Announcement of Cultural Arts Grants; Call for new members

The Southborough Cultural Arts Council has announced its latest round of grants. In addition to sharing the news, they hope the announcement will help attract new members.

Mary Piekarz, President of the SCAC, announced that 9 grants totaling over $4,300 will support cultural programs for our community.

The SCAC is part of a network of local cultural councils serving all towns and villages in the Commonwealth. Funding is made possible by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency that allocates funds for each council.

Decisions about what activities to support for Southborough are made by a council of volunteer residents appointed by elected officials. To help them with their mission and the next round of applications this fall, the SCAC is looking for new members to join them. Click here for a volunteer request.

Below is a list of grants awarded in this cycle. (Some details of the description are courtesy of the SCAC, and some of my own knowledge and research.):

Algonquin Regional High School – The Power of a Personal Story

The first year class will read the novel ‘Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From’, by Southborough author Jennifer DeLeon. In April, the school will host a one-day event with the author visiting to talk to the whole class about his writing process, the inspiration for the book, and writing as a form of expression. This will be followed by workshops allowing students to work on their own personal writing project. Students will be able to publish their own writings and/or explore different written formats to express themselves.

Art on the trails

The annual outdoor art exhibition is hosted by the Southborough Open Land Foundation at their Beals Preserve in Southborough. Each year, the organizers of a themed juried exhibit post a map online to encourage the public to explore the trails and enjoy the special facilities. They also invited the public to respond to art with poetry submissions for a book of chapters. (You can check out details of last year’s exhibition here.)

Mastersingers of the Assabet Valley

AVM had planned to hold a special concert in Southborough at St. Mark’s School in Southborough in March. Due to the school’s contract with Miramax to use their campus to shoot a movie, this is no longer possible. No other large enough venues in Southborough were available for booking, so the gig was moved to Southborough’s state secondary school, Algonquin.

The “Songs of Ecstasy” concert will be held at ARHS on March 20. Admission is charged, but children under 12 can attend for free when accompanied by an adult.

AVM hopes to hold a future gig in Southborough. (Their schedule posted at this point includes a May gig in Shrewsbury and a June gig in Westborough.)

Community choirs:

The following singing groups are both open to the public to join without an audition. Both traditionally hold concerts in December and spring. Members generally include residents of Southborough:

  • Northborough Area Community Choir – Rehearsal season has begun for their spring concert on May 15 in Algonquin. To find out how to join them, or the concert, click here.
  • Westborough Community Choir – Click here to request to join them.

Discovery Museum – Open Door Connections

The Acton Children’s Museum encourages children to play and explore science and nature. Support for the Open Door Connections program helps families facing financial or other barriers to visit for free or at low cost.

This includes families with children on the autism spectrum, who are deaf/hard of hearing, or who are blind/visually impaired; Admission $1/person for EBT, ConnectorCare and WIC cardholders; free entry for educators and military families; free entrance for all on certain Friday evenings; and memberships given free to families based on need.

Hopkinton Center for the Arts – Celebrate Southborough at the HCA

HCA will present a summer musical series in the summer of 2022. July 15 will be the “Celebrate Southborough” event.

All Southborough residents will have free access to the concert featuring a musician from the Greater Boston area. Residents will also receive a free gift and HCA will invite Southborough personalities to join in the celebration.

Southborough Library – Celtic Chocolate Program

Southborough Library plans to bring back Kim Larkin from Klassic Kreations which runs popular food and culture programs with an Irish twist.

In 2018, its Celtic Chocolate Program at the Library highlighted the history of chocolate in Ireland, Irish chocolate pioneers, Irish traditions, famous Irish dishes and Irish poetry. You can see a video of this 2018 event here. What the video cannot reproduce are the samples that accompany its programs – usually including Irish tea, bread, bark, cheese and/or chocolates.

Symphony Pro Music

The Symphony Orchestra regularly performs in Southborough at the Putnam Family Arts Center at St. Mark’s School. The January concert was canceled due to the rise in community Covid cases.

At a gig on March 19 in Southborough, SPM are to play Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Musgrave’s Turbulent Landscapes. Violinist Inmo Yang is to play Violin Concerto by Dvořák.

(Note: This concert may be canceled for the same reason as AVM’s March concert. It is in the middle of the period that Miramax will use the Saint-Marc campus for filming. But it seems that there is no filming planned this specific SPM is noting a change in its concert times in Hudson and St. Marc, which may have been to avoid the conflict. But a link to purchase tickets is not not available yet. So stay tuned.)

On May 15, the symphony will perform Opening of the Academic Festival of Brahms and Symphony No. 8 in F major by Beethoven. The guest soloists are violinist Julia Churchill (Poème de Chausson) and cellist Emma Churchill (Milhaud’ Cello Concerto No. 1).

Before each concert, SPM organizes a 45-minute pre-concert conference. Find SPM’s contact details here.

SCAC grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in Southborough – including exhibitions, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, school performances, workshops and lectures. For grant guidelines and complete information about SCAC, visit Applications and more information about the Local Cultural Council program are available online at

You can also find more details about the SCAC on the City’s website (here) and on the MCAC website (here).

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