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The Upton Cultural Council

Upton Cultural Council Chair Megan Ronzio hosts a booth at the Upton Heritage Day festivities to share information about the Upton Cultural Council and encourage grant applications. Photo by Alice Gentili

Painting classes; a Multicultural Festival at BVT; an outdoor foraging workshop at Stefans Farm; a Mass Audubon Society presentation; a theatrical performance depicting Historical Women at Memorial Elementary School; a science presentation at Miscoe Hill Middle School; Fairy Tale Cultural Book Kits at the Upton Town Library; multiple musical performances in a variety of genres across town; and more! These are all programs that have been funded over the past year by the Upton Cultural Council (UCC), all offered at no charge to participants. The UCC is a town council that awards grants to local performers, schools, and organizations that bring cultural events and programming to our town. Our goal is to promote the appreciation of the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences in Upton with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. 
“The Upton Cultural Council is excited to bring these opportunities to our town and to be able elevate the cultural life and experience of local residents.  By funding these programs, we are supporting local artists, schools, and organizations, and also promoting a sense of community.  We think that no matter what your interests are, there’s sure to be something for everyone!” said UCC Chair Megan Ronzio.  
The UCC is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth, under the umbrella of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the MCC which then allocates funds to each community. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences, and humanities every year. 
A complete list of the grants awarded in FY22 is available on the Upton Cultural Council page on the Town of Upton website; visit https://www.uptonma.gov/cultural-council and click “Grant Recipients” in the left menu panel.  You can also find information on applying for grants there, or at https://massculturalcouncil.org.  The grant cycle opens every year in early September. The council recently met to evaluate applications for this current grant cycle and will be notifying winning applicants in the upcoming weeks.  

 Blackstone Valley Tech Shine Your Light Chalk Festival, student artists got creative by sharing personal stories through their artwork to help raise awareness of mental health and support teen suicide prevention. Photo by Alice Gentili

Current members include: Megan Ronzio, Chair; Lyn Haggerty, Treasurer; Alice Gentili, Secretary; Jenn Conrad; and Robin Jokela. The council is currently seeking new members, no experience necessary! Members meet monthly to discuss grant applications, community events, and special projects. The UCC is state funded so there is minimal fundraising involved. This is a great opportunity to serve your community, get involved with local government, and meet new people without an extensive time commitment.
If you are interested in joining the UCC, attending a council meeting, getting more information, or asking a question about submitting a grant proposal, please email [email protected] You can also find us (and information about upcoming events) at https://www.facebook.com/uptonculturalcouncil, @UptonCultural (Twitter), or uptonculturalcouncil on Instagram.