Cultural and political leaders from across the Commonwealth joined Mass Cultural Council yesterday for the 2019 Commonwealth Awards, honoring exceptional achievement in the arts, humanities, and sciences.
The 2019 Commonwealth Award recipients were the Boston String Academy, The Care Center in Holyoke, Mass Audubon, and Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM). TheBerkshireEagle newspaper received the second JFK Commonwealth Award.
Attendees at the event at WBUR’s new CitySpace heard an inspiring speech by famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel on the power of art and music to transform the lives of young people and their communities. Youth from Boston String Academy—a music education program inspired by the El Sistema model under which Maestro Dudamel grew up—performed as part of an ensemble brought together under Mass Cultural Council’s SerHacer program.
Other distinguished guests included Massachusetts Senators William Brownsberger of Belmont, Senate President Pro Temp, and Ed Kennedy of Lowell, Co-Chair, Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. They were joined by an extraordinary group of Commonwealth Award finalists that included Jeffrey Madison and Berta Welch from the Aquinnah Cultural Center, Paul Revere House CEO Nina Zannieri, New Bedford Historical Society Director Lee Blake, Kate Maguire of Berkshire Theatre Festival, Fitchburg Art Museum Director Nick Capasso and Fitchburg Mayor Steven DiNatale, Eileen McCaffery of the Community Music School of Springfield, and many representatives from Gloucester’s Manship Artists Residency & Studio and the Natick Cultural District.
It is both riveting and heartbreaking. Unbelievable. It survived 800 years, revolution, war, neglect. Yet, the live images don’t lie. Notre-Dame is in flames. The spire, a silhouette in orange glow, collapses before our eyes.
The world feels the loss. An icon, that attracted 13 million visitors a year, has suffered catastrophic damage. It can be rebuilt...it will be rebuilt...but the layers of history cannot be recovered.
Today the House Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that calls for investing $16.6 million in the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council.
Executive Director Anita Walker's remarks at MASSCreative’s 2019 Arts Advocacy Day:
I just read about a new book that contends “the bright side has been denied the attention it deserves.” That’s not because there isn’t plenty of bright side. I’m looking at it…all of you...filling this hall. ...
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