Brattleboro Town Arts Committee look at creating new award

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BRATTLEBORO >> An award for local artists is being proposed by a committee dedicated to the town's creative community.

The hope is to have it ready for January. But the project's main proponent is temporarily leaving Brattleboro.

"Unfortunately, as life would have it, I'm going to be spending autumn and winter in Connecticut with my husband's family. Therefore, my activities with the Arts Committee are going to have to stop," Town Arts Committee member Angel Francia-Mackinnon said Thursday. "So I have not been able to put energy into the art award, which makes me really sad. However, we plan on coming back in the spring."

Her family moved to Brattleboro two years ago. They love the town and community, Francia-Mackinnon said. Her husband, Dylan Mackinnon, serves as chairman of the Tree Advisory Committee.

If no one takes the torch on the project, meaning make an outline of what the art award should be, Francia-Mackinnon said she will pick it back up when she returns.

The committee has discussed picking a recipient annually but decided that maybe, no limitations should be imposed.

"It would be open to whenever an award needed to be given," said Francia-Mackinnon. "It could be given to a group or an arts venue, not just an individual."

And instead of just having the award be a recognition from the Select Board, she hopes to offer a gift. The offering might be a free art class or a night out at a local establishment.

"It would be a nice way to recognize people and organizations that are doing really great work," Francia-Mackinnon said.

She said the award could help get groups and people "invested in each other's process" or promotion.

"It's a little bit of cross pollination," she said. "It's something I'm very excited about."

Town Arts Committee Chairman Adam Salviani said a ceremony could be part of the plan. The committee is still trying to figure out how to design the award.

Also, the committee is looking at restoring the mural in Harmony Lot. It's working with Downtown Brattleboro Alliance and Brattleboro Youth Services, the organization that originally painted the books on the wall.

"They want to be involved again," said Salviani. "The idea is to have a different artist work on each book, each spine cover. It would look a little different than it is now but the same concept. There is a big push to do this."

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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