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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2011

Contact: Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-488-9077 (cell) or Greg Liakos, Massachusetts Cultural Council, 617-858-2700 x22720

GOVERNOR INVESTS $7 MILLION IN MA CULTURAL FACILITIES FUND THROUGH CAPITAL PLAN

(Boston) - Governor Deval Patrick has allocated $7 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) in his state capital investment plan. These funds will allow the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and MassDevelopment to support new building projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences that create jobs, educate adults and children, and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the state.

"The Cultural Facilities Fund has demonstrated real impact in spurring economic activity and attracting new visitors and income to Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "Investing in our cultural institutions is a small but important piece of a larger, long-term plan that will make our communities stronger by improving our infrastructure."

Organizations and municipalities interested in this funding can go to www.massculturalfacilities.org for updated guidelines, application deadlines, and details on public information sessions that MCC and MassDevelopment will host in communities across the state.

In 2008 the Legislature authorized the Governor to invest up to $50 million for CFF over five years. With today's announcement the Governor has now authorized $14 million of that $50 million total. Earlier appropriations to CFF in 2008 and 2009 came from the Legislature through the state budget.

"We thank the Governor and the Legislature for their continuing commitment to the Cultural Facilities Fund," said Anita Walker, MCC's Executive Director. "This is vital support for our nonprofit arts, history, and science organizations that will help them better serve their communities and draw more visitors to Massachusetts."

The CFF has boosted economic activity and helped tourism, Massachusetts' third largest industry, since it was first funded in 2007.

Organizations that received CFF grants are spending more than $800 million on their building projects, and providing more than 11,000 building jobs: architects, engineers, contractors and construction workers. They also plan to add more than 1,150 new permanent jobs after their capital projects are complete.

CFF grants have also helped restore many of our nation's most historic landmarks and treasures. In 2008 and 2009, more than 14 million people visited organizations receiving these grants; nearly one third came from out-of-state.

"The creative economy attracts visitors from throughout the United States and beyond to Massachusetts," said MassDevelopment President/CEO and CFF Advisory Committee Chair Robert L. Culver. "Museums, theaters, and other landmarks offer not only enrichment, opportunities, and entertainment. These venues create jobs and stimulate local business as well."

Organizations and communities interested in this round of CFF funding must submit an intent to apply by April 8, 2011. The final application deadline is June 3, 2011. Full guidelines are available online.

About MCC:
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. The MCC pursues this mission through of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. Learn more at www.massculturalcouncil.org.

About MassDevelopment:
MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, nonprofits, and local, state, and federal officials and agencies to create jobs, increase the number of housing units, eliminate blight, and address the overarching challenges that limit economic growth, such as transportation, energy, and other infrastructure deficiencies. Learn more at www.massdevelopment.com.

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