The Barr Foundation, the largest private foundation in Massachusetts, recently awarded $500,000 to Greater Worcester Community Foundation's Creative Worcester initiative as part of the support for its Creative Commonwealth Initiative.

Creative Commonwealth aims to pave the way for community foundations in five cities across Massachusetts to engage a new generation of donors in strategic support for a new and more diverse cohort of artists and cultural organizations.

The grant enhances Greater Worcester Community Foundation's ability to fund local nonprofits, which granted nearly $2M in 2017. The Creative Commonwealth funds will support Creative Worcester, which will be specific to arts organizations in the city of Worcester as well as those serving city residents. It 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. Two types of grants are currently stemming from the initiative: the first is for organizations to deepen engagement, strengthen capacity, and provide leadership; the second will help organizations experiment with new ways of engaging and giving voice to Worcester's diverse communities.

“With our creative arts initiative, we asked ourselves the question: what can the arts do for Worcester? The city has a flourishing arts population, full of talent and cultural assets, and ultimately, we want to make this community more accessible to the rest of Worcester,” said Ann T. Lisi, GWCF president and CEO. “With the gracious support from The Barr Foundation, we can better connect donors with local artists and cultural organizations and in turn, grow the Worcester community.”

The Barr Foundation requires all of the Creative Commonwealth grantees, like Greater Worcester Community Foundation, to raise funds in support of their own particular initiatives. For information on how you can help support Creative Worcester, please contact or 508-755-0980.