MassDevelopment

Cultural Facilities Fund Helps New England Public Radio Build New Facility in Springfield

April 10, 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
kabbruzzese@massdevelopment.com
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, 617-858-2720
greg.liakos@state.ma.us
Vanessa Cerillo, New England Public Radio, 413-545-9717
vcerillo@nepr.net

(from l to r) John Kennedy, Vice Chancellor for University Relations at UMass Amherst, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Elizabeth Cardona from Governor Deval Patrick's Springfield office, Martin Miller, CEO and General Manager of NEPR, and Congressman Richard Neal at New England Public Radio groundbreaking

(From L to R) John Kennedy, Vice Chancellor for University Relations at UMass Amherst, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Elizabeth Cardona from Governor Deval Patrick's Springfield office, Martin Miller, CEO and General Manager of NEPR, and Congressman Richard Neal at New England Public Radio groundbreaking

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $113,432 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to the New England Public Radio Foundation, Inc., which provides financial support for New England Public Radio, WFCR and WNNZ, two public radio stations in western Massachusetts. The New England Public Radio Foundation, Inc. is using grant funds to renovate a recently purchased space at 1525 Main Street in Springfield. Renovation plans call for rebuilding the 15,000-square-foot location installing four radio production suites, a technical operations center, and office space for programming, operations, engineering, development and administration staff. Once completed in July, the New England Public Radio will relocate its headquarters from its current facility at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, expanding the school’s presence in downtown Springfield in conjunction with the UMass Center at Springfield projected to open for the fall 2014 semester. New England Public Radio will maintain a satellite news office, intern space, and the Five Colleges Studios at UMass Amherst.

“As the developer of 1550 Main, MassDevelopment is pleased to help a Springfield neighbor bring development and rejuvenation to this Gateway City,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to the contribution The New England Public Radio Foundation, Inc. and UMass will make to the burgeoning arts scene in downtown Springfield.”

The mission of the New England Public Radio Foundation, Inc., an independent nonprofit, is to ensure New England Public Radio’s future as a premier public media organization by enhancing financial support, promoting community interest, and serving in an advisory role to station management and its license holder. New England Public Radio serves a large region of diverse communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont.

WFCR 88.5 FM and its frequencies throughout the Berkshires deliver the excellence that so many have trusted, valued, and relied on for over 50 years. From NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, signature classical music and Jazz à la Mode, WFCR informs, entertains, inspires, and enriches lives from Hartford to Brattleboro, from Worcester to the New York border.

The NEPR News Network at WNNZ AM 640, 91.7 FM in Franklin County and 89.5 in Southern Berkshire County, compliments WFCR with its news, talk and culture programming. In-depth, comprehensive, and provocative, the NEPR News Network satisfies serious news and information followers from Hartford to Rutland, from New Hampshire to the Catskills, with intelligent and considered programming from NPR, the BBC World Service and other public media outlets.

“The New England Public Radio Foundation, Inc. is incredibly grateful to MassDevelopment for this generous grant,” says Foundation President Paul Lambert. “In just a few short months, NEPR will move into its new headquarters in Springfield, and is excited to play a role in the city's revitalization.”

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council administer the Cultural Facilities Fund, an initiative of the Commonwealth to increase public and private investment in cultural facilities throughout the state. Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006, the Fund offers capital, feasibility, technical assistance, and systems replacement grants for eligible nonprofits engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Fund has awarded more than $55 million in grants to cultural organizations across Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MassDevelopment and Massachusetts Cultural Council websites.

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.