2018-2019 Grant Recipients
Dances by Isadora Boston
Dances of the Spirit
Dances by Isadora will present a free outdoor concert in Longfellow Park inspired by the work of iconic New England artist Daniel Chester French, the sculptor of the Longfellow Memorial. The dancers will perform repertoire by Isadora Duncan and an original piece developed by the company in response to French’s sculpture. After the performance, audience members will be invited to participate in a workshop on Duncan’s technique on the grass at the park.
This concert will be part of a series devoted to French – who also designed the Lincoln Memorial – with performances at sites around Massachusetts, including Longfellow Park, Forest Hills Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and at Chesterwood, French’s home and studio in Stockbridge. The performance will celebrate this harmony and explore the relationships between our community spaces, our community memorials, and our living bodies in motion.
Jean Appolon Expressions
Jean Appolon Expressions Teen Program
Jean Appolon Expressions’ (JAE) Teen Apprentice Program aims to educate local teens in the art of dance and to foster resiliency through social connections, movement, and music. The program is infused with traditional Haitian folkloric dance with renowned techniques: the Horton technique, developed by Lester Horton and carried forward most famously by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, which develops a dancer’s strength, flexibility, and musicality; and the Dunham technique, created by Katherine Dunham and based on the style of continual motion rooted in Caribbean and African cultures. Under the direction of Jean Appolon, Apprentices gain an appreciation for Afro-Caribbean culture, the opportunity to grow their dance skills, and an understanding of the role of art in social justice. By fostering the next generation of dancers in this community, JAE is transforming the Boston dance community.
José Mateo Ballet Theatre
Dance for World Community Presents
The Dance for World Community (DWC) Festival Day features over 90 free dance performances, 30 classes, broad community advocacy, and a celebratory dance party in the street. Hosted on Saturday, June 8, 2019 in Harvard Square, Festival Day is the culmination of the DWC Festival Week, an annual week-long dance festival in Cambridge that strengthens communities through the connective power of dance. New to Dance for World Community programming this year, José Mateo Ballet Theatre will open its doors and launch this year’s Dance for World Community season with a new dance event series (“DWC Presents”) in March and April. This dance event series will take place in the Sanctuary Theatre, a popular and highly regarded dance venue of 18 years. This series is an experiment (“pilot”) and will contribute to the strength of the local ecosystem of players through collaboration with a network of partners and in alignment with the current state and regional vision for the dance community.
Teranga African Village Children's Festival
Master Teacher and founder of the Pasy Naay Leer Dance Company, Papa Sy, is offering a free Senegalese dance festival for families in the heart of Central Square. Using the theme of a Senegalese village, the festival will kick off with families gathered around an imaginary baobab tree to hear about the origins of Senegalese dance, rhythm and song. Children and families will then enjoy four dance classes, which each focus on a different style of dance. In addition to learning the basic movements and rhythms of the style, participants will learn where the dance is from, which ethnic group it belongs to, and what the dance’s function is. Other festival elements might include film, an exhibition of traditional Senegalese clothes, and traditional African food or juices. The festival will end under the imaginary baobab tree, with a dance performance highlighting the styles learned about during the festival.
Samsaara: Dancing the Everyday
Samsara is a collaborative Bharatanatyam project by NATyA Dance Collective. Involving six experienced adult dancers from the greater Boston area, the project aims to create an evening-length Bharatanatyam and folk work that reflects on the varied experiences that comprise the cyclical experience of birth, life on earth, and death. The collective will present six pieces, including one central piece of 20 minutes, Love/War, that will be set to music specially commissioned for the piece. Love/War juxtaposes underexplored facets of love, such as those between a mother and daughter, between humans and nature, between lovers of the same gender, and within a community, with a disruption of that love, through war, fights, ignoring, or destroying the environment or community. The collective will also be developing a folk dance that celebrates the monsoon, drawing from the expertise of dancer Aditi Subramanium, a member of the collective.
Cambridge Community Chorus
Cambridge Community Chorus
For the last 27 years, a group of over 100 mostly Cambridge residents have gathered once a week to sing. If you happened into a Monday night rehearsal you would be struck by the broad diversity of a group that includes people of all ages, racial and social backgrounds, religions and political philosophies. This group is bound together by a love of music that transcends the differences among us and demonstrates what can be accomplished when people come together with a common goal. For Cambridge Community Chorus, the goal is to provide an opportunity for any singer to participate in a high level choral group and to bring music to the communities in which we live and work. In addition to two major concert hall performances a year, the Chorus performs free concerts throughout Cambridge and Boston at senior centers, nursing homes, shelters, libraries, schools and even cemeteries.
Small World - Big Ears
Small World - Big Ears is a monthly world music concert series that diversifies the genres of traditional folk music that Club Passim presents. The series aims to create a common ground between cultures represented across Cambridge and Boston through music. Each concert features two musical groups that represent various world music genres and collaboration is encouraged! In 2019, Club Passim is initiating a pilot program that will connect Passim specifically with other local cultural organizations and communities whose traditional music is presented through Small World - Big Ears. Their first partner is Brazilian-born and Cambridge-based musician Anna Borges, who will assist Club Passim in curating three performances of Brazilian artists. Complimentary tickets will be given to local Brazilian organizations for distribution. The Cambridge Arts Council grant will help pay the musicians.
Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble
On Sunday April 14, 2019, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble will present a program titled “Not-So-Heavy Metals,” featuring innovative technology and sheet metals in a display of sonic and visual playfulness, melding electronic sound, live instruments, and light projection. The program is included as part of the 2019 Cambridge Science Festival. Composers / sound artists David Coll and Patricia Alessandrini will display their technical wizardry with new collaborative works for the ensemble. Both artists utilize transducers to invert the traditional process of electronically manipulating the analog instrument. In their work, electronic sources generate signals that activate vibrations of physical objects. To complete this adventure, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble will present a brand new work by MIT’s MLK Visiting Scholar Matthew Schumaker that was specially commissioned for the Festival.
Du Bois Orchestra
(Re)Discovery Concert Series
Du Bois Orchestra’s (Re)Discovery Concert Series will feature 1) a November concert with a new work by an up-and-coming female Japanese composer (a “discovery”), 2) a February concert with the performance of a lost work by the 20th century female African-American composer Florence Price (a “rediscovery”), 3) a May concert that features a piece composed by William Grant Still, the “Dean” of African American composers (a “rediscovery”), and 4) a piece by an emerging composer to be played in November 2019 (a “discovery”). Each concert will pair world premiers or re-
Equilibrium New Music
EQ Clarinet Concert
In continuation of their 2018-19 season, Equilibrium New Music will present a concert of music for solo and duo clarinet and clarinet quartet on Sat., March 9, 2019 at 8pm at the New School of Music on Lowell Street in Cambridge. This program includes a new piece by Equilibrium member Stefanie Lubkowski alongside quartets by Mary Jane Leach and Matthew Evans Taylor and solo works by Lee Hyla and Evan Williams.
This uncommon programming for a single instrumental timbre will make the most of the New School’s intimate space and give audiences a rare immersive and up-close experience. The concert will also add something unique to the spring chamber music offerings in the area and introduce a new direction in Equilibrium’s programming in which they showcase the stylistic and sonic possibilities of a limited instrumentation through diverse compositional voices.
Family Opera Inc. (dba North Cambridge Family Opera)
Science Festival Chorus
North Cambridge Family Opera (NCFO) will assemble a chorus of 50-80 local adults and children to participate in the Cambridge Science Festival by performing a program of 15 original songs about space travel, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The songs merge charming poetry, compelling music, and accurate scientific concepts. Rehearsals include demonstrations and discussions of the topics in the songs. During performances, NCFO projects the lyrics superimposed on artwork inspired by the songs and drawn by young children in the chorus. Using music and art to introduce science sparks interest in all three.
The program will also include a medley of songs created by local K-5 students in science songwriting workshops sponsored by NCFO, as well as a space travel themed mini-opera written and performed by children in an 8-week program cosponsored by Boston Lyric Opera.
Longy School of Music of Bard College
Music as a Healing Art Initiative
Longy’s Music as a Healing Art Initiative is an innovative hybrid of music and medicine that trains our students to use their art to make a difference while providing a much-needed service to underserved communities in Cambridge. The Initiative includes two distinct portions: a class titled Music as a Healing Art which gives our students an introduction to the art and science of therapeutic music, and a five-part course that trains students to become Certified Music Practitioners®: a growing field of musicians providing live, acoustic music at patients’ bedsides to provide comfort and promote healing. Both the course and certification help our students learn how to most effectively use music to promote healing in hospitals, palliative care, and elder care facilities.
New School of Music
Performance Outreach Program and Scholarship Fund
The Performance Outreach Program and Scholarship Fund is part of the New School of Music’s effort to fulfill their mission of providing quality musical instruction and access to musical experiences throughout the community. This program includes free workshops, free public concerts, performance opportunities for all students, free community events, and need-based scholarships for all programs.
Theater, Literature, & Multidisciplinary
Cambridge Center for Adult Education
Blacksmith House Poetry Series
Cambridge Center for Adult Education (CCAE)'s Blacksmith House Poetry Series (BHPS) has been enriching the cultural life of Cambridge for forty-five years. Founded in 1973 by the Cambridge poet Gail Mazur, BHPS features established and emerging writers of poetry and fiction. Readings are held on Monday nights during CCAE's winter, spring, and fall terms. BHPS's target audience includes poetry-lovers, readers, writers, teachers, fans of particular authors, and people who simply savor the intimacy and magic of the spoken word. Readings take place at CCAE's Blacksmith House on Brattle Street in Harvard Square, a fitting place since its "spreading chestnut tree" inspired Longfellow's beloved ballad, The Village Blacksmith. Now the tree embraces new generations of new American voices and new generations of listeners.
Central Square Theater
The Voting Project - Act Up and Vote!
Central Square Theater will produce the pilot year of Youth Underground’s new multi-year initiative, The Voting Project: Act Up and Vote! A grant from Cambridge Arts will directly support the 2018-19 teaching artist fees and youth stipends for the weekly development workshops and premiere presentation weekend in May 2019.
The Dance Complex
Those Who Served: Moving Veterans' Lives
"Those Who Served: Moving Veterans' Lives" is a process-to-performance that will include dance, visual media, and narrative culled from the experiences of Cambridge area veterans. Lead Artist, Michelle Pearson, assisted by veteran/dancer Alfredo Hurtado and a community engagement specialist will work with The Dance Complex in this three part process: beginning with facilitating movement, storytelling, taped interviews with area veterans of all ages and backgrounds; continuing with a phase of creating a "storyboard" to capture the full dimension of raw material captured in the first phase; and finally, a third phase of crafting and creating, with the initial group of those veterans interviewed, a performance work. Adjunct activity will include involvement of Cambridge area community engaged artists in the process/performance, as well as learning forums/workshops.
Electric Streams of Wind
Electric Streams of Wind is a multidisciplinary art publication. 100 unique copies will be personally designed and handmade. The project will include an audio CD comprised of a range of composed environmental audio recordings, a photography booklet, writing reflections, and archival building documents from the MIT Green Building. A public CD-release event will include a live multimedia performance and artist talk. Copies of the project will be made available for purchase at this event and additional copies will be shared with others locally and internationally. The CD publication commemorates Rivera’s MIT graduate research that existed as a week-long, eight-channel sound installation and focused on MIT's development of radar technologies, weather, ideas of ubiquity, and the history of one of the most iconic architectural structures of the Cambridge skyline.
The Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild, Inc.
The Boston Theater Celebration
The Boston Theater Celebration is a day-long festival of student work from schools around the Boston area. Conceived in 2013 as an end-of-year opportunity for students to share work, the Boston Theater Celebration (BTC) has become a unique venue for historically underserved schools to collaborate and build community. Produced by the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG), the BTC gathers up to 16 schools together every year (several of which have theater programs started, funded, and administered by the METG). Each school presents a play of their own creation, usually around 45 minutes in length. After each show, students are given live, in-the-moment feedback by some of Boston's highly regarded theater artists. These artists also teach hour-long workshops during the day in specialized subjects. The combination of performance, instruction, and fellowship validates students and their schools. Due to a large increase in participation, METG will host BTC at two sites: at Cambridge Rindge and Latin and at Boston College High School. The Cambridge Arts grant will support the programming at Cambridge Rindge and Latin.
Percussive dancer Rebecca McGowan, theater artist and puppeteer Veronica Barron, and banjo player and singer Julia Friend are in residence as Catalysts at the Dance Complex during Fall 2018, with three weekends of performances in January 2019.
Layering their art forms celebrates how they enrich their experience of the world: tapping feet give dimension to banjo melodies; shadow pictures bring old stories to life; songs infuse emotion into movement. Yet inherent in creating music and dance together is the presence of not only intimacy but also distance: technical mastery abstracted from the sound it produces; songs describing loss of dear ones; feeling the pull of past and future; being participant and listener. The three artists explore this with light and shadow highlighting aspects of making music and dance that might pass unseen. Funding from the Cambridge Arts Council will support creating and presenting this work.
Studio at 550
Creative Residency Program
The creative residency program at Studio at 550 is a multidisciplinary program open to artists in all stages of their careers. The monthly residency will provide $400 of space credit to artists to use at Studio at 550 in the form of their choosing during the month of their residency. Available space usage types can include: rehearsal, class/workshop, and/or performance.
This creative residency aims to meet artists where they are at and provide space support as the artists see fit. The objective of the residency is to reduce the financial burden of space rental so that the artists can spend more time in the development of their work. Examples of possible creative residency options include: A dance group or company who has a two hour open company class followed by a two hour rehearsal every week for a month; A burgeoning curator runs two curated performances over the course of the month.
Survivor Theatre Project
2019 Healing Through Creative Arts Workshop Series
Survivor Theatre Project (STP) will produce the 2019 Healing Through Creative Arts Workshop Series based at the Cambridge Women’s Center. These workshops aim to expand public awareness on sexual violence and promote access to healing resources for survivors of sexual violence. Healing Through Creative Arts workshops are free monthly workshops that bring together experienced survivor artists, educators, and facilitators from various disciplines to offer survivors creative skills in pursuit of healing, artistic expression, stress management, and building community with other survivors of sexual violence in the greater Cambridge community. Healing Through Creative Arts workshops will take place between January to November of 2019.
Visual Arts, Film, & Video
Artists in the Cambridge (and across the country) face a lack of spaces to present their work to the local community. Exhibiting at art institutions and galleries can be very challenging, particularly for young and emerging artists, while the gentrification of urban areas has reduced the number of alternative art spaces. This project consists in developing a decentralized platform, tentatively called OASIS, to connect artists with space providers and audiences in the local community. The main goals of this platform are (i) to make more spaces available to artists to show their work, (ii) to give space providers a unique channel to announce the availability of their spaces and the type of work they are looking for, and (iii) to provide audiences and patrons the means to find and experience the artworks currently on display near them and to connect with local creators.
Boston Latino International Film Festival
The four-day Boston Latino International Film Festival 2019 brings the very best films created by Spanish-speaking filmmakers that tell stories reflecting Hispanic culture and community around the world. These films are award winners in international festivals and are praised by audiences and critics. The festival includes many documentary films as well, some produced by local filmmakers, that would not be available locally otherwise. BLIFF also hosts the appearance of filmmakers and actors associated with the festival’s films, many of whom travel to Boston and Cambridge to engage the festival audience in question-and-answer sessions. BLIFF is led by Festival Director Sabrina Aviles, Isabel Davalos is Director of Programming, and Sandra Alvarado is Director of Community Outreach. A volunteer staff of between 6–8 people assist with the September festival.
Women in Conversation
Women in Conversation is a Cambridge, MA city-wide municipal television show hosted by Women of Color in Solidarity’s co-founder, Cheyenne Wyzzard-Jones. It is a collaboration project between Women of Color in Solidarity, an organization that strategically works to include women/femmes/gender nonconforming peoples' voices in global movement organizing, and Cambridge 22-CityView, Cambridge’s municipal television channel. Women in Conversation seeks to focus on the contributions of phenomenal women whose work in arts, culture, and education is making an impact in their respective field of concentration. The goal of the Women in Conversation project is to use the content and themes from the interviews conducted with 22-CityView to create a multimedia online Women in Conversation 10th-12th grade curriculum that Cambridge educators and youth would have access to use and learn from.
CultureHouse improves livability in the Boston area by facilitating the creation of indoor and outdoor public space. CultureHouse designs vibrant cultural spaces to work, meet, and host programming that act as models for public space improvements. In the past year, the group has done three outdoor pop-ups in Cambridge and Boston as well as a month-long indoor community space pilot in Somerville. This pilot space hosted community and cultural programming such as an art workshop, live music performances, and a local art exhibition. CultureHouse proposes a series of day-long pop-ups in public spaces around Cambridge that combine tactical urbanism strategies with creative projects. The pop-ups will contain the group’s living room set-up, play elements (such as giant cornhole and trampolines), a prompt board for visitors to leave their thoughts and participate in a collaborative drawing, and a performance or art workshop.
Genius of Osborn Triangle MIT
In 2017, InnovatorsforPurpose (iFp) began building the MADE IN Cambridge | Discovery Walk, a student designed walking tour highlighting Cambridge’s history of making from candy, soap, and glass to tech and bio-tech. Each site is marked by a custom designed art, design, and technology installation.
Due to its fabled history from the first two-way phone call to the invention of the Polaroid camera, Osborn Triangle MIT was identified as a potential location for Discovery Walk. During the investigative process, InnovatorsforPurpose discovered that Osborn's property owner was seeking a solution for its under-utilized open space within the complex. Their desire is to make the space welcoming for both its tenants and public to enjoy.
The InnovatorsforPurpose Teen's design will create an inviting path into Osborn Triangle, integrate community and history into Osborn Triangle, and create an interactive environment.
All in the Same Boat
All in the Same Boat began as part of Cambridge Arts’ Community Supported Art program for which Motzkin produced 50 ceramic figures. In 2018, while teaching Creative Practice in China, Motzkin did a public art piece with this theme. In this project staff, students, and Motzkin made 120 heads now in a four meter long boat mounted on the college lobby wall. This inspired Motzkin to continue the project on a larger scale and wider scope. Motzkin will hold a series of workshops open to the community. She will guide participants to make figures. Cambridge Arts Open Studios 2019 will be the first public presentation of the work in process. She will hold a series of workshops for six-ten people at time and fire the pieces for this preliminary stage of the work. Motzkin will design and research materials for the boat. She will research venues for future phase two temporary installations, a permanent Cambridge site, and future iterations.
Mass Ave Project: From the Charles River to the Arlington border
For the past year, Baden has been photographing on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. "The Mass Ave Project" addresses rhythm and change in daily life for people and residential and commercial structures. The project arose from talks with Lillian Hsu, Director of Public Art at Cambridge Arts, about changes in Cambridge, and how they might collaborate on an exhibition that focused on the public realm – an underlying narrative of all exhibitions in Gallery 344, at Cambridge Arts in the City Hall Annex, where the exhibition will be displayed. Baden and Hsu felt that Mass Ave would generate a rich and diverse photographic portrait of the City. The exhibition will be shown from November 2019 through February 2020 at Gallery 344, and consists of four components: (1) photographs on the wall, (2) Baden’s experience in executing the project, (3) a freely accessible digital photo archive, and (4) a panel discussion.
Paint Break is a project piloted in 2017 with a Local Cultural Council grant. In the pilot, drop-in visual art experiences were offered to patients and caregivers in the Herzstein Wellness Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital Oncology and chair-side in the chemo infusion area. After the 2017 pilot, patients requested more Paint Break sessions. With “proof of concept” achieved, the hospital is committed to support and grow the program. The Cambridge Arts grant will support the expansion of the program to include more sessions in 2019, more participants, staff, new art supplies, and a workshop during the annual Survivorship Fair.
Weiying (Olivia) Huang
Above The Free Walls
Above the Free Walls is a feature-length documentary exploring the legal graffiti artistic movement on Modica Way in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The mission of the film is to encourage youth and new graffiti enthusiasts to paint on the legal graffiti walls, to teach about graffiti culture and art expression in public, to expand graffiti artists’ possibilities and to motivate them to contribute to the mural and public art and to thereby help to create a harmonious community and make a positive difference. Creating the documentary film will offer opportunities for youth and filmmaker enthusiasts to observe and learn about feature-length documentary film production at Modica Way. The finished film will screen in the local community and include a Q & A with filmmakers and graffiti artists. The screening will be open to the public.
Field Trip Grants
Abilities Dance Incorporated
Field Trip – Audacity
Audacity is an evening length production scheduled to take place on March 22nd, 2019 at 8:00 pm at the Multicultural Arts Center. The overall theme of the production is “boldness,” which will be represented in a variety of ways throughout the show. Director Ellice Patterson will be the main choreographer for this production. Louisa Mann of Heidi Latsky Dance will be a guest choreographer. Leslie Taub also of Heidi Latsky Dance will be a guest artist. Original music produced by the Director of Music, Andrew Choe, will be created for the entire production. Our Space Our Place, an after school program for blind/low-vision youth, will be performing pieces created with the company as part of the official dance partnership with Abilities Dance. All of the pieces will come with audio description created by Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa and Amber Pearcy, a blind consultant to the arts. This grant will provide twenty-five tickets to the performance for Cambridge Rindge & Latin students in Brenda Divelbliss’ choreography class.
Agassiz Baldwin Community Afterschool Program
Field Trip - Wheelock Family Theatre
The Agassiz Baldwin Community Afterschool Program hosts vacation week programs during December, February, and April school vacation weeks. For the upcoming April vacation week program, Agassiz Baldwin Community will bring forty 3rd – 5th graders to the Wheelock Family Theatre to enjoy a 1pm matinee of a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's book James and the Giant Peach. According to Wheelock Family Theatre's website, the adaptation "gives us delicious rhymes and delightful music that triple the cherished whimsy of the original."
Agassiz Baldwin Community Outback Summer Program
Field Trip - Puppet Showplace Theater
The Agassiz Baldwin Community Outback Summer Program hosts 120 students each week over the course of eight weeks in July and August. For 2019's Outback Summer Program, Agassiz Baldwin Community will take forty-five rising Kindergarteners and 1st graders to the Puppet Showplace Theater to experience a puppet show. In the past the program has enjoyed shows like The Great Red Ball Rescue and Milo the Magnificent. The 2019 summer shows are not yet posted but promise to be just as fun and engaging as past performances. This field trip is a special event on many fronts, as not only is it often a child's first field trip experience outside of their regular program, but it is often their first experience enjoying a live performance with their peers and teachers. Generally, students are inspired by these trips and teachers can use this experience as a jumping off point for arts curriculum.
Community Art Center
Field Trips – School Age Child Care
The Community Art Center is seeking funding for two field trips for youth ages 5 to twelve enrolled in our School Age Child Care (SACC) program. The Community Art Center would like to take all seventy-eight youth plus 6 staff to the Dreamland Wax Museum in Boston during February 2019 school vacation week. During April 2019, the Community Art Center would like to take thirty-two youth ages 5 through 8 plus 3 staff members to Wheelock Family Theatre to see James and the Giant Peach. Youth ages 5 to twelve participate in the SACC Program where they become creative problem solvers through a hands-on arts curriculum. SACC uses an arts based approach to address the difficulties youth face that are brought on poverty, racism, and lack of access to key resources. Each activity that the students are involved in allows them time for self-exploration through the arts and the ability to work towards leadership roles. Field trips enhance their learning and exposure to the arts.
Friends of Tobin School, Inc.
Field Trip – Tobin Nutcracker Ballet Trip
Tobin Montessori School, a Cambridge public elementary school, is planning a field trip for multiple classes from both Children's House and elementary levels. The Children’s House includes pre-Kindergarten students through Kindergarteners aged 3 through 6 and elementary includes Lower Elementary (grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary (grades 4-5). In December, students begin learning about The Nutcracker. They read the story, listen to the music, and learn about Tchaikovsky’s life. To compliment what they learn in class, four classes will attend a “School Performance” of the José Mateo Nutcracker Ballet at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester, MA. In total, ninety-six students will attend the performance with sixteen chaperones. Students also learn and implement theater audience manners and an appreciation for the performing arts.