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Stoneham's Greater Boston Stage Company Awarded $50K Grant

Patch logo Patch 1/15/2021 Alex Newman
a close up of a newspaper: The Greater Boston Stage Company received a $50,000 COVID relief grant. © Shutterstock The Greater Boston Stage Company received a $50,000 COVID relief grant.

STONEHAM, MA — The Massachusetts Cultural Council this month announced the recipients of nearly $10 million in COVID relief through the Cultural Organization Economic Recovery Grant Program.

In total, 183 cultural nonprofit organizations received $9,960,600 to support this sector’s economic recovery from losses sustained by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is part of the Commonwealth’s Economic Recovery Plan, Partnerships for Recovery.

Stoneham state legislators Rep. Michael Day and Sen. Jason Lewis applauded a $50,000 grant award for the Greater Boston Stage Company, which will relieve economic pressures on the Stoneham non-profit and help it prepare for a post-COVID reopening and recovery.

"The impacts of the restrictions necessitated to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the continued economic development of our downtowns, much of which is driven by cultural institutions like the Greater Boston Stage Company," Day said. "This grant is an important part of our efforts on the state level to provide targeted assistance to the gems of our community like the GBSC and we hope that it will help get us through the final months of this crisis."

A total of 424 applications for the grant program were received over three weeks, requesting $30.2 million in assistance. Grant awards ranged from $1,000 to a maximum of $100,000. Advocates say this proves the need for public investment in the cultural sector.

"Arts and culture form an integral part of our local economies, and the Greater Boston Stage Company has represented an important community resource and economic driver for many years," Sen. Jason Lewis said. "At a time when local non-profits and businesses are facing extraordinary challenges, I hope that this grant award will help GBSC weather the storm and prepare for a brighter future."

Nonprofit cultural organizations have reported $484 million in lost revenue in recent months. Since March 2020, 898 cultural organizations have responded to Mass Cultural Council's four COVID economic impact surveys. Collectively, these organizations identified more than $116.8 million in COVID-related capital improvements and non-capital recovery strategies necessary to reopen and safely reengage with the public.

Sixty-two percent of these organizations have been forced to layoff or furlough employees or reduce their wages and/or hours – choices that have impacted 30,616 cultural employees statewide.

The Economic Recovery Grant Program also attempted to reach nonprofit cultural organizations of all sizes, who serve every demographic in every region of the Commonwealth:

  • 51 grant recipients are cultural organizations whose mission primarily focuses on presenting, promoting, and/or preserving the cultural traditions, art, history, and creative expression of people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, people who are LGBTQIA+, and members of other historically underrepresented groups. These cultural nonprofits received a total of $2,486,100.
  • 46 grant recipients reported that they have not received any form of federal COVID assistance to date. These cultural nonprofits received a total of $1,141,000.
  • 13 cultural nonprofits are first-time Mass Cultural Council grant recipients, receiving a total of $220,000.

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