Two Island businesses have this week been awarded $2,500 grants by the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network.
Holly Bellebuono, director of Vineyard Herbs, Teas & Apothecary, and the Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Culture Collaborative chaired by Featherstone executive director Ann Smith, received the second annual awards by the women’s business group. The official presentation of the grants will be made Tuesday, May 17, at the network’s final meeting of the 2010-2011 year featuring best-selling author Liz Murray.
The two were chosen from 31 applications from Island businesses. One of the grants was provided by Vineyard Stories, the Island’s book publishing company.
Ms. Bellebuono’s company has been in business since 2005. She is an herbalist who teaches, offers workshops, and instructs on the use of more than 100 plants and herbal products that bear her company’s name. She offers both summer and winter workshops and sells her products here and on Cape Cod. In addition, she is the author of the book An Everyday Herbal being published by Shambhala Publishers of Boston.
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 and now has more than 100 members. Its goal is to develop plans to make the Island attractive as a year-round, arts-rich community and to stimulate related economic development.
Last year’s recipients were Sherry Sidoti of Fly Yoga and Lynn Ditchfield of Adult Continuing Education of Martha’s Vineyard.
The money will be awarded at the 6 p.m. program on May 17 at the Whaling Church featuring Murray, the author of the book Breaking Light: From Homeless to Harvard. She will tell her story of living homeless in New York city after both her parents developed HIV/AIDS from their drug use. After initially dropping out of high school and living on the streets, she returned to school, received a full scholarship to Harvard, and graduated in 2009. Her life’s story has been made into a Lifetime movie.