The Winchester  Cultural Council has announced the awarding of $22,500 in grants in 2023 for 17 projects by 15 different individuals and organizations. The awards represent the largest total giving by the WCC in its 42-year history. This level of support was made possible by an increase in state funding together with strong support for culture and the arts from the town of Winchester. Grant projects and recipients are listed below.

  • Chinese New Year celebration (January 22, 2023)
    An annual celebration of the Chinese New Year conducted by the Winchester School of Chinese Culture, with Chinese dance, music, and other performances by students and other artists. At Winchester High School.
  • The Just A Minute Festival (year-long; voting period January 10 to March 1, 2023)
    An international online festival of short (one-minute) videos. Award winners are determined by popular vote; everyone is welcome to view and vote from January 10 through March 1, and the entries remain on the website justaminute.tv and may be viewed there at any time.
  • Jenks Winter Saturday Concert Series (February–March 2023)
    Two performances on Saturdays at the Jenks Center, featuring the Modernistics in February and Big Smile Entertainment with music from Broadway musicals in March.
  • Sulinha Trio Family Concert (April 1, 2023)
    A family-friendly concert at the Winchester Recreation Center of Brazilian-style songs and other music. The performance will be outdoors if weather permits.
  • Within Me, Within You—the Universal Spiritualism in Tagore's Songs (April 21, 2023)
    A program of songs written and composed by Nobel Laureate Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, performed by Maitreyee Chakraborty with accompaniment by harmonium, tabla, and keyboard. Songs will be interspersed with poems and excerpts taken from Tagore's writings as well as writings by Rumi; slides of Tagore's paintings relevant to the topic will be shown. The concert will end with a Q&A session. At the Winchester Unitarian Church.
  • Summer Waterfield Festival Griffin Terrace Series (May–October 2023)
    Part of the Winchester Cultural District’s Waterfield Festival, a series of six free outdoor events on the Griffin Museum of Photograph’s Rotary Terrace with musical performances and other events, such as a second poetry cafe, dance, or a drum circle, that highlight local and diverse disciplines, are family friendly, and may promote audience participation. Supported by town funding.
  • Sheffield Chamber Players (Spring 2023)
    Performances by an accomplished group of classical musicians at Wright-Locke Farm’s All Seasons Barn. Supported by town funding.
  • Kids Art (Spring/Summer 2023)
    An after-school or school vacation program of the Winchester Public Library Children's Department, in collaboration with Studio on the Common, offering six free small group art classes to children age 7 and older.
  • Revisiting Frederick Douglass in Winchester (June 2023)
    A public reading by an actor of Frederick Douglass's speech, “What to a Slave is the 4th of July” during the third annual Juneteenth Holiday. The reading will be followed by facilitated discussions with a historian and teacher (for youth and adults), and a ceremony showcasing the winners of a Juneteenth virtual educational scavenger hunt. The event is a collaboration between the Network for Social Justice and the Winchester Historical Society. Supported by town funding.
  • Photoville in Winchester (June through September)
    The fourth installment of a large-scale exhibition of photography throughout the Winchester Cultural District (formerly called “The Fence”). The display features photographers from all over the world, and includes Photosynthesis, a student art program for students from Winchester and Burlington High Schools. Exhibits feature music performed by faculty of the Winchester Community Music School. Supported by town funding.
  • Concerts on the Common (August 2023)
    A summer series of eight concerts on the Winchester Common featuring musical groups of popular genres including jazz, folk, rock, and family-oriented.
  • Winchester Cultural District Waterfield Festival (Summer 2023–Winter 2024)
    An outdoor exhibit of sculpture and augmented reality (AR) artworks on the Winchester Cultural District “Riverwalk” along the Aberjona River. Several sculptures will be selected for long-term lease and placed on the Riverwalk. AR artists will demonstrate and teach a class for residents so they can contribute to the exhibition. AR can include audio, video, visual art, and animation, and has no physical barriers to access. The Waterfield Festival is a District-wide cultural event on the theme of “water” lasting the entire year. Supported by town funding.
  • Saltwater Intrusion Plane (August–September)
    An installation by California artist Ville Kansanen that is part of a broader climate-change focused exhibition. Ville's project is a raised wooden structure composed of variously sized rectangular compartments filled with soil and water from the bed of the Aberjona and mixed with varying amounts of salt, resulting in an array of browns, tans and grays that foreshadow the subtle changes in landscape the local community may experience in coming years. Outdoors at the Griffin Museum of Photography. Supported by town funding.
  • International Day (September 2023)
    A day to celebrate the international cultures of Winchester through music, dance and cultural information. participants include local dance troupes, drummers, flutists, choirs, storytellers and craftspeople representing different cultures. At the Winchester Farmers’ Market on the Town Common. Supported by town funding.
  • Weekend of the Arts (tentatively November 3–5, 2023)
    A weekend of arts and crafts for display and sale and of arts classes at the Winchester Unitarian Society, with involvement of local artists and arts organizations as well as similar groups representing racially diverse artists and artists of different abilities or from more challenged neighborhoods. There will be activities for all children as well as adults. Supported by town funding.
  • Letters Trellis Pop Ups (year-long)
    Letters Trellis offer stationery, postage, and a writing desk within a trellised area. It has been operating at the summer Farmers’ Market, and now plans to expand to Pop Up events and packets for Little Free Libraries. More information and supporting materials are at the website www.letterstrellis.com.
  • Enhancing Winchester History Online (year-long)
    Support for expanding Winchester History Online (www.winchester.us/480/Winchester-History-Online), which provides an online “biography” of the town with original articles and links to source materials authored by the Town Archivist, Ellen Knight. This important activity has even more significance with the establishment of the Cultural District and the approach of Winchester’s 175th anniversary in 2025.

 

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 info@winchesterculturalcouncil.org. 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!

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. To apply, send a letter stating your interest to the Select Board at Town Hall.