FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2007
Contact: Adam Bickelman, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086; or
Mass Cultural Council, 617-858-2700 x22720
STATE TO INVEST $16.7 MILLION IN CULTURAL
New Program Leverages Support for Creative
Economy Infrastructure in Massachusetts
across Massachusetts will receive grants ranging from $675,000
to $3,938 from the state's new Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF).
The grants, totaling $16.7 million, were announced today by MassDevelopment
and the Massachusetts
Cultural Council, which administer the program jointly.
Of the amount awarded, $16.2 million will support 45 capital projects;
and $478,688 will be used by 17 groups for feasibility and planning
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 projects chosen for funding
total $665 million in capital investment.
"Cultural organizations are central to our identity in the Commonwealth,"
said MassDevelopment President/CEO and CFF Advisory Committee
Chair Robert L. Culver. "They attract visitors to Massachusetts
and stimulate tourism, a major economic engine for Massachusetts.
They need to be maintained and improved to meet contemporary and
future needs. Investing in them supports a vital industry sector:
the creative economy."
Recipients are located in 35 communities statewide from Provincetown
to Boston to North Adams; and run the gamut from small neighborhood-based
cultural groups to large, world-renowned museums, science centers,
and theaters. Provincetown's Fine Arts Work Center will draw on
a $205,000 allotment to reconstruct an historic building to support
emerging artists and writers.
In Boston, the Museum of African American History will use $420,000
to restore the building's exterior, increase handicap access,
and undertake other building repairs. In North Adams, the Massachusetts
Museum of Contemporary Art (MassMOCA) will use a $429,000 grant
to renovate a 27,000-square-foot former mill building and create
a new gallery. And the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, which
has provided free and low-cost art programs and featured diverse
music, theatre, dance and educational opportunities for grades
K-12, will use $22,500 for a facility needs assessment and feasibility
study for expanding into a new building.
"Over the last 300 years, the people of Massachusetts have created
a unique resource in our unrivalled array of arts, science, and
heritage institutions," said Mass Cultural Council Executive Director and CFF Advisory
Committee member Anita Walker. "They are national treasures, and
we have a responsibility to maintain and improve them for the
benefit of future generations. These grants are a down payment
on our future."
MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council, co-administer
the program. Mass Cultural Council, which solicited and evaluated CFF applications,
received 201 requests for funding totaling $80 million. Mass Cultural Council 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 MassDevelopment approved
the awards, which MassDevelopment manages and disburses. Award
decisions were based on the recipients' ranking and annual operating
budget. Maximum awards were capped at $675,000. Grants announced
today must be matched one-to-one by the awardee with funds from
The Legislature created the Cultural Facilities Fund in July,
2006 appropriating an initial $13 million as part of an omnibus
economic stimulus bill. The FY 2008 state budget provided an additional
See a grant list by region
A series of grant celebrations
have been scheduled across the state.
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.
MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority,
works with businesses, financial institutions and local officials
to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. Between
FY 2004 and FY 2006, MassDevelopment financed or managed 589 projects
statewide representing an investment of more than $4 billion in
the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation
of 5,505 housing units and more than 23,000 jobs: 12,381 permanent
and 10,679 construction-related.
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