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$9.3 Million in New Capital Funds Awarded to Support Massachusetts Creative Economy

May 10, 2018


Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, 617-858-2720

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

The MassDevelopment Board of Directors has approved $9.3 million in new grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), a state program that fosters the growth of the creative economy by supporting building projects in the nonprofit arts, humanities, and sciences.

The new round includes 63 capital grants totaling more than $8.7 million and another 35 planning grants totaling more than $500,000. Grants range from $7,000 to $200,000 and must be matched one-to-one from private and/or other public sources. They include:

“From the Berkshires to Cape Cod, Massachusetts is home to a deep cultural history that continues to grow and thrive,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration looks forward to continuing our work to support public-private partnerships like these that will help drive tourism and benefit residents and visitors for years to come."

“Our administration is proud of Massachusetts’ creative economy and we are pleased to support capital investments that help preserve the arts and humanities,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants will boost projects that drive tourism, benefit residents and recognize the rich history embedded into our Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns.”

“The Cultural Facilities Fund supports crucial capital projects at institutions that serve as the backbone of the Massachusetts creative economy,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for its continued support of this program for our treasured museums, landmarks, and artistic organizations, and to the Mass Cultural Council for its valuable partnership.”

“For more than a decade the CFF has been a vital source of capital for the nonprofit cultural sector—creating jobs, driving tourism, and revitalizing communities across the Commonwealth,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “We thank Governor Baker and his Administration for its continued support of this program.”

The Legislature created the CFF through an economic development bill in 2006 to achieve the following goals:

With this new round of grants, the CFF has awarded nearly $110 million to more than 850 projects across the Commonwealth, employing more than 25,500 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers. The nonprofit organizations engaged in this work plan to add nearly 2,200 new permanent jobs after completing their projects.

The CFF’s impact extends beyond the nonprofit cultural sector in ways that benefit the broader economy. The organizations awarded grants generate $1.7 billion in annual economic activity through organizational spending on everything from supplies to energy and advertising. They are popular tourism destinations: About 16 million people visit these sites annually, one-third from out of state. The CFF has also spurred private investment, leveraging about $2.6 billion in spending on their building projects. Finally, CFF grants contribute to cultural preservation by helping to restore and expand many of the nation’s most treasured historical landmarks.

Demand for these funds continues to grow. Last November, Mass Cultural Council surveyed nonprofit cultural organizations to determine the pipeline of construction projects in the planning stages over the next two to three years. In total, 164 organizations reported plans to invest in capital projects equaling $114 million.

MassDevelopment and Mass Cultural Council jointly administer the the CFF, and an Advisory Committee appointed by the Governor provides oversight to its operation. The grants are supported through $10 million from the state’s fiscal year 2018 capital plan, authorized by the state Legislature and allocated by the Governor.

For more background on the CFF and its impact, visit the website.

About Mass Cultural Council
Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences, to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. Mass Cultural Council is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for 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 FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.