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$10M for Cultural Facilities in Governor’s Capital Spending Plan

Bethann Steiner, Communications Director

Massachusetts Continues Robust Investment into Cultural Facilities

Mass Cultural Council notes with strong appreciation the Governor and Lt. Governor’s continued support and investment in the power of culture. The Administration’s FY21 state capital spending plan, released on June 17, invests $10M into cultural facilities through the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF).

According to the Governor’s press release, the spending blueprint maintains existing investments and enables the Administration to continue working with stakeholders across the Commonwealth to support ongoing capital projects. The plan will ensure Massachusetts is well-positioned for short, medium, and long-term COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The Governor’s FY21 capital plan focuses on six major themes: asset stewardship, supporting local communities, economic opportunity, value optimization, customer orientation, and climate resiliency. These six priorities continue to be important in the era of COVID-19 amid the response to the public health crisis. CFF is very much a program focused on asset stewardship and economic opportunity.

Managed in collaboration with MassDevelopment, the Cultural Facilities Fund provides major improvement grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, in recognition of their profound economic impact on communities across Massachusetts. Since 2006, the Fund has encouraged sound growth, supported important development projects, played a crucial role in the growth of local tourism, created thousands of jobs, and driven millions of dollars in private investment.

The Cultural Facilities Fund provides grants to support the acquisition, design, repair, rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, or construction of nonprofit cultural facilities statewide. An economic development program created by the Legislature in 2006, over 13 years the Fund has awarded 1,063 grants totaling $129M to 488 cultural nonprofits across the Commonwealth.

Other economic development highlights spurred by CFF include:

  • In a 2019 survey, 73 organizations reported 2,293 full time equivalent employees, and $443 million in annual economic activity through organizational spending.
  • CFF has leveraged about $2.8 billion in spending on arts, history, and science building projects. All grants are matched 1:1 with private or municipal funds.
  • CFF projects have hired 29,350 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers between 2007 and 2019.
  • CFF grantees plan to add 2,500 new permanent jobs after completing their projects.
  • CFF has helped restore many of our nation’s most treasured historical and cultural landmarks, driving tourism, Massachusetts’ third largest industry. Over 6 million people have visited these sites in the past year, nearly one third from out of state

On May 14 the 2020 round of CFF grants, an investment totaling $9.3M, was approved by the MassDevelopment Board. Mass Cultural Council anticipates announcing the 2021 round of Cultural Facilities Fund grants this fall, a potential source of relief for cultural nonprofits seeking assistance to retrofit their facilities in consideration with COVID safety measures to responsibly reengage with audiences.

For questions on CFF contact Jay Paget or Miranda Cook.

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