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Tour Dallin Museum from home

Dallin virtual tour screenshot.Dallin virtual tour screenshot.

Is this pandemic driving you stir-crazy and prohibiting you from enjoying our region’s cultural offerings? Good news -- you can now tour the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum virtually. Enjoy an uplifting and artful experience from the comfort of your own home, for free. 

This virtual experience is engaging and educational. Visitors can appreciate the sculptures on a visual level, or get deeper into their history and significance through text, images and links. Viewers can also gain an appreciation for Cyrus Dallin’s life and work, the values that informed his art and the relevance of his legacy today.

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E. Arlington service station raises signs of hope, thanks

Businesses, artists, town collaborate to salute Covid-19 workers, promote safety

Banners wave at Arlington Service Station, owned by Abe Salhi.Prayer-flag masks wave at Arlington Service Station, owned by Abe Salhi. / Johnny Lapham photo

UPDATED, May 13: In mid-April, Arlington Service Station owner Abe Salhi was inspired and determined to make a bold statement of hope and resolve amid the Covid-19 crisis. Known for his patronage of public art, which earned him a 2018 Business of the Year Award from the Chamber of Commerce, Salhi reached out to local artist/activist Johnny Lapham and Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture (ACAC) cochair Stewart Ikeda for help.

He wanted to create a prominent banner to thank caregivers and essential workers for their courageous, generous service. Indeed, Salhi himself had been working morning-to-night running the station by himself since the state-of-emergency started. He also hoped the banners would boost morale in town, encourage mask wearing to help “lower the curve” and protect our most vulnerable folks from Covid-19.

Creation shots: See more photos and videos: No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3

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16 youngsters mold clay, take tour at Dallin Art Museum

The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum treated 16 local children, ages 4 to 11, to a museum tour and clay sculpture workshop Feb. 15.

MFA senior associates outside the Dallin Art Museum

Museum Director and Curator Heather Leavell welcomed the young visitors and their accompanying adults to the museum.

“Cyrus Dallin lived in Utah until he was 18 years old. He then moved to Boston to study sculpture and later settled in Arlington with his wife Vittoria where they lived for more than 40 years,” said Leavell.

After the brief introduction, Leavell and museum founder James McGough gave tours of the museum, which the children enjoyed.

Amelia Bearfield, 4, liked Dallin’s sculpture of the mythological river of the Greek Underworld, Lethe, which she described as a “sleeping, naked person.”

Mason Williams, 6, liked the cat statue. When McGough asked the kids how they thought Dallin got the cat to stay still so he could sculpt him, Williams suggested, “Maybe he was looking at a dead mouse.”

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Cultural Council awards 2020 grants totaling $16,071

Variety of events, arts supported

The Arlington Cultural Council (ACC) has awarded 19 grants totaling $16,071, for cultural programs in Arlington, ACC Chair Kimberley Harding has announced. They range from $250 to $1,500, with an average grant of $845. Grantees were chosen from 41 competitive applications.

Arlington Cultural Council logo

“We are continually impressed by the caliber of projects presented to our council. This year's grant recipients are equally exceptional, and we look forward to watching their performances, programs, and events unfold throughout 2020,” Harding said in a Dec. 30 news release.

The 2020 grant recipients, listed below, represent a wide range of arts: music, visual, film and literature.

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Live Arts Arlington: Vita Project held

UPDATED, Oct. 2: A initiative called Live Arts Arlington brought performances to public places in or near the Center through September -- thanks to the volunteer activists on the Programs & Festivals Committee, formed by the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture ( acac logo 200 2718

Live Arts is the committee’s first project, a pilot effort in partnership with artists designed to encourage public performance and creation in the town. Here's the latest interactive public art project, "The Vita Project":

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"Arlington Alive!" arts-destination discussion held in 2012

Arlington Alive! Logo

Arlington Alive!" -- a panel discussion and townwide meeting for businesses, nonprofits, artists and residents -- was held Thursday June 7, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., at the Arlington Center for the Arts.

Speakers are:

* Adam Chapdelaine, Arlington town manager;

* Jan Whitted, Capitol Square District, East Arlington; and

* Meri Jenkins, program manager, Cultural Districts, Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The moderator is Stacie Smith, Consensus Building Institute. Breakout sessions to follow. All are welcome.

 The goal of the evening is generate ideas and foster collaborations between the town, businesses, nonprofits and artists that capitalize on arts and culture for the benefit of our community and local economy.

Taking its name, "Arlington Alive," from the Arlington Cultural Council’s predecessor organization founded in 1975 to promote the arts locally in Arlington, a coalition of town organizations -- the Arlington Cultural Council, Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington Public Art, Arlington Committee on Tourism and Economic Development, and Sustainable Arlington -- is co-sponsoring an evening of lively and engaged discussion open to all town residents.

Adam Chapdelaine, Arlington Town Manager, and John Budzyna, Arlington Center for the Arts, will open the program, followed by Meri Jenkins, Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Program Manager for Cultural Districts, and Jan Whitted from the Capitol Square District in East Arlington, the featured panelists.
Small group discussions, led by members of the Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Arlington, Arlington Tourism and Economic Development Committee, Vision 20/20, and other participating organizations, will follow, providing all audience members a chance to offer their ideas. The meeting will be moderated by Arlington resident, Stacie Smith, from Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge.Why come together? As Scott Samenfeld, a member of both the Arlington Cultural Council and Sustainable Arlington, notes, "The arts are part of what makes a community sustainable. They are a leading indicator of health and growth in our community."
The arts attract tourism, business, and new residents to communities. They also create the bonds within a community that inspire people to invest in where they live and work. Studies of the creative economy conducted by New England Foundation for the Arts and Americans for the Arts, among other organizations, have tracked the revenue benefits to local for-profit businesses from the non-profit arts and culture industry.
Their conclusion: "Communities that support the arts and culture not only enhance their quality of life, they also invest in their economic well-being. The arts mean business!"
Arlington has a wealth of cultural assets. And with public art and scenic byway plans underway, soon it will have many more. This townwide meeting presents all of us with an opportunity to increase visibility for those assets and to develop collaborations that will help us celebrate our community and make it attractive to those who have not yet discovered what we all know – Arlington is Alive!
For more information, please visit or

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Meanwhile, take a moment to fill out the the Arlington Cultural Council's Community Input Survey. Click here to take the survey now!

Now here's a yarn: Ripples of peace to flow out on bikeway

PHOTOS show how installation took shape

Globe, Oct. 1: Cultural district sends ripples

installation 91417The project goes up Sept. 14, with the help of consultant Cecily Miller, right. / Joy Spadafora photo

UPDATED, Oct. 1: North Korea sends test missiles flying over Japan, in a show of flexing war muscles.

As many as 60 in Arlington are making bombs of another kind -- out of yarn.

As an unhinged Asian leader baits a thin-skinned U.S. president, residents here try to ignore the international war of nerves with a show of peaceful artistry.

Yarn-bombing beside the Minuteman Bikeway aims to send ripples of peace.

For a first look at the latest bikeway public-art venture, YourArlington took a walk with Adria Arch in August and, afterward, asked some of the five dozen knitters and crocheters involved to provide images. The installation -- called "Ripple" -- went up Thursday, Sept. 14, just before Town Day.

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Fourth Chairful Where You Sit raises about $4,000

Arlington Public Arts logo36 of 76 chairs sold | See shots of 15 seats, 1 desk

UPDATED, July 24: Chairful Where You Sit, a temporary art installation and fund-raiser, in its fourth year for Arlington Public Art, had its opening reception Friday, July 10, and 36 of 76 chairs were sold. 

Chairs fashioned by Amy Hoff, Amy Goldstein and Dave Ardito, at left, respectively, were declared winners. As of July 24, the effort had raised about $4,000.

Organizers had hoped to sell the rest before a closing reception and Peoples' Choice awards on Sunday, July 12, at Whittemore Park, in front of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum in Arlington Center.

Buying a chair for $100 during the exhibit supported Arlington Public Art's projects, such as painting the transformer box murals.

Adria Arch, who organized the effort for four years and is bowing out, reported the numbers. Earlier, 80 chairs had been expected.

Adults and teenagers 16 and up were able to enter up to three chairs. All entries will be displayed provided that they meet the requirements of being safe to sit on and weatherproof. Children could enter with a parent or guardian. 

To see chairs from the last several years, visit

Artists may request a percentage of the purchase price or may donate the full sale amount to Arlington Public Arts.

July 21, 2014: $9,000 raised

Aug. 1, 2013: More than $5,000 raised

Aug. 13, 2012: More than $2,600 raised

This announcement was published Sunday, May 17, 2015, and updated July 24.

Film about Armenian Genocide signals '18 film-fest launch

winner alone 350 51218Rico St. Paul displays his winning poster for the Arlington International Film Festival. / Photo: @jav__castillo

Arlington International Film Festival signaled its upcoming start with "An Homage to the Armenian Community in the Greater Boston Area."

The New England premiere of "Crows of the Desert -- A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide" occurred Sunday, Oct. 7, 4:30 p.m., in the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown.

The 62-minute documentary is by Marta Houske, a U.S. writer, director and producer; executive producer Paul G. Turpanjian and music by John Massari.

A Q&A follows the screening with Levon Parian, a renown photographic artist and grandson of the subject, Levon Yotnakhparian. Parian’s work will be on exhibit in the lobby of the Mosesian Center.

The film festival is proud to announce its first partnership with the Mosesian Center for the Arts to present this award-winning film in commemoration of the Armenian genocide and an homage to our Armenian community. This event rolls out the red carpet for the eighth annual film festival, set for Nov. 1 through 4 at the Capitol Theatre.

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What's behind new 'housing' near bikeway, Spy Pond?

Colony at Bikeway; Christopher Frost inset'Colony' at bikeway draws a photographer; sculptor Christopher Frost, inset.

What's with the new housing along Spy Pond?

No, not at 47 Spy Pond Lane, to be the subject of a Conservation Commission hearing Oct. 4. That one involved a lawsuit.

This is a sculpture called "Colony," by Somerville artist Christopher Frost,  part of Arlington Public Art. No lawsuits; just imaginative enjoyment.

Its rows of living spaces are perched in a tree between the Minuteman Bikeway and Spy Pond, near Linwood Street.

A post at ArtsArlington explains

"The invisible inhabitants are overlooking busy Spy Pond Park and the Bikeway."

In addition, look for a related exhibit called "ExtraOrdinary Birds," a set of art cards with portraits by painter Resa Blatman and text by Ellen Reed.

"These lush images of neighborhood birds, together with tips on how to spot and support them, are designed to spark your interest in birdwatching and stewardship. Look for the Northern Cardinal and Black-capped Chickadee in boxes on the chain link fence bordering the Bikeway between Linwood Street and Swan Place."

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