Portions of this report are a press release. Photo courtesy of ATAC.
FRAMINGHAM – The Mass Cultural Council, in partnership with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, announced the recipients of nearly $10 million in COVID relief through the Cultural Organization Economic Recovery Grant Program.
In total, 183 cultural nonprofit organizations received $9,960,600 to support this sector’s economic recovery from losses sustained by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Economic Recovery Plan, Partnerships for Recovery.
“In addition to expanding opportunity for job seekers, assisting communities as they plan and adapt, and helping to create a foundation to build upon in the months ahead, our comprehensive plan for economic recovery continues to deliver targeted relief in the form of grants like this,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Thanks to Mass Cultural Council’s work to support this sector, this grant program allows us to target necessary funding to the organizations that are most in need.”
“As an important industry cluster that is spread out across the entire Commonwealth, our cultural sector is valuable to the fabric of Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants will bring relief to many of our cultural institutions as they face the challenges posed by the pandemic while also planning for a future beyond COVID-19.”
The Cultural Organization Economic Recovery Grant Program was extremely competitive and proved the cultural sector’s great need for public investment: a total of 424 applications were received over three weeks, requesting $30.2 million in assistance. Grant awards ranged from $1,000 to a maximum of $100,000.
Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham received $4,000.
“For 10 months Mass Cultural Council worked diligently to understand and document the economic devastation the cultural sector is facing from COVID-19,” said David T. Slatery, Acting Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council. “The Agency is deeply appreciative of the Administration for releasing this vital investment at a critical time. The Governor understands that a thriving cultural sector is key to restoring the state’s economy to pre-pandemic levels, and recognized Mass Cultural Council as the key partner to implement his plan to deliver relief efficiently and effectively.”
- 51 grant recipients are cultural organizations whose mission primarily focuses on presenting, promoting, and/or preserving the cultural traditions, art, history, and creative expression of people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, people who are LGBTQIA+, and members of other historically underrepresented groups. These cultural nonprofits received a total of $2,486,100.
- 46 grant recipients reported that they have not received any form of federal COVID assistance to date. These cultural nonprofits received a total of $1,141,000.
- 13 cultural nonprofits are first-time Mass Cultural Council grant recipients, receiving a total of $220,000.
“Massachusetts arts and cultural venues, which animate downtowns and main streets, have been decimated by the necessary public health closures,” said Emily Ruddock, Executive Director, MASSCreative. “We know cultural tourism is an essential component of Massachusetts’ economic engine and we thank Mass Cultural Council and the Baker-Polito Administration for prioritizing these businesses and workers with this relief funding.”