The Westport Cultural Council works to foster quality cultural programs and activities that bring the community together to create, share, and inspire. With funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust, the Council awards grants to support programs in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences.
What are the key issues that your group would like to see addressed in the town's master plan:
• Celebrate and preserve Westport's diverse cultural history.
• Increase exposure to the arts and humanities by the Westport community.
• Support creative school programs that reach beyond the traditional scope.
• Engage all Westport residents in cultural activities.
• Promote good design in public places.
What would help the Westport Cultural Council accomplish its goals and objectives?
• Collaboration with other town committees to share ideas and resources.
• Increase in Council membership from seven members to nine members.
• Access to town resources such as mailing lists and media for promoting Council activities and events.
• Technical assistance with social media and Council Web site to expand presence and reach of Council.
• Ideas for increasing awareness of the Council's activities and for obtaining feedback from the community.
In addition to the issues and goals specified, we discussed an overall concern. The 2004 master plan includes a chapter devoted to cultural and historic resources. The resources cited refer exclusively to the town's history; for example, cemeteries, stone walls, ancient ways, and historic buildings. Westport's history is a valuable asset and contributes richly to the quality of life here. The Westport Cultural Council accepts as its mission the promotion of a broad spectrum of cultural activities, featuring the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. We believe that the master plan should reflect the vibrant personality of our town by recognizing a wider definition of culture.
News & Events
The Westport Cultural Council will host its fourth Annual Film Series on three consecutive Wednesdays this summer - August 12, 19, and 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm. The film series, made possible through a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust, will be held at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery, 1 Partners Lane, Westport. This year, the Council will present three films highlighting three architectural visionaries. Each film will be introduced by a noted guest speaker, with a question and answer period to follow each showing.
Wednesday August 12, 2015. The first film, “My Architect” is about the life of Louis Kahn, an American architect based in Philadelphia and known as a philosopher among architects. His son Nathaniel embarks on a personal journey to understand his father, who was possibly one of the most important architects of the second half of the twentieth century. His journey becomes a celebration to his father’s brilliant architecture and an exploration into Nathaniel’s own identity.
Our guest speaker will be William Underwood who has had his own architectural practice in the Fall River area since l980, primarily in residential design. Formerly of the offices of TJ Moore Jr. Arch., Thomas Marvell Arch. in Fall Fiver and a graduate of the Harvard and MIT Architectural Programs, "Woody" will give a brief introduction to Louis Kahn, his style of architecture, and influence among modern/post modern architects. After the film, there will be time for discussion, and some insights into Louis Kahn's personal life, and the making of the film.
Wednesday August 19, 2015. “GaudÍ ” is about the life and works of Antoni GaudÍ who lived from 1852-1926 and is known for his incredible imaginative and architectural creations in Barcelona. Not only is he recognized as one of the most prodigious experts in his discipline, but he was also one of the top exponents of modernism. His creations were before their time. The film is narrated in the words of GaudÍ himself and in a style that is reminiscent of old recordings, giving the impression that he is narrating. GaudÍ said of his teachers that they thought him either a genius or crazy. He considered every component of his creations and integrated this meticulous adherence to detail in his ceramics, mosaics, stained glass, wrought ironwork, forging and carpentry. Seven of his works in and around Barcelona are on the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO's) World Heritage list.
Our Guest Speaker is Mark L. Schmid, AIA. Mark is the cofounder of DSK Architects and Planning in Concord and Dartmouth. A graduate of Columbia and Harvard, Mark has won many awards of which include the design of the Harborwalk at Lewis Wharf in Boston and the renovation of the 18th century President’s House at Harvard University. Mark also serves on several local government committees in the Boston area.
Wednesday August 26, 2015. "I Build the Tower" is the life and work of Sam Rodia, an Italian immigrant who built the world-famous 100-foot, mosaic-covered Watts Towers on a residential lot in South Central Los Angeles. The towers have survived demolition to become a symbol of the community in which they stand and are now recognized throughout the world as a unique embodiment of the structural principles found in nature. Some might say that there are Gaudiesque similarities in the towers, cathedrals, fountains and ships that Rodia constructed from pipes, broken bottles, and seashells and cracked ceramic. Climbing 100 feet into the air, the towers never cease to amaze all who view them. Rodia began constructing the Watts Towers in 1921 but did not complete them until 1954. Designated as a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior in 1990, the Watts Towers are now a component site of the California State Parks, managed by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.
Our guest speaker is Julia Bernert RA LEED AP who practices architecture in Westport with Clearwater Architects. She also teaches and coordinates the First Year Design Studios and Summer Academy in Architecture at Roger Williams University School of Architecture Art and Historic Preservation where she has been a faculty member since 1992.
Westport Cultural Council attended a Community Conversation on Creative Economy Issues sponsored by Senate President, Senator Stan Rosenberg and Senator Michael Roderiques on July 22, 2015.
A snapshot of River Day in June 2015 with the WCC Display
Coming up next month!
August 12, 19 & 26 at 7pm at the DeDee Shattuck Gallery in Westport.
The 4th Annual Film Series is almost here!