Partnering with community foundations to strengthen arts and creativity across Massachusetts.

Cities and towns across Massachusetts are full of creative talent and cultural assets that have the power to inspire us, challenge us, and bring us together. Yet, depending on geography, art form, or networks, access to funding can be uneven – and so are opportunities to experience arts and creativity.

In response to this challenge, Barr’s Creative Commonwealth Initiative is an investment in the unique potential of community foundations to generate new opportunities, and connect donors and policymakers with artists and arts organizations whose work enlivens communities. Together, we seek to build local networks for arts and culture, and to help the creative sector become more sustainable, equitable and accessible statewide, not just in Boston.

Creative Commonwealth has three over-arching goals:

  • To strengthen arts and creativity in communities by deepening financial support, and strengthening local arts policy.
  • To form a learning community that shares successes and challenges, to enhance the capacity of each participating foundation.
  • To offer a model of constructive partnership between private and community foundations and civic entities.

Diversity is also a core value for this initiative - recognizing that, as the world changes around us, we depend on arts and creativity to continue to change as well, to help bridge divides, build understanding, and for all to find their voice and place in our communities. This means new kinds of art, cultural explorations, voices, perspectives and genres that takes new forms, and appears in unexpected places.

Creative Commonwealth Partners and Their Regions

A map of Massachusetts, detailing the five regions where Creative Commonwealth will impact.

News about Creative Commonwealth