FRANKLIN - The Franklin Cultural Council has announced 28 grantees for its 2023 Cultural Council Grants. Awards were given for projects to be held within the Town of Franklin or are of the greatest benefit to Franklin residents including those that elevate voices and experiences of historically marginalized groups to create a more inclusive cultural sector. Among this year’s grantees are a student film festival, a Diwali celebration, a Holocaust educational program and several different kinds of music events and opportunities.
#1 - Janet Applefield, “Combating Hate and Prejudice”
This program will take place at Horace Mann Middle School and is a powerful educational
program developed to raise public awareness of the atrocities of the Holocaust and to educate
students, teachers and all learners about the importance of defending human rights, combating
racism, prejudices and intolerance within our society. May 2023.
#2 - Deepa Bhaskar, “Bollywood Dance Party”
This program is held monthly at the Franklin Public Library and is geared for all ages in the
community. Bollywood dance is a fusion of various Indian classical and folk dances. Ms. Bhaskar
teaches 4-5 basic steps per class that can be used for many Indian dance songs. Monthly.
#3 - Charles River Chorale, Inc, “Charles River Chorale Organizational Support”
This grant award will provide funding for the Charles River Chorale concerts and organizational
needs for 2023. Eight of the current members of the chorale are from Franklin.
#4 - Dean College, “Franklin Community Coffee House Series”
This grant award will support multiple events to engage the Franklin community on the Dean
College campus including creative writing workshops, poetry events, interactive improv class,
open mic night and an interactive music theater performance night.
#5 - Easton Community Access Television ECAT, Inc., “Hockomock Film Festival”
A competition based film festival, the Hockomock Film Festival encourages high school students
to work collaboratively while creating unique films. Thirteen neighboring towns and their high
schoolers participate in this competitive festival. June 2023.
#6 - Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, “Diwali Celebration”
Bfccps has been awarded a grant to support their large scale cultural celebration of Diwali.
Funding will support multiple performances, a sari booth, mehndi booth, diyas booth and a
rangolis booth. November 2023.
#7 - Franklin Area Moms, “Little Listeners”
Little Listeners is a sound installation project designed to be an interactive listening experience
that encourages children to embrace diversity and inclusion. Three portable speakers with
description card will be placed within the Franklin community for children of all ages to come
listen to curated audio content. Through active listening, they will be able to experience and
embrace different cultures. This project will be a monthly event in Franklin.
#8 - Franklin Art Association, “Guest Artist Demonstrations”
The FAA has been awarded support for their monthly guest series of demonstrations and
lectures by visiting New England artists. Demos are held at their monthly meeting which are
free and open to the public at the Franklin Senior Center. Monthly.
#9 - Franklin Cultural District, “Discovering Franklin’s Cultural District”
This grant award will fund a comprehensive bus tour/walking tour within the existing Cultural
District in Franklin. Supplemental individual tours will also take place throughout the sites in the
District. There will be seven stops on the tour with a guide at each location: Historical Museum,
Horace Mann statue, Town Common & monuments, Public Library, Dean College, Main Street
(with bookstore and art gallery) and THE BLACK BOX. June 2023.
#10 - Franklin Farmers Market, “Music for the Market”
Funding for this project will provide weekly funding for performers at the farmers market in
Franklin. The market runs each Friday from June to October on the Franklin Town Common.
#11 - Franklin High School, “Night of the Arts”
Night of the Arts is a community art event run by the high school’s National Art Honor Society
members and their advisor. NAHS invites students from the district to come to the high school
to visit six country themed rooms. In each room, students listen to the designated country’s
local music while engaging in an art activity related to that country’s featured artist. This event
will take place March 24th, 2023 at FHS.
#12 - Franklin LGBTQ Alliance, Inc., “Celebrate with Pride”
Celebrate with Pride is the largest LGBTQ+ event in the Franklin area and is held during Pride
Month. The event brings local artisans, community groups, and performers together to
celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and allies. June 2023.
#13 - Franklin Performing Arts Company, “FPAC Family Concert Series”
The FPAC’s Family Concert Series introduces families to the joy of live music. In an engaging and
entertaining format, audiences experience the sounds of Classics4Kids and Jazz4Kids brought to
life in an informal and intimate setting. Performances are free to the Franklin community and
surrounding towns. Winter 2023.
#14 - Franklin Public Library, “Lotus Lantern Craft & Film”
Community members will be lead through making a Korean lotus lantern followed by a film on
Korean culture and the significance of the Lantern Festival. May 2023.
#15 - Helen Keller Parent Communication Council, “Oge Mora; Get to Know an
The Helen Keller PCC will host award winning author and illustrator, Oge Mora, for their
students in the Spring of 2023. Ms. Mora will be speaking and working with each grade level in
the school on the process of creating literature and how artwork can tell a story. Spring 2023.
#16 - Horace Mann Middle School, “Visiting Author”
The Franklin middle schools will welcome a young adult author for a three-day residency (one
day at each middle school) to address the entire student body and conduct small group
workshops. A evening event for families and community members will also be held to allow families to interact with their students and share a common experience by reading a book. Fall 2023.
#17 - Franklin High School, “The Empty Bowls Project”
High school ceramics students spend the entire year making 300-400 clay bowls with their grant
funding. In May of 2023, they will partner with the Franklin Food Pantry and co-host a
community dinner. All funds from ticket sales and the silent auction benefit the food pantry.
#18 - “SheGrooves; Using our Voices for Positive Change”
This is an inter-generational community event, equal parts performance and presentation and
given by Berklee College of Music women. This 90-minute family friendly concert will be held at
the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse in Franklin on Saturday, April 1st. SheGrooves explores female
representation and empowerment through original music as well as iconic female performers
and writers such as Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin. April 2023.
#19 - LiveARTS, “The 2023 LiveARTS Concert Series”
LiveARTS, the renowned concert series based in Franklin, celebrates its twenty-first season with
four performances in 2023. All concerts take place at the First Universalist Society in Franklin
and feature nationally and internationally recognized artists. March-November 2023.
#20 - MA Educational Theatre Guild, Inc., “The MA High School Drama Festival”
On Saturday, March 4th, the Franklin High School Theatre will again host one of the rounds of
the annual festival. The State-wide event features 120 participating schools. March 2023.
#21 - NoteAble Blend Chorus, “NoteAble Blend A cappella Concert”
A 20-member women’s barbershop chorus will perform a free concert at the Franklin Public
Library. The concert will last approximately one hour and will have audience participation as
well. April 2023.
#22 - SAFE Coalition, “Can you see me?”
This project will encourage students of the SAFE Vaping Diversion and afterschool program in
Franklin to explore the duality of their social-emotional wellness needs. Teens will be able to
express how they feel and explore through art.
#23 - Solutions Extended Day, “Social Emotional Learning Through Art”
How can repetitive mark marking (doodling) be used as a stress-management tool? Students
will explore repetitive mark making, practice noticing and sharing about a work of art, learn
how Chinese artists created landscapes with many types of marks and employ focus repeated
mark making to create their own designs.
#24 - Southeastern Massachusetts Community Wind Symphony, Inc., “Band Concert”
In the summer of 2023 this 35-piece band will provide a high-quality concert to the Franklin
Seniors and their guests. The band will play show tunes, big band numbers, patriotic songs, and
other well-known pieces.
#25 - Celia Taylor, “Let’s Get it Started Dance Crew”
This project is a weekly adaptive dance class specifically geared towards adults with
developmental and/or physical challenges. Adaptive dance encompasses creative expression,
music appreciation and social skills as they pertain to cohesive group dynamics.
#26 - Town of Franklin, “Where’s the Toast Memory Café”
Memory Café’s will take place the third Wednesday of the month for 2023 at the Franklin
Senior Center. These are safe and inviting spaces for those who are experiencing memory loss
and their loved ones and caregivers. Music can trigger positive memories and bring feelings of
happiness and provides space for “a little bit of normal” in what can be a heartbreaking
diagnosis and journey.
#27 - Matt York, “Songs & Stories – The Highwaymen”
This is a musical program in which songs and stories about the country supergroup The
Highwaymen is presented. Matt York will be performing at the Franklin Library on February 25th
for the community of Franklin. February 2023.
#28 - Robert Zammarchi, “Elijah T. Grasshopper’s Rainbow Dance Party!”
This will be an interactive, live musical enrichment program with characters and puppets at the
Franklin Public Library in August of 2023. Elijah T. Grasshopper & Friends are a favorite for our
youngest community members and promote a message of social harmony and environmental
consciousness. August 2023.