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$375,000 Granted to Cultural Districts for Rebuilding and Renewal Efforts

Luis Cotto, Program Manager

50 state-designated districts awarded for stimulating cultural and economic activity in their communities

Person wearing a sparkly purple dress with arms extended outward stands on a sidewalk in Haverhill. They are holding a huge bubble wand, with a bubble wider than the sidewalk hanging in the air in front of them.
2021 Haverhill Art Walk (2nd Saturdays). This project received Cultural District Investment Grants in FY21 and FY22. Photo: Luis Cotto.

In FY22 Mass Cultural Council invited the 51 state-designated Cultural Districts to apply for Cultural District Investment Grants. These awards provide up to $7,500 in financial assistance to support rebuilding and renewal efforts in their communities. A total of $375,000 in Cultural District Investment Grants will be made to 50 districts in communities large and small, across the Commonwealth this year.

The purpose of a state-designated Cultural District is to:

  • Attract artists and cultural enterprises to communities
  • Encourage business and job development
  • Establish the district as a tourist destination
  • Preserve and reuse historic buildings
  • Enhance property values
  • Foster local cultural development

Cultural District Investment Grants support efforts that benefit the goals of the Cultural District. While many Cultural Districts are still dealing with the effects of COVID in their communities, some are returning to scaled-back programming schedules, while others look to expand 2021 pilot initiatives. What is a constant is the use of funds to help cultural assets in the districts market their own return to programming. As has been the case with past funding, most of these grants will be used to pay creatives for everything from marketing content to artists fees, and support installation professionals.

Projects and initiatives supported by FY22 Cultural District Investment Grants include:

Mass Cultural Council administers the state-designation process and programming for Cultural Districts on behalf of the Commonwealth; the program was established in 2011 through an act of the state Legislature. This program enables state-designated Cultural Districts to drive economic growth, strengthen the influence of distinctive local character, and improve the quality of life across Massachusetts in our communities. In doing so, the Cultural District program helps Mass Cultural Council advance a key pillar of its strategic plan – enriching communities, by driving opportunity and growth through the creative economy and amplifying cultural vitality in cities and towns through integrated community-focused grants, initiatives, and advocacy.

Read the Funding List

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