cancellation of the annual Chinese New Year celebration due to COVID.
  • A Night at the Museum (May 2021). The children at Kid Connection preschool will choose an author/illustrator from a work of  children's literature, learning more about the author and style of illustrating, and then create their own illustrations, which will be displayed in a public setting.
  • Aesop’s Fables 3D Mini Puppet Theatre Craft and Recording (July 15, 2021). In collaboration with the Winchester Library, storyteller Mary Jo Maichack will send materials for children to make miniature 3D puppet theatres based on the fables of Aesop. Families will also get a link of a recording demonstrating how to make the theatres and use them to tell the stories. The kits contain fabric for curtains, colorful chenille pipe cleaners, a set backdrop and characters to color, directions, stories to share, and more.
  • Letters Trellis 2 (Summer 2021). Continuing a project from last year, a letter-writing booth will be set up at the Winchester Farmers’ Market where visitors may create a letter. A space will be set up, including a writing table, chair, and writing supplies (including pens, paper, envelopes, and postage stamps), inviting inspiration from the sense of community surrounding the writer.
  • Music Tent (June 12 to October 30, 2021). To support musical performances at the weekly Winchester Farmers’ Market. Supported by town funding.
  • The Fence (June through September 2021). The Griffin Museum of Photography will again bring the largest public photography installation in North America to the Winchester Cultural District. The Cultural District will be a presenting partner as well as the Griffin Foundation, the John and Mary Murphy Educational Foundation, and the Winchester High School. This year the exhibition will feature musical selections recorded by faculty of the Winchester Community Music School and available for streaming to internet-enabled devices via a QR code. Supported by town funding.
  • Fluid Soul at Mystic Lakes (September 19, 2021). A collaborative project featuring Indian classical dance (Mouli Pal, dancer) accompanied by soprano saxophone (Phil Scarff, instrumentalist),which is recorded outdoors with the serene backdrop of Mystic Lake, to be streamed online on a later date. The audience  will have the opportunity to interact with the artists during the live online event.
  • The Just A Minute Festival. To support an international festival of short videos, each one minute or less in duration, which is produced in Winchester.
  • Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Winchester Community Music School. To support commissioning a thoughtful piece of music to commemorate the music school’s 40th anniversary. The composer will be a WCMS faculty member or alum; the work will highlight genres and themes that span the last four decades in music history. The commission is be part of a greater initiative that will culminate in a live performance by WCMS faculty and students in close partnership with town music groups (Winchester Public Schools, church/synagogue choirs, and others) for the entire community in the 2021/2022 year. The event may also include a visual arts element of curated pieces created by local artists that will complement the music performance. Supported by town funding.
  • Documenting Winchester's Culture of Inclusion. For a project by the Network for Social Justice, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, to document successes and challenges in its history via interviews conducted with the organization's founders, key stakeholders, and community partners. The interviews will be recorded on video by interns from Winchester High School and will be made into a short documentary that will be available on the Network website, social media, electronic newsletter and through WinCAM’s community programming.
  • Expanding Winchester History Online. To add content to Winchester History Online (WHO), a digital gateway to exploring Winchester history ( Hosted by the Winchester Archival Center, the site is a rich and diverse resource, combining thematic overviews and professionally researched focus studies, many on topics not available in previous histories.
  • Legacy Winchester. To develop a system and a process to collect, index, convert, store and display digitally recorded media from the history of Winchester that has previously been collected by the Legacy Winchester Project. The material will be available online, readily accessible via the Internet, free and open to the public.