Historical Commission Meeting Minutes 11/03/2020

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Historical Commission minutes for November 3, 2020

Present: Diane Provenz, Sonia Morrison, Celeste Watman, Gail Gelburd, Tom Ragusa, Judi Mabee,

Guests: Geoff Pigman, Ellen Beck

Called to order at 10am

Knox Trail: Tom got the GIS Points to put on the map. There were an additional 45 new entries that the hiking group had given him. We need to check locations on the tax map to search for abutters.

Knox Trail video: Diane reported that Ellen Jessica and Josh joined in a call yesterday. The next 2 weeks will be spent looking at other historical videos to see how they were presented. They will meet on November 16th to devise a plan. Josh has agreed to do the work for $5K and is excited to work on the project. Per Diane we will have access to the use of the costume department at Barrington Stage because of Jessica’s contacts. Diane believes the filming an editing should be 6 months or less. It was mentioned that we will need to film during the winter to depict the area during the original historical march with General Knox. Diane questioned if the grant application for the Otis Cultural Council should be $1K or 2K for the video and film editing. Sonia remarked that she hopes Jessica and Josh will meet with us soon to see what their plan is. She hopes that after they meet they will post a script on line. Gail thought we should break the request up into “Research, Writing” and “ Filming” on the application. Vote to request up to $2K from the Cultural Council was approved.

Grant Applications: Sonia discussed the Farmington River Grant through the Taconic Foundation- it is earmarked for Educational projects. She checked with the school to see if they are planning to apply. Vote to give authority for our council to apply was approved. Diane asked Gail about the Feigenbaum Grant. Gail advised it is not complicated but must be carefully done. Dec 31st is the deadline. This is the grant covering construction for St. Paul’s. We need to bring this before the select board at their next meeting. Gail told us Larry is happy we are applying for these grants. Diane spoke about grants that stress education and culture for the community and asked Ellen to see if she could get a hold of a copy of the grant application that the Colonial Theater had used for their work – this might be of help in our application. It should show the value this grant for St. Paul’s would bring to our community. Gail also mentioned that it should also cover the first year it is open for cultural events. We should start virtual events until the building is done to create excitement. We believe there would be in excess of 7500 people served, including surrounding towns. Geoff will try to ascertain the summer population. Tom is planning to do another historical talk. Lynne will get in touch with the owners of the “White Church” in Blandford to get some ideas. Gail asked if we can meet to discuss other ideas for events we can use on grant applications. Hoping for July 2022 opening. Discussed Peabody Whitney Grant but Gail said we do not fit the requirements for this one. Sonia brought up the MA Historical grant and a planning grant for the E Otis Historical District. Perhaps a Preservation Project Fund grant for Harmony Hall. Diane has a list of grants we might see if we are eligible for any of them. Geoff will join Celeste, Lynne and Gail with researching specific grants to determine eligibility. There is also funding possibilities with MA Cultural Council and UMASS.

Budget Planning: Per Sonia we have our budget for the year and will disburse $2K to Bonnie for work East Otis Historical district, $5K for video $1,500 for lift to use at St. Paul’s and $500 to Celeste for repayment.

East Otis Historical District: Judi and Geoff will discuss historical sights in East Otis center and around the reservoir with Bonnie. She will do an initial drive to locate buildings and then take photographs of the ones that apply.

New Business: Naming rights at St. Paul’s – discussion tabled till next meeting. Celeste asked about Community Preservation Act since one grant she found had stipulated that the town have CPA designation. Diane advised that this had been voted down twice at annual meetings. Discussed putting it on town warrant again this year. Discussed an informational campaign from OPT to reach out to new residents to update them on our work

Revised October 6, 2020 minutes accepted

Next meeting December 1, 2020

Meeting adjourned 12:35pm