The Blackstone Valley Tribune
June 2016

ValleyCAST (Blackstone Valley Culture, Arts, Science Together) recently celebrated the accomplishments of this year’s Priscilla B. Mason Arts & Culture Award recipients at a ceremony at Alternatives’ Whitin Mill. Lorna Pezanelli, an art teacher at Millbury’s Shaw Elementary School, was recognized for “inspiring artistic exploration.” Since it began 10 years ago, Lorna has been committed to the coordination of Art in the Valley, an annual student art show that brings together schools and students from across the region. The Village Bell Ringers, a hand bell ensemble from the Village Congregational Church in Whitinsville, was honored for “preserving an historic art form” which they are dedicated to sharing with the community. The Worcester Shakespeare Company, whose mission it is to make Shakespeare accessible and available, was awarded for “theatrical excellence.” This summer, the Worcester Shakespeare Company celebrates their 10th Anniversary Season with performances of King Lear and As You Like It at Alternatives’ Whitin Mill.

Meghan Kish, Superintendent of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, was the guest speaker. In describing plans for the Blackstone Valley areas that have become one of the nation’s newest national parks, Kish highlighted the importance of community partnerships in preserving our heritage for future generations. She commended the Mason Award winners for their dedication to the community and their enthusiasm for collaboration.

“Like Ms. Kish, we too value the collaborative spirit we see in the Blackstone Valley,” said ValleyCAST Director Cristi Collari. “Together we can promote a creative and inclusive community that values all its members and its resources.”

The Priscilla Mason Arts and Culture Award is given annually to the person or organization who has made significant contributions to the arts, culture or sciences in the Blackstone Valley. To cast a nomination for the 2017 Mason Awards contact, Cristi Collari at (508) 234-6232 or [email protected]