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Award Objects

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1-4pm
Massachusetts State House, Boston

Grand Staircase of the State House

Presented every two years by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Commonwealth Awards shine a spotlight on the extraordinary contributions made by the arts, sciences, and humanities to education, economic vitality, and quality of life in communities across the state.

The Commonwealth Awards ceremony is also a chance for the Massachusetts nonprofit cultural sector to come together, assert its value, and make the case for continued public investment. The event is free and open to the public.

At this time, registration for the Commonwealth Awards ceremony has reached capacity.

The 2015 Commonwealth Award winners are listed by category below.

Access - Recognizes exceptional initiatives or programs that make arts and culture accessible and inclusive for older adults, persons with disabilities, and other underserved populations.

  • Boston Conservatory helping students on the autism spectrum develop their creativity and fulfill their potential as artists and learners.
  • Worcester Art Museum for integrating universal design principles into its mission in ways that expand access to its collections and programs.

Achievement - For an individual or cultural organization whose creative achievements have uniquely enriched life in Massachusetts.

  • Malcolm Rogers, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for his extraordinary stewardship of one of the world’s great cultural institutions.
  • Beverly Morgan-Welch, Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket, for expanding awareness and appreciation of the remarkable contributions that African-Americans have made to the history of the Commonwealth.

Creative Community - For a city, town, or local organization that has demonstrated the central role of arts and culture in building healthier, more vital, more livable communities.

  • Town of Plymouth for integrating historic preservation, arts, and tourism to create a unique experience for visitors and residents alike.
  • City of Gloucester for providing leadership, funding and infrastructure to the places where art and culture are presented, and where artists live and work.

Creative Youth Development - For an individual, school, or cultural organization that has demonstrated the importance of creative expression to the lives of young people.

  • John Macero, Superintendent, Winthrop Public Schools; & Trudy Macero, Director, Winthrop School of Performing Arts, for working to provide all of their community’s children with opportunities to experience the arts in school and afterschool.
  • Barrington Stage Co., Pittsfield for its range of quality programs that introduce children and adolescents to the power and joy of live theater.

Cultural Philanthropy - For an individual, corporation, or foundation that has made lasting contributions to the cultural life of Massachusetts through charitable giving.

Leadership - For the leader of a non-profit cultural organization, school, or community that has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to serving the public.

  • Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston for making arts and culture a priority for the city of Boston.
  • Arts Boston for its leadership in helping arts organizations grow their audiences and make deeper connections to their communities through its Audience Initiative and Arts Factor.

Media - For a journalist or a media organization that has demonstrated outstanding support of the cultural community in Massachusetts by telling its stories.

  • WBUR, Boston for expanding quality coverage of arts and culture through the ARTery.
  • WGBY, Springfield for placing arts and culture at the core of its television coverage for audiences in Western Massachusetts and beyond.

STEM to STEAM - For an individual, school, or cultural organization that has successfully fused learning in the arts with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

State government leaders will be on hand to present the Commonwealth Awards. The ceremony will feature performances by musicians from the Handel & Haydn Society, now celebrating its bicentennial season. It will also feature a recitation by Springfield Central High School student Courtney Stewart, two-time Mass. State Champion of Poetry Out Loud, a national high school poetry recitation competition celebrating its tenth anniversary. Each Commonwealth Award winner receives a medal designed and created by Taunton-based Reed & Barton.

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