Barr Foundation to Continue Funding JMAC Access Grants


The Worcester Cultural Coalition will receive an additional $175,000 in 2023 to further expand equitable use of the Jean McDonough Arts Center.

WORCESTER, MA – January 11, 2023 Thanks to a successful 2022 partnership, the Barr Foundation will continue to support the Worcester Cultural Coalition’s goal of equitable use of the Jean McDonough Arts Center (JMAC) in 2023.

“The JMAC strives to ensure that every cultural organization, large and small, can have a home in downtown Worcester,” said Eric Butler, Board President of the Worcester Cultural Coalition. “By providing creatives the resources needed to share their stories and programs with Central Massachusetts audiences, funding from the Barr Foundation has enabled the JMAC to turn its aspirational goals into reality. We are delighted that a diverse pool of presenters will continue to find a home at the JMAC through the Barr Foundation’s renewed support.””

SueEllen Kroll, Senior Program Officer for Arts & Creativity at the Barr Foundation, noted that, “artists are essential building blocks of our neighborhoods. They catalyze creativity, wonder, connection, and community. As the performing arts field rebuilds from the pandemic, we at Barr are pleased to partner with the Worcester Cultural Council to support artists in getting back to work. The JMAC has proven to be a critical cultural home and community space – especially for Worcester’s BIPOC and underserved artists – by helping artists create new work, generate income, and positively impact their community.”

The 2023 Barr donation of $175,000 will ensure the JMAC can continue to expand its equitable use efforts, which it plans to do through two initiatives:

  • Rental subsidy of the BrickBox Theater: Qualifying organizations and individuals will receive subsidized venue rental costs on a first-come-first-served basis through June 30th, 2023 or until available funds are exhausted. Staffing and other direct costs still apply. 

  • Project sponsorships: By way of a two-step application process, presenters will be selected to receive comprehensive support for a proposed project, including:
    • up to $10,000 in venue space rental and staffing cost subsidy, or
    • ​up to $15,000 in discretionary funds to pay creatives, invest in marketing, and cover other direct costs related to the event

Details and applications for 2023 Barr funding are available through Priority will be given to individuals and groups which identify as led by, or focused on, historically marginalized or underrepresented groups, such as the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities, and to members of the Worcester Cultural Coalition.

A free informational session will be held at the JMAC on Thursday, January 19th from 6pm-7pm.  Registration is available at

Organizations and individuals awarded Barr funding in 2022 include:

  • Jennifer Gaskin and Giselle Rivera Flores Don’t Touch My Podcast
  • Flamenco Worcester FLAMENCO! Tradition, Art & Passion and Villancicos Flamencos
  • Jewish Theatre Company of Central Massachusetts My Son The Waiter
  • Broadway in Worcester Free Student Masterclass with Tony Award Winner Laura Benanti
  • Darren Cole and Missy Whiteman Coyote Way X: Expanded Cinema
  • studioXpresents Deity
  • Queer the Scene Club Kiki
  • Jean-Sebastien Duvilaire and JSDDance I am Hayti!
  • Casita Cultura Latina Dia de los Muertos Festival
  • Michael Skrzek and Jackson Jirard Woo on Tap

About the Worcester Cultural Coalition: The Worcester Cultural Coalition (WCC) is a public-private partnership established in 1999 between the City of Worcester and 12 cultural organizations. In 2022, membership exceeded 80 organizations, which host over 2.7 million visitors annually, from Worcester and beyond. Its mission is to draw on Worcester’s rich and diverse cultural assets to foster economic revitalization, support active and creative engagement for all, and to promote a strong cultural identity for Greater Worcester. The WCC supports and encourages action that meets the creative goals of the Worcester Cultural Plan: promoting cultural equity and creative community engagement for all. Learn more at

About the Jean McDonough Arts Center: Comprising the ever-changing “permanent” PopUp and the intimate BrickBox Theater, the Jean McDonough Arts Center (JMAC) is an initiative of the Worcester Cultural Coalition, operated in partnership with The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. The JMAC is home to myriad creative events and cultural initiatives. Individuals and groups can present or develop a wide range of work at the JMAC, including but not limited to work in theater, dance, film, music, performance art, visual art, fashion design and video game design. Completion of the JMAC was made possible with the generosity of the late Jean McDonough and the McDonough family. Learn more at

About the Barr Foundation: The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets close to $3 billion, and has contributed more than $1 billion to charitable causes. For more information, visit and @BarrFdn on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

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