May 19, 2015

Events to Celebrate $13.7 Million in New Capital Funds to Support Mass Nonprofit Cultural Sector
(Boston, MA)— Events across the state will celebrate the latest investments from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a state program that fosters the growth of the nonprofit cultural sector by supporting building projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassDevelopment invite representatives from the cultural sector, local officials, and their supporters to attend one or more of these events at venues in Gloucester, Worcester, and Plymouth in early June. A full schedule with registration information is available online.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, state legislators, other elected officials and business leaders will be on hand to celebrate the latest round of $13.7 million in CFF grants to more than 70 projects statewide. The projects create jobs in construction and cultural tourism; expand access & education in the arts, humanities, and sciences; and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Organizations awarded funding in this round plan to invest $170 million in their building projects.

“CFF grants are powerful catalysts for projects that benefit communities in all regions of the Commonwealth,” said Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “They support a robust nonprofit cultural sector that drives tourism, our state’s third largest industry.”

“MassDevelopment is thrilled to work with the Massachusetts Cultural Council to infuse more than $13.7 million for capital improvements into Massachusetts cultural institutions,” said Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment. “With the many important creative, social, and economic contributions these organizations make to the Commonwealth’s success, helping cultural institutions expand or improve their facilities represents a vital investment in our future.”

The new round includes 58 capital grants totaling $13.3 million and another 16 planning grants totaling $412,000. Grants range from $7,000 to $600,000, and must be matched with funds from private philanthropy and/or other public sources. They include:

  • $110,000 for the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra to make historic Tuckerman Hall in Worcester more accessible for artists and patrons.
  • $340,000 to the City of New Bedford for repairs to the downtown Zeiterion Performing Arts Center.
  • $400,000 for the Somerville Arts Council to transform a former waste transfer station into a self-sustaining creative village with event and performance space, artists’ work studios, art galleries, community gardens, and cultural cafe.
  • $120,000 for the Cultural Center of Cape Cod to build an Education Center in Yarmouth.
  • $270,000 to renovate the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 1770 Center House, transforming the building into an energy efficient, multi-use facility with flexible education and meeting spaces.

With these new grants, CFF will have invested nearly $84 million in the Massachusetts creative sector for projects in more than 125 cities and towns since 2007. These grants have helped launch many transformative projects, leveraging private sector dollars that have kept this sector growing and thriving. CFF has also helped dozens of nonprofit organizations become better stewards of our cultural heritage.

In total, CFF-funded building projects are spending more than $1.6 billion, providing more than 16,400 building jobs to architects, engineers, contractors, and carpenters. The organizations also plan to add 1,572 permanent jobs after completing their capital projects.

CFF grants have helped restore and preserve many of our nation’s most cherished historic buildings, which attract cultural tourists to Massachusetts. More than 15 million people visit CFF-funded organizations annually, with nearly one-third coming from out-of-state.

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) jointly administer the CFF. A Cultural Facilities Fund Advisory Committee appointed by the Governor provides oversight to the Fund’s operation. The grants are supported through $15 million from the state’s fiscal year 2014 capital plan. Get more background on CFF and its impact.

About MCC
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. The MCC pursues this mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

About MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units.

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