Recorder – Shelburne Cultural Council survey finds arts matter to children

Published: 07/10/2022 10:03:23

Modified: 10/07/2022 10:00:36

SHELBURNE — As the city’s cultural council prepares for its fall grant application period, it recently took the opportunity to survey students at Mohawk Trail Regional School to better understand the needs of young members of the community.

The survey results show a desire among middle and high school students for arts-related programs ranging from artistic creation, art exhibitions, musical events and films. The survey, said Cultural Council co-chair Owen Bragdon, will help members make decisions about which grant applications they will consider in October.

“It tells me that students are interested in these cultural events and there’s a lot we can tap into,” said Bragdon, who is a paraprofessional at Mohawk Trail Regional School. “Over the past two years, we have really focused on serving the youth in the community.

Forty-three students responded to the survey, which was distributed to them via their school’s emails. Artistic creation events were the main request, with almost 56% of respondents declaring an interest. Art exhibitions and theatrical performances follow closely behind, with nearly 49% of respondents reporting a desire for more of these events. Additionally, Bragdon said the survey asked students how they learned about the events, with the majority saying friends and family were their main sources of information.

When deciding whether to award a grant, the Cultural Council will consider the results of the survey and may prioritize arts-related proposals. However, Bragdon noted that not having an artistic component would not rule something out for a grant.

“He won’t make or break anything on his own,” he said. “There are certainly a number of applications that we are hesitant to fund or not. For example, if there was something about creating art that was part of one of the applications, we would be more likely to fund it.

Bragdon thanked Chris Buckland, director of Mohawk Trail, for helping facilitate the survey and Mo’s Fudge Factor for donating two free gift cards which were given to two randomly selected students.

To contact the Cultural Council to volunteer or inquire about the application process, email shelburnelcc@gmail.com. For more information, visit the the city website and or the Cultural Council Facebook page.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.

James C. Tibbs