BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) has awarded grants to cultural organizations, schools and communities in the Second Worcester District totaling $163,700 in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), including $5,400 to Auburn.

The state grants support a wide variety of cultural activities and projects that benefit local residents and support jobs in the nonprofit, arts and cultural sectors. The announcement was made as part of MCC’s statewide grant program funded through the state budget.

“Funding for these programs is critical to promoting arts and culture in the Second Worcester District and beyond,” said Senator Moore. “Our Commonwealth possesses exciting opportunities and a robust creative economy that are further bolstered by this funding. I hope local residents take advantage of the programs and events made possible through these grants.”

During the FY17 budget debate, the Governor reduced the MCC line item by $7.8 million— the lowest investment in arts and cultural funding since 1994. Senator Moore supported a legislative override of the Governor’s veto to restore line item funding to $14.3 million.

Local projects directly supported by the MCC in FY17 include $4,600 for the Cultural Investment Portfolio Program at the Pakachoag Music School in Auburn. The Program connects children and adults to theatre, music, visual arts and film to inspire creativity and imagination. An additional $15,000 was awarded to the Worcester Youth Center for the YouthReach Program to support at-risk youth by providing access to the arts and humanities.

Last year alone, the MCC funded programs that engaged 28,600 children in creative learning experiences in the Commonwealth, including 4,172 at-risk adolescents through its YouthReach and SerHacer programs. Teens in these programs were thirty percent more likely to attend college when compared to their peers.

The MCC also supports the Local Cultural Council Program, which is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the Nation. The Program supports thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually. Funding for Local Cultural Councils is determined by a formula that reflects the state’s local aid system. In FY17, Auburn Cultural Council is slated to receive $5,400.

The Local Cultural Council is charged with distributing funding to support local projects such as school field trips, afterschool programs, concerts, festivals, lectures, theater, dance, music, and film. The projects may take place in schools, community centers, libraries, elder care facilities, town halls, parks, or wherever the community comes together.

In Auburn, the local cultural council bestowed grants to numerous organizations. The Auburn Public Schools received 6 grants totaling $2,553; the Auburn Public Library received 6 grants totaling $2054; Audio Journal – “The Silver Tsunami” $300; Gregory Maichack – “Pastel Painting Stunning Still Life Lesson” $458; The Marble Collection – A publication of Auburn High School students’ literature and art $200;Auburn Youth and Family Services- Trip to Hanover Theater $400; Auburn Democratic Town Committee – A bus trip for Auburn residents to the Edward Kennedy Senate Chamber Museum $448.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency which supports the arts, sciences and humanities to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its local communities. For more information on MCC and the announced grant programs, please visit www.masscultualcouncil.org.