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Barr Awards $24 Million in First Quarter of 2018

New grants include support to design innovative school models, develop regional approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and build understanding to spark positive change in the diversity of nonprofit leadership.

At its first board meeting of 2018, the Barr Foundation Board of Trustees approved grants totaling $21 million, in addition to the $3 million approved since the December board meeting. We are pleased to highlight some of our new and continuing partnerships.

In Education, Barr awarded fourteen grants totaling $6.7 million. A $400,000 grant to the Preparatory Foundation, Inc. will support Boston Preparatory Charter School’s enrollment growth of 300 students over the next five years. This grant will assist Boston Prep in funding its school building expansion, expanding programmatic offerings, and hiring new faculty members. A $3.5 million grant to EDUCAUSE will support the implementation of Mass IDEAS (Innovating Design in Education for All Students), a Next Generation Learning Challenges initiative to design and launch innovative school models across Massachusetts. Mass IDEAS will provide local educators with opportunities to engage in deep planning and design thinking to create public schools that are rigorous, deeply personalized, and committed to success for all students.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded eight grants totaling $6.8 million. With a $525,000 grant, EdVestors will design and implement the next phase of the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion, a multi-year effort to expand quality arts education within Boston Public Schools. Barr has supported the Arts Expansion since its launch in 2009. EdVestors leads this collaborative public-private partnership to cultivate Boston’s future artists and audiences and encourage creative thinking by providing arts learning experiences for all students. Learn more about how the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion has helped 17,000 more students receive arts education during the school day.

In Climate, Barr awarded seventeen grants totaling $7.1 million. In Clean Energy, a $50,000 grant to the U.S. Green Building Council—Massachusetts Chapter will support analysis on green buildings and efforts to increase the number of net-zero energy buildings. A $50,000 grant to National Association of State Energy Officials, in partnership with Energy Futures Initiative, will support the third annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report. This report provides data for measuring the impact of the energy industry—with a particular focus on clean energy jobs—on the economy. In Mobility, a $100,000 grant to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will enable planning for the development of MetroFuture’s successor. MetroFuture is MAPC’s long-range plan for the future for 101 cities and towns, informed by principles of smart growth, development, and sustainability. Nearly a decade old, MetroFuture has played an essential role in local smart growth and is ready for an update to address new challenges and opportunities that can help determine the future of Massachusetts’ transportation, water policies, and infrastructure spending. A $600,000 grant to the Georgetown Climate Center supports its Transportation and Climate Initiative, a collaboration of 11 Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states (and the District of Columbia) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. This grant will fund new research to develop strategies for a multi-state approach to greenhouse gas emission reduction from transportation.

In Cross-Program Initiatives, Barr awarded four grants totaling $595,000. A $225,000 grant to Building Movement Project (BMP) will continue the work of the “Race to Lead” research to address the underrepresentation of people of color in nonprofit leadership roles. BMP will continue to gather data on, expand awareness of, and explore strategies to spark positive change in nonprofit leadership. A $250,000 grant to Independent Sector supports its mission to lead and catalyze the charitable community. Independent Sector partners with government, business, and individual change-makers to engage communities in organizing and taking action on key issues facing the social sector.

Barr also awarded three Special Initiatives grants totaling $2.3 million. Two grants were related to the Foundation's Waterfront Initiative. A $900,000 grant to Boston Harbor Now provides core support for planning, advocacy, and public activation to create a Harbor for the benefit of everyone. Boston Harbor Now is dedicated to ensuring the social, economic, and environmental health of the Boston waterfront, Harbor, and islands. With a $1.2 million grant, the Conservation Law Foundation will undertake a multi-year advocacy and communications campaign to raise public awareness of development and climate threats on the Boston waterfront and build a coalition to advocate for public access and climate-resilient construction on all waterfront projects.

Explore a breakdown of Barr’s most recent grantmaking in the chart below.

First Quarter Grants of 2018


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

View all grant data

Arts & Creativity

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded eight grants totaling over $6.8 million.
View all Arts & Creativity grants

Cross-Program Initiatives

In Cross-Program Initiatives, Barr awarded four grants totaling $595,000.
View all Cross-Program Initiative grants


In Education, Barr awarded fourteen grants totaling $6.7 million.
View all Education grants

Special Initiatives

Through its Special Initiatives program, Barr awarded three grants totaling $2.3 million.
View all Special Initiative grants


In Climate, Barr awarded seventeen grants totaling nearly $7.1 million.
View all Climate grants


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