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$14 Million in Mass Cultural Facilities Fund Grants Will Boost Creative Sector

June 12, 2014


Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, 617-858-2720
Mark Sternman, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2034 & 617-780-6186

(Boston, MA)—The Patrick Administration today announced grants totaling nearly $14 million to support new building projects for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, schools, and communities across Massachusetts.

These projects will expand access and education in the arts, history, and sciences; create jobs in construction and cultural tourism; and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Organizations receiving funding in this round plan to invest $264 million in their projects. Grants will be capitalized with $15 million from Governor Deval Patrick’s fiscal year 2014 capital budget.

“Investments in our creative economy stimulate growth and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “Through this new round of funding, we are continuing to create a more vibrant place for our students to learn, our families to live and our businesses to grow.”

The new round includes 81 capital grants totaling nearly $13 million and another 48 planning grants totaling just under $1 million. Grants range from $7,000 to $600,000, and must be matched with funds from private philanthropy and/or other public sources. A full list can be found online at and includes:

  • $440,000 to the New Bedford Port Society to restore the Seamen’s Bethel and Mariner’s Home as a Fishing Heritage Center that will relate the city’s maritime history for visitors and schoolchildren.
  • $380,000 to Artists for Humanity to expand its South Boston facility and serve more city teens with education and job training in the visual arts.
  • $260,000 for the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts to help it restore theVictory Theatre and boost commercial activity in downtown Holyoke.
  • $180,000 for The Center for the Arts in Natick (TCAN) to construct a second performance space to expand programs in its historic facility in the Natick Center Cultural District.

“Our region benefits from more nonprofit cultural organizations per capita than anywhere in the nation,” said Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “The CFF sustains this rich cultural legacy and ensures that more of our families can enjoy all that is has to offer.”

With these new grants the CFF will have invested nearly $70 million in the Massachusetts creative sector in projects in 118 cities and towns since 2007. These grants helped launch many transformative projects, leveraging private sector dollars that have kept this sector growing and thriving. CFF has also helped dozens of nonprofit organizations become better stewards of our cultural heritage.

“Tourism is the Commonwealth's third-largest sector, and arts and culture play key roles in this industry,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased to work with the Patrick Administration and the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support capital projects for cultural institutions so they can better showcase their world-class offerings and continue to draw visitors to Massachusetts.”

In total CFF-funded building projects are spending more than $1.6 billion, providing more than 16,400 building jobs to architects, engineers, contractors, and carpenters. The organizations also plan to add 1,572 permanent jobs after their capital projects are complete.

CFF grants have also helped restore and preserve many of our nation’s most cherished historic buildings, which attract cultural tourists to Massachusetts. More than 15 million people visit CFF-funded organizations annually, with nearly one third coming from out-of-state.

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) jointly administer the CFF. A Governor-appointed Cultural Facilities Fund Advisory Committee provides oversight to the Fund’s operation. For more background on CFF and its impact go here.

About MCC:
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. The MCC pursues this mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

About MassDevelopment:
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.