Cultural Council Meets, Finalizes Plans for May 14 Arts & Cultural Symposium


The Franklin Cultural Council met Tuesday in the Training Room of the Municipal Building. Chair Kaye Kelly called the meeting to order shortly after 7:30 and asked for and got a motion to accept the previously circulated minutes of the April meeting.

Then, it was on to a discussion, led mostly by Kelly, about the FCC-sponsored MetroWest Arts & Culture Symposium coming up on Saturday, May 14 from 9am-1:30pm at Franklin High School. Kelly said she had a great conversation this week with Michael Bobbitt, Executive Director of the Mass Cultural Council, who is one of the key speakers for the event. She said he offered to do a walk around the town with the Town Administrator and others involved with the cultural sector to share ideas.

Kelly also lauded Roberta Trahan and Pandora Carlucci of the Cultural District Committee for helping with several aspects of the event, including arranging for the Franklin High School Jazz group and a string ensemble that will perform for attendees. Attendees include residents as well as individuals from many from other MetroWest towns.

Break out sessions include:

"Building Community Through the Arts” – Executive Director, Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Kelly Grill

“Equity and Access in Arts & Culture” – Equity and Inclusion Officer, Mass Cultural Council, Cheyenne Cohn-Postell

“Sharing your Arts Identity on Social Media” – Franklin Matters, Social Media Practitioner, Steve Sherlock

“Festivals and Community Celebrations ” –Program Officer, Community Initiative, Mass Cultural Council, Timothea Pham

She said a boxed lunch from Birchwood Bakery is included and indoor and outdoor seating will be available.

[For those interested, you can still register at
. The registration fee is $15.]

When all is said and done, the FCC expects to spend about $2500 on the event.

The next item discussed was the Franklin Cultural Festival slated for the fall. Since its inception last year, costs have increased. In particular, she noted that the costs of a tent to cover the stage area has more than doubled. But Kelly said it was vital to make the investment since there is no rain date.

Patrick Kinner provided an update on lining up food trucks, crediting his daughter, Olivia, for doing much of the work involved as a student intern. Kinner said he is hoping to line up a few more trucks serving food, rather than just drinks or desserts since there always seems to be more demand for them during events.

Council Member, Rev. Jacob Juncker also reported on his work related to a “Cultural Lane” – a section of the festival to be reserved for cultural groups. The question discussed was “where to draw the line” and the consensus was to probably offer the booths just  to local nonprofits.

Member Sarah Cronin provided a discussion of finances and noted some the anomalies between 2021 and 2022 as well as the challenges of a 12-month fiscal year and an 18-month grant cycle

Toward the end of the meeting, Kelly mentioned to upcoming resignations, Lillian Gould, whom she credited with “staying on to help me,” who plans to leave in June, and Shelly Green, who plans to leave in September to focus on her work with arts groups. Finally, Kelly noted that she herself is taking on a new course of study and needs to pull back, which she said would happen in September.

The meeting adjourned with plans for the next meeting set for June 7.

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