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The Daily Item, Emily Pauls

Lynnspire 2023 Grant Recipients Announced

May 02, 2023

LYNN — The 2023 Lynnspire grant recipients have been announced. The 16 individuals and organizations will receive a portion of $50,000 from MassDevelopment’s TDI Creative Cities initiative.

The grant winners are to use the funds for “community-driven” and “creative” projects that encourage community engagement, according to a press release from Lynn Creative Cities.

“We are fortunate to have received so many applicants proposing everything from public art projects, to engaging community events, to LGBTQ+ support resources,” said LaCrecia Thomson, arts and culture planner for the City of Lynn and Lynn Creative Cities lead. “This left the review committee with the tough task of selecting just 16 awardees in this group of over 36 diverse and worthy applications. It was a great problem to have.”

The grants are split up into two awards of $10,000, four awards of $5,000, and 10 awards of $1,000.

The $10,000 grant recipients are North Shore Haitian American Association for the “Bwa Kayiman Festival” and United Lynn Pride for “Pop up LGBTQ+ Community Center.”

The $5,000 grant recipients are Take off Inc. for “TKF Photography Masterclass,” Cultura Latina Dance Academy Inc. for “CLDA Dance,” the Brickyard Collaborative for “Community Boatbuilding Program,” and Chase the Chill Lynn for “Central Square Scarf Bomb.”

The $1,000 grant recipients are include two for North Shore Juneteenth Association Inc. for “Diversity Matters Fest,” LCTV for “Open Houses by Ward,” the REAL Program Inc. for “The Power of Literacy — Frederick Douglass Day,” Northern Edge Productions for “Music at Lynn Farmers Market,” Emmanuelle Arts for “Art Inspired by the new Bike Path in Lynn,” Olivia Werth for “Untitled Zine Project,” KIPP Academy Lynn for “Student led Rotating Wall Proposal,” Nancy Y. Huang for “Lynnvision Block Party,” and Lynn Chamber Players for “Chamber Orchestra with Kids.”

This is the first granting opportunity for the Creatives Cities initiative according to Sunil Gulab, project manager for the City of Lynn Creative Cities initiative.

“Being able to support and showcase local creatives by empowering them to dream about what they can do to benefit the city is very satisfying,” Gulab said.

One of the grant recipients, Chase the Chill Lynn, buys, collects, and makes scarves, hats, and gloves to give out to those who need them on cold days, according to organizer Kecia Rideout. The group will be putting the funds toward a series of workshops for the Lynn community to learn how to make scarves from a yard of fleece, she said.

They will then meet up on the first Saturday of December at Central Square to hand out the scarves.

“It’s an incredible opportunity,” Rideout said. “I love the idea of engaging the community in public acts of kindness and goodness.”

The REAL Program, a nonprofit with a mission of improving literacy in Lynn, will be using the funds to participate in and provide books for “The Power of Literacy — Frederick Douglass Day” at Frederick Douglass Park.

“We’re very honored to get the grant and we are honored to be part of the Frederick Douglass Day,” REAL Program Executive Director Jan Plourde said. “Frederick Douglass understood the power of literacy, and he certainly did not have access to it and he lived his life trying to provide access, so we’re trying to do that.”