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PRESS RELEASE- Downing Announces $95K in State Funding to Boost Creative Economy: State program invests in innovative projects in Berkshire County
February 12, 2009

Boston- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) will release $95,000 to three Berkshire programs.  These funds are part of more than $1.3 million in grants to stimulate new economic activity and create jobs and income by investing in arts and cultural projects across the state.


“The Berkshires are a cultural destination known for its prominent artistic and cultural scene,” said Downing.  “These funds will help support the region’s creative economy, strengthen our marketing and outreach efforts and boost job creation.”


The grants come through MCC's Adams Arts Program for the Creative Economy, the oldest and most far-reaching program of its kind in the nation. This year Adams grants will support 37 projects spanning dozens of communities in every region of Massachusetts. These funds fuel a creative sector that has a $4.2 billion total impact on the state’s economy and provides more than 109,000 jobs.


The Adams Arts Program for the Creative Economy recognizes the pivotal role that the creative sector plays in Massachusetts. Tapping into our state's wealth of cultural assets, Adams funds projects that create jobs and income, revitalize downtowns, and draw visitors. The program inspires innovative, progressive, and systemic approaches to economic development.


“Creativity and innovation have been central to our success in Massachusetts, and they will be central to our economic recovery,” said MCC Executive Director Anita Walker. “These programs demonstrate that the creative sector remains one of our state’s strongest assets as we work to get our economy growing again.”


Funded Local Programs Include:


City of Pittsfield- $40,000

Funding will assist in the improvement of economic activity in Pittsfield through the expansion of marketing and branding efforts to position Pittsfield as the cultural center of the Berkshires.  Program objectives also include networking and professional development opportunities for artists and creative workers.


Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts- $40,000

Funding will help provide resources, training, and support to attract a creative class of people to the Berkshires.  An emphasis will be placed on creating work opportunities for young adults currently living in the Berkshires and supporting the existing class of artists and arts organizations in the county.


Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art- $15,000

Funding will be used to grow commercial artistic enterprises in the Berkshires by providing individual development accounts, financial education, and technical and business assistance to low- to moderate-income artists.


About the Massachusetts Cultural Council:


The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and sciences, to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the state’s economic vitality.


MCC is a state agency committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. It pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. MCC receives an annual appropriation from the state Legislature and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources.




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