Cultural organizations across the Commonwealth are continuing to find innovative and creative solutions to connect with their communities, even though they aren’t able to bring people together in their traditional ways. Mass Cultural Council is pleased to support 161 organizations across the Commonwealth with $342,500 in Cultural Investment Portfolio Projects grants for programming during the July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 fiscal year.
Projects grants are one-year grants for public programming that provides access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or sciences. These grants frequently provide a point of entry for smaller organizations, many of whom provide unique opportunities for Massachusetts residents to participate with cultural events in their own communities. There were some interesting common threads in the applications. Examples include:
Projects in public libraries: Southborough Library’s “Crafternoons” of arts and crafts programs for children; Lawrence Public Library’s Jowdy World Knowledge Challenge; Stockbridge Library’s virtual evening of chamber music and conversation with musicians; Eastham Public Library’s retelling of the First Encounter between the Nauset and the English; and Hyannis Library’s bilingual StoryWalks series.
Film series that found ways to reach new audiences via streaming: Amherst Cinema, Belmont World Film, Boston Asian American Film Festival (Asian American Resource Workshop), Boston Latino International Film Festival, Great Barrington Public Theatre, Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, Salem Film Fest (Salem Community Arts Center)
Commissions and creation of new works: Arlekin Theatre (Needham), Berkshire Opera Festival (Great Barrington), Cappella Clausura (Newton), Eventide Theatre (Dennis) Guerilla Opera (Haverhill), Non-Event (Boston), Silverthorne Theatre (Greenfield)
Programs designed to respond to challenges in our society and in our time: Arlington Center for the Arts, Art for the Soul Gallery (Springfield) Artist Book Foundation (North Adams), Beyond Walls (Lynn), Clear Path for Veterans (Ayer), Historic Highfield (Falmouth), Newton Theatre Company, Nuestra Comunidad Developent (Boston), On With Living and Learning (Boston), South Boston en Accion, Theatre Espresso (Boston), Worcester Youth Center
Public art to engage audiences with art and the natural world: Arlington Commission for the Arts, Juventas New World Music Ensemble (Medford), Newton Pride; Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy (Boston), Turn Back Time (Paxton), Windhover (Rockport)
Projects to expand access: Boston Harbor Now, Cape Cod Maritime Museum (Barnstable), Falmouth Artists Guild, Girls Inc. of Worcester, Gnome, Inc. (Fall River), MusiConnects (Boston), Off-Kendrik (Norton), White Heron Theatre (Nantucket)