The Brookline Commission of the Arts (BCA) met via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2. Committee members discussed the city’s twinning program, artist grants and the emerging artist program.
The meeting began with a discussion of the city’s recently established twinning program, through which the city will match funds provided to BCA through grants. Committee member Stan Trecker said Brookline was behind other cities in starting a program like this.
“For the first time last year, [we were] able to convince the city to match the funds, there are many other cities that have already gone through this process and have matched it for years,” Trecker said. “We are thrilled to finally have matching funds to give more money, especially as we have more grants and applicants.”
There is uncertainty whether the BCA will be able to get its funds back, said committee member Daniel Gostin, as last year the committee failed to spend all that was granted. by the city.
The BCA received assistance from the American Rescue Plan Act to create the Brookline Art Makes Community (BAMC) program. The program will create art murals in commercial areas of the city.
The murals will be hosted at the Beacon Street Gallery on November 3 at 5 p.m. Committee member Gillian Jackson said the BCA hopes for a strong turnout at the next public meeting to discuss the location of the exhibit.
“Having received the money, we are now going through the process of soliciting community feedback to find out what kind of public art is needed or wanted at Brookline,” Jackson said. “Public art will focus on commercial areas of Brookline, but exact locations within these areas will be discussed.”
After discussing the BAMC program, the meeting moved on to discussing grant applications. The BCA grants grants to artists who wish to mark the city with their creations. Committee member Andy Dean said the BCA needs to make sure the recipients are people who really want to help the Brookline community.
“We want to make sure that [the grants go to] something the city really wants or benefits from in some way,” Dean said.
In addition to Dean, Gostin said the BCA should be wary of applicants who might simply be trying to get a grant without necessarily using it for a production or play in the city.
“Every year there are at least one or two [applicants] for any municipality, no matter where [demonstration] takes place. They just want to see how much they can get,” Gostin said.
The meeting turned into a discussion about the Chris Santos Emerging Artists Program, which provides stipends for new artists to continue their work, and where they would host an event for those artists to showcase. Committee member Elizabeth Schlosberg said that if the BCA is considering bringing an artist into the schools to show their work to students during the school day, the committee should let the coordinators know well in advance.
“If it’s something where you expect students to participate as part of their day,” Schlosberg said. “You’re asking teachers to take time on what they need to teach.”
Committee member Peg O’Connell said the event could take place at the Brookline Booksmith to allow an emerging artist to describe their journey and inspire others.
“Our plan was to have an event at the Brookline Booksmith where someone describes what it means to be an emerging artist,” O’Connell said. “What obstacles do you face and what does it mean to be an emerging artist whether you are 22 or 92?”