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Grants Sustain Impact for 17 Partners

Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester

Local organizations receive year a second year of funding.

Communities around Massachusetts have important stories to tell and vital issues to discuss. In 2022, Mass Humanities committed to provididing sustained support for two iniatives, the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program and the 2022 Staffing Grants. In fall 2023, partner organizations in these initiatives received a second year of funding to continue their work.

The grants total more than $280,000.

“We want to help the staff at these organizations continue to serve their local communities,” said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. “We see this second round of funding as essential for the ideas and programs launched over the last year.”

We are proud to share our second-year grants for the following organizations:  

Museum on Main Street Grantees

These partners hosted “Crossroads,” the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, in 2022-23. A second grant of $10,000 will help sustain the conversations and audience outreach in six small towns over the next year.

  • Hull Lifesaving Museum will support a series of events on women in marine industries, inspired by conversations held during their Museum on Main Street tour. 
  • Essex Historical Society & Shipbuilding Museum will create a “Builders without Borders” program series, inspired by the Shipbuilder’s Roundtable held during the Museum on Main Street tour. Funding is made possible by New England Biolabs Foundation.
  • Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center will host programs on the theme of “Food, Farms, and Factories,” inspired by the community response to Museum on Main Street. 
  • Rutland Free Public Library will create new programs with its Museum on Main Street partners, including conversations about Rutland’s role in the history of public health and contemporary challenges to community wellness.
  • Bushnell-Sage Library will build on the success of its Museum on Main Street program by continuing its community conversation and story-sharing series, digitizing the “Voices from the Field” oral histories, and maintaining partnerships with Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center and Sheffield Historical Society.
  • Athol Public Library will continue successful partnerships with Harvard Forest Museum, Swift River Historical Society, Athol Historical Society, and the Starrett Company Museum; build on its community conversation series to address rural conservation and main-street renewal; and give residents opportunities to contribute to a new “Changing Faces of Our Rural Community” project.
Hull Lifesaving Museum

Staffing the Humanities Grantees

Our two-year commitment to these partners continues our support for staffing at grassroots organizations. These grants were made possible through our partnership with Mass Cultural Council.

  • The Jar will support its Director of Programming to connect people through conversations about art and performance, and to build accessibility into all of The Jar’s programs. 
  • Shirley-Eustis House Association will support their Programs Coordinator to strengthen new partnerships with community organizations, and build a more inclusive story of Roxbury’s past and present.
  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester will support staff in developing programs that enable English Language Learners to build their literacy skills while engaging in conversation about culture and civics.
  • African Cultural Services Inc. will support staff to continue its K-12 educational programs on African/Ugandan culture, with an increased focus on the history and traditions behind music, dance, and fashion.
  • Andover Center for History & Culture will support staff in building K-12 partnerships by developing tools for K-12 teachers, focused on Andover history.
  • Blues to Green, Inc. will continue and expand its Legacy Education Project, which brings acclaimed Black and Afro-Caribbean musicians into majority Black and Latinx public schools to use historical Black and Afro-Caribbean music to teach students music, US and world history, and literature. 
  • Old Colony Historical Society will support staff to develop modules, case-studies, and additions to its website highlighting collections related to silver manufacturers Reed & Barton.
  • Everyday Boston will support a coordinator for “The Bridge Project,” which enables formerly incarcerated people to develop the communication skills and sense of belonging they need to succeed in the community. 
  • Guerilla Opera will support staff to continue its community programs, making opera accessible to audiences through multi-sensory learning experiences, and its library-based community conversation programs.
  • The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston will support a Program Coordinator to expand its Out of the Archives community programs, sharing stories of LGBTQ+ history and presence to build connection and combat isolation.
  • BAMS Fest, Inc. will support staffing to coordinate its ARTDACITY program and build sustained community partnerships.

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