2022 Grant Recipients


Laurie Szablewski Dance in Celebration and Reflection: Take 2 Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra

The proposed 45-minute performance will feature a string quartet from Newton’s Pro Arte Chamber
Orchestra performing in collaboration with Boston area’s Janelle Gilchrist Dance Troupe, choreographed by Ms. Gilchrist. Together they will perform all 7 movements of renowned jazz musician/composer Wynton Marsalis’s “At the Octoroon Balls,” a composition reflecting scenes from Marsalis’s early life in New Orleans.

Ellen Gitelman Belmont World Film’s 19th Family Festival: Where Stories Come Alive! Belmont World Film Inc.

Short and feature-length film programs from around the world–most based on children’s books–plus several workshops: clay animation with Aardman’s senior animator (WALLACE & GROMIT), film criticism with the Boston Society of Film Critics, and one on animation with MILA director Cinzia Angelini (winner of this year’s Venice Film Festival Movie for Humanity Award).

Kim Gilbert Challenging Prejudice: The ettyplay project

The project will include a performance of Etty, a one-woman play with its script crafted from the writings of Etty Hillesum, written in 1942 occupied Amsterdam. The performance will be followed by a discussion with the audience facilitated by actress/playwright Susan Stein and a panel of educators knowledgeable in Holocaust Studies and Social/Racial Justice.

Alison OLeary Hidden Gems of New England

Hidden Gems of New England is based on a published travelogue, Inns and Adventures: A History and Explorer’s Guide to New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Berkshires.

Robin OHerin Blues & The Poetry Of The Harlem Renaissance

Blues and the Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance will be a 60-90-minute interactive presentation utilizing a slide presentation, and include part lecture, and part concert. It will focus on how blues informed the poetry of Langston Hughes.

Amelia J. LeClair Du fond de l’abîme: Lili Boulanger’s Psalm 130 + string orchestra Cappella Clausura Inc.

Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) died at the age of 25. She was the younger sister of Nadia Boulanger, the ne plus ultra of composition teachers, teaching virtually every 20th century composer – Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein were just two of her many students. Nadia championed her sister’s music all her life. Still, Lili’s work remains largely unknown, because she stretched the boundaries of what was then possible. “Du fond de l’abîme” (Out of the Depths), Psalm 130, was written when she was just 22, in memory of her father.

Sachiko Isihara Young People’s Multi-cultural Arts Festival Suzuki School of Newton Inc.

SSN proposes a Young People’s Multi-cultural Arts Festival featuring Chinese and Indian classical dance, visual arts created by youth, and a faculty concert of works by people of color and women.

Barbara Gaffin A Choral Rainbow Zamir Chorale of Boston Inc.

The program will feature choirs from diverse under-represented communities. Diversity can reference and celebrate culture, race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual identity, age, and religious ideals, among others. In these programs, a diverse array of conductors will present and comment on video performances of their special and unique repertoire. There will be three programs to be aired in November, February and April.

David Polatin “Swingin’ Sixties- Women Singers find their Voice”

In this entertaining project, we will discuss the female singers and songs of the Swingin’ Sixties. These females broke down barriers and paved the way for more women to follow. I’ll play a selection of songs by fourteen different female artists on my guitar and my partner, Jill Goldman, will sing the songs live.

Chiara Durazzini Masks Unlimited!

Chiara Durazzini, artistic director of local theatre troupe Pazzi Lazzi joins Eric Bornstein of Behind The Mask Theatre (Somerville) for an entertaining and informative presentation about the power and diversity of masks worldwide.

Fran Baron Bon Appetit Julia! The Delvena Theatre Company

A live performance featuring two actresses, Bon Appetit, Julia! is a sequel to Delvena Theatre Company’s ever-popular Meet Julia Child! show. Set in the 1980’s, the show will focus on an insight into the beloved chef, Julia Child’s, life at that time.

New Art Center New Art’s Free Multicultural Community Events & BIPOC Exhibitions New Art Center in Newton Inc.

“Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S” shows viewers that a successful collaborative process, engaged by a diverse, committed set of artists, strengthens communal bonds and generates dynamic creations. This grant will also support at least two workshops that explore the concepts of identity, African American Heritage and Womanhood in accordance with February being Black History Month and March being Women’s History Month.

Newton Community Pride Sit & Let Your Spirit Soar Newton Pride Corporation

Newton Community Pride will repurpose 12-14 8-foot church pews from the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church on Walnut Street in Newton (they are undergoing large renovation) to create colorful public spaces throughout our village centers for the community to sit, gather and reflect.

Mass Audubon Nature in Your Neighborhood

Newton residents will participate in four free immersive programs that infuse nature, art, and science aimed at increasing the use of Newton’s open space.  For families, the first program occurs at the library and explores neighborhood birds and nesting. Learning is reinforced with a bird-inspired printmaking project. For the second program, families will go on a guided nature walk and take-home resources that encourage nature exploration.

Brenda April Music Mondays at the Scandinavian Center Music

Our program connects local musicians with appreciative audiences for casual Monday afternoon performances. The program runs for an hour, from 2-3 pm and includes time for the musicians to describe the music and to talk a bit about themselves, their musical training, their passions. The concerts are live as well as live-streamed via Zoom.

Anne Marie Stein ScaleUp

Scale Up is a photo exhibit that documents the phenomenon of teardowns of single and two-family
housing in the city of Newton and their replacement with primarily larger, “luxury” units. Over the year of the pandemic, with a friend who is a social scientist with a focus on housing policy, I undertook to document all of the houses being torn down. We have also gathered data on what existed and what was replacing the tear-downs. It is a story that is happening across America that pits individual financial interests against community development.

Eileen Herman-Haase Dancing Joy with Dance Caliente

The program alternates participatory dance lessons with performances by dancers/choreographers, Eileen and Raul. Dances like the Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, Swing, Hustle, Foxtrot, Rumba and Polka are performed to inspire and entertain.

Kimberly Shendell 4th Annual Boston Israeli Film Festival Boston Jewish Film Inc.

The Boston Israeli Film Festival is a week-long festival in March that showcases the best Israeli films, with many making a Massachusetts or US premiere. The festival includes a variety of arts and media – including musical performances, dance and even live podcast recordings.

Rebecca Wangh EveryBody Signs Class and Community Events

We will offer American Sign Language events to the Newton Community. They provide ASL instruction to learners who do not have easy access to this language; they provide a local language community to ASL users of all ages, and they produce stories and mini-performances that we share with the larger Newton community.

Grey Held Haiku Newton

Celebrating poetry month (April 2022) by putting haiku on yard signs across the city.

Nathaniel Seelen The Boston Festival of New Jewish Music

A residency series designed to catalyze the creation of new Jewish-inflected art, foster connections within and around the creative community, and build infrastructure for supporting composers and performers of Jewish music in New England. Our 2021-22 season features a stellar group of composers/performers representing a diverse cross-section of Jewish music, including both new and established artists in klezmer, Yiddish song, classical, Judeo-Arab, Ladino, and more. Each month, we’ll feature a free concert programmed by a different resident artist to showcase their new works.

Jamaal Eversley Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S Collaborations Exhibit and Workshops

“Real F.R.I.E.N.D.S” shows viewers that a successful collaborative process, engaged by a diverse, committed set of artists, strengthens communal bonds and generates dynamic creations. The exhibition contains a wonderfully wide-range of medias and personalities and I want to introduce them through artists talks virtually and in – person. This grant will also support at least two workshops that explore the concepts of identity, African American Heritage and Womanhood in accordance with February being Black History Month and March being Women’s History Month.

Cristina Gallo Lost Narratives

Julie D’Aubigny, a bisexual duelist; Mary Shelley, a prolific horror writer; Artemisia Gentileschi, a sexual abuse survivor/revolutionary Baroque painter, are the three extraordinary women at the center of a new recital that celebrate the unheard narratives and voices of generations past and present. At the center of the recital will be a newly commissioned work by an up-and-coming woman composer, that focuses on the lives of D’Aubigny, Shelley, and Gentileschi. Through these three vocal works premiering within this performance, the stories of these women will be vividly told. Visual art, in the form of projection, will create a fully immersive experience to produce an intimate look into these women’s psyches. Before the performance, we will have a historical lecture that contextualizes the real-life events experienced by all three protagonists.

Ann Webb Haunted Haflastravaganza 2021

We are hosting belly dancer Amity Alize and her troupe as well as many other local artists and students from the Greater Boston area. It will be a handicapped accessible family-friendly Halloween event showcasing various styles of belly dance and folk dance.

Vivien Wu Black History Month + Dance: Afro Caribbean/Afro Latinx Heritage and Dance Traditions

Many dance enthusiasts do not know the tradition of Latin dance has roots in the Caribbean slave trade & colonization. These histories have a bodily record in dance today: Rumba & ChaCha, considered high-class enough for competition; and “street” styles salsa, merengue, bachata. BACHATA ACADEMY, a documentary by a team of Cannes & Sundance award-winning independent filmmakers,  is about Dominican & Haitian culture & music. The project is a screening + discussion for Dance Fever & Newton public.

Kerry Prasad Indigenous Peoples Day Newton Ceremonial Celebration

Indigenous Peoples Day Newton 2022 will spotlight and celebrate the music, dance, poetry, and visual art of diverse Native artists who currently live in the Northeast.
It will be an outdoor, daytime, family-oriented cultural and spiritual celebration that is open, accessible and welcoming to all Newton residents.

Jenny Dube The Catnip Junkies: Live! From The Newton Centre Bowl

The Catnip Junkies offer Newton a Live Music Experience.  Their musical genre may best be described as Jazz, with the feel of a NOLA-flavored party band.

Jennifer Kane Standing Tall NOVA Women’s Choral Project

NOVA Women’s Choral Project will present a choral program about mental health in order to combat the stigma that often surrounds this topic. Included in this program are: Jake Runestad’s work,
“Please Stay,” an anthem for hope and an attempt to destigmatize mental illness; “A Path to Hope,” by
Katerina Gimon, a work for treble voices and body percussion composed during the pandemic on the
theme of voicelessness, overcoming fear, and seeking hope; and, a newly commissioned work, “Standing Tall,” by Ellen Gilson Voth. We will offer a pre-concert discussion on the topic of mental health as it pertains to our community in the ongoing pandemic.

Andrus Madsen Newton Baroque’s 2022-2023 Season

At least five concerts of chamber music on period instruments continuing rich musical offerings Newton
Baroque has been making in Newton since 2005. Concerts on in the making include offerings such as
the following: Marie Antoinette and de Chevalier, a Salon (This concert features the amazing Black baritone Ulysses Thomas, as well as chamber music by St George de Chevalier, a Black violinist active in Paris who made concerts frequently with Marie Antoinette)
Graun with Envy: Sonatas for Violin and Flute and Continuo by the masterful Johann Gottlieb Graun. Musica Transalpina: 18th Century chamber music written by Italians active north of the Alps.

Claudia Fiks Newton Open Studios Newton

A perennial favorite, Newton Open Studios happens annually in April with 140 artists at pop-up exhibit/sales locations throughout Newton. These pop-up are at artists homes, studios, backyards, and local institutions that will present paintings, jewelry, ceramics, sculptures, wearable art, photography, handmade objects and more.

Elizabeth Metraux Nonantum Village Welcome Mural

As part of renovation efforts for the historic Post 440 in Newton’s Nonantum neighborhood, we are inviting local artists and enthusiasts to contribute to a mural on the side of the building that welcomes visitors to Nonantum and highlights the character and history of the community.

Michal Goldman Why We Dance

“Why We Dance” is a documentary film built around an on-line dance class for Newton Seniors and others. We plan live screenings in Newton and elsewhere in the spring of 2022 followed by national distribution.

Maitreyee Chakraborty East Meets West – Tagore and Anne Sexton

A 60-minute experimental video project with songs, poems and readings of two great poets of two different cultures and times – the Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore of India and the American poet Anne Sexton.

Chiara Durazzini Commedia dell’Arte and Renaissance Music Demonstration

Theatre troupe Pazzi Lazzi joins Eric Bornstein of Behind The Mask Theatre for an entertaining and informative presentation about the power and diversity of masks worldwide. Together, they “unmask” the mysteries surrounding mask usage through history and around the world. Viewers will be wowed by the wide variety of stunning hand-made masks performed.

Susan B. Obel Aston Magna Music Festival Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities Inc.

Concerts from the Renaissance, Baroque and early classical periods, on period instruments at Brandeis on Thursday nights from June 30 – July 21. Concerts are preceded by talks by Artistic Director Dan Stepner and demonstrations by selected artists, putting the music in historical perspective.

Olga Lisovskaya Musical Café Slavic Style Music Arts and Fashion Productions Inc.

This year’s Café will once again bring together singers, instrumentalists, dancers, fashion designers, models, visual and culinary artists to celebrate the rich culture of Slavic nations: Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Croatia, Serbia, Czech and others.

Sue Bottino Informational Signs at Newton Community Farm Newton Community Farm Inc.


Rachael Farber Brighter Revealed Jewish Arts Collaborative Inc.

Brighter Revealed is a Hanukkah-themed mobile public art project created in collaboration with communities across Greater Boston and will tour the area for the 8 days/nights of Hanukkah 2021.
Incorporating artwork created by students and community partners throughout the Greater Boston area,
this large-scale beacon will bring vibrant color to the community.

Sunanda Narayanan Reinterpreting Tradition

The Indian classical dance form I teach in Newton is called ‘Bharatanatyam’. It is a sophisticated style
with a continuous performing history of several centuries and the themes traditionally presented
concern Indian myths and legends. Though the form is ancient, it is adaptable and can be used to
present themes of current relevance as well.

Adrienne Hartzell Knudsen Summer Serenade

New Philharmonia Orchestra presents a summer outdoor pops concert, free to the community at large, as part of the Linda Plaut Festival of the Arts, 2022. The ensemble of 50+ players with conductor and soloist present a program of light classical and favorite pops melodies and will feature opportunities of an interactive experience
with marches and sing a longs and a guest conductor and bass drum player selected from the audience.
New Phil, who traditionally presents a dozen concerts a year in Newton, returns in the summer of 2022,
under the direction of Maestro Jorge Soto.

Diane Wong Opening the Door to Reparations Dialogue
Tal Shalom Shalom-Kobii Women in World Jazz celebrates peace and social justice
Cornell W. Coley Cornell Coley & the Africa Gente band
Melissa Bernstein Our Tears are the Same Color: Parallel Narratives of Palestinian and Israeli Women Newton Theatre Company Inc.
Ellen Fisher FenceART
Gregory Maichack The Jellyfish: How to Pastel Paint
Louise Sacco Living in Tough Times: From a Bad Day to Dystopian Apocalypse Museum of Bad Art Inc.
Daryl J. Bichel Mass Throwdown: Crossing Lines of Race and Gender The Seraphim Singers
Stacey Moriarty Newton PorchFest 2022
Adrienne Hartzell Knudsen Summer Serenade New Philharmonia Orchestra of Massachusetts Inc.
Charles Eisenberg Spring Concert The Highland Glee Club of Newton Inc.
Henry Lappen Henry the Juggler Performance Lappen Henry
Lynn Protasowicki Open Door Connections Discovery Museum Inc.
Jeannette Belcher-Schepis
Arts Access: MCA’s WCT ASL Storytime and Interactive Workshop Project The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts