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MH Announces $1.2 Million in Recovery Grants

Grants will support staff positions in organizations across the state

2023 Staffing Recovery Grant recipient Boston Comic Arts Foundation in Salem

We are pleased to announce that 35 organizations from Cape Cod to the Berkshires will receive grants totaling over $1.2 million (see list below), marking the largest single grant line in the history of the organization.

The 2023 Staffing Recovery Grants deliver funding to non-profit organizations to sustain and expand the hours of current staff or to hire new staff in order to create, restore and grow humanities programs across the state. Awards ranged between $16,000 and $40,000, and benefit organizations with budgets of $500,000 or less and five or fewer full-time equivalent employees.

In February, Mass Cultural Council announced a $2.5 million grant to Mass Humanities as part of the state agency’s Cultural Sector Pandemic Recovery Grants. Mass Humanities immediately began soliciting grant applications from organizations through the newly launched Staffing Recovery Grant initiative.

“Grassroots humanities organizations drive positive change and a sense of belonging in Massachusetts communities,” said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. “We are grateful to our partners at MCC for making these grants possible. This funding provides an influx of support for jobs and programs at a crucial point in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to celebrating the successes of these museums, cultural centers, and education providers.”

On December 13, 2021, then-Governor Charlie Baker signed An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs into law. This multi-billion-dollar pandemic recovery spending plan invests both federal ARPA and state surplus revenue dollars into key economic sectors to spur activity and growth.

The Act provided $60.1 million to Mass Cultural Council and directed the state arts agency to develop and implement new, one-time grant programs to assist Massachusetts creative and cultural organizations with their pandemic recovery.

“Last year Mass Cultural Council designed and implemented two historic, one-time recovery grants to assist Massachusetts artists, creatives, cultural workers, and cultural organizations with their ongoing efforts to economically rebound from the pandemic,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council. “A major priority of the Agency was to ensure these funds were distributed equitably and throughout the entire creative and cultural sector. We were pleased to partner with Mass Humanities, who has a proven track record of stewarding programs for the Commonwealth’s humanities-based organizations, and direct $2.5 million for regranting purposes to ensure recovery in every corner of our field. Congratulations to today’s grant recipients, we look forward to watching your new initiatives develop!”

Grant dollars reached every region of the state. Mass Humanities reports that 46% were first-time grantees, while 43% of organizations are led by people of color. The foundation targeted communities with high levels of poverty, providing 48% of funds to these areas.

“Workforce development and retention has been a challenge across economic sectors throughout Massachusetts and humanities programs are often particularly vulnerable,” said Senator Paul Mark, Chair of the Senate’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. “I applaud the Mass Humanities Staffing Recovery Grant Program for taking strides to help address this challenge by supporting workforce retention and expansion at organizations all over the Commonwealth.  This grant funding will have a direct, tangible positive impact for these organizations.”

Since the outset of the pandemic, Mass Humanities has awarded more than $4 million in grants to non-profits, including $2 million in funding made possible by the CARES Act and ARPA.

Total Grants awarded $1,242,870

Boston/ Greater Boston




Cape and the Islands


Connecticut River Valley


To learn more about Mass Humanities grant opportunities, email

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