CHC Receives MCC Grant


10/28/2015

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(view pdf version here)

October 28, 2015

The Cambridge Historical Commission has been awarded a $7,800 unrestricted grant by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) for fiscal year 2016.

The Historical Commission, the city’s historic preservation agency, maintains a dynamic public archive focusing on Cambridge’s rich architectural and social history. The grant will support our ongoing commitment to increasing public accessibility to the collections by funding two part-time Archive/Research Assistants. Working under the direction of the Commission’s new full-time Archivist, the assistants will help to process donations, including writing new research aids and posting online; undertake a major digitization initiative; and
scan and post selections from our unique collections of photographs.

The Commission will continue to plan and participate in the popular annual Cambridge Open Archives event.

The Historical Commission conserves the historic portraits of Cambridge mayors and officials that are displayed on the second floor of Cambridge City Hall. All of the subjects have been identified, but most of the paintings lack name plates and other information. Now, a longtime Commission volunteer (and retired Boston Globe reporter) has studied the men and written brief
biographies. Using a portion of the grant, the Commission will have the texts mounted on heavy stock and installed beside each portrait. 

The Cultural Investment Portfolio is a unique grant and advocacy program that offers unrestricted, multi-year grants to nonprofit arts, humanities, and interpretive science organizations in Massachusetts. Grants are offered at three levels, and the Commission
participates at the Partner level, the highest. Partners have a long funding history with the MCC and a strong record of providing public cultural programming to the residents of Massachusetts.

The Historical Commission deeply appreciates the ongoing work of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is grateful for the legislature’s important and generous support of the Council. Our organization and many others throughout the Commonwealth depend on the assistance of the Council to enable us to offer high quality cultural programming to a variety of audiences.

Image caption:  Portrait of James Dinan Green (1798-1882) by George Albert Frost, 1896.
The town of Cambridge officially became a city in 1846, and James D. Green was chosen as the first mayor. A man of “integrity, practical wisdom, and conscientious thoroughness,” he helped transform Cambridge from a town comprising three oft-contending villages – Old Cambridge, East Cambridge, and Cambridgeport – into a cohesive city (Cambridge Chronicle, Aug. 30, 1896). Green established the police and fire departments and implemented street paving and drainage works.