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Elevating Inclusion: Celebrating FY24 Festivals & Projects Grantees

Timothea Pham, Program Officer and Kalyn King, Program Officer

photo of puppeteers manipulating Little Amal, a 10 foot tall puppet, along Boston's Rowes Wharf as onlookers watch
ArtsEmerson’s “Event of Welcome”, an outdoor spectacle for Little Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child who symbolizes human rights in Boston, MA. Photo: ArtsEmerson.

Mass Cultural Council has awarded FY24 Festivals & Projects grants to 740 grantees, totaling $1,850,000. As we embrace our new strategic plan that champions creativity, inclusivity, and equity, we are excited to support these grant recipients ranging from coastal arts festivals to cultural celebrations to indigenous programming. This year’s Festivals & Projects grants mark a significant step forward in our journey to support our vibrant and diverse creative community.

For FY24, applications were reviewed through a collaborative staff process between the Communities and Cultural Investment Portfolio teams and included additional reviewers from across the Agency. The FY24 grant cycle also brought broader eligibility guidelines making the program more inclusive than ever before. An astounding 78.5% of applicants who had previously not received funding from Mass Cultural Council received Festivals & Projects grants this year. Furthermore, 97% of applicants that self-identified as BIPOC-Centered Organizations received funding.

Celebrating Regional Diversity

Our dedication to inclusivity includes geographic reach. Every corner of the Commonwealth is receiving Festivals & Projects funding to support their vital, creative projects — from the dynamic Western region to the bustling Greater Boston area. While Metrowest experienced a slight decrease in applications, it’s worth noting that every other region experienced a significant uptick, highlighting the continually growing enthusiasm for public programming throughout the state.

Priority Areas & Highlights

Our focus on inclusion doesn’t end with eligibility criteria or geography; it also permeates through our grantees’ projects. In FY24:

  • 25% of grantees self-identified as BIPOC-Centered, underlining the importance of diverse voices in our creative landscape.
  • Nearly half of the grantees, 49%, had previously received no funding in FY21, FY22, or FY23, indicating our commitment to supporting new projects.
  • 18% of our grantees are proud participants in Card to Culture, promoting accessibility and cultural engagement.
  • 42% of festivals and projects will take place in Priority Communities, underscoring our commitment to inclusion and cultural outreach.
  • 70% of the supported festivals and projects will be entirely free, ensuring that these community projects have no financial barriers for participation.
  • 85% of these projects will fully incorporate the arts, humanities, and sciences.

As we look forward to the next grant cycle, we are committed to ensuring that Festivals & Projects remains a platform for organizations, collectives, and projects to serve their communities that are constantly changing.

The application for FY25 Festivals & Projects grants opens March 28, 2024.

Read the Complete Funding List

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