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Ayer Cultural Council seeks input from community in survey


AYER — The Ayer Cultural Council is seeking input from residents on its activities as it gears up to apply for state funding.

“It looks like over the past few years, we tend to grant money to the same things year after year,” said Sheila Schwabe, chairwoman of the council. “It would be nice to get some input as to whether or not the public would like to see something different.”

At six members, the council is also looking for more volunteers, she said.

The council must seek public input every three years in order to receive funding from the state through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Schwabe said.

Surveys are available at the selectmen’s office in Town Hall, or online at

The council received $4,548 in state grants in the last fiscal year, allocating $4,250 and using five percent for administrative work.

The council has funded events such as the “This Land is Your Land” song celebration, the Fruitlands Museum centennial program, a pottery class at the high school, Nashoba Valley Concert Band appearances and a Bach’s Lunch Concert Series at Indian Hill Music.

“We would like to be able to offer programs that the community is interested in,” Schwabe said.

This year, state legislators approved an increase of about $1 million to the MCC budget, after a coalition of arts and humanities groups lobbied for a higher budget of $12 million, according to an MCC press release. The governor signed the state-wide budget, which allocated $12 million to the MCC, last week.

Since the recession, the MCC has received $3 million transfers annually from MassDevelopment, an arrangement that will end with the fiscal 2015 budget, according to the press release.

Surveys from Ayer residents are due by Aug. 15.

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