Power of Culture Blog
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Mass Cultural Council is delighted to announce that Executive Director Michael J. Bobbitt is the recipient of OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center’s Sojourner Truth Award. Michael was presented with the award on October 14 at OrigiNation’s annual celebration, Twist & Shout! An Evening of Dance, Music, and Spoken Word. The evening showcased the talents of several notable and emerging dance and spoken word artists, and recognized individuals and institutions making an impact at the intersection of arts, community, and youth. Michael was honored alongside Boston City Councilor-at-Large Ruthzee Louijeune and global footwear and apparel brand Converse, Inc.
Founded in 1994, OrigiNation is a non-profit performing arts program that utilizes dance as a vehicle to develop leadership, confidence, and self-sufficiency in young people ages 2-18. Many OrigiNation participants reside in the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan, where access to quality dance and theater programs is limited. OrigiNation serves more than 150 young people annually through its on-site programs and an additional 1,500 young people through its Community Outreach & Education Program.
OrigiNation Executive Director Musau M. Dibinga chose to honor Michael with the Sojourner Truth Award in recognition of the support he has shown to BIPOC artists and BIPOC-led organizations by expanding access to and deepening knowledge of the funding opportunities that are available to support their work.
Since joining Mass Cultural Council as Executive Director in February 2021, Michael has led the Agency through the development and implementation of its first-ever Racial Equity Plan; worked with staff, Council Members, and cultural sector advocates to secure and distribute a historic $60.1M in state pandemic relief funding; and steered the Agency through the process of drafting and adopting its FY24-FY26 strategic plan.
Congratulations to Michael on this most recent recognition!