Vision for Creative Communities
Arts and culture breathe new life into cities, towns, and neighborhoods. These initiatives can take many forms—from restoring landmark cultural buildings, rehabilitating abandoned industrial space for artists and creative entrepreneurs, reviving downtowns and neighborhoods, or bringing communities together around cultural events. Culture also has an important role to play in defining and preserving identity—of the individual, of communities, and of this nation.
For four decades the Massachusetts Cultural Council has supported creative development in communities across the Commonwealth—urban, suburban, and rural. The MCC understands that each community in Massachusetts is unique, and that what works in one setting may not work in another. We believe that local problems require local solutions. But modest state investments in local cultural initiatives can achieve tangible social, cultural, and economic benefits.
Grant Programs include:
Cultural Councils, representing the largest grassroots network of arts support in the nation. These organizations fund school field trips to arts museums, plays, and historic sites, afterschool programs, workshops, free performances, and festivals. The councils are comprised of more than 2,300 volunteers who represent a cross-section of their communities; they are artists, business leaders, lawyers, librarians, homemakers, parents, and teachers.
Direct support for nearly 400 outstanding nonprofit
arts, humanities, and science organizations that are
the foundation our state’s rich cultural life. Our Cultural
Investment Portfolio provides critical operating
support that helps them more effectively serve their
Facilities Fund grants also provide vital support
to allow these organizations to repair, restore, and
expand the buildings where the creative work takes place.
Connecting arts and culture to broader community goals such as downtown revitalization or job growth through our nationally renowned Adams
Arts Program. Adams grants leverage the assets of the creative sector—artists, cultural organizations, and arts-related businesses—in Massachusetts' communities to generate real income. Communities as diverse as Boston, Lowell, New Bedford, and Pittsfield have used these funds to more fully realize these assets for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
Additionally, MCC's Artist
Fellowships recognize the unique contribution made
by artists to the cultural vitality of the Commonwealth.
Besides grants, MCC works
to elevate the role of arts and culture in community
life through the following:
Our new Cultural
Districts Initiative builds on this work by giving cities and towns new tools and resources to strengthen local economies by focusing on culturally rich downtowns and neighborhoods.
MCC leads a collaborative effort to create a stable
environment for Massachusetts artists as they seek workspace
For the past two years we have partnered with MassINC
to advance the fortunes of Massachusetts’
Gateway Cities by building the capacity of local
cultural networks. And we work with other arts funders
like the Boston Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts
to help strengthen nonprofit cultural institutions through
training and online education.
Creative Communities are further supported through MCC’s
various online services such as ArtSake and,