We believe arts and creativity can build community in a changing world—helping to bridge divides, boost healing and recovery, and enable all to find their voice and home in Worcester County.

Greater Worcester Community Foundation is proud to be the region’s largest funder of arts programs and a member of the Creative Commonwealth Initiative, a ten-year partnership between the Barr Foundation and community foundations to elevate arts and cultural expression across Massachusetts.

Creative Worcester County

Through Creative Worcester County, we aim to foster a region where artists and creative entrepreneurs are welcomed and supported, quality projects are replicated or taken to scale, the contributions of our diverse populations are celebrated, and the sector is supported as a keydriver of vitality and wellbeing.

With support from the Barr Foundation and our donors, we launched the Creative Worcester initiative in 2018, focused on centering arts in civic life across the city.

Over the past six years, we:

...and more! In addition, we have increased our own investment in arts and culture year over year through our competitive Community Grants program.

Now, we are taking this initiative county-wide, demonstrating our commitment to fostering a region where artists and arts nonprofits are valued and diverse cultures are celebrated.

A Meaningful Difference

An independent evaluation firm found our work has produced significant results, beyond granting money to artists and arts organizations. Learn more about the first six years of the Creative Worcester initiative and our progress to date by downloading this brochure.

2024-2026 Priorities

Arts and culture organizations look to Greater Worcester Community Foundation to increase our leadership role, building on our most successful practices, addressing persistent needs in the sector, and expanding resources for artists and nonprofits across the county.

Our priorities for our expanded Creative Worcester County initiative over the next two years feature:

  1. Strategic partnerships, including ongoing activation and refinement of the City of Worcester Cultural Plan, support for the Worcester Cultural Coalition’s new strategic plan, and forming alliances with funders and groups supporting arts in cities and towns outside Worcester.
  2. Grantmaking and capacity building, including new funding and learning opportunities for artists and arts nonprofits across Worcester County, with continued emphasis on projects that involve multiple arts organizations and/or cross-sector parties to address community issues.
  3. Convenings that involve all voices to shape the future of the arts sector, including events that bring diverse artists and arts nonprofits together with our donors, prospective new funders, and other local leaders to explore ways to enhance arts’ contribution to community wellbeing.