Worcester, MA (January 25, 2017) - City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. and Kelly Momberger, chair of the Worcester Arts Council, have announced the award of 44 grants totaling $106,690 for cultural programs in Worcester.
The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities and sciences. It is through programs like these that give access and assistance to the Worcester community in the development of projects and programs that add to the cultural vitality of the City. This year WAC is announcing the recipients of funding for the 2017 grant cycle. WAC will award a total of $106,690 to 44 Worcester area applicants. The 2017 allocation also includes two $5,000 Artist Fellowships, awarded to individuals to assist in the funding of their endeavors in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences. This year WAC is proud to award Fellowships to two local artists Mark Thomas and Jill Watts.
"We are so happy to announce our 2017 grant recipients," said Kelly Momberger, Worcester Arts council Chair. "WAC received a record number of applications this year, making this our most competitive grant cycle yet. These projects represent many new and vibrant programs that will further expand Worcester’s rich cultural environment and engage new audiences
"It's the local volunteers who really make this system work," said City Manager, Edward M. Augustus. "They make limited resources go as far as possible, and they make the tough decisions about which projects should be supported. Thanks to them, the arts, sciences and humanities are part of people's everyday lives in Worcester and every community across the state."
Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a board of municipally appointed volunteers. The current members of the Worcester Arts Council are Kelly Momberger, Thomas Conroy, Samantha Fiakofi, Jose Castillo, Hansani Archibald, Jacob Poplaski, Hank VonHellion and Meaghan Hardy-Lavoie.
Through a vigorous selection process, WAC's volunteer members reviewed more than 100 applications this fall during a series of meetings conducted to evaluate the overall quality of the proposed programs, their public benefit /viability and whether they met the 2017 local priorities for funding of Arts Education and Instruction, Music and Public Art.
Statewide, more than $3.3 million will be distributed by local cultural councils in 2017. Grants will support an enormous range of grass-roots activities: concerts, exhibitions, radio and video productions, field trips for schoolchildren, after-school youth programs, writing workshops, historical preservation efforts, lectures, nature and science education programs for families and town festivals. Nearly half of LCC funds support educational activities for young people.
WAC is looking forward this year to host a grant reception awarding all recipients in the spring of 2017. A complete list of recipients and grant amounts can be found on the Worcester Arts Council Home Page.
About the Worcester Arts Council:
The Worcester Arts Council is a municipal body consisting of nine members appointed by the City Manager. The Council is charged with promoting the cultural affairs of the City of Worcester and allocating funds received by the Council for cultural projects and programs. The mission of the Worcester Arts Council is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences to improve the quality of life for Worcester residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our City. The Worcester Arts Council is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Additional information about the Worcester Arts Council can be found by visiting: www.worcesterma.gov/wac.
About the Massachusetts Cultural Council:
The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grant programs, partnerships, and services for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. For more information visit: http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/about/about.asp