Community Foundation Launches Arts & Culture Endowment Initiative


Goal is to create a permanent funding source to increase the awareness and impact of the area’s vibrant creative economy

 

FITCHBURG, MA, May 2, 2018 – Community Foundation assembled a Who’s Who of local and state cultural leaders at the Fitchburg Art Museum to kick off their initiative to establish a $1 million endowed fund for the arts.

 

“Art transforms the way we engage with the world, brings beauty into our lives, helps generate new ideas, fosters human connections and empowers us to imagine a new and better future,” said Linda Mack, Vice President of Development and Donor Relations for Community Foundation.

 

Community Foundation has already established endowed funds to support other critical community needs including education, health and human services, environment and animal welfare, but recognized there was a void in their grant making process for arts and culture.

 

During the gathering Nick Capasso, Executive Director of the Fitchburg Art Museum, noted that cultural non-profits in North Central Massachusetts have historically been underserved by local philanthropy, especially when compared to neighboring urban areas such as Worcester and Boston.

 

However, those in attendance agreed that they are beginning to see more support from individuals and foundations in recent years, adding to the optimism that a centralized fund, stewarded by Community Foundation, could drive greater financial – and in turn artistic – returns.

 

 “The arts benefit all of us, so it only makes sense to create an Arts and Culture Endowment that can do the same,” said Mack.

 

In addition to Lisa Simmons, Festivals Program Manager for the Mass Cultural Council in Boston, the kick off meeting attracted artistic and civic leaders from five area towns:

Athol: Carol Courville, Executive Director, Athol Orange Community Television.

Fitchburg: Mayor Stephen DiNatale; Nick Capasso, Executive Director, and Rebecca Wright, Director of Development, Fitchburg Art Museum; Susan Navarre, Executive Director Fitchburg Historical Society;  Jennifer Jones, President, Fitchburg Cultural Alliance; Jim Craigen, Treasurer, and Joe Bowen, of the Fitchburg Cultural Council; Cheryl Gaudreau, Senior Vice President and Regional Business Advisor, Enterprise Bank; Sophia Bogdasarian, Board Member, Stratton Players.

Groton: Ted Lapres, Community Foundation Trustee.

Leominster: Thomas Bagley, Community Foundation Trustee; Ed Cyrus, President, New England Symphony Orchestra; Mickey Guzman, Family Advocate Spanish American Center, which was also represented by Lionel Reinford and Jordan Ndolo.

Littleton: Susan Randazzo, Executive Director and Catherine Coleman, Director of Development, Indian Hill Music.

 

About Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts

The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts was created to provide a single resource that enables, supports, and simplifies the process of setting up – and contributing to - charitable endowments that can benefit and strengthen our community now, and in perpetuity. Since its founding in 2001, Community Foundation has overseen the distribution of more than $50,000,000 to positively impact the community across a broad array of initiatives, from health and human services, to education and the arts, to supporting environmental and animal welfare improvements.






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