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January 25, 2021
Cambridge Comm. Foundation Gives $257K to 25 Nonprofits
Cambridge Community Foundation

December 24, 2020 — The Cambridge Community Foundation yesterday announced that it and the City of Cambridge recently granted $257,500 to 25 local arts and cultural organizations that have been financially impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Since the pandemic hit Massachusetts in March, arts and culture organizations in the city, as well as statewide, were forced to close theaters and venues overnight, leading to lay-offs and furloughs, leading many to turn to virtual programming.

“Maintaining the arts ecosystem, large and small organizations, creative ventures, and the livelihood of artists and cultural workers is critical to retaining our city’s innovation capacity,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation.

The new grants were funded through a Cultural Capital Fund established in October from donations from the city and the Wagner Foundation.

“Cambridge’s artists and our arts and culture organizations are a significant part of the connective fabric of our city and act as a powerful and uplifting equalizer in our community,” said Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “Regardless of differences in language, religion, culture, gender expression or age, the arts bring us together, and we need to support and care for them.”

Receiving the funds were the following Cambridge-based nonprofits:

  • Agassiz Baldwin Community: $10,000
  • $10,000
  • Boston Music Chamber Society: $10,000
  • Brattle Film Foundation: $10,000
  • Brookline/Cambridge Community Center for the Arts: $10,000
  • Cambridge Carnival International: $10,000
  • Cambridge Community Television: $10,000
  • Cambridge Historical Society: $7,500
  • Cambridge Jazz Foundation: $10,000
  • Cambridge Symphony Orchestra: $10,000
  • Cambridge Center for Adult Education: $10,000
  • Central Square Theater: $10,000
  • Club Passim: $10,000
  • Community Art Center: $10,000
  • The Dance Complex: $25,000
  • Global Arts Live: $10,000
  • The Hip Hop Transformation: $10,000
  • ImprovBoston: $10,000
  • Jean Appolon Expressions: $10,000
  • José Mateo Ballet Theatre: $10,000
  • Kendall Square Orchestra: $5,000
  • The Loop Lab: $10,000
  • Multicultural Arts Center: $10,000
  • Studio at 550: $10,000
  • TC Squared Theatre Company: $10,000

While most of the grants were made to support operations and programming, The Dance Complex, was awarded funding to support capital improvements to its Central Square site.

Scott Fraser, executive director of the José Mateo Ballet Theatre, which lost $1.5 million in revenue this year and reduced its full-time staff and contractors from 47 to seven, said, “That Cambridge is opening its purse now is such an affirmation that the sector is seen as vital, in that series of things that we need to be full and whole human beings.”

ImprovBoston, which closed its Central Square theater this month, will use its grant to retain staff and pivot its curriculum to an online format. Managing Director Josh Garneau said, “The collapse of the creative economy has hit us hard and affected a lot of people and it’s not about losing our performance space, it’s about not being able to pay our bills.”

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