Nonprofits groups in Haverhill, North Andover and West Newbury were among those awarded Wednesday one-time state Cultural Sector Recovery Grants designed to “assist cultural organizations and artists recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and operate more efficiently moving forward.”
The grants come from a $4 billion pandemic recovery package approved by the legislature in December 2021. Haverhill-based Historic New England picked up the largest local grant of $75,000.
“This is the largest grant announcement Mass Cultural Council has ever made,” said Executive Director Michael J. Bobbitt. “It is with great pleasure and pride that we celebrate more than $51 million in pandemic recovery monies being equitably distributed throughout the creative and cultural sector today. These awards will help propel the sector forward economically and chart the recipients’ paths towards growth.”
Other Haverhill recipients were Creative Haverhill, $11,740; Buttonwoods Museum, $14,350; and Heathmere Center for Cultural Engagement, $7,710. The Center for the Performing Arts in North Andover was awarded $47,510 and North Andover Historical Society received $28,720. In West Newbury, Pentucket Arts Foundation was awarded $6,000.
Mass Cultural Council, an independent state arts agency, is charged with bolstering the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sector. The agency says its efforts “advance economic vitality, support transformational change and celebrate, preserve, and inspire creativity across all Massachusetts communities.”
Early in 2022, Mass Cultural Council solicited public comment on what sort of recovery program would be most impactful. Staff used that feedback to develop the programs between February and May. The Agency’s governing Council approved the program guidelines on May 23, last year and they were published in early June.