New Bedford State Pier RFP: Public Information & Opportunity to Comment. Learn more

Back to News

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

November 05, 2018


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

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity today announced $500,000 in funding for the third 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 a crowdfunding platform, 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 two rounds, Commonwealth Places has launched fifty projects in Massachusetts, with MassDevelopment providing more than $1.4 million in matching funds. Projects have included main street improvement projects in North Adams, Wakefield, and Hyannis; large scale mural projects and public art installations in Lynn, Salem, and Worcester; and pop-up retail activations in Ashland, Boston, Brockton, and Lowell, among others.

“MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program gives community members the opportunity to realize an economic development goal within their own city or town,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “Across Massachusetts, we’ve seen how community-driven placemaking projects can engage residents and businesses, activate public spaces, and drive foot traffic in commercial centers. We’re pleased to make $500,000 available for a third round of the program, and look forward to seeing these projects continue to make an impact on communities in the Commonwealth.”

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a fall deadline of midnight on December 21, 2018.  Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more and apply here.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.