Impact & Initiatives
As the world continues to change around us, we depend on arts and creativity to foster greater community cohesion, helping to bridge divides, aid in healing and recovery, and enable all to find their voice and place in our communities.
Greater Worcester Community Foundation is proud to be the biggest non-capital arts funder based in the region. 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 key driver of vitality and well-being.
Our work is part of the Barr Foundation’s Creative Commonwealth Initiative. Launched in 2018, this project brings together five community foundations from across Massachusetts who recognize the power and importance of arts and creativity in our communities.
About Creative Worcester County
Creative Worcester County 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 region where all residents share a sense of ownership and belonging in all creative spaces.
Since 2018, Creative Worcester County has:
- Granted more than $669,000 to 30 organizations through the Creative Community Engagement Grants and Creative Spark Grants.
- Worked with the City of Worcester and Worcester Cultural Coalition on the city’s first-ever Cultural Plan.
- Responded to immediate needs and inspired hope during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Artist Relief Fund and Give Me a Sign Project, granting $217,000 to 17 organizations.
- Supported 38 intersectional creative collaborations that address community needs through the Creative Intersections program, granting more than $410,000.
- Launched two cohorts of The Business of Art, a six-month entrepreneurial program that engaged 31 individual artists of color.
- Enabled 14 nonprofits to take part in the Worcester Tercentennial.
Give to Creative Worcester County
Our commitment to Worcester's creative sector is a serious one, and we need people like you accelerate it even further. Invest in the arts community and expand our grant pool for creative projects by making a single or multi-year commitment in any amount.
In 2024, we will continue to invest in arts & culture throughout Worcester County by advancing the following goals.
EXPANDING OUR REACH
GOAL: Apply what we’ve learned through five years of Creative Worcester to the entire county
In 2024, we will be intentional about expanding our special projects under this initiative, which have historically been focused in Worcester, to reach our entire catchment area.
GOAL: Increase grants to spark collaboration and promote cross-sector programming
We will continue to offer our Creative Intersections grant program in 2024, which helps connect non-arts organizations (e.g. schools, hospitals, senior centers) with arts organizations to promote arts, culture and creativity as key components in assisting individuals, families and communities to live healthy and thriving lives.
Stay tuned for more details!
BUSINESS OF ART
GOAL: Respond to the needs of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community
We expect to continue collaborating with MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists department to support artists of color across Worcester County to strengthen their creative practice and build mutually supportive networks through workshops, coaching and community-building.
Stay tuned for more details!
GOAL: Advance the City of Worcester’s 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.
In 2024, we will work with these partners to conduct a refresh of the cultural plan, giving consideration to the significant ways our community has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact Jonathan Cohen
Vice President of Community Impact