View District
Read news
Read legislation
View slide show
Click here to signup
Cast your vote now...

Press Releases
PRESS RELEASE- More State Grants Awarded to Local Cultural Attractions: Massachusetts Cultural Council Presents $503,360 to Local Schools and Non-Profits
September 19, 2007

Pittsfield- The Berkshire County Legislative Delegation announces today that grants totaling $503,360 have been awarded to cultural organizations, schools, and communities in Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin Counties by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).  The announcement was made as part of a statewide funding program by the MCC.


State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) said that these grants support a variety of cultural activities that benefit local residents, “Western Massachusetts is rich with cultural offerings that not only attracts a multitude of visitors, but enriches the lives of those who choose to call this place home.  I am pleased that MCC has deemed it wise to invest in community-based and education-enriching programs allowing locals to access cultural experiences unique to our area.”


State Representative Daniel E. Bosley (D-North Adams) commended MCC’s funding efforts stating, “This recent round of funding is a great opportunity for our local cultural councils to promote individual artists in schools and throughout our communities.  Our local artists are a large part of the region’s cultural strength and it’s vital that we continue to support their efforts.”


The MCC is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.  It is  committed to creating a central place for the arts, sciences and humanities in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth.  The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities and artists. 



The following outlines the MCC grant programs awarding funding for this round:


Local Cultural Council Program (LCC)

The LCC Program is the most extensive cultural funding system of its kind in the nation.  This grassroots network provides funding to every Massachusetts community through 329 LCCs and 2,500 volunteer members.  The councils support community-based projects that explore local arts and history, expand education and accessibility, and celebrate diversity.


State Representative Christopher N. Speranzo (D-Pittsfield) remarked on the merits of the Pittsfield’s local council saying, “The Pittsfield Cultural Council has been making great strides in growing the cultural economy in the City of Pittsfield and this funding from the MCC will help continue that progress.”


Organizational Support

Organizational Support provides unrestricted operating funds to nearly 400 arts, humanities, and science organizations with track records of excellence, education, and community service.  These organizations allow Massachusetts children and adults to experience everything from theatre and music to visual arts and dance, and learn about history and nature, new languages and cultures.  These three-year grants must be matched one-to-one, and range from $2,500 to $62,500. 


Education: Creative Minds for a Creative Economy

This wide array of grants, services and advocacy programs seeks to fuel the growth of our state’s economy by promoting an educational infrastructure that nurtures creativity and innovation in the next generation of workers.

Creative Schools

The Creative School Program funds schools and school districts working to integrate arts and culture into the curriculum.  This is the second year of a two-year grant for recipient schools. 


MCC’s nationally renowned YouthReach Initiative supports partnerships between cultural and community organizations that integrate rigorous out-of-school arts opportunities for youth at risk of failure because of poverty, illness, crime, or neglect.  This grant will fund 37 youth programs statewide, five of which are in Berkshire County.


State Representative Denis E. Guyer (D-Dalton) stated, “I am pleased that the MCC has awarded grants to so many organizations in my district.  The grants will help support numerous projects that promote everything from dance to literature to theatre.  The work that the local cultural councils in western Massachusetts is able to accomplish with this funding helps the region maintain its dedication to hosting a vibrant cultural community.”


The following is a listing of MCC grant recipients in Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin counties:


Grants awarded to LCCs include:

Alford-Egremont Cultural Council, $8,000

Ashfield Cultural Council, $8,000

Becket Cultural Council, $8,000

Charlemont-Hawley Cultural Council, $8,000

Chesterfield Cultural Council, $4,000

Conway Cultural Council, $4,000

Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, $53,350

Cummington Cultural Council, $4,000

Dalton Cultural Council, $4,000

Goshen Cultural Council, $4,000

Great Barrington Cultural Council, $4,000

Heath Cultural Council, $4,000

Hinsdale-Peru Cultural Council, $8,000

Huntington Cultural Council, $4,000

Lee Cultural Council, $4,000

Lenox Cultural Council, $4,000

Middlefield Cultural Council, $4,000

Monterey Cultural Council, $4,000

Mount Washington Cultural Council,            $4,000

New Marlborough Cultural Council, $4,000

Otis Cultural Council,            $4,000

Pittsfield Cultural Council, $21,890

Plainfield Cultural Council, $4,000

Richmond Cultural Council, $4,000

Rowe Cultural Council, $4,000

Sandisfield Cultural Council, $4,000

Sheffield Cultural Council, $4,000

Stockbridge Cultural Council, $4,000

Tyringham Cultural Council, $4,000

Washington Cultural Council, $4,000

West Stockbridge Cultural Council, $4,000

Westhampton Cultural Council, $4,000

Williamsburg Cultural Council, $4,000

Windsor Cultural Council, $4,000

Worthington Cultural Council            , $4,000


Grant recipients of Organizational Support funding include:

Aston Magna Foundation for Music and Humanity, Great Barrington, $7,300

Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield,           $20,800

Berkshire Choral Festival, Inc., Sheffield, $2,500

The Berkshire Historical Society, Pittsfield, $2,500

The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, $6,900

The Berkshire Music School, Inc., Pittsfield, $2,500

The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Inc., Stockbridge, $19,400

Center for Ecological Technology, Inc., Pittsfield, $20,400

Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, $54,300

Close Encounters with Music, Inc., Great Barrington,         $2,500

Community Access to the Arts, Inc., Great Barrington, $7,600

Community Images Inc., Williamstown, $8,200

Country Dance and Song Society, Haydenville, $4,000

Double Edge Theatre, Ashfield, $6,000

Earthdance Creative Living Project, Inc., Plainfield, $4,000

Flying Cloud Institute, New Marlborough, $2,500

Hancock Shaker Village, Inc., Pittsfield, $11,800

Inkberry, North Adams, $2,500

IS183 Art School, Stockbridge,           $4,900

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc., Becket, $48,800

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, $40,100

Northern Berkshire Creative Arts, North Adams, $2,500

The Orion Society, Great Barrington, $12,200

Paris Press, Inc., Ashfield, $6,300

Pilgrim Theatre Research & Performance Collaborative, Ashfield, $2,700

The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, $10,200

Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, $25,120

Sheffield Historical Society, Sheffield, $2,500

Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program, Williamsburg, $2,500

Thunder Bay Ensemble, Inc., East Otis,$2,500

Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown,$7,500

Williamstown Jazz Festival, Williamstown,$3,500

Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown,$37,600


Recipients of Creative Schools grant funding:

Berkshire Arts & technology Charter School, Adams, $14,785

Crosby Elementary School, Pittsfield,$8,000

North Adams Public Schools, North Adams, $23,480

Richmond Consolidated School, Richmond, $8,000

Southern Berkshire Regional Schools, Sheffield, $22,475


Recipients of YouthReach grant funding:

Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield,           $12,000

Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, North Adams, $12,000

Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, $8,000






Meet Senator Downing | Priorities | Legislation
Contact | Email Updates | Slide Shows | In the News
This website is the official policy and constituent service website of Massachusetts State Senator Benjamin B. Downing.
It is maintained by the Office of Senator Downing. Web hosting has not been paid for at taxpayer expense.
Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.

Designed by Boxcar Media