Mass Audubon and the Cultural Facilities Fund

The most recent funding Mass Audubon received from the Cultural Facilities Fund was for capital renovations to the Saltonstall Nature Center at Mass Audubon's Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA. These renovations will allow Mass Audubon to provide improved visitor services and program facilities for all visitors and program participants (adults and children). However, the greatest impact will come from being able to better serve the schools that look to Broadmoor to provide their students with top quality environmental educational programming that supports what the students are learning in their classrooms. Additionally, for many of these children, Mass Audubon's programs can offer a first, and motivational, experience that can lead to a real interest in exploring and understanding the wonders of the natural world. Over 4,500 schoolchildren a year come to Broadmoor, and the ever increasing demand from many MetroWest schools had begun to exceed the capacity of Mass Audubon's facilities.

In addition, the CFF funding will help to make the building, a formerly converted horse barn, universally accessible. Mass Audubon has a strong commitment to universal accessibility, and has made a tremendous investment in time and resources to make their buildings, trails, and programs accessible to all. The CFF has also significantly supported these efforts as well—Mass Audubon is grateful to have received grants for three other capital projects at Mass Audubon sanctuaries; Drumlin Farm, Joppa Flats Education Center, and Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mass Audubon has many other exciting capital campaigns planned at other sanctuaries throughout the Commonwealth in order to improve services to thousands of visitors, and to inspire young people—the future stewards of our environment—through educational programs.   

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Nuamkeag Gardens Get Extreme Makeover

"The Trustees of Reservations was recently awarded a grant in support of its restoration of the Afternoon Garden at Naumkeag.  This favorite spot was designed between 1926 and 1928 as a collaboration between Mabel Choate and Fletcher Steele, and remains a favorite spot for visitors to rest today as they tour the Naumkeag grounds in Stockbridge. 
We could not undertake any of our restoration projects without the support of this and other state funding.  The projects are costly, complicated and important to the integrity of these heritage sites.  Designated a National Landmark, Naumkeag has been recognized for its national significance, yet it is the state-wide funds that have been our most treasured public supporters.  Naumkeag draws thousands of tourists to Stockbridge every year (as of this writing we have hosted over 7,000 this year).  As one of many cultural institutions in the Berkshires, this region more than any other understands the value of culture and nature as it drives the region’s economy. 
The support of the Afternoon Garden restoration is Phase 2 of a five-phase restoration program for the gardens, scheduled for completion in 2016.  The funds are a key piece of the larger project, used to leverage private donations, grant and foundation support for this important work. As we bring each of our culturally significant properties to life, the Cultural Facilities Fund is an integral part of our funding strategy. Just as art influences nature and nature influences art, the symbiotic balance between state and private funding maximizes the value of each individual dollar.   As we work to preserve the Commonwealth’s great heritage, and promote its artistic and cultural value, we are looking to do more than preserve a great landmark, we are looking to bring it alive, to spark the colors of community life."
- Cindy, The Trustees of Reservations

Visit the Garden's site here to earn more
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Famous Sculptor's Home in Stockbridge Rehabilitated

Daniel Chester French was the foremost American sculptor of public monuments including the Minute Man in Concord, MA and the Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.  Last year, Chesterwood, a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was awarded a MCC Cultural Facilities Fund grant of $250,000.  

Located in Stockbridge, MA, Chesterwood reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Commonwealth and presents another opportunity to preserve our history. It's one of many locations around the state where investment in cultural facilities is an integral part of the community. 




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MASS MoCA and the Impact of the Cultural Facilities Fund

MASS MoCA was one of the first institutions to receive funding from the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF). The $429,000 grant award helped MASS MoCA renovate a 27,000 square foot mill building to house 105 wall drawings by Sol LeWitt. Besides the opening of this landmark exhibition, the renovation project better connected MASS MoCA's campus and improved visitor circulation. 

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, which is on view until 2033, comprises of 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s career from 1969 to 2007. These occupy nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that have been installed—per LeWitt’s own specifications—over three stories of a historic mill building situated at the heart of MASS MoCA’s campus. The ever-popular retrospective was named the number one museum exhibit of 2008 by Time Magazine and "one of the best single-artist exhibits ever" by New York. More importantly, it continues to attract thousands of new visitors each year -- MASS MoCA has experienced a sustained increase in visitation of over 30%. Of course, this has translated into an increased economic impact for the Northern Berkshire economy.

The Cultural Facilities Fund is an important tool for cultural organizations throughout the Commonwealth as they plan for and implement mission-driven projects that also help their communities. MASS MoCA is grateful for its CFF award; it's had a tremendous impact on the institutions and our patrons. So much has been accomplished with the funds that have been allocated to date. Just imagine the impact future allocations could have on our cultural facilities and cultural economy.    

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The Cultural Center of Cape Cod's Plan for New Education Wing

"Without support from the MA Cultural Council’s Facilities Fund, we would not be in the midst of an exciting expansion that will radically increase our space and scope of service. When our new Education Wing is complete, we will be better able to serve the region, especially youth at risk, individuals with special needs and challenges, seniors, and other under-served populations. Plus, we’ll make even greater contributions to the cultural economy, the quality of life in our community, and the many artists we serve. We are very grateful to the MCC for its support, and we urge our government to increase the MCC’s budget so it can in turn continue to enrich the Commonwealth!"

-Lauren Wolk, Associate Director, The Cultural Center of Cape Cod


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Samuel Harrison Society Restores Cultural Treasure

The Samuel Harrison Society was awarded a $63,000 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to help pay for the historical restoration improvements at the house.  The Cultural Facilities Fund grant served as a portion of the matching funds required of the National Park Service Save America’s Treasures grant that was also used to help pay for the improvements.  The Samuel Harrison House is listed on both the State and National Historic Registers and was the residence of Samuel Harrison and his family.  Samuel Harrison was the chaplain of the famous 54th all black regiment that fought for the north in the Civil War.  The movie “Glory” starring Denzel Washington was based on the 54th regiment’s heroics.  Samuel Harrison also fought for equal pay for black soldiers which eventually was granted while Abraham Lincoln was President.
As Governor Patrick is aware, the Berkshires have many, many beautiful and important cultural and historical venues that have benefited from Mass Cultural Council funding.  Maintaining these important buildings and venues is key to a strong economy so it is extremely important to continue funding programs that keep our vibrant heritage alive and well.  Allocating the remaining $26 million to the Cultural Facilities Fund will certainly help to preserve the State’s treasures.
Bonnie Galant, Dept. of Community Development
Below are before and after photos of the Samuel Harrison House located at 82 Third Street in Pittsfield, MA.  
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Walnut Hill Expands Facility

Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick provides intensive training to the next generation of artists, and offers a vibrant roster of performances and events to the community. We are currently seeking funds for a new multi-purpose performance space on campus that would open up an array of artistic possibilities for students and help us to continue to serve as an arts hub in Metrowest. Governor Patrick, by exposing more youth to art we develop innovative, compassionate leaders of tomorrow - help Massachusetts to keep art alive by allocating the remaining $26 million in the Cultural Facilities Fund. 



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Narrows Center for the Arts: Serving the South Shore

"Without the Narrows, the South Shore and South Coast of Massachusetts would be denied a wonderful venue to see and hear art.  

My husband and I have been patrons and donors for most of the time the Narrows has been in existence.  We have attended concerts and view exhibits in the dead of summer braving the heat.  Fortunately the Narrows received a 2013 Cultural Facilities Fund grant and we can look forwarded to very cool concerts, not just the artists but in temperature.

The Narrows is located in a renovated textile mill. It is truly a wonder and shows the ingenuity of arts and cultural organizations who want to reach the public.  Without the Narrows many of us would be deprived of the "up close and personal" performances where you can reach out and touch the artists.  Many local artists would not be given a start as they are often the warm-up acts for the bigger names. And then there is the jobs created by the organization and the other economic benefits brought to the local area.

Many arts and cultural institutions do not maintain adequate cash reserve for repairs and maintenance and/or regulations change and they don't have the funds to comply (think the Station Nightclub Fire and how it changed the fire regulations for institutions open to the public).  Allocating all or a portion of the $26M would permit arts and cultural institutions to make the repairs and upgrades before they get even more expensive and dire."

-Susan Hammond
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The Possibilites at Passim

Our friends across the River at Passim need some love from the Cultural Facilities Fund. Imagine what Passim and other venues just like it could do if we all convince Governor Patrick to allocate the remaining $26 million of the Cultural Facilities Fund.

"The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund has provided significant help to Cambridge to maintain and enrich both the arts and the community.  Cambridge has received $400K for construction of the Maud Morgan Visual Arts Center, $169K for ART, $250K for the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and $192,000 for completion of the Central Square Theater. Harvard University has offered to sell Passim the building that has housed us for more than half a century.  A major grant from MCFF will help us raise the money to be able to consummate the purchase.  The result will be an increased capacity to achieve our mission, including being able to provide complete handicap accessibility."

-Dan Hogan, Executive Director, Passim

Does your space need some love from the Cultural Facilities Fund? Send photos and your story to Tracie: [email protected] and we'll share them with the Governor.       






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Meet the Berkshire Museum

Meet the Berkshire Museum. Another reason for Governor Patrick to allocate the remaining $26 million of the Cultural Facilites Fund in the last year of this cycle.

The Berkshire Museum, a cultural center in the Berkshires for 110 years, serves 85,000 visitors annually and provides more than 16,000 individual educational experiences to local students in science and the arts. Support from the Cultural Facilities Fund has made a critical difference in ensuring the Museum is safe and accessible for all visitors and that collections and exhibitions are preserved for future generations.

-Laurie Werner, Director of Campaign and Major Gifts, Berkshire Museum








Want to share your story? Send a picture and short story about your favorite cultural venue and why the Cultural Facilities Fund matters to your community. Email Tracie:  [email protected]

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