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Our Vision for Communities

The Community Initiative

Mass Cultural Council seeks to enhance cultural vitality in cities and towns across the Commonwealth through community-based grants and advocacy. Working with a broad range of cultural communities across the Commonwealth, we celebrate traditions and talents, champion the sector’s collective needs, and equitably invest public resources. From our unique network of 329 Local Cultural Councils to state-designated Cultural Districts and other grant programs and initiatives, we are working to enrich communities through culture and creativity.

What we do
Mass Cultural Council’s Community Initiative is an effort to unleash the power of culture in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Our investments help cities and town create rich cultural experiences that improve our quality of life, foster growth and economic development, and celebrate the authentic power of place.

How we do it
Our Community Initiative supports our local cultural life through three key programs: Local Cultural Councils, the nation’s largest grassroots network of more than 2,400 cultural agents in cities and towns who provide resources, make connections, spearhead programs, and direct funding to individuals and organizations that have – or have the potential to have – the most impact in the cultural life of their community; Cultural Districts, state-designated areas that foster artists, cultural organizations, and entrepreneurs to improve the quality of life, attract visitors, and stimulate local economic activity; and Festivals & Projects, which funds public activities that incorporate the arts, humanities, or sciences.

Why it matters
At Mass Cultural Council, we recognize that so many of our richest cultural experiences grow in the creative soil of our neighborhoods, downtowns, and civic gathering places. Working at the local level is essential for building public support for culture; it creates alliances, fosters cross-sector partnerships, and encourages entrepreneurship and economic opportunity. It’s also an important way to identify and support what makes us culturally unique – and valuable – as a region. The Community Initiative is at the core of how we elevate the quality of life and well-being of all communities in Massachusetts.

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