MassDevelopment Makes $500,000 Available for Fourth Round of Commonwealth Places Program

October 2, 2019


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)


MassDevelopment today announced $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2020 funding for the fourth round of the Commonwealth Places program, a collaborative initiative that leverages public support for placemaking projects in Massachusetts. The statewide program funds place-based, community-driven projects that revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, such as art installations, public space improvements, bike trails, markets, and more.

Launched in 2016, Commonwealth Places aims to engage and mobilize community members to make individual contributions through the crowdfunding platform Patronicity, with the incentive of a dollar-for-dollar funding match (up to $50,000) from MassDevelopment if the crowdfunding goal is reached within 60 days. Through its first three rounds, Commonwealth Places has launched 64 projects in Massachusetts, with communities crowdfunding more than $2.3 million and MassDevelopment providing more than $1.8 million in matching funds. Projects have included main street improvement projects in Hyannis, North Adams, and Wakefield; neighborhood-wide public art installations in Lynn, Salem, and Worcester; and pop-up retail activations in Ashland, Brockton, and Lowell, among others.

“In its first three years, our Commonwealth Places program has proven how targeted, community-led placemaking efforts can make a big impact in helping create energy and drive foot traffic in commercial centers around the state,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment recognizes how critical these dollar-for-dollar matching grants can be in bringing local economic development projects over the finish line, and we’re pleased to make $500,000 available for a fourth round of the program.”

Applicants are encouraged to apply early as funding is limited and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until January 15, 2020. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more and apply here.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth. During FY2019, MassDevelopment financed or managed 316 projects generating investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 9,743 jobs and build or preserve 1,992 housing units.