Power of Culture Blog
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(BOSTON, MA) — The Mass Cultural Council today announced finalists for the 2019 Commonwealth Awards, which honor exceptional achievement in the arts, humanities, and sciences. The Commonwealth Award winners will be announced at a ceremony for the finalists and their supporters Monday, April 8 at WBUR’s new CitySpace.
Delivering the keynote address at this year’s ceremony will be renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Dudamel will be in Massachusetts to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he will make his BSO subscription series debut with two weeks of concerts.
2019 Commonwealth Awards finalists include:
Also at the ceremony, Mass Cultural Council will present the 2019 JFK Commonwealth Award to the Berkshire Eagle for demonstrating the enduring civic value of community journalism.
“This extraordinary group of awardees exemplifies our state’s unique cultural fabric,” said Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker. “Their collective and individual achievements have made us a better Commonwealth. We are thrilled to join Maestro Dudamel, our WBUR partners, and our elected leaders to honor them on April 8.”
“I’m delighted to come back to Massachusetts, and to be part of this great celebration, not only of remarkable practices in culture, but the role of state funding in supporting them,” said Gustavo Dudamel. “These partnerships and collaborations are vital to our practice, and recognizing them must be a priority.”
State government leaders including Senate President Pro Tempore William Brownsberger will be on hand to present the Awards.
Presented every two years, the Commonwealth Awards shine a spotlight on the extraordinary contributions the arts, humanities, and sciences make to education, economic growth and vitality, and quality of life in communities across Massachusetts. The Commonwealth Awards ceremony also presents an opportunity for the Massachusetts nonprofit cultural sector to gather, assert its value, and make the case for public investment in its work. Past awardees include venerated artists and scholars such as Yo-Yo Ma, Olympia Dukakis, and David McCullough; world-renowned institutions such as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Peabody Essex Museum; and communities like Worcester and Lowell that have put arts and culture at the center of their revitalization efforts. The Commonwealth Awards celebrate the power of culture to change lives and transform communities.
About the Mass Cultural Council
The Mass Cultural Council 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.
Mass Cultural Council is a state agency committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. It pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. Mass Cultural Council receives an annual appropriation from the state Legislature and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources.