Somerville State Representatives Christine Barber, Denise Provost, and Tim Toomey and State Senator Patricia Jehlen announced today that the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) has awarded $34,200 to the Somerville Arts Council, as well as $15,000 in a direct grant to the Mystic Learning Center, Inc., a Somerville-operated arts program.
This funding will support a broad range of cultural activities and support jobs in the nonprofit cultural sector. Appropriated as a part of MCC’s statewide funding program, this grant ensures cultural programs in Somerville will continue to thrive and benefit both residents and visitors. MCC awarded $3 million in total this year to 329 local cultural councils, a group which makes up the largest public grassroots arts network in the nation.
“The Massachusetts Cultural Council does great work to sustain and support local arts initiatives throughout the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Christine Barber. “The Somerville Arts Council facilitates creative and artistic expression in our community and makes amazing events like ArtBeat and SomerStreets possible. I look forward to seeing the new projects that come from this year’s grant.”
“In Somerville, residents of all ages engage in the arts and enhance the community through the available creative outlets,” said Sen. Pat Jehlen. “These grants provided by the MCC will allow the city’s cultural resources to continue to grow and benefit the community.”
The Somerville Arts Council works to cultivate and celebrate the creative expressions of the Somerville community, and aims to make the arts an integral part of life in Somerville through collaborations and quality programming.
“MCC support is essential to our work. The beauty of the Local Cultural Council program is that all the money flows back down to the local community—to artists, schools and organizations,” said Gregory Jenkins, Director of the Somerville Arts Council. “The result is that our community is more vibrant, culturally active, and connected because of this support.”
Each year, the council awards grants to support artists, schools, organizations and special projects, and is currently seeking grant applications for projects to be carried out in 2016. The grant application deadline is October 15th.
“Through the generosity of the MCC, we are able to provide some of the most diverse, exciting, and unique arts festivals in the country, and we are extremely grateful for their continued support,” said Somerville Mayor, Joseph A. Curtatone.
Additionally, the MCC awarded $15,000 in direct grants to the Mystic Learning Center, Inc. in Somerville. The organization received funding for the operation of the YouthReach Program to offer under-resourced and under-represented youth a platform for creative expression and professional development.
“Funding from the MCC & SAC provides the opportunity for the Mystic Learning Center to offer enrichment activities to youth of the Mystic and Somerville communities,” said Florence Bergman, Executive Director of the Mystic Learning Center, Inc. “Programs like Books of Hope, the Mystic Youth Chorus, and Wild Tales are made possible. Through writing, singing, and acting youth find expression and a way to contribute positively to their community.”
“I’m delighted that the Somerville Arts Council continues to support the creative endeavors of our people,” said Rep. Denise Provost. “Investments like these help to strengthen our culture and diversify our economy.”
“The arts are at the core of Somerville’s identity and character as a city, and MCC’s support for local artists and the Somerville Arts Council is a driving force behind the city’s thriving arts scene,” said Rep. Tim Toomey.