Monday, August 10, 2020

Franklin Cultural District Newsletter - August 2020

Volume 1|August 10 2020
Franklin's Cultural District Notes
Welcome from The Chair...Nancy Schoen
As we approach the end of Summer 2020, we continue to be challenged by the COVID-19 outbreak. The economic impact of this pandemic has been overwhelming for families, businesses and arts establishments. During this time the arts have continued to provide comfort, support and opportunities for many of us to connect with one another.

In our town many of the Franklin Cultural District Partners have been working hard to create enriching cultural experiences for our community. While our path forward is not clear we know that together we will get through this. As we begin our work together to "Recover, Rebuild and Renew" let's remember to support our local businesses and arts establishments right here in Franklin.
What's Happening in the District ...
Partners Updates
Franklin Cultural District Partners support and advance the arts and culture in myriad ways. The Farmers Market is a wonderful food and local business resource. Concerts on the Common features a month of Friday night events for audience members of all ages. Some of Franklin's restaurants are offering outdoor, safely-distanced dining.
Looking toward the fall, several businesses and institutions have developed new platforms, many virtual, for connecting with Franklin residents. This newsletter contains a few updates. Enjoy!

The Drummers' Studio
The Drummers' Studio is kicking off its "Back to School" programming featuring Online Lessons, Virtual Bands and Ensembles. They're excited to welcome new and returning students. This year's theme is "All Classics - All the Time" including Led Zeppelin, Rush, Miles Davis, Earth, Wind & Fire, James Brown, the Beatles and more.

Join TDS for a fun Fall Season as they continue the last leg of their 10th anniversary celebration. As of August 1, 2020 they will continue online learning, as they slowly transition to staggered and optional in-person lessons per CDC guidelines.

Kris Russell, The Drummers' Studio
The Little Shop
Beginning August 18th The Little Shop returns to its regular business schedule:
10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

Their online store currently has local delivery or pick up, if folks feel more comfortable using contactless shopping.

The Pairing for August is Blueberry Aged Balsamic and Basil Ultra Premium Olive Oil. The combination is delicious with our Specialty Wines and Recipes!!

Tracey & Mike (shop owners)
Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail
FBRTC applied for and received a Franklin Cultural Council 2020 grant to identify 10 - 12 species of trees along the Grove Street to Spring Street section of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT). Sign designs were developed, environmentally sound mounting hardware identified, and final concept design approval has been received from Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The final sign design will include both common and scientific names for the tree species along with a QR Code linked to a USDA guide containing detailed tree information. Pictured above is a sample tree sign. The installation of the signs is expected in September/October to coincide with the FBRTC annual Fall trail clean up.

THE BLACK BOX presents ...
Ayla Brown
August 15 at 8:00 pm
Outdoor Concert
Alya Brown

THE BLACK BOX, the region's premiere concert, theater, and event venue, will present country singer Ayla Brown as part of their outdoor concert series in the theater's parking lot on Saturday, August 15 at 8:00 pm. The concert is sponsored by the Franklin Cultural District Committee and the Franklin Downtown Partnership. THE BLACK BOX Summer Concert Series is sponsored by Dean Bank.

Tables will be socially distanced and masks will be required when patrons enter THE BLACK BOX building to access the box office, restrooms, and bar. Table groupings will be limited to six. Advance ticketing and payment are encouraged.

"The Franklin Downtown Partnership is happy to partner with the Cultural District Committee to sponsor the Ayla Brown concert," said Franklin Downtown Partnership Executive Director Lisa Piana. "We hope the community will come out and enjoy this summer concert in downtown Franklin." 

Tickets will be available at or by calling 508-528-3370. THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 W. Central St. in downtown Franklin. 

This Week at FSPA
August 3, 2020 ~ Fall Planning

We are doing our best creative thinking at 38 Main Street as we make our plans for Fall 2020. It is clear that we need to be flexible, ready to pivot, and prepared for adjustments to the schedule as we navigate the rest of this unprecedented year. At this time, we are preparing for a hybrid scenario at FSPA, with a fully virtual option available for those who choose not to attend classes in person. In the fall we will teach all classes on our regular schedule and virtual classes will be livestreamed at the designated class time (not recorded). We will accommodate all students who register, and depending upon class sizes and studio availability, we can expect larger classes to alternate in person or virtual at home, week by week. There may be some group classes that do not require the hybrid scenario and will meet in person every week. Private lesson students are cautioned to schedule so that your lesson time works both when you are at the school and if it is an at-home week for your group classes.
As we are doing this summer, larger spaces will be utilized for private voice lessons in order to accomplish required distancing. Some lessons and group classes may be held at THE BLACK BOX, either in the main space or upstairs in the "green room." At 38 Main, the dressing rooms will remain closed when we return in the fall. The upstairs dressing room will be used as a private lesson teaching space. Students 6th grade and older will be allowed to wait at FSPA up to 90 minutes between classes and will be required to social distance in the hallways (or recital hall when not in use). Children in grade 5 and younger, must be accompanied into the building by an adult for drop off and must be picked up in the building. 
Although I am awaiting additional information from Governor Baker, I envision continuing the safety protocols now in place at 38 Main Street including limited numbers of people in the building - parents and siblings are asked not to wait in the school. Social distancing will be enforced, face coverings will be worn at all times – including masks in all dance classes and face shields for voice and acting. Frequent hand washing/hand sanitizing will be encouraged. We will continue our enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocol throughout the school, throughout the day.
You will hear more from us as our plans develop further. We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and support!

Raye Lynn, Director
Franklin Public Library
Snack Packs

How it works:
Come to the library between 10:00 AM-4:30 PM MONDAY-THURSDAY and scope out our "menu" of "snack pack" book bags available for the day!

Each bag will contain up to 5 books, and is broken down by age range, including: board books, picture books, beginning readers, chapter books, and YA!

Call the children's room (508-520-4941 ext 2) and have your library card handy!
We will check out the bag of your choice and bring it to you! The bags will be different each day, you never know what you're going to find!

Special Events for Families!

Wednesday August 12,
Activated Story Theatre Virtual Performance on Facebook!
The Activated Actors pull out all of the stops to engage, delight and educate young audiences. Hula, ukulele, acrobatic tricks, spinning poi balls, silly costumes, comedy and American Sign Language bring these stories to life before a giant over-sized book!

Saturday, August 15,
Princess Picnic Virtual Visit on Facebook!
Join us as we virtually welcome a royal princess for a celebration full of singing and dancing!

Saturday, August 22, 10:30AM-11:30AM
Hodge Podge Hide and Seek in Downtown Franklin!
Where in downtown Franklin is Mr. Vinny and his Giant Puppet? Join the fun for our last Social Distancing Seek and Find of the summer! Follow the clues posted in the Facebook event and try to spot Mr. Vinny from your vehicle! **This event is brought to you by a generous grant from The Franklin Cultural District Committee and Mass Cultural Council!**
Caleigh Keating, Youth Services Librarian
Franklin Historical Museum
Franklin Historical Museum
The Franklin Historical Museum has been using this unprecedented time to plan for the future. We have been designing new exhibits and gleaning more and more ways to keep our patrons engaged while our doors remain closed to the public.

Our social media accounts have been dedicated to sharing vibrant stories from Franklin's past as well as promoting virtual learning opportunities.

We have also been hard at work on our COVID-19 Archive Project so that we can preserve the historic event which we are currently living through. If you would like to participate, follow this link ( or visit our Instagram page (@franklinhistoricalmuseum). Future researchers will appreciate the time you took to answer our questions as they study what happened and how humanity bonded together to survive the unthinkable.

We thank you for your stories!

Mary Olsson, Chair, Franklin Historical Commission
Rebecca Finnigan, Archivist
Thank you!
We hope you enjoyed the second issue of the Cultural District newsletter. If you have any questions for us or want more information, please visit our website: and like us on Facebook: The next Franklin Cultural District Partners meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 14, 2020. It will take place via video conference. Watch our website for more information.

Culture and the arts benefit the entire community. Thank you!
Nancy Schoen, Chair; John LoPresti, Vice Chair; Pandora Carlucci, Clerk; Jamie Barrett, Evan Chelman and Roberta Trahan.
Town of Franklin Franklin Culture District | 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038

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