WORCESTER — The Worcester Arts Council and the city of Worcester have announced the award of 57 grants totaling more than $206,000 for arts and cultural programs in Worcester in 2022.
The grant winners reflect a wide range of Worcester-based programs and organizations including the Juneteenth Festival from the Black Heritage Juneteenth Committee ($3,600); a DIY Paint n Skate Youth Program from Push Worcester ($3,500); the Main South Community Mural Project from the Main South Community Development Corporation ($5,000); the Making Music with Elm Park School After School program from Pakachoag Music School of Greater Worcester ($5,000) and many more.
WAC also awarded fellowships to seven Worcester artists including $5,000 fellowships to fashion designer, musician and artist Emmanuel Carboo, and photographer Richard Cummings. Five $2,000 fellowships have been awarded to photographer George Annan Jr., musician Jerry Kazarian (Kaz Supernova) and visual artists Khalil M. Guzman-Jerry, John Albert Powers and Sharinna Travieso.
The Worcester Arts Council consists of members appointed by the Worcester City Manager and is part of a network of 329 local cultural councils serving all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.
The state Legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.
This year’s WAC funding for grants included $187,700 from the MCC (a 12.5% increase over 2021) and $10,000 for Fellowship funding from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s Creative Worcester Initiative, which is funded in part by the Barr Foundation.
“For over 40 years, the Worcester Arts Council has helped arts and culture come alive in Worcester through its annual grant program. This year is no exception,” Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said in the announcement. “I am very happy to see the innovative projects and talented fellows who are among the list of 2022 grant recipients. I congratulate each of this year’s grantees, and I thank the members of Arts Council for their tireless dedication to serving Worcester’s creative community.”
WAC said it received a record 137 applications for its 2022 grants.
“Between November and December 2021, WAC evaluated all applications on criteria including public benefit, creative/artistic merit, capacity, budget, impact, and innovation. The Council also took into account how well applications reflected its annual funding priorities, which are established based on community input,” WAC said.
“The Worcester Arts Council is thrilled to be able to fund seven artist fellowships and 50 projects that will take place in Worcester in 2022,” said Worcester Arts Council chair Jen Riley. “From fashion designers to photographers, from community murals to festivals on the Worcester Common and more, we couldn’t be prouder of our 2022 grantees. It’s an honor to support so many projects and people who inspire us, challenge us and connect us through their creativity and imagination.”
The full list of 2022 Worcester Arts Council Grant Recipients can be found at www.worcesterma.gov/cultural-development/document-center/wac-grantees.pdf.