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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2009

Contact: Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086; or
Greg Liakos, Massachusetts Cultural Council, 617-858-2700 x22720


STATE TO INVEST $177,375 IN CULTURAL FACILITIES

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) announced today that nine organizations* across Massachusetts will receive feasibility and technical assistance grants from the Commonwealth’s Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), totaling $177,375. (*Complete list follows below.)

Awards from the fund, a program that MassDevelopment and the MCC administer jointly, will support Massachusetts nonprofit cultural organizations in increasing tourism, creating new jobs, leveraging private funding, and expanding arts and cultural activities in communities across the state.

“The creative economy is vital to Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President/CEO and CFF Advisory Committee Chair Robert L. Culver. “These organizations attract visitors to Massachusetts, and each institution offers unique and stimulating activities for residents. Investing in the maintenance and improvement plans of cultural facilities represents an intelligent investment in the Commonwealth.”

Recipients are located in Chelmsford, Franklin, Lynn, Pittsfield, Provincetown, Somerville, Wellfleet, Worcester, and Yarmouth. Awards include $37,500 for the Wellfleet Preservation Hall and $26,250 for the Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

”The CFF has now invested $37 million in the Massachusetts cultural sector since 2007,” said MCC Director Anita Walker. “The program has justified its original inclusion in an economic stimulus bill by creating thousands of new jobs and strengthening our organizations’ capacity to draw new visitors to Massachusetts.”

The Massachusetts Cultural Council received and evaluated 18 requests for planning funds totaling $450,000 and recommended the $177,375 in nine new grants, bringing the program total to 224 recommended grants totaling over $37 million. MCC recruited experts from across the United States who had served on panels in at least one of the previous rounds. Panel members had experience in real estate development, debt financing, real estate project management, organizational capacity building, nonprofit accounting, grant making, and historic renovation and preservation. They reviewed and ranked the applications using a weighted set of criteria. MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors approved the awards, which the Agency manages and disburses. Award decisions were based on the recipients’ rankings and annual operating budgets.

The Legislature created the Cultural Facilities Fund in July 2006 by appropriating an initial $13 million as part of an omnibus economic stimulus bill. In FY 2009, the Commonwealth added to the Fund with a budget appropriation of $6.5 million and a capital bond appropriation of $7 million.

Grant Awards:

Berkshire Carousel Pittsfield $16,875
Center for Arts at the Armory Somerville $12,950
Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Inc. Yarmouth $7,875
EcoTarium Worcester $18,750
Lynn Memorial AuditoriumLynn $26,250
Massachusetts High School Drama GuildChelmsford $25,300
New England Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.Franklin $18,750
Provincetown International Film FestivalProvincetown $13,125
Wellfleet Preservation HallWellfleet $37,500

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The Massachusetts 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. MCC 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.

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and local officials to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2008, MassDevelopment financed or managed 265 projects statewide representing an investment of more than $3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 4,001 housing units and more than 10,384 jobs: 5,424 permanent and 4,960 construction-related.


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