(Boston, MA) – The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) today approved a spending plan for the coming year that will invest more than $12 million in grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, education & youth programs, and working artists across the Commonwealth.

MCC’s FY17 spending plan benefits from a state appropriation restored by the Legislature earlier this month. Both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to override a gubernatorial veto and restore MCC’s budget to $14 million, level with last year. Today, the Council voted unanimously to approve a plan to put those funds to work through the following:

Nonprofit Cultural Organizations: $4.6 million – The Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) comprises more than 300 nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations across Massachusetts. These organizations connect children and adults to theatre, music, visual art, & film; teach them about history, literature, and the environment; and introduce them to new languages and cultural traditions. This year, MCC will fund a number of new and emerging nonprofits through the Cultural Investment Portfolio. These grants must be matched one to one, and range from $2,500 to $56,500. See FY17 CIP funding list.

Cities & Towns: $3 million – MCC’s 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) make up the nation’s largest public grassroots arts support network. They provide funding to every community in Massachusetts through the efforts of more than 2,500 volunteers. The councils support local arts and history, fund school field trips, and sponsor local concerts and exhibitions. Grants to LCCs range from $4,400 for the smallest towns to $117,400 for Springfield and $179,000 for Boston, according to a formula that reflects the state’s local aid system. See FY17 LCC allocations.

Creative Youth: $2.1 million – MCC works to expand access to quality, creative learning experiences in school and community settings through these grants programs:

  • YouthReach, which supports nonprofit organizations that provide in-depth arts, humanities, and science programs for young people at risk. See FY17 YouthReach funding list.
  • SerHacer, supporting intensive, ensemble-based programs that use music as a vehicle for youth development and social change. Through grants and technical assistance, the MCC fosters this emerging field of music education across the Commonwealth. See FY17 SerHacer funding list.
  • STARS Residencies connect artists and creative educators in the humanities and sciences with elementary and secondary schools with deep learning experiences that help students grow, develop new skills, and expand their imaginations.
  • Big Yellow School Bus grants help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to cultural institutions across Massachusetts.
  • Poetry Out Loud, a national competition in which high school students perform classic and contemporary poems while exploring elements of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre in their English and drama classes. The Huntington Theatre Co. has expanded Poetry Out Loud to more than 50,000 Massachusetts students each school year. It is funded with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Creative Economy: $1 million – This includes grants for newly designated Massachusetts Cultural Districts, a second year of grants for Festivals, and the Adams Arts Program that supports partnerships that use arts and culture to drive community development. It also includes funds to continue the work of Futurecity/Massachusetts. Finally, MCC will continue its support ofDataArts (Cultural Data Project), which measures the economic impact of the nonprofit cultural sector. See FY17 Adams funding list.

Artist Fellowships: $500,000 – Last year, MCC celebrated 40 years of support for working artists through its Artist Fellowships. Additional funds in FY16 allowed MCC to boost Artist Fellowships in a range of disciplines to $12,000. This year, MCC will also use NEA funds to support Traditional Arts Apprenticeships and showcase the work of folk and traditional Artist Fellows. See FY17 Traditional Arts Apprenticeships funding list.

Mass Humanities: $526,533 – The MCC provides an annual partnership grant to Mass Humanities, which supports public programs in history, literature, and other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in the Commonwealth.

UP Inclusive Design Initiative: $160,000UP will support the growth and development of organizations that employ inclusive design to grow audiences and enhance cultural experiences for all, and that embrace inclusivity as core to their mission.

New England Foundation for the Arts: $50,000 – The MCC continues its investment in the New England Foundation for the Arts, collaborating on mutually supportive activities that serve the citizens of Massachusetts and provide opportunities for Mass. artists, presenters, and communities.

MCC also provides a range of services to the nonprofit cultural sector, including Hire Culture, a free, creative employment job site; SpaceFinder Mass, a directory of creative spaces for rent in Massachusetts; Creative Minds Out Loud, a podcast for arts and culture nerds; training and technical assistance for nonprofits and local cultural councils; and marketing and promotion via public media.

Contact: Gregory Liakos, MCC Communications Director, 617-858-2720.