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$1.25M Awarded to 12 Cultural Facilities Projects

Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director

2022 Cultural Facilities Fund Applications Now Available

colorful, striped sky at twilight - purple, blue, orange, and yellow fill the background. The Roundhouse in the foreground.
Roundhouse at sunset. Photo: Friends of the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Today MassDevelopment and Mass Cultural Council, two state agencies that jointly administer the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), announce the approval of $1,250,000 in supplemental capital grants to 12 cultural organizations, as well as the launch of the 2022 CFF grant round.

The CFF provides capital and planning grants to nonprofit organizations, colleges, and municipalities that own or operate facilities primarily focused on the arts, humanities, and sciences. CFF awards invest in the acquisition, design, repair, renovation, expansion, and construction of nonprofit and municipal cultural facilities.

The CFF is funded annually through the Governor’s Capital Spending Plan; an Advisory Committee appointed by the Governor provides programmatic oversight to the Agencies.

“The Cultural Facilities Fund supports local economies across Massachusetts by ensuring our cultural institutions have the capital they need to build, expand, renovate, and – most importantly – continue welcoming visitors,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “We are excited to announce initial grants to 12 organizations who will benefit strongly from these resources, and we encourage all cultural institutions in the Commonwealth to take advantage of our upcoming application round.”

$1.25 Million Awarded

This year, prior to opening the 2022 CFF grant round, the Advisory Committee recommended awarding the first $1.25 million from the 2022 funding to 12 highly-competitive applicants from 2021. These applicants did not receive funding in the last round solely due to budget constraints. The grants were approved on October 14, 2021 by a vote of the MassDevelopment Board of Directors. Awards must be matched one-to-one from private and/or other non-state sources; this $1.25 million in grant funding is leveraging an additional $6.25 million in capital investment.

“These capital grants provide critical investments into cultural infrastructure across the Commonwealth,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council. “I am so pleased to join our colleagues at MassDevelopment in celebrating a dozen additional CFF projects which will make a major impact on the cultural sector, as well as the overall state economy.”

The 2022 CFF Grants Announced Today


Old Sturbridge, Sturbridge $80,000
for the installation of an HVAC unit in the Visitor Center Theater and central air conditioning system in the Museum Education Center

Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester $110,000
for the integration of the 32 Elm Street property into 30 Elm for independent operations, and an office space for WHM


Boston Center for the Arts, Boston $180,000
for a new HVAC system to improve air filtration and quality

Emerson College, Boston $150,000
for updates and repairs to the interior of the historic theatre with equipment to stream, and video capture live or prerecorded content

National Center of Afro-American Artists, Boston $100,000
to replace the roof and gutters with slate and copper materials, conforming to the original construction of the historic Boston Landmark known as The Abbotsford Mansion

Armenian Museum of America, Watertown $90,000
to update the heating system and for a new indoor air quality filtration system for COVID-19 public health concerns

Grub Street, Boston $200,000
for extensive soundproofing, drywall, and ceiling treatments in the creative writing center


The Marblehead Arts Association, Marblehead $40,000
for a multi-year effort to preserve and restore the historically significant 1728 King Hooper Mansion in Marblehead’s Historic District


Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis $50,000
for the replacement and repair of HVAC units

Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society, Fairhaven $80,000
to renovate an 1800’s carriage house into a cultural center


Friends of Franklin County Fairgrounds, Greenfield $70,000
for improved walkways to allow guests full access to the historic cultural facilities

Westfield State University, Westfield $100,000
for seating and other crucial updates to the Dever Stage

Of the 12 grantees, five are first-time CFF recipients, helping Mass Cultural Council advance its goal of promoting inclusion and equity in grant-making and programmatic opportunities.

Key Dates

Applications for the 2022 CFF grant round are due January 14, 2022, at 11:59pm (ET). Interested parties seeking more information are encouraged to attend a virtual information session on October 28 from 1-3pm.

Additionally, CFF program staff will host virtual office hours Thursdays from 10-11am November 4-January 13 (except Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving). These office hours provide an opportunity for stakeholders to talk with staff and ask questions about the CFF program and its application process. Attending office hours is not a requirement to receive funding.

About the CFF

The CFF was created by an act of the Legislature in 2006 to achieve the following goals:

  • Enhance Massachusetts’ creative economy through financing for acquisition, construction, expansion, renovation, and repair of cultural facilities.
  • Increase employment, entrepreneurialism, and tourism in the regions where these facilities are located, especially drawing new visitors from outside the Commonwealth.
  • Stimulate further investment in the arts, heritage, and sciences by preserving cultural resources.

Over 14 years the CFF has awarded $139,561,646 to 1,174 projects across the Commonwealth, employing more than 29,350 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers. The nonprofit organizations engaged in this work expect to add 2,500 new permanent jobs after completing their projects.

The CFF’s impact extends beyond the nonprofit cultural sector in ways that benefit Massachusetts’ broader economy. The organizations awarded grants generate millions in annual economic activity through direct spending on everything from supplies to energy and advertising. They are popular tourist destinations: prior to the COVID-19 pandemic more than six million people visited these sites, one-third from out of state. The CFF has also spurred private investment, leveraging about $2.3 billion in spending from the funded projects. Finally, CFF grants contribute to cultural preservation by helping to restore and expand many of our nation’s most treasured historical landmarks.

About Mass Cultural Council
Mass Cultural Council is an independent state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The Agency pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

About MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.

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