The Winchester Cultural Council has announced the awarding of nearly $12,000 in grants for 2022 to 14 individuals and organizations. The awards represent the largest total giving by the WCC in well over 20 years.
Grant funding was again strong thanks in part to a continuing commitment to the arts from the town of Winchester in the past year's budget: four grants were made solely using town funding. The funded projects celebrate and strengthen our community through culture and the arts, a need that has grown each year with the continued disruptions of COVID and of the impending massive construction project in the business district.
Grant projects and recipients are:
- Tanglewood Marionettes (January 25, 2022), a winter vacation performance of "The Dragon King" by the renowned Tanglewood Marionettes for K-6 students at both Kids' Corner and Winchester Recreation's after school programs.
- "Zamboni" (January and March, 2022), a one-man performance by Chip Sloan at Winchester's bookstore, Bookends, of an original play—a musical puppet show with original music and lyrics. It will be performed in 12 successive installments of working read- and sing-through sessions, with music performed and lyrics sung by the author. Suggestions and participation by audience members will be welcomed.
- Chinese New Year celebration (February 6, 2022). Funding supports the annual festival of the Chinese New Year presented by Winchester School of Chinese Culture for the people in Winchester. Due to pandemic the festival has been moved online; grant funding will support hiring of professional videographers for the event.
- The Just A Minute Festival (voting period January 10 to March 1), an international festival of short (one-minute) videos. Award winners are determined by popular vote; everyone is welcome to view and vote; the entries remain on the justaminute.tv site and may be viewed there at any time.
- "Save Erce" by Brio Integrated Theatre, a 10-episode fantasy fictional podcast series about a dragon on a mission to save Erce (the earth), and a community in a small New England town of Wincharm with a secret of its own. The podcast is now recruiting voice actors from Winchester and neighboring communities.
- String Quartet Concert Series (March through June, 2022). Grant funding supports a series of four monthly concerts in Wright-Locke Farm's new All Seasons Barn.
- Cool Banana Wig Concert & Craft Session (April 2022), an April school vacation week project at the Winchester Recreation Department produced by the North Suburban Child & Family Resource Network. Cool Banana Wig is a 5 piece all original, interactive kids band focused on bringing kids to the stage to play home-made instruments crafted by the band members and/or unusual instruments.
- The WCMS 40th Anniversary Commission Project (April 30, 2022), supporting an outdoor “pops” style concert at the Winchester Community Music School featuring members of the WCMS woodwind, brass, and percussion faculty. The school plans to commission a musical work commemorating their 40th anniversary, to be performed at this concert. Supported by town funding.
- Winchester Porchfest 2022 (June 2022), a one day, volunteer-driven, free community event that provides public venues for individuals and groups to share their music and performance art. Winchester held its first, very successful, porchfest on June 12, 2021; the 2022 edition promises to be even better. Supported by town funding.
- The Fence Part 3 (June to September 2022), sponsored by The Griffin Museum of Photography, is the third installment of a large-scale exhibition of photography throughout the Winchester Cultural District. The display features photographers from all over the world, and will include a section for Winchester High School students. This year the installations will also include sculpture, and light shows and collaborations with musicians and photographers are planned. Supported by town funding.
- Letters Trellis (Summer 2022), a project by Karen Fullerton that promotes the fine but endangered art of letter writing. At the summer Farmer's Market and other community venues, organizers offer stationery, postage, and a writing desk within a trellised area. A variety of printed materials and strategies are provided to assist potential writers with motivation and instruction on basic writing techniques and ways to enhance their letters. In addition, verbal engagement stimulates the exchange of ideas.
- Origami Outreach (Summer 2022), supports a booth by artist Ghosh Ayan at the Farmers Market and (occasionally) at WHS to feature exhibitions demonstrating interesting origami structures. Visitors will get the opportunity to fold something of artistic or intellectual value and can take a pamphlet about the art and how it could apply to their daily lives.
- Winchester Oral History Program, a project to reactivate the Winchester Archives's oral history program after a ten year hiatus, led by Joanna Shea O'Brien, an oral historian with over twenty years of experience.
- "Visit Winchester" Website, supporting development by the Winchester Chamber of Commerce of a website that will not only promote the local businesses and organizations in Winchester, but will also promote all the wonderful outdoor and cultural experiences Winchester has to offer. Supported by town funding.