(Boston, MA) – The Mass Cultural Council released a spending plan for the new fiscal year that will invest more than $14 million in a range of grant programs, services, and initiatives to support the arts, humanities, and sciences in communities across Massachusetts.
The FY19 spending plan increases grant awards for nonprofit cultural organizations, communities, and artists. It also significantly boosts investment in creative youth development and education in schools and communities statewide.
“This plan reaffirms our mission to support culture in ways that expand economic opportunity, elevate the quality of life, embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, and empower our creative youth,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director.
Mass Cultural Council will invite grantees to celebrate these new grants alongside our partners in the state Legislature at public events across the state this fall. Stay tuned for a separate announcement with details on those events soon.
The agency’s spending plan benefits from a $16 million state appropriation, up $2 million from last year. The plan was unanimously approved August 28 by the appointed members of the Mass Cultural Council and supports:
Nonprofit Cultural Organizations: $5.9 million
The Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) comprises more than 320 nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations across Massachusetts and will be funded at just over $5 million. These organizations connect children and adults to theatre, music, visual art, & film; teach them about history, literature, and the environment; and introduce them to new ideas and cultural traditions. CIP operating support grants must be matched one to one, and range from $3,000 to $57,000.
Of that total $3.4 million will support 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) that make up the nation’s largest public grassroots arts support network. LCCs provide funding to every community in Massachusetts through the efforts of more than 2,500 volunteers. The councils support local arts and history, fund school field trips, and sponsor community concerts and exhibitions. Grants range from $4,500 for more than 100 small towns to nearly $200,000 for Boston, according to a formula that reflects state aid to municipalities.
Additional funds will award $5,000 grants to all 45 Cultural Districts in Massachusetts, $500 grants for more than 200 local Festivals, and $10,000 grants to deepen partnerships with six Cultural Compact communities to elevate culture’s role in community development. See FY19 LCC allocations.
Creative Youth Development & Education: $2.5 million
Mass Cultural Council works to expand access to quality, creative learning experiences for young people in schools and community settings through a range of grant programs and initiatives that include:
STARS Residencies that connect artists and creative educators in the humanities and sciences with elementary and secondary schools with learning experiences that help students grow, develop new skills, and expand their imaginations.
Big Yellow School Bus grants help schools meet transportation costs for educational field trips to cultural venues across Mass.
Mass History Day to help the Massachusetts Historical Society expand participation in this competition that builds knowledge of our past and vital civic skills for students in high schools across the Commonwealth.
Poetry Out Loud, a national competition in which high school students perform classic and contemporary poems while exploring elements of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre in their English and drama classes. The Huntington Theatre Co. has expanded Poetry Out Loud to more than 50,000 students each school year with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Services for Communities, Artists, & Cultural Nonprofits: $1.3 million
Mass Cultural Council will continue to fund a range of services to the nonprofit cultural sector, including HireCulture.org, a free, creative employment job site; SpaceFinder Mass, a discovery tool for creative spaces to rent in Massachusetts, the popular ArtSake blog, and Gallery; research and public programs in the Folk & Traditional Arts; the Creative Minds Out Loud podcast; training and technical assistance for nonprofits and local cultural councils; and marketing and promotion for nonprofits via partnerships with public media. We will also be investing in modernizing our online application and grants management systems.
Mass Cultural Council has released a case statement on the benefits of arts and cultural funding to the state’s economy, communities, and the education of our young people – and what long-term reinvestment in Mass Cultural Council's work can accomplish.
Today Governor Baker released a budget for FY21 that proposes an investment of $16.3M for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council, representing a 9.455% funding reduction from FY20.
A powerful argument for robust public investment in arts and culture has been made this week, albeit unintentionally, with a recent high-profile suggestion that cultural sites in the Middle East could be in potential danger.
From Artist News to Creative Youth, Community Initiative, and Power of Culture, our email lists are a great way to keep up with the work of Mass Cultural Council and its partners across the Commonwealth.