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Worcester Arts Council Awards More Than $246K in Grants for 2024

For Immediate Release: 3/26/2024 3:33 pm

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) and the City of Worcester are proud to announce the awarding of 53 grants totaling $246,844 for arts and cultural programs in Worcester in 2024.

The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) under the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). The LCCs serve all 351 cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Statewide, $5.5 million will be distributed by LCCs in 2024.

WAC received $226,600 in funding from the MCC this year and reported a total of 118 applications for its 2024 grants. Between October and December 2023, WAC evaluated all applications on criteria including public benefit, creative/artistic merit, capacity, budget, impact, and innovation. The Council also considered how well applications reflected WAC’s annual Funding Priorities, which are established based on community input.

“Supporting artists in Worcester is not just about fostering creativity; it’s about nurturing diverse voices and preserving cultural heritage,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “I commend the Worcester Arts Council for championing equitable access to arts funding, prioritizing BIPOC artists and groups, and enriching our community with their dedication and commitment."

“The Worcester Arts Council is thrilled to fund 5 artist fellowships and 48 projects that will take place in Worcester in 2024,” said WAC Chair Sean Brennan. “We were able to distribute more grant funding into the community than ever before and are looking forward to the variety of projects planned for this year. It’s an honor to support so many projects and people who inspire us, challenge us, and connect us through their creativity and imagination.”

WAC’s 2024 project grant winners reflect a wide range of Worcester-based programs and organizations, including the Worcester Caribbean American Carnival, Crocodile River Music’s Worcester’s Got African Talent 3.0, Love Your Labels, and more.
Through the generous support of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation WAC was able to expand fellowship awards to five Worcester artists: Travis R. Duda, Jerry Kazarian, Ferlay Baptiste, Tina Gaffney, and Lynn Aurelie Thibault.

“I am thrilled to witness the Worcester Arts Council’s unwavering dedication to facilitating opportunities for local artists and creative projects,” said Cultural Development Officer Fabian Barracks. “Their commitment not only fulfills our city’s cultural plan but also ignites our office’s strategic functions. I eagerly anticipate the incredible creative activations that will emerge and flourish thanks to this vital funding support through the Mass. Cultural Council and additional fellowship funding support from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.”

The Worcester Arts Council members who served for this cycle of grants include Jennifer Riley, Christopher Rich, Sean Brennan, David Filar, Amy Sciannameo, and City of Worcester Staff Liaisons Fabian Barracks and Lisa Nguyen.
The Council has since welcomed Osaghale Aisagbonhi and Victor Rivera and is seeking passionate community members to fill five open seats. To apply, visit the Worcester Arts Council’s page on the City’s website.

The complete list of 2024 grant recipients and amounts can be found here.

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