Worcester PopUp among Mass. Cultural Council grant recipients

May 24, 2018 : The Telegram & Gazette, by Richard Duckett

The Worcester PopUp, which re-opened last month at 20 Franklin St. as a year-round home for creative activities, has received a $200,000 state grant to construct a “Black Box” performance space and a multi-purpose gallery and workshop area.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund has also awarded 2018 capital grants to several other Worcester arts and cultural organizations including $200,000 each to the American Antiquarian Society and Worcester Community Cable Access.

The black box theater would seat about 300 people in a “state-of-the-art” facility.

The Worcester PopUp is a program of the Worcester Cultural Coalition in partnership with the Worcester Business Development Corporation, the City of Worcester and the Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts.

“Construction of the black box theater at the Worcester PopUp will serve a demonstrated need in the cultural and creative community and fills the void for a mid-sized, affordable performance venue,” said Honee Hess, board chair of the Worcester Cultural Coalition, in an announcement.

Mass Cultural Council has a budget of $15.7 million, including an appropriation of nearly $14 million from the state of Massachusetts and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. The agency also runs the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with Mass Development.

Among other local groups to receive capital grants from the Cultural Facilities Fund are:

  • American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury St. — $200,000 for the expansion and renovation of Antiquarian Hall and a historic in-house library, and the installation of new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.
  • ArtsWorcester, 660 Main St. — $150,000 to renovate gallery space in the historic Printer’s Building on Portland Street that will become the organization’s new home.
  • Joy of Music Program, Gorham St. — $174,000 to replace thermal windows throughout the building, and for the renovation of the front entrance and four rooms to expand teaching, storage and office space.
  • Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra — Tuckerman Hall — $150,000 to create a new music library, additional women’s restrooms, and to replace the roof.
  • Worcester Community Cable Access, 415 Main St. — $200,000 for new HVAC systems, and to renovate the façade and entrance of the building.