WAC FY22 Grant Recipients image

Worcester Arts Council Awards over $206,000 in Grants for Local Arts and Cultural Programs for 2022


WORCESTER, MA January 10, 2022 – The Worcester Arts Council and the City of Worcester are proud to announce the award of 57 grants totaling more than $206,000 for arts and cultural programs in Worcester in 2022.

The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCC) under the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). These LCCs serve all 351 cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Statewide, more than $4.7 million will be distributed by LCCs in 2022.

This year, WAC received $187,700 in funding from the MCC — a 12.5% increase over 2021. For the second year, WAC also received an additional $10,000 for Fellowship funding from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s Creative Worcester Initiative, which is funded in part by the Barr Foundation. 

WAC received a record 137 applications for its 2022 grants. Between November and December 2021, WAC evaluated all applications on criteria including public benefit, creative/artistic merit, capacity, budget, impact, and innovation. The Council also took into account how well applications reflected its annual Funding Priorities, which are established based on community input.

“For over 40 years, the Worcester Arts Council has helped arts and culture come alive in Worcester through its annual grant program. This year is no exception,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “I am very happy to see the innovative projects and talented fellows who are among the list of 2022 grant recipients. I congratulate each of this year’s grantees, and I thank the members of Arts Council for their tireless dedication to serving Worcester’s creative community.”

“The Worcester Arts Council is thrilled to be able to fund 7 artist fellowships and 50 projects that will take place in Worcester in 2022,” said Worcester Arts Council Chair Jen Riley. “From fashion designers to photographers, from community murals to festivals on the Worcester Common and more, we couldn’t be prouder of our 2022 grantees. It’s an honor to support so many projects and people who inspire us, challenge us, and connect us through their creativity and imagination.”

WAC’s 2022 project grant winners reflect a wide range of Worcester-based programs and organizations, including the Juneteenth Festival from the Black Heritage Juneteenth Committee, a DIY Paint n Skate Youth Program from Push Worcester, the Main South Community Mural Project from the Main South Community Development Corporation, the Making Music with Elm Park School After School program from Pakachoag Music School, and many more.

WAC also awarded fellowships to 7 Worcester artists, including $5,000 fellowships to fashion designer, musician, and artist Emmanuel Carboo and photographer Richard Cummings, and five $2,000 fellowships to photographer George Annan, Jr., visual artist Khalil M. Guzman-Jerry, musician Kaz Supernova, visual artist John Albert Powers, and visual artist Sharinna Travieso.

The complete list of 2022 grant recipients and amounts can be found below.

WAC was also recently awarded a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as part of the American Rescue Plan. WAC is the only Local Cultural Council in Massachusetts to receive one of 60 NEA grants nationwide. WAC plans to make additional sub-granting opportunities available with its NEA funds. More details will be shared in early 2022.

The current Worcester Arts Council members are Jennifer Riley (Chair), Lisa Malo (Vice Chair), Brandon Lewis (Secretary), Christopher Rich (Treasurer), Silvana Boaheng, Sean Brennan, David Filar, and George Sedares. There is one open seat on the Council.

The 2022 Worcester Arts Council Grant Recipients are listed below, and can be found at http://www.worcesterma.gov/cultural-development/document-center/wac-grantees.pdf

African Community Education ProgramACE & Crocodile River Music Drumming$4,800
Andrew SlowaskiScoop Drip Sneaker Customization Workshop$3,750
Anna MacInnisToo Darn Hot: 150+ Years of Burlesque History$525
ARTReach, Inc.Worcester Youth Press Project$3,750
ArtsWorcester, Inc.100 Views of Worcester$4,500
Be Studios NowPhotography Exhibition Series: Abstract & Up Close$2,250
Black Excellence AcademySelf, Family, Community$3,330
Black Heritage Juneteenth CommitteeJuneteenth Festival$3,600
Building Futures, Inc.BFI Kids Club Plus Summer Music Program$3,000
Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Inc.Walking Tour of Worcester’s Peace History$2,628
Christopher BettencourtCongress Alley Mural by Tom Grady$3,750
Christopher G. KingUpcycling Textile Scrap into Rope and Fabric$3,596
Creative Hub Worcester, Inc.Creative Hub Mobile Art Van 2022$5,000
Cyrus Alexander3rd Annual Beats & Barbecue Community Festival$3,750
Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District, Inc.Downtown Worcester Vacant Storefront Activation$5,000
Edward Street Child Services, Inc.Play On – Explorations and Documentation of Play Through the Lens of the Child$3,750
Emmanuel CarbooFellowship (Fashion Designer, Musician, Artist)$5,000
Ferdinand NazarioFirefighter Comic Book Mural$3,750
Flamenco WorcesterFlamenco Worcester 10 Year Anniversary Celebration$3,750
George Annan, Jr.Fellowship (Photographer)$2,000
Girls Incorporated Of WorcesterTheater Workshop$2,250
Guardians of Traditions, Inc.Dominican Carnival: A Colorful Tale of Satire and World Heritage$3,750
Indian Lake Community Association, Inc.Block Party at the Teaching Garden$3,750
John Albert PowersFellowship (Visual Artist)$2,000
Joy of Music Program, Inc.World Drumming Connections$3,536
Kaz SupernovaFellowship (Musician)$2,000
Khalil M. Guzman-JerryFellowship (Visual Artist) $2,000
Living in Freedom Together, (LIFT) Inc.Clothing & Accessories Not For Sale: An Exhibit Exposing the Realities of the Sex Trade$5,000
Main South Community Development CorporationMain South Community Mural Project$5,000
Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, Inc.An Evening Celebrating Great Latin-American Musical Influences$5,000
Michelle Memnon – Summer Gospel Fest7th Annual Summer Gospel Fest$2,700
Mihoko WakabayashiSeed to Fashion$3,260
Music Worcester, Inc.Dancing Towards the Future: Music Worcester Presents Ballet Hispanico$3,750
Open Door Arts, Inc.Connecting and Creating Through the Arts$4,500
Pakachoag Music School of Greater Worcester, Inc.Making Music with Elm Park After-School$5,000
Patricia KirkpatrickFlower Crown Farm Community Event Series$1,593
Piya SamantThe Saffron Notes Project$3,645
Preservation Worcester, Inc.By the Canal Historic Marker and Self-Guided Tour Signs in Pickett Park$3,750
Push WorcesterDIY Paint n Skate Youth Program$3,500
Render Creative, Inc. (Main IDEA)Community Garden Mural$3,800
Richard CummingsFellowship (Photographer)$5,000
Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates, Inc.Creative Movement for Individuals with Disabilities$5,000
Sharinna TraviesoFellowship (Visual Artist)$2,000
Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts18th Annual Asian Festival; 16th Annual Moon Festival$4,500
Studio Theatre Worcester, Inc.STW’s Production of “Next to Normal”$3,750
The Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, Inc.Music is the Key Partnership: A Music and Mentoring Pilot Project$5,000
WICN Public Radio, Inc.Youth Harmony Recording$2,907
Worcester Art MuseumArtist Panel Discussion for the Exhibition “Us Them We | Race Ethnicity Identity”$4,500
Worcester Caribbean American Carnival Association, Inc.Worcester Caribbean American Carnival$3,750
Worcester Center for Performing Arts, Inc.The WYSH (Worcester Youth Speak Honestly) Project$5,000
Worcester Chamber Music Society, Inc.Free Family Concert$2,625
Worcester County Light Opera Club“Fun Home”$4,500
Worcester County Mechanics AssociationFounders’ Day$1,875
Worcester Hip Hop Congress, Inc.The Elements: Worcester Hip Hop Through the Ages$4,491
Worcester Historical MuseumPretty Powerful Women’s History Month Fashion Programs: The Politics of Hair; Fast Fashion; and High School Essay Contest$4,200
Worcester Natural History Society (EcoTarium)Art, Nature, and Play Days 2022$1,958
Worcester Youth Orchestra, IncSpring Community Concert$3,750

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 more information visit: www.worcesterma.gov/wac

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: www.massculturalcouncil.org

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