Whitman residents of all ages have fond memories of summer concerts at the bandstand in the park, Council on Aging programs, Youth Library events and more, all funded with grants from the Whitman Cultural Council (WCC). Unfortunately, in person events and concerts were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Also, a lack of volunteers on the Council prevented residents who were involved from meeting in person to plan events as they didn’t have the quorum necessary (four out of seven members) to approve grant funds from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. However, things are looking better! Outdoor restrictions have been lifted and the WCC is thrilled to have five new volunteer members appointed by Selectmen since June 8.
Since the end of June, the Council has met several times and is in the process, that is guided by the state, of approving FY21 grant funds to artists and organizations who applied last year. Our goal is to schedule programs, shows and events as soon as possible, based on availability of the performers.
The Council is also in the process of creating grant funding priorities for 2022. In order to do this, we are collecting feedback from residents in a Community Input Survey. We would like to hear from you about the cultural events and programs that you would be interested in attending in our community. A link to the online survey is posted on the homepage of the town website: whitman-ma.gov and paper copies are available at the Whitman Council on Aging, Public Library and outside the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall. The survey is open until Aug.17.
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The Massachusetts Cultural Council (massculturalcouncil.org) is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation. The Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program enriches the cultural life of all cities and towns in Massachusetts. Led by municipally appointed volunteers, LCCs award over $4 million every year, supporting 6,000 cultural programs that include everything from field trips to lectures, festivals, and dance performances.
The WCC is a local agency supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. Current Members appointed by the Whitman BOS are: Erin Johnson, Anthony Taylor, Dawn Byers, Tina Vassil, Julia Nanigian, Will Haran and Julianna Dunn.