The Five College News Brief: Museums in the Pioneer Valley Receive Generous Grant For New Initiative
By Elaine Teng '12
Though many institutions and organizations have been slicing their arts budgets in light of the economic crisis, the Five College art community received a boost on Feb. 9.

Museums10, a consortium of 10 museums within the Pioneer Valley, including the College’s Mead Art and Emily Dickinson Museums, received a $48,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) to support its new project, “Table for 10: The Art, History and Science of Food.”

This newest project will bring together local artists, artisans, small farmers, restaurants, inns and food writers to infuse Pioneer Valley museums with exhibitions and activities centering on cuisine, from wine tastings to literary dinners.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, for one, will be hosting a baking contest and a dinner called “Art Has a Palate: The Dickinsons and Dining” to educate visitors about the foods and culinary customs of the poet’s time, while the College’s Museum of Natural History will feature “Tell Me What You Eat.”

Moreover, Museums10 will also be organizing celebrity chef events in partnership with WGBY public television, a food drive for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and a weekend cooking festival featuring live cooking demonstrations.

“Everything will be organized around a core group of new food-themed exhibitions and public programs at the Museums10 partner sites,” explained Jessica Nicoll, director of the Smith College Museum of Art and co-chair of the “Table for 10” executive committee. “This is a terrific opportunity to introduce new audiences to the cultural treasures as well as the rich food culture available right here in the Five Colleges area.”

“Table for 10” events will begin in the summer throughout the Pioneer Valley, and are projected to bring both entertainment to the community as well as boost the local economy, according to Tony Maroulis, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The region sees nearly 200,000 visitors annually from the museums through initiatives like ‘Table for 10,’ which bring in millions of dollars to our businesses, restaurants and lodging establishments throughout the Valley.”

Issue 17, Submitted 2010-03-03 05:04:42