Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network (MVWN), a women’s business group, will award $2,500 grants each to Holly Bellebuono, director of Vineyard Herbs Teas & Apothecary, and the Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Culture Collaborative, Ann Smith, chairman. Ms. Smith is the executive director of Featherstone, a members’ collaborative.
MVWN awards the money annually to companies or organizations it believes will enhance the Vineyard. Ms. Bellebuono is a herbalist who teaches, offers workshops, and instructs on the use of more than 100 plants and herbal products that bear her company’s name.
The Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Culture Collaborative was established at the end of 2010 to support and promote arts and culture on the Island. Its goal is to develop plans to make the Island attractive as a year-round, arts-rich community and to stimulate related economic development.
“We had 31 great applications, almost double what we had last year,” Margo Urbany-Joyce, Women’s Network president said. “We feel like the numbers reflect both the vital business community on the Vineyard as well as MVWN’s place on it in providing continuing business education.”
Initially there was only one grant. Jan Pogue, owner of Vineyard Stories and vice president of MVWN, offered to match the single MVWN grant after she saw the quality of the applicants. “A vital business community is important to both me and my company. It’s not often I get a chance to give back to the Island and help support businesses in which I really believe,” she said.
The official presentation will be made Tuesday, May 17, at MVWN’s annual meeting in the Old Whaling Church. Liz Murray, author of the book “Breaking Light: From Homeless to Harvard” will be the featured speaker. For more information go to www.mvwomensnetwork.org.