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Cultural Facilities Fund Helps Restore Northampton Community Music Center

April 23, 2012

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, (617) 727-3668 x343
Jason Trotta, NCMC, (413) 585-0001

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $100,000 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to the Northampton Community Music Center (NCMC), which serves more than 800 students of all ages and abilities in Northampton. The Center will use the grant to renovate the lower level of its historic South Street building, the final piece of a systematic restoration project that began in 1998. When finished, the lower level will have more than 3,500 square feet of teaching space, including a rehearsal and recital room, teaching studios, a state-of-the-art recording studio, and a keyboard lab as an affordable alternative to private piano lessons. The renovation also improves the building’s structural integrity.

“The Northampton Community Music Center has gone to great lengths to preserve its historic home, and we’re pleased the Cultural Facilities Fund can help finish a project years in the making,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones.

For its restoration of the first and second floors, the center received recognition through a historic preservation award from the Northampton Historical Commission in 2002. The Center was founded in 1986 on the principle that music education is an essential part of every child's growth and development. NCMC employs more than 50 music teachers and has a scholarship program that provided more than $37,000 in scholarships to 135 students last year.

“NCMC’s enrollment has doubled since moving into the building 14 years ago,” said NCMC Executive Director Jason Trotta. “This project was an important step toward expanding our reach in the community and our programming into the future.”

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 grants, feasibility and technical assistance grants, and systems replacement grants for eligible nonprofits engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Fund has awarded more than $44 million in grants to more than 200 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 FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed more than 300 projects generating investment of $3.8 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 10,000 jobs (2,547 permanent and 8,129 construction), and build or rehabilitate more than 1,000 residential units.