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Award Objects

Presented every two years the Commonwealth Awards are the state’s highest honor in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. The Awards celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the cultural organizations, artists, leaders, and philanthropists who make Massachusetts a better place through their creativity and commitment. At a State House ceremony on February 19, 2013 Commonwealth Awards were presented to the individuals and organizations in the categories listed below.

The Awards ceremony keynote address was delivered by Dr. Karl Paulnack, an acclaimed pianist, passionate advocate for music and the arts, and director of The Boston Conservatory’s Music Division. Dr. Paulnack spoke about how music can capture and hold our experience of life the way a container holds a liquid; how it supports our capacity to engage and retain our experience, the feelings, the flavors and the timbres of our lives.

Each Commonwealth Award winner received a medal designed and created by Taunton, Massachusetts-based Reed & Barton. State government leaders were on hand to present the Awards, and the ceremony featured performances by members of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and dancers from OrigiNation, Inc. and the O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance.

A photo gallery from the event is on MCC’s Facebook page.

The 2013 Commonwealth Award Winners

For an individual or organization whose creative achievements have uniquely enriched life in Massachusetts.
Olympia Dukakis, Lowell

Creative Community
For a city, town, or community-based organization that has demonstrated the central role of arts and culture in building healthier, more vital, more livable communities.
Shelburne Falls

Creative Learning
For an individual, school, or cultural organization that has demonstrated the importance of creativity and innovation to student achievement and success.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst

Cultural Philanthropy
For an individual, corporation, or foundation that has made lasting contributions to the cultural life of Massachusetts through charitable giving.
Neil and Jane Pappalardo, Boston

For the leader of a nonprofit cultural organization, school, or community who has shown extraordinary commitment to serving the public.
Marvin Gilmore, Boston

For a member of the media or a media outlet that has demonstrated outstanding support of the cultural community in Massachusetts by telling its stories.
The Boston Phoenix
Jared Bowen, WGBH

Art/Science Collaboration
For an individual, school, or cultural organization that has successfully fused the arts and sciences for public benefit.
The EcoTarium, Worcester

Recognizes exceptional initiatives or programs that make arts and culture accessible and inclusive for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and other underserved populations.
Community Access to the Arts (CATA)

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© Massachusetts Cultural Council 2014