Garlic and Arts Festival Awards $10,000 in Local Grants

North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival Awards $10,000 in Local Grants

The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is pleased to announce awards of more than $10,000 in community grants to support local food and arts projects in 2013 and 2014. Part of the festival’s mission is to enhance the artistic and agricultural vibrancy of the region. Through its grants program the festival’s spirit of creativity and community building is spread year round through support for innovative projects and partnerships with groups across the North Quabbin.

Earlier this year, creative proposals were encouraged from North Quabbin cultural organizations and schools seeking to provide new, free or low-cost opportunities for enjoyment or participation in the arts – through increasing access to local or regional cultural events, engaging the community in creating public art or performance, or by enhancing opportunities for local artists to collaborate with others to creativity in the region. Many excellent proposals were received, from which a committee of festival members and local residents selected seven projects to receive financial support toward their goals.

More than $5,000 in grants ranging from $300 to $2000 has been committed to the following projects:

Framing of students’ work to be featured in “As the World Turns,” an exhibition of the works by Mahar students at the Hampden Gallery of UMASS-Amherst and outreach to local artists and the community;

Hiring musical performers for a two-day Northern Routes Music Festival to be held at the 1794 Meeting House;

Purchasing outdoor screening equipment for Movies in the Park, part of Third Thursdays in Downtown Orange;

To feature performers and entertainers from the North Quabbin region at the Petersham Farmers’ Market;

Piano tuning and staging improvements to support the Petersham Lyceum’s classical music concert series;

To support a local artist-performer in providing nutrition education puppetry performances at farmer’s markets in Athol and Orange;

To launch ‘Colors of the Quabbin,’ a local artist studio tour organized by Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust.

In addition to these 2014 grants, the festival provided the North Quabbin Community Coop with a $5,000 grant at the end of 2013 to purchase a new cooler to increase availability of products from local farms in their soon to come new downtown location, and to increase co-op outreach to low-income families. In addition to the community grants program, the festival committee also makes an annual contribution to the North Quabbin Food-a-thon. And, each year the festival provides numerous local causes with a monetary donation in exchange for help forming parking teams that help during the festival weekend.

The community grants program is possible through volunteerism and support of the festival community. A committee of neighbors, friends, farmers and artists, give of their time, meeting year round to organize the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. More than 200 community members and groups work in shifts during the festival weekend to ensure a smooth operation. Every exhibitor also contributes in a direct way in addition, such as helping to set up for the festival or by feeding work crews – making the Garlic and Arts festival a true community-building event. The community grants program, which has now distributed over $25,000 to projects across the North Quabbin region, is supported by proceeds from exhibitor booth fees and event admission.

 According to organizers, “The festival committee is thrilled to be able to provide grants to wonderful and diverse local initiatives that will benefit people of all ages in the North Quabbin region.” It is not too early to mark your calendars for The 16th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, Sept 27th and 28th, 2014 – voted 2nd best festival in the whole Pioneer Valley by the Valley Advocate reader’s poll! For more information about the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival or to help keep the festival spirit strong by signing up to volunteer, visit www.garlicandarts.org.

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