Grafton Fine Arts & Music Festival Receives Award

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Charles Washburn, VSA Massachusetts; David Kmetz, ValleyCAST; Harry Whitin, Katy Hannigan of MassCreative; and festival committee members Anna Howard, Jim O’Connor, Danielle Miller, Steven Howard, Lauren Bavosi, Jim Bavosi. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

GRAFTON, Mass. - The Grafton Fine Arts and Music Festival committee has received the Priscilla Mason Award for Cultural Excellence, which honored the annual three-day event for its efforts to highlight local artists.

"When asked to propose a nominee exhibiting "cultural excellence" for the Priscilla B. Mason Award, the Grafton Cultural Council unanimously voted and nominated the Grafton Fine Arts and Music Festival Organizing Committee for their dedicated effort to present a three day event featuring hundreds of artists and musicians from Grafton and the Blackstone Valley," said Grafton Cultural Council Chairman Fay Morrisson. "This annual event brings thousands of people to view the art and listen to the music and we were delighted to make this nomination and pleased that they were chosen to receive this honor."

The award was presented at a reception held Nov. 15 at the G.B. and Lexi Singh Performance Center at the Whitin Mill. The event was hosted by Alternatives Unlimited, Inc., the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a local community arts and culture coalition called ValleyCAST, which stands for Culture, Arts, Science Together. 

Harry Whitin, a cousin of Priscilla Mason and descendent of the Whitin family, which built the Whitin Machine Works empire in Northbridge, presented the committee which organizes the Grafton Festival with the award, an original drawing and letter-art plaque by Whitinsville artist Maria Thomas. 

The mission of the Annual Grafton Fine Arts and Music Festival is to encourage, celebrate and promote artists and musicians from Central Massachusetts, Southern Worcester County, The Blackstone Valley and beyond.

The Grafton Fine Arts and Music Festival was founded in 2006 by Stephen and Tasha Halpert with a grant from Grafton Cultural Council and generous support of the Grafton Suburban Credit Union. Since then Grafton Festival has grown to include music performances, free workshops, and art demonstrations. Three winners in each of the eight art categories are selected by a panel of independent judges. In addition, twelve outstanding art pieces are selected from both the children and youth display. In recent years Grafton Land Trust joined the efforts of the Grafton Festival by sponsoring four additional prizes: Best Nature Artwork, Best Nature Photo, Best Child’s Nature Artwork (age 5-11), Best Youth Nature Artwork (age 12-18).

Preparation for March 2013 festival is under way. If you are interested in joining the org. committee, please email

More information is available on festival’s website:

Follow the festival’s Facebook updates at

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