Festivals evoke joy, awe, and a sense of place as people encounter experiences and each other in public spaces. As anyone who has organized a festival knows, it takes enormous dedication and resources to create an event that resonates with residents and visitors, and builds upon the historical and present fabric of a place, while looking toward the future. In light of the commitment and energy required, why is it that communities decide to host festivals, and what are some essential ingredients necessary in executing a “successful” festival? Belchertown and Northborough Cultural Councils share their stories as first-time festival organizers.
This fall Hamilton, the musical and cultural phenomenon, drew standing-room-only crowds from adults and children of all ages during its run at the Boston Opera House. Along with the show came the Hamilton Education Program — a partnership between The Gilder Lehrman Institute, the producers of Hamilton, and the Lin-Manuel Miranda family — in which students from high schools with high percentages of low-income families are invited to see the show and integrate Alexander Hamilton and the founding era into their classroom studies.
Watch Hyannis HyArts Cultural District's Melissa Hersh discuss their new Main Street informational kiosks at Mass Cultural Council's Cultural District Convening last month.
The nation’s leading scholars and advocates for folk and traditional arts have awarded Dr. Maggie Holtzberg of Newton their highest national honor for lifetime achievement in public folklore. Dr. Holtzberg was awarded the Benjamin A. Botkin Prize by the American Folklore Society (AFS) at its annual meeting last month in Buffalo, NY.
We’ve seen how creative expression lifts young people beyond poverty, disability, and other societal barriers here in Massachusetts and across the nation. Today the movement for creative youth transcends national borders. Earlier this month, our neighbors to the south shared some of their insights on the transformative power of the arts in the lives young people at a Harvard University panel discussion.