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Dedham Shines gives $5,000 donation from bunny auction to new arts center

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  March 11, 2013 05:33 PM

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Dedham Shines donated $5,000 of its bunny money, raised through the Dedham Public Art Project’s 15 fiberglass rabbits displayed in town and then auctioned, to the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center.

The organization presented the check to the heads of the center on Saturday, according to Dedham Shines co-president Monika Wilkinson.

“We had always intended to give them a portion of the proceeds from that project,” Wilkinson said Monday. “We knew expenses would be significant during the start-up period.”

Wilkinson said the way in which the money will be used has not been determined.

The Mother Brook Arts and Community Center took over the former Avery Elementary School building at 123 High St. on March 1, and intends to have tenants move in on April 1, according to center co-executive director Jean Ford Webb.

The $5,000 came out of $42,000 raised by the Dedham Public Art Project auction, which took place in November. The remainder of the money was used to pay expenses for the project and will be used to support future projects of Dedham shines and other community organizations, Wilkinson said.

The project brought 15 painted and otherwise decorated bunnies into public view around Dedham. Local artists decorated the bunnies and also made repairs when vandals damaged a couple of them.

The public art project had two goals, one of which was to support the fledgling arts center, Wilkinson said. The other was to awaken an interest in the arts in Dedham, she said.

“For visitors coming here, it helped to put Dedham on the map for arts and culture,” Wilkinson said.

Jennifer Barsamian, the other co-founder of Dedham Shines, will speak at Thursday’s selectmen meeting to introduce the next phase of the Dedham Public Art Project – artistically painting utility boxes in Dedham, Wilkinson said.

“It started with the rabbits and I can’t tell you how many people have asked ‘What are you going to do next,’” Wilkinson said. “There is definitely an interest in projects like the rabbit project. People are asking for more.”

Wilkinson said she looks forward to working more with the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center.

“Our missions are so closely aligned and I think there are many, many opportunities in the future for us to collaborate,” Wilkinson said.

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