The Heartbeat of Haverhill

Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA

Haverhill Cultural Council Enriching Haverhill One Grant at a Time

What does Haverhill Cultural Council do for the City of Haverhill? Probably far more than most people know. Our support is felt in schools, in camps, in performances and through festivals. In fact every single month of the year, Haverhill is touched by HCC support. The funded programs range from big events that will draw thousands of attendees including visitors from outside Haverhill to the small targeted programs that help enhance image and community in a specific neighborhood. We are supporting well established programs looking to expand their offerings and brand new events that hope to become mainstays of the community.

IMG_7745 Haverhill River Ruckus 2016 essex heritage

Archival photo: 2016 Team Haverhill River Ruckus. Team Haverhill River Ruckus is a 2017 grant recipient for it September 23 event

The HCC 2016/2017 season had the highest number of funded programs in several years and twice as many applicants as the preceding year. HCC’s newly printed 2016/2017 Program Calendar showcases all the events and programs we support.

What  types of programs were funded?:

  •   21 of 40 applicants received some level of funding.
  •   12 of the 21 were awarded funding for new programs
  •     7 of the 21 are supporting large community festivals/series (Savor Haverhill, O+, Boston Youth Music & Arts Festival,    Movies By The River, Christmas Stroll, River Ruckus, 10th Anniversary Bradford Common Music Series)

Contact the Cultural Council for a copy of the calendar to post in your business or home.

“The Haverhill Cultural Council is leaving its mark on the community by the provision of grants to those reinforcing the community through the Arts, Humanities and Sciences.  We truly are ‘Enriching Haverhill – One Grant at a Time.'” Letriah Masters, HCC Chair

The Haverhill Cultural Council 2016/2017 Grant Recipient Reception was the celebration of this year’s funded programs. It was a chance to mix and mingle and make connections with people who are united in the belief that culture is an intrinsic part of a strong community.  But it was also a chance to recognize our hard working team made up entirely of volunteers appointed by the Mayor. Mayor Jim Fiorentini envisions Haverhill as the Cultural Hub of the Merrimack Valley and HCC is one of the tools he uses to achieve that goal.

IMG_9124 Haverhill HCC Grantee reception 2017.JPG

Front Row L-R Sasha Spielman Secretary, Ruby Lyons HCC Treasurer, Letriah Masters HCC Chair, Alison Colby-Campbell, Linda Koutoulas (liaison to the Mayor’s Office) Back Row L-R: Robin Valentino, Christopher Smith, Emily Boulger. Photo by Jenny Arndt

The grant reception give us a chance to meet with grant recipients and learn more about the progress and successes and challenges they experience.  It was a time to share the cultural excitement being brought to Haverhill. These encounters leave us inspired, and our energies are recharged by your passion.

14 of 21 Grant Recipients were represented. Do you recognize any of your neighbors? Applying for and winning a grant is something newcomers and experienced program creators can do.  Click on the photos to learn what these recipients are bring to the city.

Last night might have been one of the worst nights for an event. Rainy, foggy, many other important city events and forums taking place and yet we were supported by several VIPs including guest speaker Mayor James Fiorentini, City Council Vice President Melinda Barrett and City Councilors Tom Sullivan and Joe Bevilacqua. We at HCC know you had back-to-back meetings last night so we were especially impressed by your dedication to making Haverhill’s arts and culture a part of your priorities.

HCC is a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. And we were honored that Lisa Simmons of MCC braved the fog, rain, and awful traffic to be part of our celebration. MCC connects with local cultural councils to ensure our culture is a priority in Massachusetts.

IMG_8996 Haverhill HCC Grantee reception 2017

Lisa Simmons Mass Cultural Council

The room became eerily quiet as the audience listened with rapt attention to the vast musical talents of American Idol finalist Liz Bills who performed with HCC’s multi-talented Letriah Masters. This mini concert is a preview of their upcoming performance at the HCC-funded  O+ Festival of music, art, & well being that is to be held in downtown Haverhill on May 5 and 6.

IMG_9088 Haverhill HCC Grantee reception 2017

Liz Bills brings Letriah Masters on stage for a series of duets.

An enormous gratitude is owed to those who went above and beyond to support HCC fro the reception.Our event angels include – Paige DeRosa Walsh at The Graphic Paige for countless hours working on design and printing of the HCC Program Calendar, and Branden Sheehy and Sasha Spielman from  Into The Wild Screen Printing for producing and hanging! our vibrant signage as created by Kim Corton of Corton Design from the luscious tree artwork hand painted by HCC’s own Emily Boulger of Shoe Town Art Center. Jeff Masters, our jazz dj, and stage crew set the mood for the event.

One more thank you to grant recipient (for the summer series Movies by the River), Jenny Arndt of Creative Haverhill for wielding my unruly camera while balancing on a chair so I (Alison) could get in the HCC team photo.

If you are interested in shaping the cultural future of Haverhill by becoming a council member, reach out to Mayor Fiorentini at City Hall. If you would like to apply for a grant – our next application period will open from September 1 through October 16. Online application, HCC Priorities, and Regulations can be found at HCC Applications.

(c) text and photos by Alison Colby-Campbell

2 comments on “Haverhill Cultural Council Enriching Haverhill One Grant at a Time

  1. Ernie Greenslade
    April 28, 2017

    Very proud of the leadership shown by Letriah Masters, an NECC grad!

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      April 28, 2017

      Letriah is a multi-talented woman at the helm of a very devoted and talented group.

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Alison Colby-Campbell



Full-brain user demonstrating a healthy(?) obsession with marketing, promotion, writing/storytelling, photography, house rabbits, the natural world, big and small problem solving, reading, hiking, HGTV and the flotsam & jetsam of everyday life. My three blogs Brain4Rent, The Heartbeat of Haverhill, Alison Colby-Campbell Photography are Wordpress based.

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