The Southwick Cultural Council (SCC) is comprised of volunteers who review applications from individuals, schools, and organizations for arts, humanities, and interpretive science projects. The members of the SCC are appointed by the Board of Selectman to allocate grants funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency. Funding is based on the town census.
In 2008, the SCC received $4295 and was distributed as follows:
The following grants were awarded:
The ninth annual juried art exhibition was held in April 2008, a two-day event that was very well attended. Over 40 local artists displayed fine arts, fine art crafts (sculpture, pottery) and photography in all subject matter and media. Originals, limited editions and open editions were showcased. Poster art for the show was “Red Mill Reflections,” an oil painting by Richard Nowak of Westfield, MA.
Also, a non-juried student art (K-12) show in all forms was available for viewing. The event included a garden railroad display by Dean Sleeper of Southwick, MA. and a log cabin dollhouse designed and built by Randy Traska, also of Southwick. Westfield resident Sophie Dickinson, an accomplished harpist, performed both days of the show. In collaboration with the Southwick Historical Society, photos of old tombs and headstones from the Southwick Cemetery were displayed with a storyboard on many of the founding families of Southwick.
In 2008, the SCC introduced a proposal to renovate the Southwick Town Hall stage. The stage could offer a venue for events such as plays, concerts, presentations, cultural or community events. To turn the stage into an available resource, it requires a handicap lift, fireproof drapes, and a lighting system. The renovation project is estimated at $120,000 to complete. From a State grant, the SCC received $6,250 to assist in the financing. In December, the SCC introduced an ongoing fund-raising project to continue financing the renovation.
SCC is a member of MAASH (Massachusetts Advocate for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities), a political advocacy group to reintroduce arts to Massachusetts.
The SCC membership is encouraged by the positive support and favorable response from the community regarding the programs that have been funded. As the SCC moves forward, the membership strives to bring interesting and educational cultural opportunity to the local community.
Susan Kochanski, Chairperson
January 30, 2009