Haverhill’s The Switchboard Receives $25,000 State Grant for Downtown Artist Residency Program

Looking toward Washington Street from The Switchboard. (Courtesy photograph.)

The Switchboard in downtown Haverhill has received a $25,000 state grant to bolster its Artist Residency Program.

The Switchboard Artist Residency Program at 43 Washington St. is inviting artists in such mediums as painting, sculpture, fiber arts, dance, photography, music and performance art with temporary studio space. Two and four-week residencies are available.

The grant was one of $340,000 in grants to 11 organizations to complete art and other creative-industry projects in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities. The initial round of these Transformative Development Initiative Creative Catalyst Grant awards, administered by MassDevelopment, support locally initiated, public-facing projects that advance arts- and culture-based economic development and neighborhood revitalization. The awards are made possible with funding from the Barr Foundation, which in 2019 awarded MassDevelopment a $500,000 grant to create new arts-based programming through the agency’s Transformative Development Initiative. MassDevelopment also contributed funding in order to support additional projects.

“MassDevelopment is pleased to offer this funding through the first round of TDI Creative Catalyst Grant awards, which will empower Gateway City stakeholders to revitalize underused spaces, build community, and advance their neighborhoods as regional centers of arts and culture,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We thank our partners at the Barr Foundation for their continued support and commitment to fostering the arts and creative economy across Massachusetts.”

“The diversity and breadth of Creative Catalyst Grants projects is very exciting,” said San San Wong, Barr Foundation Director of Arts and Creativity. “These innovative, ground-up, strategic efforts will create more equitable access to arts across the Commonwealth. Dovetailing well with TDI’s economic revitalization efforts, they promise greater vibrancy, cultural diversity, and social infrastructure in communities.”

MassDevelopment’s TDI Creative Catalyst Grant program is a competitive grant program through which individuals and organizations in current and graduated TDI districts can apply for grants ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 to support projects that enhance local arts and culture infrastructure. The program was developed following feedback from stakeholders in Gateway Cities and staff from MassDevelopment and the Barr Foundation about the need for new, flexible implementation funding to support projects that: (1) test a concept new to the TDI district, and (2) catalyze activities that will strengthen the capacity of the arts and culture ecosystem within the community.

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