A photo of Chinese lanterns on the Greenway in Boston.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

Barr Awards $18.5 Million in Third Quarter of 2020

Grants include support for local arts and cultural organizations in Gateway Cities, a diverse, worker-centered environmental movement in New England, and a new campaign highlighting the teaching profession.

The Barr Foundation Board of Trustees met virtually this September and approved grants totaling $2.8 million, in addition to $15.6 million in new grants approved since the June board meeting. We are excited to highlight some of our partners and their work below.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded eight grants totaling nearly $2 million. A $1.3 million grant to the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment) will continue support of its Creative Catalyst grant program to enhance local arts and culture in Gateway Cities, as well as the Creative Economy Accelerator to invest in cultural assets to drive local economies. A leader in advancing racial equity practices in the philanthropic sector, Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) will receive a $100,000 grant to support research into new economic models and development of advanced racial equity tools and trainings.

In Climate, Barr awarded 25 grants totaling $6.9 million. In Clean Energy, a $200,000 grant to the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs (CRCJ) will continue general operating support as CRCJ builds a diverse, worker-centered environmental movement for a fair and just clean energy transition. In Resilience and Clean Energy, two $350,000 grants to Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Mystic River Watershed Association will support their joint facilitation of an Extreme Heat Taskforce to develop COVID-safe cooling strategies in Greater Boston communities that are vulnerable to extreme heat. In Mobility, a $800,000 grant to Smart Growth America will support Transportation for America’s work to inform federal transportation policy and educate Massachusetts stakeholders to create an equitable, green transportation recovery in the wake of COVID-19. A $225,000 grant to Alliance for Business Leadership will develop progressive business leadership on transportation solutions, housing, and climate change.

In Education, Barr awarded 26 grants totaling $7.5 million. A $500,000 grant to the Boston Schools Fund will provide general operating support for the first year of its new five-year strategic plan to strengthen its role as a grantmaker and trusted source of education information. A $100,000 grant to Teach.org will support a public service announcement campaign to elevate teachers and attract a greater diversity of young people into the profession. A $750,000 grant to Holyoke Public Schools will support continued implementation of a redesigned high school model designed to prepare students for a range of opportunities after graduation.

In Special Initiatives, Barr awarded 24 grants totaling $1.8 million, including the $1.36 million to nonprofits supporting Black communities in response to COVID-19, which we announced in July.

Third Quarter 2020


Click on the diagram sections for information specific to each of our program areas listed below.

View all grant data

Sector Effectiveness

In Sector Effectiveness, Barr awarded three grants totaling $175,000.
View all Sector Effectiveness grants


In Education, Barr awarded twenty-six grants totaling $7.5 million.
View all Education grants


In Climate, Barr awarded twenty-five grants totaling $6.9 million.
View all Climate grants


This category includes organizational development grants, dues for Memberships & Sponsorships, and employee gift matching.

Arts & Creativity

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded eight grants totaling nearly $2 million.
View all Arts & Creativity grants

Special Initiatives

Through its Special Initiatives program, Barr awarded twenty-four grants totaling $1.8 million.
View all Special Initiative grants
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