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The Community Initiative
Mass Cultural Council seeks to enhance cultural vitality in cities and towns across the Commonwealth through integrated, community-based grants, initiatives and advocacy. We partner with state, regional, and local stakeholders to elevate the impact and visibility of cultural institutions, artists, and creativity in building and sustaining healthy, prosperous, equitable communities. From our unique network of 329 Local Cultural Councils to state-designated Cultural Districts and other grant programs and initiatives, we are redoubling our efforts to enrich communities through culture as part of our new strategic plan. We will do this by providing communities the resources, tools, and training they need to strengthen their capacity and effect change.
What we do
Mass Cultural Council’s Community Initiative is a new effort to unleash the power of culture in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. The Community Initiative will 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. Through partnerships between developers, cultural leaders, and municipalities, we’re leading a movement to bring people of all backgrounds in the arts, humanities, and sciences together for a common cause: to elevate the importance of culture to create a better Commonwealth.
How we do it
Our Community Initiative supports our local cultural life through four 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; Mass Festivals, which helps festival programmers produce and promote their festivals and develop audiences for culture in communities across the state; and the Cultural Compact, a newly conceived commitment between municipal leaders, Local Cultural Councils, and Cultural Districts to make the power of culture a transformative force in their city or town.
Why it matters
At Mass Cultural Council, we recognize that so much of our richest cultural experience 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 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.