11 Programs Awarded Belmont Cultural Council Grants

Photo: A painted transformer by artist Liz LaManche at Concord and Pleasant streets adjacent to Town Hall.

State Rep Dave Rogers, State Sen. Will Brownsberger and Chair of the Belmont Cultural Council Vicki Amalfitano recently announced the award of 11 grants totaling $7,900 for cultural programs in Belmont during 2022, through Belmont’s allocation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

As COVID-19 restrictions have been of continued concern, the Cultural Council looked largely to support those long-standing institutions that have enriched the Belmont Community with music, fine arts, interpretive science and humanitarian initiatives throughout the years.

The 2022 grantees are:
Belmont Porchfest Mural Project, received $1,300
Belmont World Film’s 20th International Film Series, received $800
Payson Park Musical Festival Concert, received $1,100
Belmont Art Association: Beautifying Belmont’s Transformer Boxes, received $1,000
Belmont Chinese American Association Documentary Screening and Discussion with
the Filmmakers, received $400
Daniel Butler Elementary School Multicultural Fair, received $400
Musical Baseball Show at the Belmont Senior Center, received $300
The Dorothy & Charles Mosesian Center: ASL Interactive Storytime Workshop Program,
received $600
International Asian Music Festival, received $900
The Benton Lending Library, received $500
Powers Music School: Musical Storytelling Program, received $600.

Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a council of municipally appointed volunteers who are all Belmont residents. The members of the Belmont Cultural Council are Chair Vicki Amalfitano; Secretary Jenny Angel; Evelyn Corsini; Volkan Efe; Treasurer Annette Goodro; Kathleen Hagan; Non-voting member Nancy Linde; Gloria Pimentel; Co-Chair Millie Rahn; Non-voting member Rebecca Richards; and May Ye.

‘And There Are Pansies’ As You Travel Through Cushing Square [Video]

Photo: Artist Grace Julian Murthy working on her traffic signal control canvas painting pansies.

On a recent Sunday afternoon in August, a day after one of the handful of heatwaves that settled over New England was finally pushed aside, pansies appeared in Cushing Square.

They weren’t the ones emerging from a pot or some lonely stretch of earth. Rather it was the impression of viola tricolor var. hortensis by the artist Grace Julian Murthy who used as her canvas the traffic signal control box on the sidewalk adjacent the Bradford Apartments at the corner of Common and Trapelo.

“I like to paint things that are overlooked,” said Murthy, who works as a graphic designer. “Because pansies are so prevalent, you don’t get to see there beauty.”

Using acrylics (it dries quicker and has a vibrant palette) Murthy applied purple, yellow and black on a white base to create a field of pansies all within the aluminum box – originally a dark green – protecting the expensive signal and traffic controller equipment inside.

Murthy was one of three artists selected to paint boxes by the Belmont Art Association which sponsored for a second year the Transforming Belmont Public Art Project. The artists received a $750 stipend from the Belmont Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Mass Cultural Council.