Skip Navigation

Barr Foundation Supports Expand Mass. Stories

Two-year, $700K grant elevates new narratives.

Mass Humanities has received a two-year, $700,000 grant from the Barr Foundation for Expand Massachusetts Stories (EMS), an initiative aimed at generating more inclusive histories of the people and ideas that shape the Commonwealth. 

The funding will allow Mass Humanities to award up to twenty new grants annually in 2022 and 2023 for projects focused on the history and experiences of communities of color in Massachusetts. Mass Humanities also plans to develop new communications tools to elevate the stories produced by the funded projects to audiences around the state.

“Every community relies on storytelling to navigate change, preserve traditions, and make themselves heard,” said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. “At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, the Expand Massachusetts Stories initiative will uplift new narratives about Massachusetts to help us imagine and build a more equitable commonwealth. On behalf of our staff and board of directors, I want to thank the Barr Foundation for this unprecedented support for Mass Humanities and the organizations we serve.”

“Massachusetts is home to many diverse communities,” said SueEllen Kroll, Barr’s Senior Program Officer in Arts & Creativity. “We are excited to partner with Mass Humanities to center the voices, stories, and experiences of our BIPOC communities through its Expand Massachusetts Stories grantmaking program. These important grants will help fund the collection and amplification of more stories from communities and storytellers of color – and ensure that these histories and voices are preserved and part of our public conversation.”

The stories initiative began in fall 2021, when Mass Humanities provided grants totaling more than $360,000 to 22 cultural non-profits for projects that included audio tours, documentary films, oral histories, and public events. The first grants made possible by Barr’s support will be awarded in September 2022.

Stay in touch with Mass Humanities

Sign up for our Newsletter