The Foundation believes in an Arts & Culture ecosystem where residents in Greater Worcester share a sense of ownership and belonging in all creative spaces, and where Arts & Culture is fully recognized as a key component in assisting individuals, families and communities in living healthy and thriving lives. Strategies include: Increasing access to the arts; Developing alignment between local diverse populations and arts & culture programming; Artists & creatives engaging as active partners in the growth and evolution of the city and its neighborhoods; Supporting the financial stability of cultural organizations; and Capacity building for creative nonprofits and individual artists.

Creative Worcester Initiative

GWCF is partnering with the Barr Foundation to support a strong and diverse arts and culture ecosystem in Worcester. The Creative Worcester Initiative seeks to center arts and culture in our community, fully recognizing the creative sector as a key component in the ability of individuals and families to lead healthy, thriving lives. It aims to nurture a city where all residents share a sense of ownership and belonging in all creative spaces.

About the Initiative

As the world continues to change around us, we depend on arts and creativity to help bridge divides, aid in healing and recovery, build understanding, and enable all to find their voice and place in our communities. Through this initiative, the Foundation aims to foster a city 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 key driver of vitality and well-being.

Our work is part of the Barr Foundation's Creative Commonwealth Initiative, a project launched in 2018 that brings together five community foundations from across Massachusetts who recognize the power and importance of arts and creativity in our communities. We are proud to have been selected by Barr to advance this work.

Ways You Can Help

Our commitment to Worcester's creative sector is a serious one, and we need people like you accelerate it even further. Help us expand our grant pool for creative projects with gift in any amount. When you do, know that we share a vision - that the arts are essential to a healthy, equitable, thriving community!

Give Now

Granting to Elevate Arts & Creativity

Through our Creative Worcester Initiative, we've launched several granting programs to support nonprofit cultural organizations in their work and strengthen the creative sector. Grants have helped arts and culture organizations in need of additional funding transform innovative ideas into successful programs or partnerships that address critical needs. Each year, the Foundation identifies an area of priority for creative sector grants.

Funding Opportunities:

Creative Intersections: Project Grants

The Creative Intersections grant program supports projects that leverage the arts as a tool and catalyst to respond to human need in a way that is authentic, inclusive and equitable. These grants aim to fund projects that are intersectional in nature, that combine non-arts sector programing with the arts, and create pathways for collaboration and innovation. View Guidelines

Advancing Worcester's First Cultural Plan

From the start of this Initiative, we've sought to help propel Worcester's "cultural renaissance" by energizing dynamic cultural institutions, empowering innovative creatives, and engaging with civic leaders. Beginning with community conversations in 2018, the Foundation led the way in the development of Worcester's first-ever Cultural Plan. The Plan, which was made available to the public on May 29, 2019, was created in partnership with the City and the Worcester Cultural Coalition. It promotes a shared vision that recognizes the power of culture to make our City a better place for people to live, work and thrive.

We're proud to take a leadership role convening and educating our community about the Cultural Plan. We are also directing financial and knowledge resources to our creative sector to further advance the Plan.

Read the Plan