Thursday, June 14, 2018

Town of Franklin Applies for Cultural District Status to the State of Massachusetts

Contact: Philip ReganFranklin Cultural District Chair
  ​John LoPrestiFranklin Cultural District Vice Chair



Franklin, MA (June 15, 2018): Thanks to a multi-year effort by the Town of Franklin and a group of its citizens, an official application to establish a Franklin Cultural District was submitted to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the offices of the Massachusetts Cultural Council on June 8, 2018The Franklin Cultural District (FCD) will be a demarcated region within the townthat encompasses the cultural facilities, activities, and assets that lie in a compact, walkable area. Franklin’s vibrant cultural atmosphere is already home to the nation’s first public library, the Franklin Historical Museum, Dean College School of the Arts, over 25 other performing and visual arts and dance studios, and a variety of restaurants and cafes.  Establishment of the FCD will likely attract additional arts and cultural organizations in the future, driving economic development.
Cultural District status will make the FCD eligible for a variety of state grant programs, state economic development opportunities and monies, strategic planning and historic preservation assistance, and marketing through the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.
"Arts and Culture have become an extremely important and vibrant economic engine for the Town of Franklin," says Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen.  "Designating the Town as an official Cultural District will only enhance those opportunities and establish Franklin as the premier arts and cultural hub in the southern MetroWest region.
This effort has been years in the planning, beginning with the Franklin Cultural District Steering Committee, who were tasked with gauging interest in the project and starting the organizational efforts necessary to begin the application process. The Steering Committee met with potential partners, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), and Town of Franklin administrators to determine the needs, geographic area and types of businesses to be included, and the roles and responsibilities of the District itself. That Committee went on to create the Franklin Cultural Festival, which ran for three years and created a strong basis amongst the partners and evidence for the State of the vigor of the arts and culture community in Franklin. A preliminary site visit with the MCC and the Town resulted in a decision to move forward with the formal cultural district application.
On June 28, 2017, the Franklin Town Council passed Resolution 17-45, which endorsed the FCD’s cultural district goals, namely to “attract artists and cultural enterprises; encourage business and job development; establish the district as a tourist destination; preserve and reuse historic buildings; enhance property values; and foster local cultural development.”  
In November 2017, seven Franklin residents were appointed to the Franklin Cultural District Committee, an official Town committee which took over for the initial Steering Committee, to make the formal application to the State and then oversee the new district.  Part of the application included letters of endorsement and intent from the many cultural assets in town, establishing them as official partners of the District, including the Franklin Public Schools, Dean College, Franklin Downtown Partnership, the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, Franklin Performing Arts Company/THE BLACK BOX, the Franklin Historical Museum, the Franklin Art Association, the Franklin Cultural Council, and many more. Some of the partners were involved in the FCD initiative from the very beginning, others, such as Drummer’s Studio, Encore Music Academy and Feet in Motion School of Dance, have signed on more recently as the momentum for establishment of the District increased. 
During the first quarter of 2018, the Franklin Cultural District’s Goals were refined during Cultural District Committee public meetings.  These Goals combine the aims for the State's cultural districts, existing planning initiatives (including Franklin’s 2013 Master Plan cultural resources goals and objectives), and input from Committee partners. The FCD partners will meet with the Committee quarterly, starting June 19, to discuss marketing, cross-promotional events between the partners, and ways to enhance the District. An FCD website, complete with a local arts calendar, is being established to provide a single source of arts and cultural information for town residents and visitors.
The application filed on June 8, 2018, included narrative on the FCD's goals, marketing plans, partners, cultural assets, and State-required metrics to measure the FCD's impact, as well as the official FCD map. In addition, hundreds of pages of supplemental materials were submitted showing examples of arts and cultural events and programming within the proposed District.Once the MCC has reviewed the application, a site visit will be scheduled with the Town, the FCD committee and the FCD partners. Only then will the State render a verdict on the application.
To learn more about the Franklin Cultural District, their partners, and upcoming activities and events, visit their website at, or follow them on Facebook( (@FranklinCulture)and Instagram(@franklinculture).

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Franklin Art Association’s Annual Spring Art Show and Sale - Apr 21-22

The Franklin Art Association will hold its Annual Spring Show and Sale “Art from the Heart” on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 1PM to 8 PM and on Sunday, April 22, 2018, from 12 noon to 4 PM at THE BLACK BOX, 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin.

A reception held on Saturday, from 4 PM to 7 PM will include entertainment by the Padula Brothers Jazz Band.

The FAA’s Annual Spring Show and Sale includes works in oil, acrylic, water media, photography, pastel, charcoal, mixed media, calligraphy and drawing. In addition to the exhibited works, small works and unframed art will be available for purchase.

The exhibit is juried and there will be first, second, third and honorable mention ribbons awarded in each category. In addition, there will be a Best of Show award and attendees may vote for a “People’s Choice” award.

For more information about the FAA, go to

Franklin Art Association’s Annual Spring Art Show and Sale - Apr 21-22
Franklin Art Association’s Annual Spring Art Show and Sale - Apr 21-22

Monday, March 26, 2018

ArtWeek: Worcester Chamber Music Society - Multi-media Concert - May 6

The Worcester Chamber Music Society will be coming to Franklin for a unique multi-media concert on May 6 as part of ArtWeek. In conjunction with the Franklin Public Schools, the Art + Music Family Concert will offer music of Mozart, Debussy, Haydn, and Ginastera at the Franklin High School auditorium from 3:00 - 4:30pm. 

Artwork inspired by the pieces and created by Franklin's elementary school students will be projected above the musicians' heads in a presentation timed to the music. In addition, Jacob Hoover and Katherine Bickford, who dance professionally with the Festival Ballet Providence, will perform, and children in the audience will have an opportunity to create art real-time. 

After the concert, there will be a Meet & Greet with the musicians, giving audience members a chance to see the instruments up close and speak to the people who play them.

"ArtWeek is a great opportunity for people to experience the arts in new and engaging ways, and we are excited to come to Franklin!" says Worcester Chamber Music Society Executive Director Tracy Kraus.

Thanks to sponsorship by the MetroWest Visitors Bureau, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Dean Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank and the Franklin Cultural Council, tickets are being offered at a greatly reduced ticket price of $10/adults, $7/seniors and students, and all children 17 and under free with a paying adult. 

Tickets can be purchased at:

The program will include Mozart's Flute Quartet in D Major, Allegro; Debussy's Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, Interlude; Haydn's Piano Trio in A Major, Allegro; and Ginastera's Impresiones de la Puna (complete).

About the Franklin Cultural Council —
The mission of the Franklin Cultural Council (FCC) is to encourage participation and enhance opportunities for enrichment in the cultural arts and sciences throughout our community. Comprised of committed residents, the FCC meets monthly with the purpose of supporting events and programs through grants from the Town of Franklin, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
ArtWeek: Worcester Chamber Music Society - Multi-media Concert - May 6
ArtWeek: Worcester Chamber Music Society - Multi-media Concert - May 6