NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 16, 2012

A cultural shot in the arm

State awards communities $20,000-plus for the arts

BY DYKE HENDRICKSON STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News

---- — NEWBURYPORT — Many patrons of cultural activities believe in “art for art’s sake,” but it doesn’t hurt to have some money thrown in to enable nonprofit organizations to perform more effectively.

State and local officials recently gathered to mark the distribution of more than $20,000 in new state grants to schools and nonprofit organizations in Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury.

State officials said the $20,000-plus in disbursements is in addition to the previously announced $7,000 Cultural Facilities Fund grant that was earmarked for Newburyport’s Firehouse Center for the Arts.

State Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport, who visited several cultural venues last week, said in a statement, “These cultural institutions (receiving funds) are an essential part of what makes Newburyport a great place to live and to visit.

“With the help of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, we look forward to expanding these cultural opportunities in the future with the proposed new cultural district in downtown Newburyport.”

City officials here are currently planning to designate a Cultural District running from Federal Street to Winter Street.

The state Cultural Council awarded grants to the Amesbury Cultural Council ($4,470), the Newburyport Cultural Council ($3,870) and the Salisbury Cultural Council ($3,870).

Other recipients were On Stage, Inc., $3,000; Newburyport Literary Festival, $2,500; and the Firehouse Center, $2,500.

The MCC is a state agency supporting the arts, humanities and sciences to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts. It is funded primarily by the state and through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bank of America and others. It focuses on advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities and artists.