Edible Watertown Program Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

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The artwork from Edible Plants 2022, Clockwise from top left: Daylily by Patti Murphy, Bee Balm by Niloufar Keyhani, Elderberry by Marija Draskic Brancazio, Wintergreen by Kate Martens, Mayapple by Carol Leonesio, Mountain Mint by Cat Bennett, Huckleberry by Donna Calleja, Red Bud by Debajyoti Biswas, Bearberry by Connie Henry, and Garlic Chives by Jaclyn Kain.

The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

The Public Arts & Culture Committee is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $20,000. This grant will support the Edible Watertown: Expert Pairings project. In total, the NEA will award 1,135 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $37 million as part of its second round of fiscal year 2024 grants.

“Projects like Edible Watertown exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection, and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities—all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “So many aspects of our communities such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, and the economy are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

From Roberta Miller, Chair of the Public Arts & Culture Committee, “The PACC Edible Watertown Team is thrilled to announce that the Edible Plants project has been offered a National Endowment for the Arts grant which allows us to initiate the next phase of the project. We will commission collaborations between artists and scientists to create significant public programming and public art installations with educational and aesthetic impact.”

In the third year of Edible Watertown, a long-term interdisciplinary project that promotes awareness of our local environment through community engagement and the artistic and scientific exploration of plants in Watertown, we are thrilled to introduce Edible Watertown: Expert Pairings. Expert Pairings invites artists and scientists to explore the plants of Watertown and collaborate on temporary public artwork. Artists and scientists can submit qualifications individually or as a pair. Individuals will be paired up so that each Expert Pairing features one artist and one scientist as lead collaborators.

Together, this interdisciplinary team will create an educational, temporary, outdoor installation in Watertown, MA focused on edible plants, local ecology, or other topics of environmental resiliency that may be found in the Resilient Watertown Climate and Energy Plan (resilient.watertown-ma.gov/action-plan). The Call for Artists and Scientists for Expert Pairings will be available starting June 17, 2024, through the city website at watertown-ma.gov/688/Public-Arts-Culture.

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit

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