Shakespeare & Company Receives State Grant of $290,000
A newly announced grant of $290,000 from the State of Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) will support Shakespeare & Company's long term goal of creating an integrated 'green' campus and moves it one step closer to restoring and renovating its 33-acre property. The grant is part of a new round of Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund grants -- totaling close to $14 million -- which are set to boost the state's creative sector by supporting new building projects for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, schools, and communities across Massachusetts.
Shakespeare & Company's CFF grant will provide support for its campus-wide facilities initiative that includes improving the energy efficiency of several buildings on the property, securing and stabilizing historic St. Martin's Hall for future use as a campus center, and replacing unused buildings with outdoor education spaces. This is the largest of these CFF grants issued in Southern Berkshire County.
"We are extremely grateful to the State of Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick, Anita Walker and the MCC, and MassDevelopment for this generous grant," says Board Chair Sarah Hancock. "This new Facilities Fund grant puts Shakespeare & Company on its strongest-ever footing as we continue to stabilize and repurpose the facilities on our campus and move into the future as a vital part of the Berkshires' cultural landscape. We are so appreciative to all of our friends and supporters in the community who have enabled us to secure this outstanding opportunity."
The CFF projects expand access and education in the arts, history, and sciences; it creates jobs in construction and cultural tourism; and improves the quality of life in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Organizations receiving funding in this round plan to invest $264 million in their projects. Grants will be capitalized with $15 million from Governor Deval Patrick's fiscal year 2014 capital budget.
"Investments in our creative economy stimulate growth and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. "Through this new round of funding, we are continuing to create a more vibrant place for our students to learn, our families to live and our businesses to grow."
The new round of State funding includes 81 capital grants totaling nearly $13 million and another 48 planning grants totaling just under $1 million. Grants range from $7,000 to $600,000, and must be matched with funds from private philanthropy and/or other public sources. For a complete list of organizations that were awarded grants visit: http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/facilities/facilities_fundinglist.htm.
"This is such an exciting time to be a part of Shakespeare & Company," says Artistic Director Tony Simotes. "This show of support from our state and local leaders reinforces not only their commitment to our organization and artists, but to the community. This is a vital moment in the Company's history. We are becoming an international destination for performance, actor training and arts education-and in the midst of all this, furthering our goal of renovating this wonderful property which will position us for the future. This type of funding helps to stabilize and ensure our legacy by allowing us to continue to provide our audiences a unique and unprecedented theatrical experience on all our stages and spaces. At a time when people are concerned about the health of the economy, we are growing-and securing our future in Lenox, and The Berkshires. I relish the opportunity to help lead this organization forward toward its many goals."
About Shakespeare & Company: Now in its 37th Season, Shakespeare & Company is one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country and produces over a dozen productions, special events and lectures on its three stages and sprawling grounds year round. Nestled in the culturally rich Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts in Lenox, Shakespeare & Company aspires to create a theatre of unprecedented excellence rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance, and harmony. Led by Artistic Director Tony Simotes, the Company was created in 1978 by Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer and attracts over 60,000 patrons annually; it boasts a core of over 150 artists and more than 30 full-time staff. The Company develops and performs Shakespeare, classic, contemporary, and new plays of social and political significance, generating opportunities for collaboration between actors, directors and designers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds. Shakespeare & Company embraces the core values of Shakespeare's work: collaboration, commitment to language, visceral experience and classical ideals, expressed with physical prowess and an embodied contemporary voice. Shakespeare & Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, where professionals from all over the world come to train with the organization known for its original, in-depth, classical training and performance methods. Shakespeare & Company is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program, one of the largest in the Northeast; it reaches more than 45,000 students annually with innovative performances, workshops and residencies. For more information, visit www.shakespeare.org.
"Our region benefits from more nonprofit cultural organizations per capita than anywhere in the nation," said Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. "The CFF sustains this rich cultural legacy and ensures that more of our families can enjoy all that it has to offer."
With these new grants the Cultural Facilities Fund will have invested nearly $70 million in the Massachusetts creative sector in projects in 118 cities and towns since 2007. These grants helped launch many transformative projects, leveraging private sector dollars that have kept this sector growing and thriving. CFF has also helped dozens of nonprofit organizations become better stewards of our cultural heritage. In total, CFF-funded building projects are spending more than $1.6 billion, providing more than 16,400 building jobs to architects, engineers, contractors and carpenters. The organizations also plan to add 1,572 permanent jobs after their capital projects are complete. CFF grants have also helped restore and preserve many of our nation's most cherished historic buildings, which attract cultural tourists to Massachusetts. More than 15 million people visit CFF-funded organizations annually, with nearly one third coming from out-of-state. MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) jointly administer the CFF. A Governor-appointed Cultural Facilities Fund Advisory Committee provides oversight to the Fund's operation. For more background on CFF get the 2014 CFF Fact Sheet.
About the Massachusetts Cultural Council: The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. The MCC pursues this mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities and artists.
About MassDevelopment: MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.