2016-2017 Grant Recipients


Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, Inc.
The Lost Music of Canterbury
The renowned Cambridge-based ensemble Blue Heron will celebrate the completion of a 5-CD series, Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, with a gorgeous program of highlights from this treasurehouse of music, a set of partbooks copied around 1540 for Canterbury Cathedral. The group will be joined for the occasion by Nick Sandon, the world’s leading expert on the Peterhouse partbooks and the restorer of their missing parts, without whose astonishing and utterly persuasive recomposition of missing lines (principally the tenor, whose partbook was lost centuries ago) none of the unique Peterhouse music could be sung in modern times. Blue Heron is the only ensemble in the world that has explored this source in this depth.

Cambridge Community Center
The Hip Hop Transformation

The Hip Hop Transformation (THHT) is a program for teens ages 14-18 offered by the Cambridge Community Center in partnership with the Cambridge Police Department. THHT helps youth aged 14 – 18 find their voice through hip-hop music. Inspired by socially conscious hip-hop, THHT uses music to spark conversations about relevant social issues, confront social inequalities, and create a public forum to form opinions. Through learning about, writing, recording, and performing their own music, our teens have the opportunity to articulate their own perspectives on race, politics, and society. THHT fosters love for quality music and unlocks the potential of youth from diverse backgrounds to be musicians, performers, and agents of social change.

Claire Fassnacht
Cambridge Youth Gamelan 2017 Winter and Spring Sessions

The Cambridge Youth Gamelan offers youth ages 8 through 15 the chance to discover a music and culture completely different than their own and to cultivate important skills. Students meet once a week at MIT’s world music room to learn from experienced musicians and teachers how to play traditional Balinese music on percussive instruments from Indonesia. A music that is taught orally, without sheet music, enhances children's abilities to develop listening skills and rhythm, to learn about a foreign culture and to teach each other musical patterns strengthening communication, teambuilding and leadership skills. The winter and spring sessions each conclude with a performance open to family, friends and members of the Cambridge community.

Michael Hardin
Timber by Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon's "Timber" is an entrancing, meditative work of overtones and fundamentals produced on six wooden planks, intertwined in polyrhythms for a trance-like, hour-long experience. These sounds are captured from the wood through amplification. The composer wished to embrace simplicity both in his choice of instrument and in his compositional process. This piece would go on a three-concert tour during 2017: first, at Multicultural Arts Center (January 12); second, through The Open Theatre Project (March 18); and lastly, at the Waterworks Museum in Brighton (late April/early May).

Morgan Evans-Weiler
Standing Waves at Mobius
Standing Waves is a monthly music, sound, and artists talk series with a concentration on one artist in the performance of and presentation about their work. This format allows for the performance and auditioning of an artists work as well as an in depth presentation to the audience regarding some aspect of the artists work. With time given to a single artist, the events make for intimate as well as rigorous experiences, with the integrity and intention of the artist and work aligned and revealed. A distinguishing element of the series will also be a document in the form of a book and recording that includes the performance, transcript excerpts from the talks, critical writing and photographs.

New School of Music
Cultural Collage: Making Music in Our Global City
Cultural Collage is an ensemble-based music program for children ages 6-12 created as a collaboration between the New School of Music and the Community Art Center, both located in Cambridge. The program serves 30-40 students on Saturday mornings, where they participate in small group music lessons, interactive art projects, and make music together as a large ensemble. This year, we are providing an additional day of instruction as part of the Community Art Center’s after school program, serving an additional 12 students, ages 10-12, in a group lesson. These students are learning musicianship and leadership skills to help them develop leadership roles in the large ensemble on Saturdays.

North Cambridge Family Opera (NCFO)
Songwriting workshops in K-5 CPS schools

NCFO will sponsor about 50 science songwriting workshops led by David Haines distributed evenly throughout the K-5 Cambridge Public Schools. Mr. Haines is a composer and educator with a deep interest in and broad knowledge of science. He uses music and poetry as a teaching device to engage children with the natural world.

Shelter Music Boston
Interactive Concerts at Caspar Emergency Shelter

Shelter Music Boston (SMB) will perform 10 interactive classical chamber music concerts at Caspar Emergency Shelter in 2017. Concerts will provide shelter guests with access to dignity, creativity, passion, respect, and community while listening to, talking about, and learning about music that may be entirely new to them. Concerts will be performed by professional musicians and to the highest artistic standards. As a result of SMB concerts, listeners take positive steps to improve their lives & learn to use music as a tool to address some of the stress of homelessness. Shelter guests and staff report that SMB concerts bring calm to an often chaotic environment, reduce conflict in the shelters, and help shelter guests sleep.

Union Baptist Church
Juneteenth Commemorative Concert of Black Sacred Music

Union Baptist Church, along with three distinguished artists, Nedelka Prescod, Donna McElroy, and Dennis Montgomery, all faculty at Berklee College of Music, will provide a concert of Black Sacred Music for youth and adults. The concert is in commemoration of “Juneteenth,” June 19, 1865, the date of the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of slaves in the Confederate South. The concert will feature Black Sacred Music from the Spirituals of the time of slavery through mid-twentieth century Gospel.

Theater, Literature & Multidisciplinary

Agassiz Baldwin Community
Hip Hop Festival
Agassiz Baldwin Community has hosted the Annual Hip Hop Festival for 18 years and counting! The festival is a music and dance performance that showcases a mix of local professional and youth performers. It is a family friendly event geared towards a school age audience. We have two main goals. First, we want to give local youth and families a way to experience and learn about hip hop music, dance and culture. Second, we provide our performers with a unique opportunity to share their talents with the community. Much of our line-up is comprised of local dance schools, afterschool dance clubs and teen musicians. For these children and teens, it’s a rare chance to gain performance experience and share their work with an audience of peers.

Beyond the 4th Wall Expression Theatre
Puppetry creation and training for the Production of the Lion King
Our All-City Musical theatre production is a tuition-free, one of a kind, after school program offered to students across Cambridge in 3rd through 8th grades. It is designed to build community and self-esteem, as well as train students in acting, dance and singing while preparing to perform in a fully produced musical with a live band. This year we are requesting funds to add a puppetry/mask making and performance element to the Lion King Musical we will be producing. In addition to our normal rehearsals we will partner with Eric Bornstein from "Behind the Mask" to work with our youth to create masks and learn how to "perform the mask" Our program will culminate with a weekend presentation of the Lion King for a city-wide audience.

Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project
Flying Creatures and Their Habitats in Cambridge
The Cambridge Wildlife Puppet Project (CWPP) will bring Cambridge families and youth a closer knowledge and experience of wild animals and habitats in our city through puppetry arts, during the period July 2016–Nov. 2017. The CWPP proposes a roster of arts activities centered on flying creatures (birds, bats, flying insects) and the ecosystem of Cambridge, Mass. These activities fall into the categories of 1) puppet-building and costume-making; 2) puppetry performance and parade (including music performance), and 3) visual arts in the form of trading cards and a parade banner—all with a focus on Cambridge animal species.

Central Square Theater
Youth Underground Circle Up! Tour
Central Square Theater requests support for Youth Underground (YU) to tour it’s new investigative theater production, Circle Up!. YU serves members ages 13-25. Circle Up! Explores the complexities and casualties of the achievement gap. Each YU production includes a post-performance community conversation about the topic that is moderated by the YU members. Inspired by interviews with community members, the production was developed in summer 2016 with the Delegates and revised for staging and production by the Ambassadors. The tour will launch at Central Square Theater in February 2017 and tour up to three more community organization and schools, including Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Jean-Dany Joachim
Your Voice Poet
Your Voice Poet is a one-act play in three monologues that speaks to universal timeless realities of the human condition. I am applying for this grant to make it possible for me to present the play to the general Cambridge community via ART (The American Repertory Theater) and to have a staged reading at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in collaboration with students in the theater and arts programs. Audience members will come away with a greater appreciation for and acceptance of the struggles of different cultures by seeing them as part of shared experiences of all peoples. The play generates dialogue concerning unspoken issues that the majority of people swim in every day without the venue or voice to speak of them.

Liars & Believers
Yellow Bird Chase
In summer 2017 Liars & Believers will partner with several Cambridge organizations to present four free performances of Yellow Bird Chase. Performances will be followed by short children’s workshops on puppetry and story-telling. This family-oriented play takes a clownish maintenance crew on a wild adventure, chasing a magical bird over land, sea, and air; fighting sea monsters, pirates, and bad pop songs. It features clowning, puppetry, and gibberish. Yellow Bird Chase was created with guidance from accessibility experts and is fully accessible to Deaf audiences. Partnering with our presenters, service institutions, the Cambridge Commission on Disabilities, and the MCC, we will reach out to the Deaf community for these free performances.

Meg Stone
What I Have to Protect: Personal Stories of the Politics of Self-Defense
The proposed project is a series of creative writing workshops for survivors of sexual, domestic and community violence. In the workshops, participants will learn physical and verbal self-defense skills from IMPACT, a nationally recognized abuse prevention and safety training organization. Participants will then be prompted to write about the experience of learning to protect their bodies. During the course of the project Meg Stone will also solicit essays from authors across the U.S. about their experiences of violence and the choices they make about safety and self-defense. The project will culminate in a reading at the Cambridge Public Library that will feature essays written by workshop participants and national contributors.

Survivor Theatre Project
Healing Through Creative Arts Workshop Series & Performance
Healing Through Creative Arts is a monthly workshop series that brings together experienced artists, educators, and facilitators from various disciplines to offer survivors creative skills in hopes of experiencing healing, manage stress, and build community with other survivors of sexual violence in Cambridge, MA. The program will culminate in a Survivor Theatre Project Touring Company original performance in Cambridge, MA in Fall 2017.


ANIKAYA Dance Theater
Sacred Spaces - ANIKAYA Summer Series
I propose a series of mini pop-up performances to take place throughout Cambridge in public outdoor spaces during May-August 2017. These performances will be primarily extensions and adaptions of ANIKAYA projects with international collaborators and with Boston-area based dancers. The works to be presented are:
Joy, a duet by Wendy Jehlen and Marcel Gbeffa (Benin) with a section for 15-20 community members;
Entangling, a duet by Wendy Jehlen and Lacina Coulibaly (Burkina Faso);
Falling Together, a work for 10-15 dancers;
Wending, a duet with Wendy Kinal;
and Listen, a work for 15 Deaf and Hard of Hearing high school students and 10 adult Deaf community members.

Ballet Theatre of Boston d/b/a Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre
Dance for World Community Festival Day
Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre (JMBT) respectfully requests support of its Dance for World Community Festival Day, a day of over 90 free dance performances, 30 classes, broad community advocacy, and a celebratory dance party in the street. Hosted on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Harvard Square, Festival Day is the culmination of the Dance for World Community Festival Week, an annual week-long dance festival in Cambridge that harnesses the power of dance to improve the social and environmental health of our communities. The week of activity dedicated to demonstrating how dance can play a larger role in promoting social change includes panel discussions, expert speakers, a Dance on Film Series, and workshops about advocacy.

The Dance Complex
25 & Dancing On Performance Event
"25 & Dancing On" Performance Event will be a pivotal part of The Dance Complex's 25th year. We will create an extended 24 minute flash mob as a key piece to an outdoor street performance. The 25 minute dance would be created by members of The DC's faculty and friends, each offering smaller sections of movement that will be the base for the 25 minute dance. The dance will be performed by 200 people who will learn the dance in free classes offered at The DC from February to June, as well as online. Additional sections of the street performance would include professional drummers, singers; a commissioned score; and a video installation that would illuminate our historic building with video and photos both historical and present day.

Jean Appolon
JAE Teen Dance Program
Through a combination of intensive, sequential dance training, yoga and public performances that celebrate the results of this experience, JAE's Teen Program seeks to encourage the healthy growth and development of young teenagers as contributing citizens and role models. Our deepest conviction is that practicing and performing dance together is one of the most powerful activities in which young people can engage: it builds their self-confidence; it awakens their artistic sensibility and gives access to their emotions and humanity; and it fosters a larger sense of community that lifts the horizon of hope for these young people.

Jenny Herzog/Chavi Bansal
Moving Stories
Moving Dances will combine storytelling, music, and dance. Working with Moving Steps Foundation, a dance company comprised of recently incarcerated women, Chavi Bansal and I will facilitate a series of four workshops. Each workshop will have a theme: love, fear, risk, etc. The women will have 30 minutes to write a story, based on the theme, and will then share their stories. Chavi and I will create a full length dance/music show based on these stories. Original choreography regarding these stories will be danced to original music. The women, also dancers, will dance in the show, and will have a chance to read their stories. We will create awareness, while giving performance opportunities. This show will be presented at the Dance Complex.

The Midday Movement Series
The Midday Movement Series
The Midday Movement Series (MMS) seeks a $5000 grant to the operation of our 2016-2017 season. MMS is a program supporting the future of dance training for professional contemporary dancers in Cambridge by: 1) providing emerging teachers with space and support to craft their movement style, hone their teaching skills, connect to dancers, and build a following, and 2) promoting a class-taking culture among professional dancers by providing affordable, rigorous, on-going classes with a faculty of dedicated artists. Last year, MMS offered 3 classes per week and served over 80 dancers. This year's program will offer 5 classes per week. MMS supports excellence in dance by fostering commitment to training among local dance professionals.

Zoe Dance Company
"Quiet/Repeat" an Interactive Dance Performance
"Quiet/Repeat" is an immersive dance performance to be presented in the studio, hallways, and rooftop of Studio at 550 in the Spring of 2017. Celebrating Zoe Dance's 15th anniversary year, this performance will continue its legacy of exploring performance not only through the discipline of dance, but utilizing the integration of projection, light, interactive audience components, and live music as well. Creating a multi-layered experience for the viewer, the non-traditional context and frame for the work will be mindfully crafted to integrate the viewer as part of the context and framing of the piece. "Quiet/Repeat" will be in the style of Zoe's most recent work "Becoming Undone" which was presented in Cambridge and Boston.

Visual Arts, Film & Video

Andrew Ringler
Art Screen Workshop
Art Screen Workshop is a two part project centered around interactive art and education. First, the project is a series of public workshops designed to teach community members how to computer program creating interactive artworks. Second, this project will create a publicly accessible interactive screen to display the very artworks created during the workshops. The workshops will be designed so that member of the community, without any prior experience or computer knowledge, will be able to create their own interactive artworks by the end of the day. During the workshops, students will be creating new interactive artworks for the public screen.

Anne Plaisance
The Art's Room
The Art’s Room is an artistic “tiny house" that will serve as a collaborative expressive arts space where Anne Plaisance, a french visual artist, working with residents at Transition House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, can visualize and share aspirations for a safe and peaceful home. The goals: to offer opportunities for homeless women to express their own creative visions of what they want and need; and to create a representational and sustainable home that is a vehicle to spark public conversation about strategies to address homelessness and violence against women. 1st phase: Incubate the project, 2nd phase: create it, 3rd phase: engage the audience with exhibitions throughout Cambridge.

Community Art Center
Home Port
Home Port Public Art Project is a multi-year initiative which works to connect spaces and communities and grow the level of civic engagement of Port residents. It also helps to preserve history by sharing the stories of the community. Home Port celebrates the name reclaiming of the Port neighborhood. This year Home Port includes the Home Port Art and Music Series, the creation of a youth designed and resident inspired Port Brand, Photography Class, Home Port Pop-up Store/Design Charrette which will sell their branded fashion designs, Tech Square Mural and the unveiling of the Home Port Art Trailer.

Elm Street Community School
Cambridgeport Kindergarten Playground Mural
In a class titled “Visual Arts: Paint a Mural”, twelve 3rd - 5th graders will design and paint a mural on the back of Cambridgeport Elementary School. The class is offered through the Elm Street Community After-school, and is held once a week. It runs from September 2016 to June 2017, and will introduce students to the rich culture of public art and murals. As the children learn painting techniques, a mural design will be conceived and presented to the school for review. During the fall semester, the mural will be planned and presented for review. During the spring semester, the mural will be painted on panels and then installed on a wall near the kindergarten playground. There will be an unveiling celebration with the community.

Laura Zittrain
Our installation seeks to engage with one of Cambridge’s least known but most bold urban planning initiatives: the brief existence of a NASA research center in Cambridge, which abruptly closed in 1970. But soon after the feds moved out, the local community stepped in. Kendall Square has evolved to be the area’s most active, and now, booming, biotech hub: all great successes in spite of -- and in part, due to! -- the original NASA agreement not proceeding as originally planned. But what if NASA had remained and grown as part of the local community? To explore this alternate world, we hope to create 2 “wearable” spacesuit statues -- “suitsculptures” -- whose playful, speculative design makes tangible an unrealized history.

Lesley University College of Art and Design (LUCAD), Community Design Studio
Common Exchange Newspaper
The Common Exchange Newspaper is a limited-edition free publication related to a temporary 2017 public art exhibition presented by Cambridge Arts and curator Dina Deitsch. The exhibition, also entitled Common Exchange, will be a series of performance-based interactive outdoor artworks that respond to the history and contemporary meaning of the Cambridge Common. The Common Exchange Newspaper, a public space in its own right, will be designed by students in the Community Design Studio at Lesley University College of Art and Design (LUCAD) directed by Rick Rawlins. Unique distribution boxes and carrier bags will disseminate the issues, which will echo concepts in the exhibition, e.g. access; connection/disconnection; sound; and history.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi
Mutual Recognition System
Mutual Recognition System is a surrealist sculptural form involving large-scale lips molded in foam. Lips take the place of faces as the most primordial form of human bonding, from maternal bonding to a space of intimate recognition. The work is inspired by lipstick manufacturer Max Factor’s ‘kissing robots’ in the 1930s, created because workers testing his indelible lipsticks atmanufacturing plants went on strike. The machine took on forms of ‘soft’ labor bequeathed to factory workers. At Stonybrook Fine Arts (Jamaica Plain, MA) I have completed the prototype stage of casting and molding the sculpture, and identified materials needed to complete it. The LCC grant would enable me to complete and exhibit the work.

Transition House, Inc.
40 Stories
40 Stories uses the power of personal stories and images to deepen understanding about domestic violence and spark community change. Offering a kaleidoscopic perspective on a 40 year-old movement to end violence, 40 Stories upends traditional ways of thinking by layering first person narrative, still photography and original musical scores into short videos filled with poignant surprises and hope. Over the past year, an all pro-bono team of local professional artists, musicians & content creators has brought 15 of the 40 stories to life. The next 15 are in production now. Our lead editor is no longer available and we seek funding to support our capacity to hire a skilled video editor to complete the last 10 stories before the end of June.

Field Trip Grants

Jennifer Orr.
Field Trip to Puppet Showplace Theater

Two kindergarten classes will be attending a puppet theater show based on a children's book. We will be connecting literature and play acting to help students identify the elements of a story. This also highlights the children's play acting within the classroom and reinforces/motivates them to continue use story boxes in the classroom to develop comprehension skills.

Community Art Center
Field Trips to Wheelock Family Theater

The Community Art Center requests funds for 45 children and 5 chaperones to the Wheelock Family Theatre to for the performances of Billy Elliott during February school vacation week and Charlotte's Web during the April school vacation week.

East End House
Field Trip to Diablo Glass School

East End House is requesting funding to enable the School Age and Middle School Program to enjoy a unique experience at Diablo Glass School. The School offers field trips that include glass blowing demonstrations, and a fused glass workshop where the group can create their own sun-catchers and ornaments. By connecting students to professional national and international glass artists, Diablo Glass School provides a learning experience that offers new information and challenges. Youth from grades K-5 and 6-8 will visit the Diablo Glass School in summer 2017.

Agassiz Baldwin's Outback Program
Outback Field Trip to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Outback Summer program is one way Agassiz Baldwin Community serves children in the greater Cambridge community during the summer months. We aim to bring diverse, fun activities to children while they are at the program. We also aim to bring groups of children off campus at least one time to experience a new, cultural experience. The Isabella Steward Gardner Museum field trip would be for all of our oldest students. We will bring all students who are going into third grade and older. The museum offers a wide variety of guided field trips that we can cater to support a weekly curriculum theme of the program.

Agassiz Baldwin Community Afterschool
Vacation Week Field Trip to Wheelock Family Theatre

Agassiz Baldwin Community's mission begins by saying with nurture individual growth and creativity. Our Afterschool Program strives to do that every day in our work with Cambridge children. Every day, we focus on teaching arts--visual, dance, drama, and music. We can help children grow in their art education through new experiences and opportunities. That is why we want to bring children to the Wheelock Family Theater during April Vacation Week. The Wheelock Family Theater is a local, professional, multicultural theater company that presents shows for children. School Vacation Weeks are a time to break from the regular routine and do something special--introducing our students to a theater show is special.