MASSCreative Praises State’s Issuance of $14M in Arts Facilities Grants

June 12, 2014—MASSCreative today praised Gov. Deval Patrick for issuing grants from the Cultural Facilities Fund totaling nearly $14 million. The grants will be used to repair and rebuild aging cultural venues that serve arts organizations, schools, and communities across the Commonwealth. The Cultural Facilities Fund is jointly administered by MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

“These spaces are the places that people in our communities come to meet and gather. They are centers that make possible the creation, practice, and presentation of art. They are often the anchor of a neighborhood’s development or redevelopment,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “It is vitally important that we sustain and expand these venues for community use.”

The need for these grants is high among the state’s hundreds of cultural institutions, and it continues to outpace supply. Until last year, the Cultural Facilities Fund was allocated approximately $5 million annually. After a grassroots campaign titled “Invest the Rest,” Gov. Patrick tripled the annual allocation to $15 million.

“Even with that significant increase, demand continues to outpace supply. Out of the $15 million being awarded today, the Massachusetts Cultural Council received applications that would have totaled more than $50 million,” Wilson said. “The state legislature is currently considering reauthorizing the Cultural Facilities Fund over the next five years. We strongly urge lawmakers to reauthorize the Cultural Facilities Fund at $75 million, which would support annual grants of $15 million over the next five years. These grants are transformative for communities and organizations, and strengthen our Commonwealth.”

The Cultural Facilities Fund was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2007. The purpose of the fund is to provide resources to maintain and rebuild the Commonwealth’s cultural venues. Since its creation, the Cultural Facilities Fund has invested $70 million to the development of cultural facilities in 118 cities and towns, and four of five of these grants have been awarded to Gateway Cities with struggling downtowns. These investments have leveraged more than $1.6 billion in spending on arts, history, and science building projects, and support more than 16,000 jobs for architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers.

The grants announced today include 81 capital projects and another 48 planning projects. A full list can be found online at http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/facilities/facilities.htm.

###

Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works with creative leaders and entrepreneurs, working artists, arts educators, and arts and cultural supporters to empower creative organizations and the public with a powerful voice to advocate for the resources and support necessary to build vibrant and connected communities.

Do you like this post?

Community Impact

The Drama Studio is one of a handful of youth theatres in the United States that offers quality, range, and depth in its acting training programs. For Springfield-area youth, the Studio's conservatory program offers an unusual opportunity for training that prepares its graduates (all of whom are college bound) to...