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Cultural Facilities Fund Supports Great Barrington Church Restoration

March 13, 2014


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, 617-858-2720
Sally Harris, Saint James Place, 917-763-5027

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $22,500 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to Saint James Place, Inc., to restore and renovate Saint James Episcopal Church in Great Barrington. The organization is using grant funds to partner with Sacred Places, an organization specializing in the preservation of aging churches through cultural repurposing, on the restoration.

“The renovation of Saint James will develop valuable new public space for the Berkshires arts community and preserve a historical site that would have otherwise been demolished,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are pleased to provide this grant for the continued restoration work.”

Saint James Place, Inc. was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2010 by Sally and Fred Harris for the purchase and historic preservation of Saint James Episcopal Church in Great Barrington. Having prevented the demolition of the church, the ongoing mission of Saint James Place is to historically restore and transform the sanctuary and parish house into vibrant space for the performing arts, with additional space to develop offices and meeting space for nonprofits and community social services.

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.