Vidal honored for Cultural Council leadership


First Westport and then the state saluted Westport's Carol Vidal over the past week for her work on behalf of the Westport Cultural Council.

On Saturday, the council and friends gathered in the Westport Public Library's Manton Room for a reception in her honor.

Next, on Monday, the Westport Board of Selectmen presented a citation to Ms. Vidal at Monday evening's meeting.

And Tuesday, it was off to the State House where the Massachusetts Cultural Council was scheduled to present her with its MCC Leadership Circle Award, an honor that is only presented every two years. Ms. Vidal was one of only two people in Massachusetts to receive the honor this year from among the state's 327 Cultural Councils.

The award honors Cultural Council volunteers for their work on behalf of local art, science and culture. The nomination was prepared by Westport Cultural Council member Irene Buck and came as a surprise to the winner.

Ellis Grant applications 

As part of its work the Westport Cultural Council administers the Helen Ellis Grant awards program which is accepting applications through Monday, March 17.

Council Chairwoman Suzanne Thomlinson said that these grants support a variety of artistic and historical and cultural projects for the Westport community including environmental programs,  field trips, lectures and exhibitions, concerts, films and school music and theatrical performances.

“Westport has a tradition of  prominent residents like the poet Elizabeth Bishop or the artist Helen Ellis.  We also have many whose contributions deserve support.  Through Helen Ellis’s generosity, the Westport Cultural Council can provide substantial funding for town-wide benefit.”

Last year’s grants supported “A Celtic Christmas Concert” by the Greater Tiverton Community Chorus, puppeteer Debra Costine’s “Woodland Cinderella” at The Westport Free Public Library, Westport Historical Society programs on the Handy House, Southcoast Artists Open Studios, Concerts at the Point, the Town Farm Family Concert of the Westport Land Conservation Trust and a summer film series at the Shattuck Gallery. A complete list appears on the website.

Grant guidelines and applications are available at

Applications may be mailed or delivered in person to Westport Town Hall or the Westport Free Public Library .  For further information contact Suzanne Thomlinson,



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