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2017 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Commonwealth Awards:

Access – Recognizes exceptional initiatives or programs that make arts and culture accessible and inclusive for older adults, persons with disabilities, and other underserved populations.

  • Discovery Museums, Acton, for breaking down barriers and accommodating all visitors, including those on the autism spectrum, deaf, or blind, through its new Discovery Woods, a fully-accessible nature playscape designed around a 550-square foot treehouse.

Achievement – For an individual or cultural organization whose creative achievements have uniquely enriched life in Massachusetts.

  • Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Orchestra, Boston, who celebrated his twentieth anniversary as Boston Pops Conductor in 2015, for his extraordinary stewardship of “America’s Orchestra” and his generous civic spirit.
  • José Mateo, José Mateo Ballet Theatre, Cambridge, for his artistic achievement in choreography and his innovative, humanistic approach to dance education that fosters diversity and inclusion.

Creative Community – For a city, town, or local organization that has demonstrated the central role of arts and culture in building healthier, more vital, more livable communities.

  • City of New Bedford, for providing sustained leadership, funding, and infrastructure to the places where art and culture are presented, and where artists live and work, providing a model for cities everywhere.

Creative Youth Development – For an individual, school, or cultural organization that has successfully helped young people develop their creative potential, foster critical learning and life skills, & become active contributors to their communities.

  • Springfield SciTech High School Band, for providing Springfield’s youth with opportunities to experience music and to give back to their community by sharing their joy in its creation.

Cultural Philanthropy – For an individual, corporation, or foundation that has made lasting contributions to the cultural life of Massachusetts through charitable giving.

  • Nancy Donahue, Lowell, for her instrumental role in creating and nurturing the arts across the Merrimack Valley.

Leadership – For the leader of a non-profit cultural organization, school, or community that has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to serving the public.

  • Paul Grogan, The Boston Foundation, Boston, for his leadership and commitment to ensuring the health and vitality of the arts and cultural sector in Boston and across the Commonwealth.
  • David Tebaldi, Mass Humanities, Northampton, for his 32-year record of remarkable leadership of one of our nation’s most respected state humanities councils.

Local Cultural Council of the Year

  • Greenfield Cultural Council, for maintaining an active role in their community with partnerships that expand access to the arts for its citizens.

Media – For an individual or media organization that has demonstrated outstanding support of the cultural community in Massachusetts by telling its stories to the broader public.

  • The Berkshire Eagle, for its quality, in-depth coverage of the rich and diverse cultural community of Western Massachusetts and beyond.

Mayor’s Arts Challenge – an opportunity for city leaders across the Commonwealth to showcase how arts and culture help make their communities better places to live, work, and visit.

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