Worcester Arts Council Awards Over $163,000 in Grants for Local Arts and Cultural Programs in 2020


Worcester Arts Council Awards Over $163,000 in Grants for Local Arts and Cultural Programs in 2020

Worcester, MA- City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. and Worcester Arts Council Chair Yasmin Goris have proudly announced the awarding of 53 grants totaling more than $163,000 for arts and cultural programs in Worcester in 2020.

The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is part of a statewide network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences on an annual basis. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a board of municipally appointed volunteers. The current Worcester Arts Council members are Yasmin Goris (Chair), Mitchell Perry (Treasurer), Stephanie Mireku (Secretary), Lisa Malo, Thomas Conroy, and George Sedares.

This year WAC received over a $30,000 increase in funding from the MCC, enabling the Council to fully fund 85% of its 2020 applicant pool. The 2020 grants will support a diverse range of programs and organizations in Worcester, including some familiar programming as well as new engagement opportunities for the local community. A few examples of 2020 WAC funded programs include:

  • ArtsWorcester’s Annual College Show
  • ACE’s Saturday Program Field Trips
  • A Woman of Color Arts Weekend
  • Central Mass Jazz Festival
  • Refugee Artisans of Worcester’s Cultural Heritage Makers

This year, the Worcester Arts Council also allocated funding toward two $5,000 Artist Fellowships. The recipients are local puppeteer Amanda Gibson and local filmmaker Cyrille Vincent NDOMAKETTE SAMBA. The complete list of grant recipients and amounts is included below. WAC will host a grant reception celebrating all of the grant recipients in late spring 2020, with more details to be announced electronically.

“As an active member of Worcester and its artist community, it is with great pleasure to see first-hand the extraordinary impact of a city that values, encourages and supports creative expression,” said Worcester Arts Council Chair Yasmin Goris, enthusiastically celebrating the range and depth of the applicant pool and the diverse talent represented by the 2020 grantees. “Every year the Worcester Art Council successfully works on showcasing and offering our residents and grantees the opportunity to continue to inspire and produce impactful art and events for the community. I am very grateful for our past success and will look forward to a wonderful 2020 as I am excited to see these upcoming projects come to life.”

Between October and December 2019, WAC reviewed nearly 80 grant applications ranging in topic from public art installations to classical music performance to wellness programs. The Council took various criteria and details into consideration including quality, public benefit, and alignment with 2020 granting priorities which include: Public Art, Children’s Programs, and Performing Arts.

Statewide, more than $4.3 million will be distributed by local cultural councils in 2020. Grants will support an extensive range of grass-roots activities: concerts, exhibitions, radio and video productions, field trips for schoolchildren, after-school youth programs, writing workshops, historical preservation efforts, lectures, First Night celebrations, nature and science education programs for families, and town festivals. Nearly half of LCC funds support educational activities for young people.

The Worcester Arts Council will seek applications again in Fall 2020 for the grant year 2021. Applications and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available online at www.mass-culture.org. Application deadlines and specifics will be announced on www.worcesterma.gov.

The 2020 Worcester Arts Council grant recipients and amounts are as follows:




Worcester Arts Council Book Festival $5,000.00
Amanda Gibson Fellowship Grant $5,000.00
Cyrille Vincent NDOMAKETTE SAMBA Fellowship Grant $5,000.00
African Community Education Program ACE Saturday Program Field Trips $2,500.00
Andrew Perry / YMCA Black History Month Art Project $1,350.00
Angelique Webster We Are Standing $2,500.00
Arts Worcester The Sixteenth Annual College Show $3,999.00
Audio Journal, Inc. Radio Reading for the Blind $1,500.00
Black Heritage Committee Black Heritage Festival $2,500.00
Boys and Girls Club of Worcester In Da Zone Dance Team $2,550.00
Canal District Alliance Horse Drawn Wagon Tours promoting history $5,000.00
Dr. Allegra Martin Haydn Lord Nelson Mass – Joint WPI and Holy Cross Concert $5,000.00
Elder Services of Worcester Area, Inc. Worcester LGBT Elder Network Rainbow Lunch & Supper Clubs $1,200.00
Elizabeth Bombard / Thorndyke Road School Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts Grade 6 Visit $1,250.00
Elizabeth Vittum / Seven Hills Occupational Rehabilitation Creative Movement Classes for People with Disabilities $5,000.00
Floetic Fridays Masquerade: Self as Performance $1,199.70
Francesca Abbey So, What Did You Learn? $650.00
Holly Dolan / Worcester Area Mission Society Summer *CUBS Collage:  Investigating the Art of Eric Carle $2,639.00
Jennifer Davis Carey Women of Color Arts Weekend $2,500.00
Joy of Music Great Brook Valley Outreach $1,199.70
Joyce Henderson Serenity Coffeehouse $1,200.00
Louis Brady 2020 Neighborhood Health Fair $5,000.00
Lucinda J. Ellert Commonwealth Orchestra Outreach Project $3,999.00
Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra Admission-Free Summer Family and Children’s’ Concert in Institute Park $5,000.00
Mechanics Hall, aka Worcester County Mechanics Association Two-Day Creative Engagement with Jarrett J. Krosoczka $1,500.00
Melanie LeBoeuf / WICN Jazz 101 Class $2,599.35
Mihoko Wakabayashi Seed to Fashion $3,660.00
Music Worcester, Inc. Tickets to Opportunity: tearing down access barriers $2,000.00
Nancy Thibault Drum Away the Blues: Holistic Approach to Early Education $800.00
Nativity School of Worcester Art Club with Main IDEA $1,999.50
Patrick Smith Cosmic Classics: Best in Brass $5,000.00
Preservation Worcester Worcester’s Architectural Heritage: Painted on Canvas $1,635.00
Refugee Artisans of Worcester Cultural Heritage Makers: Yesterday and Today $2,430.00
Regional Environmental Council Upcycled Mosaics: Youth Garden Installations $3,583.10
Render Creative, Inc. Teen Arts Program $5,000.00
Salisbury Singers Inc The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass $1,300.00
Sarah Connell Pop It Podcast $1,599.60
Seven Hills Charter Public School African Arts in Education Residency Program $1,400.00
Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts 16th Annual Asian Festival and 14th Annual Moon Festival $5,000.00
Squares Squared, Inc. Operators of POW! WOW! Worcester Worcester Voices $5,000.00
St. Stephen School The Magic of Communication assembly $519.87
Studio Theatre Worcester Studio Theatre Worcester’s production of Doubt $3,999.00
The Hanover Theatre & Conservatory for Performing Arts Adopt-A-School $5,000.00
Vietnamese Community of Worcester Vietnamese New Year Celebration $3,000.00
VOX New England Fifth Annual Classical Idol Competition and A Celebration of Youth Concert $1,500.00
Worcester Center for Crafts Public Art at WCC $5,000.00
Worcester Chamber Music Society Family Concert and Collaboration with Hanover Theatre Youth Ballet Company $5,000.00
Worcester Community Cable Access Central Mass Jazz Festival $5,000.00
Worcester Cultural Coalition Haunted Downtown Takeover $3,200.00
Worcester Historical Museum Revolutionary Worcester – Mr. Hancock and His Famous Trunk $4,250.00
Worcester Natural History Society dba EcoTarium Art, Nature, and Play Days 2020 $2,475.00
Worcester Youth Orchestras 5th Annual Four Orchestras Festival $5,000.00
Xiaoduo Fan Drama Therapy Theater Project for Dual-Diagnosis $2,770.00


About the Worcester Arts Council:

The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is a municipal body consisting of nine members appointed by the City Manager. The Council is charged with promoting the cultural affairs of the City of Worcester and allocating funds received by the Council for cultural projects and programs. The mission of the Worcester Arts Council is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences to improve the quality of life for Worcester residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our City. The Worcester Arts Council is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For questions, please email ArtsCouncil@WorcesterMA.gov. For more information visit: www.worcesterma.gov/development/cultural-development/worcester-arts-council.


About the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grant programs, partnerships, and services for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. For more information visit: http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/about/about.asp

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