What would racial equity look like in Massachusetts’ cultural sector? What can artists, cultural workers, and organizations do to help dismantle systemic racism? How can Mass Cultural Council support the sector in achieving racial equity?
While systemic racism has been a part of this country for 400 years, recent events have fomented a growing movement for racial equity and justice. Mass Cultural Council is taking this moment in time to embark on a restart and refocus of our work as it relates to racial equity, and we want to hear from you.
This Spring we hosted a series of “Culture Chats,” to highlight the power of culture through resilience, adaptation, agility, and innovation.
These conversations offered a break from the gloom of the Coronavirus, a little bit of sunshine to remind us that the arts and culture are alive and well, if not necessarily in the theaters and venues where we’re used to finding them.
On the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Kim Dawson, Director of Advancement at ZUMIX. A venerable creative youth development organization in East Boston, ZUMIX works with a largely immigrant community to better equip its youth to be able to navigate the world once they have graduated out of their programs and high school. Dawson shares how they are expanding their opportunities for workforce development to help youth gain the skills they need to be paid well to do something they really love.
On the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Marquis Victor, Founding Executive Director of Elevated Thought. He believes that art is a form of liberation, and that young people – once they have access and exposure to art – are able to build a foundation of self, expand their minds and eyes to identify issues in their communities, and use art to surface creative solutions for those issues.
Today our governing Council voted to distribute federal CARES Act funds received by Mass Cultural Council to 74 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations statewide. Creative Youth Development programs foster creative expression while supporting core social and emotional skills, engaging young people of all ages as empowered agents in their own lives. As a practice, Creative Youth Development draws from the belief that culture plays a major role in the growth of creative, productive, and independent-minded individuals and thriving communities. After the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, these programs will be more vital than ever to the vulnerable youth and families they serve. Continue reading Federal CARES Act Funds to Support CYD Programs Across MA→
The Lewis Prize for Music has launched a $1 million COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Creative Youth Development leaders and youth music programs to support their responsive and adaptive efforts during COVID-19. This fund will distribute over 20 grants of $25,000 to $50,000 to youth-serving music programs. The application closes on May 8 with grants distributed on June 16. Visit The Lewis Prize for Music for more information.
On the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Celina Miranda, Executive Director of Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF). She discusses the integral role of young people in the creation of Boston’s Latin Quarter Cultural District. She says that HSTF youth were compelled to speak up about the importance of having a place to call home and a place that recognizes their strengths and assets. The voices of these young people were powerful and central in the transformation of their neighborhood.