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August 19, 2014

Contact: Gregory Liakos, Communications Director, 617-858-2720

Mass Cultural Council Approves $10.3M for Public Programs in the Arts, Sciences, & Humanities
Agency Also Designates New Boston Literary Cultural District

(Boston, MA)—The Mass Cultural Council today approved a spending plan for the coming year that will invest more than $10 million in nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations, local cultural councils, education & youth programs, and working artists across the Commonwealth.

Mass Cultural Council's FY15 spending plan benefitted from a $1 million increase to its state appropriation, approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in July. This increase is an important step in restoring cultural funding lost through years of budget cuts. The Mass Cultural Council Board voted unanimously to approve the plan along with the designation of the new Boston Literary Cultural District at its meeting at The Boston Conservatory this afternoon.

I'm thrilled to announce this latest round of investments in the Massachusetts nonprofit cultural sector,” said Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker. “The Mass Cultural Council is committed to restoring funding for the arts, sciences, and humanities in Massachusetts, and thanks to the support of the Legislature we will increase grant awards in most of our programs. I';m also pleased to announce the designation of Boston’s second Cultural District. We recently celebrated the designation of the first 25 districts and I’m delighted to add the Literary Cultural District to this extraordinary group of communities.”

Below is a summary of Mass Cultural Council’s FY15 spending plan. (Detailed funding lists including individual grant amounts will be available online within two weeks.)

Nonprofit Cultural Organizations: $4.2 million - The Cultural Investment Portfolio comprises 389 nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations across Massachusetts. These organizations connect children and adults to theatre, music, visual arts, and film; teach them about history, literature, and the natural environment; and introduce them to new languages and cultures. Cultural Investment Portfolio grants must be matched one to one, and range from $2,500 to $55,500.

Communities: $2.76 million - Mass Cultural Council’s 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) make up the most extensive public cultural funding network in the nation. They provide funding to every Massachusetts city and town through the work of more than 2,300 volunteers. The councils support local arts and history, fund school field trips, and sponsor local concerts and exhibitions. Grants to local councils range from $4,300 for the smallest towns to $103,170 for Springfield and $163,080 for Boston, according to a formula that reflects the state's local aid system.

Creative Youth Development: $1.5 million - Mass Cultural Council is committed to supporting and advocating for the arts as a vehicle for social change.  Creative youth development celebrates the capacity of art making to be a vehicle for change in the lives of young people and their communities.

The YouthReach Initiative makes grants to cultural and community-based organizations to support in-depth arts, humanities, and science programs for young people at risk.

A new Community Music Program will support a growing number of intensive, ensemble-based music programs that use music as a vehicle for youth development and social change. Through grants, technical assistance, and project support the Mass Cultural Council will foster this emerging field of music making in the Commonwealth.

STARS Residencies support creative learning residencies in schools of three days or more in the arts, sciences, and humanities.

Big Yellow School Bus provides grants to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to cultural institutions in Massachusetts.

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition in which high school students memorize and perform poetry real poems and explore the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken work, and theatre in their English and Drama classes. Over ten years the Huntington Theatre Co. has expanded this program to include more than 50,000 Massachusetts students.

Creative Economy: $814,250 - Mass Cultural Council’s Adams Arts Program  supports partnerships that use arts and culture to drive economic and community development. ArtistLink provides grants to cities and towns develop spaces for artists to live and work. And the Cultural Data Project measures the economic impact of the nonprofit cultural sector.

UP Accessibility Program: $125,000
UP will support the growth and development of organizations that recognize the power of inclusive design to grow audiences and enhance cultural experiences for all, and that embrace inclusivity as core to their mission. A formal announcement including full details about this new Mass Cultural Council initiative will be released in September.

Artists: $366,000 - Mass Cultural Council will recognize the unique contribution made by artists to the cultural vitality of the Commonwealth through Artist Fellowships.

Humanities: $452,931 - The Mass Cultural Council provides an annual partnership grant to Mass Humanities, which supports public programs in history, literature, and other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in the Commonwealth.

New England Foundation for the Arts: $50,000
The Mass Cultural Council continues its partnership with the New England Foundation for the Arts collaborating on mutually supportive activities that serve the citizens of Massachusetts and give Massachusetts artists, presenters, and communities opportunities to benefit from programs that serve the six New England states and beyond.

This fall Mass Cultural Council will re-launch Creative Minds/Creative Communities - a series of receptions across the Commonwealth to celebrate this newest round of investments. More details to come.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, sciences, and humanities, to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. It pursues its mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. Mass Cultural Council's total budget for the current fiscal year is $13.5 million, which includes annual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources.

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