Coming grant-funded events

Porchfest 2024, Throughout Winchester, Saturday, Jun 8, 2024
Porchfest 2024 postcard

Art in August is coming! For over twenty years, Winchester businesses and artists have collaborated to turn the downtown area into an arts colony during the month of August. We are now preparing to renew this festival for the summer of 2024.

Throughout the month, creations of local artists will be on display in windows and inside stores in downtown Winchester. The festival begins with a gala reception on August 1, and features smaller meet-the-artist receptions on three subsequent Thursday evenings.

This year's festival will also see the return of Art in the Park on Saturday, August 17, a full day of arts activities on the Common at the Winchester Farmers' Market.

The Winchester Public Library is hosting an exhibit of artworks by members of the Winchester Artists Network throughout the month of May. The exhibition features artwork from a many artists living or working in Winchester. Artwork on view includes oil paintings, acrylics paintings, watercolors, collage, photography, textile art, ceramics, and mixed media work.

All are welcome to attend the special Exhibit Reception on Saturday, May 11 from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

The participating artists include Theodore Cantrell, Ellen Carlisle, Diane Rubino Davies, David Feigenbaum, Trish Gannon, Mary Grassi, Mary Hummon, David Hummon, Kristine Kamikawa, Carol K. Keller, Denise Konicek, Carolyn Latanision, Carolyn Swett Leaf, Ruth Lieberherr, John McConnell, Deb O’Brien, Carolyn Sirois, Jay Sullivan, Martina Werner, John M. Williams, Meg Steele Wingerath, and Kiyomi Yatsuhashi.

For more details, see the library website, or just come in and have a look!

The Winchester Cultural Council awarded $16,275 in grants for 2024 to 16 individuals and organizations.  Funding for these grants came from the annual Local Cultural Council funding program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and from the citizens of Winchester, through the Town of Winchester's own budget. Following is a list of the grants, in roughly chronological order.

  • Creatives on the Common (all year 2024)
    A series of artist gatherings hosted at the Studio on the Common arts and pottery studios, providing an opportunity for artists (and aspiring artists) to gather in order to share skills, seek inspiration, work on unfinished projects or start new ones and share in opportunities to create together.
  • Tanglewood Marionettes: An Arabian Adventure (January 30, 2024)
    The Winchester After School Program (Kids’ Corner) hosts the Tanglewood Marionettes for a performance blending story-telling, culture and the art of puppetry.
  • Chinese New Year celebration (February 11, 2024)
    An annual festival for everyone at held Winchester High School, organized and hosted by Winchester School of Chinese Culture for nearly 20 years.
  • Mapping & Data Art Project (February 2024)
    Supporting transportation for Winchester High School Honors Art students to the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center and the Mary Baker Eddy Library Mapparium, with STARS resident SciArtist Soren Meibom.
  • Kid Art with Studio on the Common (April–September 2024)
    In support of monthly single-session art classes at the Winchester Public Library for students in grades 3–5, led by an artist from the Studio on the Common.
  • Tales of Now & Zen: A Story Program for Adults (May 11, 2024)
    Nationally-acclaimed Japanese storyteller Motoko presents a performance of charming tales for adults and seniors at the Winchester Public Library. Clad in a traditional kimono and armed only with a fan as a prop, Motoko weaves together ancient Asian lore, traditional songs, the 17th-century Rakugo tales, and oral memoirs from her childhood in Osaka and her life as an immigrant artist and mother.
  • Winchester Steel Pan Project (Spring 2024)
    In support of the formation of a traditional Caribbean Steel Pan Ensemble at the Winchester Community Music School through the purchase a basic set of steel drums. The ensemble would perform at various community events, especially those in outdoor settings. Supported in part by town funding.
  • Seniors and Young People—Linking Generations Through Music (Spring 2024)
    An interactive performance by the Boston Saxophone Quartet (BSQ) at the Jenks Center. Beginning with guided discussions where participants share their experiences, the BSQ plays music based on those experiences, drawing on diverse musical styles, including Classics, Ragtime, Swing, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Pop.
  • Winchester Porchfest (June 8, 2024)
    Porchfest is a unique, volunteer-organized, one-day community-building music festival where Winchester residents lend their porches as pop-up micro-stages to amateur musicians, who showcase their musical talent to neighbors, all other community members, and visitors from other towns.
  • Photoville x Winchester V (June–September 2024)
    Now in its fifth year produced by the Griffin Museum of Photography and Photoville, the exhibit is a public art project filling the outdoor spaces of Winchester with photographs and the stories behind them. Fifteen cube structures with four-sided panels display images from local, national and international artists, communities and cultures. In addition, the Winchester Cultural District and the Griffin work with the Winchester Community Music School to add unique musical performances to the images. Supported by town funding.
  • This is Us—Our Town (June–September 2024)
    A photographic essay about what makes a community, featuring the work of the local residents of Winchester and produced by the Griffin Museum of Photography. Residents of all ages are invited to submit images for printing on a banner that will hang on the walls of the Griffin Museum Rotary Terrace. Supported by town funding.
  • Arts Exploration for Adults (June–October 2024)
    A series of five 90-minute hands-on art lessons for adults conducted by the Pop Up Art School at the Winchester Public Library. Each class will focus on a different medium: wool felting, clay sculpting, pencil drawing, acrylic canvas painting, and watercolor painting. The instructor demonstrates basic techniques for the medium and then guides participants step-by-step in completing a project.
  • How COVID brought a community together: The making of Save Erce (Premiere in July 2024)
    Brio Integrated Theatre will produce a short documentary about the making of the podcast Save Erce, which it produced before, during and after COVID. The video will illustrate how this project brought hope to the community despite the hardships of the shutdown. Brio is a small non-profit arts organization that works with people with disabilities.
  • Japanese Textile Art / Peace Prayers (Summer 2024).
    A cultural creative experience for participants of all ages led by Kiyomi Yatsuhashi that culminates in an outdoor public art installation of Prayers for the Earth and Prayers for peace. Participants learn to shibori dye a small piece of fabric which will become part of a public art outdoor installation of prayer flags in locations such as Wright-Locke Farm, Winchester Town Common and the Middlesex Fells. If desired, prayer flags could also be made and sent to areas affected by war and natural disasters.
  • Griffin Terrace Series (Summer 2024)
    An outdoor summer concert series at the Griffin Museum of Photography produced by the Winchester Cultural District. Past events have included music, Porchfest, poetry, children's theater, and beer gardens. The three events in 2024 will focus on world music. Supported by town funding.
  • Winchester Cultural District Sculpture Sponsorship (October 2024)
    To support continuation of the outdoor sculpture exhibitions along the Riverwalk in the Winchester Cultural District. Supported by town funding.
Meghan Sheehan at her painted utility box   Lucia Rubini at her painted utility box   Mary Grassi at her painted utility box
The first-ever Winchester utility box art program is now on display throughout the town. Five artists, under the sponsorship of the Winchester Cultural Council, painted seven utility boxes over the summer of 2023. The art brings a touch of beauty to what had been a utilitarian street object and gives these local artists a showcase for their creativity and skill. The artists are Adam Adkison, Mary Grassi, Lucia Rubini, Meghan Sheehan, and Joyce Westner.

On October 5, 2023, the Massachusetts Cultural Council shared the following list of six grant programs that offer support to cultural creators throughout the year. We encourage everyone to consider applying for a Winchester Cultural Council grant (deadline Oct. 17, part of the Local Cultural Council grant program), but you might also find one of these programs to be a great fit.

Programs might be open for individuals or organizations, where "organizations" may include cultural organizations, non-profits, schools, cities/towns, unincorporated groups or collaboratives, for-profits, etc. Visit the program guidelines for detailed eligibility information and to apply.

Wedgemere kiosk welcome flier   Wedgemere kiosk Town Day flier

At the Wedgemere MBTA station, the Winchester Cultural Council has placed a video monitor in the window of the former coffee shop on the inbound side with announcements and information about Winchester. The display can be seen by anyone riding the commuter rail between Winchester and Boston.

Organizations and individuals are welcome to submit an electronic flier with information of general public interest for posting on the video display. Just write to Fliers should be non-commercial in nature and may advertise an event or an opportunity for public involvement. There is no charge for display.

This is a low-cost pilot project that might lead to similar kiosks elsewhere.

Comments and suggestions are welcome!

Some guidelines for slide creation:

The Winchester Cultural Council announces a new year-round program of small grants ($50 to $300). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Decisions are normally made within four weeks of the application being filed, and funding can be received shortly thereafter. A micro grant could be suitable for a small art project, performance, or speaker, or to help fund an event that takes advantage of a time-sensitive opportunity that arises during the year.

Microgrants are open to all Winchester residents and Winchester-based organizations; funded projects must benefit the public, just like the annual Mass Cultural Council-funded grants. Full rules and a link to the application are on the Microgrant Information Page.

Note that grants are offered subject to funding availability, which might change during the year.


The Winchester Cultural Council is in need of new members for the coming year. Cultural Council members are volunteers who are appointed by the town's Select Board; love of the arts is important, but no special skills are required. The Council meets monthly, gives cultural grants annually, and provides many opportunities to enrich our town. Click to read more!