Shelburne Cultural Council expands with five new members

Staff Report
Published: 11/3/2020 3:08:51 PM
Modified: 11/3/2020 3:08:41 PM

SHELBURNE — The Shelburne Cultural Council has accepted five new members whose own cultural and artistic experiences will further the council’s mission of fostering diverse perspectives within the community.

According to a press release from Cultural Council Chair Constance Clarke, the five new members recently appointed by the Selectboard are Owen Bragdon, Yana Cortlund, Sam Feury, Jacqui Goodman and Eben Sorkin. This brings the total number of council members to 11.

The new members will help further the council’s commitment to “fostering awareness of the value of racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in our community life through funding projects in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences,” the release states.

“Increasing our exposure to the arts and humanities provides us with opportunities for collective experiences that invoke, encourage, value and celebrate the differences in human perspective,” Cortlund said in the statement. “By honoring our diversity we strengthen our community, and I feel this is incredibly important right now.”

Though the Massachusetts Cultural Council will not be able to release individual town allocations until the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget has been finalized, the grant application period is underway, and the recently extended deadline will close at midnight on Dec. 14. This extension applies to all local cultural councils. According to the release, last year, the Shelburne Cultural Council awarded $5,000 to 27 projects, with amounts ranging from $50 to $350.

The current delay in setting the annual state budget means that the earliest possible time the Massachusetts Cultural Council can determine and announce towns’ allocations is now January.

Given the current restrictions on public gatherings, the Cultural Council encourages those who are applying for grants to design projects that meet pandemic safety guidelines, such as ongoing public displays, those that use virtual platforms, or those that can be presented via safe outdoor or compliant indoor venues. In light of the pandemic’s impact on education, the council welcomes projects that help promote remote learning while encouraging students to express themselves, according to the release.

“During my years as a teacher, I benefited from the generosity of the local cultural councils,” Goodman said in the statement. “Their awards helped to open the world a little wider for my students. Now I’m interested in being part of finding ways to continue to provide new opportunities and points of view, especially for the children of our communities, and especially during this year when our individual worlds have gotten so much smaller.”

The Shelburne Cultural Council welcomes innovative concepts and encourages collaborative projects among local artists and organizations. The Shelburne Cultural Council’s full statement of 2021 priorities and the online grant application can be found at With questions, email


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