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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2008

Contact: Adam Bickelman, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086; or
Gregory Liakos, Mass Cultural Council, 617-858-2700 x22720

STATE INVESTS $2.1 MILLION IN CULTURAL FACILITIES
Cultural Facilities Fund Supports Creative Economy Infrastructure in Massachusetts

Twenty-two organizations across Massachusetts will receive grants ranging from $675,000 to $10,000 from the state’s Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF). The grants, totaling $2,121,996, were announced today by MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which administer the program jointly. Of the amount awarded, $1,982,871 will support 17 capital projects, and $139,125 will be used by five groups for feasibility and planning studies.

CFF grants will support Massachusetts non-profit cultural organizations with building projects that increase tourism, create new jobs, leverage private funding and expand arts and cultural activities in communities across the state. The latest round of CFF grants was made possible by a $7 million appropriation by the Legislature in October 2007 as part of a FY2008 supplemental budget. MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council disbursed roughly $5 million in February 2008, with the balance of the supplemental appropriation along with earned interest income supporting this new round of grants.

“I’m glad we can add to Governor Patrick’s recent good news announcement of a first-in-the-nation creative economy director by announcing this next round of Cultural Facilities Fund grant recipients,” said Robert L. Culver, MassDevelopment president/CEO. “This funding demonstrates the Legislature and Administration’s commitment to our creative economy, and its role in attracting visitors to Massachusetts, generating revenue, creating jobs and enhancing our quality of life.”

Recipients are located in 18 communities statewide from Dennis to Stockbridge; and run the gamut from small neighborhood-based cultural organizations to large museums, theaters and performance groups. Brewster’s Cape Cod Repertory Theatre Co., Inc. will draw on a $150,000 allotment to renovate the historic Crosby Cape House into a multi-use facility featuring rehearsal space, meeting and reception rooms and staff housing. The Boston Conservatory will use a $675,000 grant to construct new studios, performance space and an orchestral rehearsal hall, as well as to undertake extensive renovations to the Conservatory’s existing 350-seat theater. In Stockbridge, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Inc. will use a $160,000 grant to renovate its five-and-a-half acre campus and carry out needed maintenance and repairs to existing buildings.

“This program has already invested in more than 100 exciting cultural building projects across the state,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “In the first 62 projects alone, we’ve helped stimulate $600 million in capital projects, created hundreds of permanent jobs, and provided a major stimulus to tourism. These new grants will build on that effort and expand the program’s impact in new communities.”

See a grant list by region

About CFF:
The Legislature created the Cultural Facilities Fund in July 2006, appropriating an initial $13 million as part of an omnibus economic stimulus bill. In September 2007, MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council announced the first 62 organizations to receive funding through the program. The FY2008 state budget provided an additional $5 million allocation, as well as $7 million in supplemental funding.

MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council co-administer the program. Mass Cultural Council solicited and evaluated CFF applications, received 201 requests for funding totaling $80 million, and recruited 28 experts from across the U.S. with experience in tourism, facilities finance, real estate project management, construction, facilities operations, organizational development, grant making and historic renovation and preservation to review and rank the applications using a weighted set of criteria. All applications were also reviewed by an appointed Cultural Facilities Fund Advisory Committee with statewide representation. The board of Directors of MassDevelopment approved the awards, which MassDevelopment manages and disburses. Award decisions were based on the recipients’ ranking, annual operating budget and location. Maximum awards are capped at $675,000. Grants announced today must be matched one-to-one by the recipient with funds from other sources.

About Mass Cultural Council:
The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life for Massachusetts residents and contribute to the state’s economic vitality. Mass Cultural Council is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, and artists. Mass Cultural Council receives an annual appropriation from the state Legislature and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources.

About MassDevelopment:
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions and local officials to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY 2007, MassDevelopment financed or managed 211 projects statewide representing the investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy.

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