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Cultural Facilities Fund Supports Fruitlands Museum Infrastructure Upgrades

March 9, 2012

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, (617) 727-3668, ext. 343
Kerry Castorano, Fruitlands Museum, 978-456-3924 x289

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $73,000 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, a group of historic buildings at the former Fruitlands community. The Museum will use the grant to replace its art gallery roof, along with repaving handicapped parking spaces and the driveway into the museum grounds.

“The Fruitlands Museum provides a window into the heritage, nature, and art of New England,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased to continue our support for the Museum as it preserves these historic buildings.”

Founded in 1914 by Clara Endicott Sears, Fruitlands Museum takes its name from a utopian experiment led by Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane that took place at the site in 1843. Visitors can tour the Fruitlands Farmhouse, restored to appear as it did in the 1840s, and view exhibits about Transcendentalism and the Alcott family. The Fruitlands Museum Historic District joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Galleries feature Native American, Shaker, and American art. The Museum also offers contemporary exhibits, lectures, outdoors concerts, and walking trails. In 2009, Fruitlands Museum also received a $37,500 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to develop a master plan for its infrastructure.

“MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council are truly invaluable partners to community groups and non-profits throughout the state,” said Kerry Castorano, Director of Development at Fruitlands Museum. “Their support enabled Fruitlands to enhance our visitor accessibility through structural improvements, which allowed us to further our mission of educating and inspiring through the heritage, art, and nature of the region.”

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.