Mass Cultural Council is proud to award 15 new Amplify grants for 2019 totaling $15,000. Directed to projects designed and executed by young people in programs receiving YouthReach or SerHacer funding, Amplify furthers the Commonwealth’s investment in youth leadership and empowerment.
The Amplify grant process incorporates youth voice throughout, including the participation of young professionals and program alums in the panel review. This unique approach ensures that the Amplify program continues to strive not just for the highest quality and innovation in programming, but to naturally and actively incorporate youth leadership in its rightful role in cultural provision across the state of Massachusetts.
Congratulations to this year’s Amplify recipients:
Ballet Rox (Boston) Women’s Empowerment through Dance: To choreograph and perform a dance piece about women’s’ rights and empowerment. The project will use music made by female artists, who advocate for women’s rights, and performed at the Wake Up the Earth and Dance for World Community festivals.
Books of Hope (Somerville)
To host a series of writing and community organizing workshops for a group of teens at the Mystic Learning Center led by Youth Artist Andrine Pierresaint. This program will culminate with Andrine sharing her own insights as a youth artist and organizer, and guiding the teens as they plan, host, and perform their own original work in Book of Hope’s annual Somerville Youth Arts Festival in June 2019.
Boston City Singers (Boston) Combatting Loneliness with a Gift of Song: To create a forum to discuss the “epidemic of loneliness”. Boston City Singer’s Tour Choir will host and videotape interactive sing-a-long social events and discussions with nursing home residents and staff in Dorchester, and utilize it to encourage the creation of positive communities to assist with suicide and addiction prevention (common results of loneliness).
Elevated Thought (Lawrence) Immunity: To create a film documenting the stories of various Lawrence community members and their families who were directly affected by the September 2018 gas explosions. The film will capture in a non-exploitive manner the resilience of the community in the aftermath of extreme adversity.
Enchanted Circle Theater (Holyoke) Heroes Youth Truth Performance Ensemble: To create and present a youth performance focused on raising awareness of out-of- home-care experiences and stories. This work will be presented at regional Massachusetts Department of Children & Families meetings, classes for potential foster parents, and legislators, as well as the general public.
Express Yourself (Beverly) The Bee Project: To promote constructive conversation and to destigmatize mental health in youth by creating an exhibition of linoleum Bees. Besides the exhibition, a video of this project will be featured in Express Yourself’s 25th Annual performance.
GreenRoots, Inc. (Chelsea) Environmental Chelsea Organizers (ECO): To design and paint Chelsea storm drains to raise awareness about storm-water runoff through the means of public art.
Groundwork Lawrence (Lawrence) Green Team recycling art and awareness project: To collectively create a piece of artwork using a piece of recycled pipe from the recent gas explosions in Lawrence. This piece will represent the strength of the Lawrence community in the face of adversity. The art piece will be revealed to the community at the Lawrence S.A.L.S.A (Supporting Active Lifestyles for All) Festival.
Hyde Square Task Force (Boston) Ritmo en Acción Showcase: To collectively choreograph a showcase of 11 different Afro Latin dances, and perform them for the community in a public event.
New Bedford Whaling Museum (New Bedford) Once upon a teenager: a storytelling project: To record each of NBWM’s Youth Apprentice’s life stories and showcase them in an exhibition for the community, as well as the 10th anniversary celebration of NBWM’s Apprenticeship Program.
New England Aquarium (Boston) Prompting Youth Action: It’s our time: To create an educational video in collaboration with Zumix. This video will be shown at four public events to educate and inspire young people in the pursuit of community and state action to promote an ecologically aware legislature.
Sociedad Latina (Boston) Raices open mic series: To design and lead a monthly open mic series titled “Raices” featuring guest artists and youth performers. These sessions will be open to the community to discover new artists of different backgrounds whilst providing a safe place for all.
The Clubhouse Network (Boston) Digital illustration with Paintool SAI: To offer a series of youth-led digital illustration workshops for the community and Clubhouse members. The product of these workshops will be presented in exhibitions around the community to promote youth engagement and productivity.
Worcester Public Schools (Worcester) Unites Master Class Project: To design and deliver a series of high school student-led master classes for elementary school students in seven different Worcester public elementary schools.
Worcester Youth Center (Worcester) YouthSpeak!: Talent Show: To design and host a series of monthly talent shows, January 2019 to June 2019; with Performers recruited from current Worcester Youth Center participants, as well as youth from the City of Worcester and beyond. This program will allow talent show participants an opportunity to showcase creative talents whilst creating more events for the local community.
The DCF Cultural Connections Pilot Program is a one-year pilot that connects Western Massachusetts Department of Children and Families offices and social workers with a contact person at participating cultural organizations in their region.
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