Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MCC Approves nearly $10M for Public Programs in the Arts, Sciences, & Humanities

This is a straight press release posted for its newsworthiness.

MCC Approves nearly $10M for Public Programs in the Arts, Sciences, & Humanities
(Concord, MA)—The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) today approved a spending plan for the coming year that will invest nearly $10 million in nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations, local cultural councils, education programs, and working artists across the Commonwealth.
MCC’s FY14 spending plan benefitted from a $1.6 million increase to its state appropriation, approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in July. That increase begins to restore cultural funding lost through years of budget cuts, and helps to offset federal cutbacks in the National Endowment for the Arts’ annual state partnership grant to MCC. The MCC Board unanimously endorsed the plan at its meeting at the Concord Museum, where it was joined by Concord State Rep. Cory Atkins, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, & Cultural Development.
MCC Executive Director Anita Walker highlighted the budget’s increased funding for nonprofit organizations, local cultural councils, artist residencies in schools, and artist fellowships.
“Thanks to support from the Legislature, we will be able to increase investments that will make a real difference to our partners in the cultural sector,” said Walker.
“I’m pleased that our success in this year’s budget debate will translate into more resources for the arts and culture in our communities,” said Rep. Atkins. “These dollars will strengthen our economy, expand access to cultural programs, and enhance the quality of life in our cities and towns.”
Below is a summary of MCC’s FY14 spending plan. (Detailed funding lists including individual grant amounts will be available online August 22 by noon.)
Nonprofit Cultural Organizations: $4 million - The Cultural Investment Portfolioincludes nearly 400 nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations across Massachusetts. These organizations connect children and adults to theatre, music, visual arts, and film; teach them about history, literature, and the natural environment; and introduce them to new languages and cultures. These grants must be matched one to one, and range from $2,500 to $55,000.
Communities: $2.63 million - MCC’s 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) are the most extensive public cultural funding network in the nation. They provide funding to every Massachusetts city and town through the work of more than 2,300 volunteers. The councils support local arts and history, fund school field trips, and sponsor local concerts and exhibitions. Grants to local councils range from $4,250 for the smallest towns to $96,180 for Springfield and $152,020 for Boston, according to a formula that reflects the state's local aid system.
Education: $1.4 million - MCC works to ensure that all children have access to high-quality, creative learning experiences in school and beyond. The agency pursues this goal through grants, services, and advocacy to schools, communities, and nonprofit cultural organizations.
  • STARS Residencies help schools partner with artists, scientists and other creative teachers for in-depth learning in arts, history, and the sciences. MCC will DOUBLE the number of STARS grants to schools this year to meet intense demand for this funding from teachers and principals.
  • YouthReach makes grants to cultural and community-based organizations to support in-depth arts, humanities, and science programs for young people at risk. MCC will also convene a national summit on arts and youth at risk as part of the 20th anniversary of YouthReach in 2014.
  • Big Yellow School Bus provides grants to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to cultural institutions in Massachusetts.
  • Poetry Out Loud is a national competition in which high school students memorize and perform great poems and explore the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken work, and theatre in their English and Drama classes. Huntington Theatre Co. runs the program in Massachusetts.
  • Creative Minds Afterschool is a visual arts curriculum for educators, developed with the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership.
Creative Economy: $820,000 - MCC’s Adams Arts Program supports partnerships that use arts and culture to drive economic and community development. ArtistLink provides grants to cities and towns develop spaces for artists to live and work. And the Cultural Data Project measures the economic impact of the nonprofit cultural sector.
Artists: $416,500 - MCC will boost Artist Fellowships to $10,000 for a range of disciplines, from poetry and music composition to painting and sculpture. MCC will also provide $50,000 for artist touring programs.
Humanities: $418,298 - 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.
Universal Design Initiative: $100,000 - MCC will develop standards for a new certification program promoting universal design principles for cultural facilities and programming.
This fall MCC will re-launch Creative Minds/Creative Communities - a series of receptions across the Commonwealth to celebrate this newest round of investments. The first event is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9 at 9 am at Winnekenni Castle in Haverhill, just prior to a public hearing that is part of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, & Cultural Development’s statewide “listening tour.” Additional events are planned in Worcester, Fall River, Holyoke, and other communities. More details to come.
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About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The MCC is a state agency supporting the arts, sciences, and humanities, to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. It pursues its mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. MCC's total budget for the current fiscal year is $12.7 million, which includes annual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources.

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