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On May 18, The Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Cultural Council announced $9.3 million in new awards from Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), celebrating over $100 million in total cultural sector investments since the fund was established ten years ago. An additional $10 million in funding was included in the Baker-Polito Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget Plan released last week.

Among the recipients is the Beverly theatre that has been making a big splash in the last couple of years. The Cabot Performing Arts Center, widely known simply as The Cabot, is receiving a $225,000 toward the replacement of its aging HVAC system, which in total is expected to cost around $1.6 million. The almost 100-year old theatre plans to fully renovate the beautiful building.

“We are thrilled to have this grant as we move forward in our next phase of renovation at The Cabot,” stated executive director Casey Soward.

Governor Charlie Baker joined New Bedford mayor Jon Mitchell, state senator Mark Montigny, Massachusetts cultural council chair Nina Fialkow and executive director Anita Walker, Bristol County state legislators, local elected officials, and cultural and tourism sector leaders in making the announcement last May  at the newly reopened historic Seamen’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home in New Bedford’s Seaport Cultural District, which received a $440,000 matching CFF grant in 2014 and an additional $150,000 announced by governor Baker.

“Massachusetts and its communities share a rich history and diverse culture that benefit residents and attract visitors from around the nation and the world,” said governor Baker. “These investments in our communities’ local strengths and landmarks, drive growth in tourism, jobs and our economy across the Commonwealth.”

Over $100 million in CFF awards since 2007 have supported 772 building projects in the nonprofit arts, sciences and humanities, with total development costs of $2.6 billion, driving cultural tourism, job growth, and community vitality in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Over ten years CFF-funded projects have supported 8,512 full time jobs and $492 million in wages, employed 23,778 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers, and created 2,092 new permanent jobs.

“These awards help cities, towns and their nonprofit partners restore and preserve culturally and historically significant sites that provide educational opportunities to visitors and local families,” said lieutenant governor Karyn Polito. “We are excited the administration can support these public and private partnerships to bolster community and economic development.”

The new round of awards includes 61 capital grants totaling about $8.9 million and another 18 planning grants totaling nearly $400,000. Grants range from $7,000 to $300,000, and must be matched one-to-one from private and/or other public sources. 

The full list of awards can be viewed here: AWARDS

“Today we celebrate a 10-year, public-private partnership that has strengthened one of our state’s greatest assets: its arts and cultural sector,” said Anita Walker. “We are deeply grateful to the governor and legislature for the sustained commitment to the Cultural Facilities Fund.”

CFF grants have also helped restore many of our nation’s most treasured historical and cultural landmarks. More than 18 million people visit these sites annually, nearly one third from out of state.

Grants remain highly competitive: The Fund received 131 applications in this round seeking nearly $28 million for projects, and applicants anticipate $377 million in capital projects over the next two years. The new allocation announced by the Governor for FY18 will ensure the Cultural Facilities Fund continues to invest in quality building projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

“The Cultural Facilities Fund has delivered on its original mission to support the nonprofit arts, humanities, and sciences to create jobs and new economic opportunity in the Commonwealth,” said Jay Ash, secretary, executive housing and economic development, and chair of the board of MassDevelopment, which unanimously approved the grants at its May 11 meeting.

“The Cultural Facilities Fund supports the Commonwealth’s priceless cultural and historical resources, which create jobs, draw thousands of visitors to Massachusetts, and grow the state’s creative economy,” said MassDevelopment president and CEO Marty Jones. “We are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for its ongoing investment in the Fund, and delighted to see the what this new round of grants will make possible.”

MassDevelopment and Mass Cultural Council jointly administer the CFF, and an advisory committee appointed by the Governor provides oversight to its operation. The grants announced today were supported with $10 million from the state’s fiscal year 2017 capital plan, authorized by the state legislature and allocated by the governor.