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Barr Awards $25 Million in Final Quarter of 2019

Including support for new research on extreme heat in Greater Boston, strategies to diversify and strengthen Massachusetts’ teacher pipeline, and the development of climate-resilient Boston waterfront parks.

At its final meeting of 2019, the Barr Foundation Board of Trustees approved grants totaling $14.6 million, in addition to $10.5 million approved since the September board meeting. We are pleased to highlight some of our partners and their work below.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded eight grants totaling over $3.4 million. A $1,110,000 grant to Arts Midwest will expand and deepen its work with Creating Connection, a national initiative to help cultural organizations increase how communities value arts and creative expression. A $750,000 grant to Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will help MAPC’s Arts & Culture Department expand and refine its arts and culture strategies, tools, and data to support thriving communities. A $800,000 grant to PRX, Inc. will provide general operating support to expand and deepen PRX’s training and networking across Massachusetts, to conduct a statewide asset map of opportunities and talent for further investment, and to use storytelling and podcasts to elevate the voices of historically underrepresented communities.

In Climate, Barr awarded 11 grants totaling $4.8 million. In Clean Energy, a $600,000 grant to Clean Water Fund will support public outreach and policy advocacy to advance clean energy and stop new fossil fuels in New England. In Mobility, a $1,000,000 grant to Smart Growth America (SGA) will continue work at the national and state levels to maintain federal programs critical to equitable, economically successful, and environmentally friendly growth at the local level. SGA will continue to convene LOCUS, a national coalition of real estate developers and investors, and a local MA LOCUS chapter to help advance sustainable and walkable development in Massachusetts. A $80,000 grant to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) will support MTF’s work to convene and educate decisionmakers on the opportunities to address transportation chokepoints and advance a system that works for us all. In Resilience, a $600,000 grant to Trustees of Boston University will support research, in partnership with GreenRoots, on extreme heat impacts and interventions in Chelsea and East Boston. A $600,000 grant to Union of Concerned Scientists will support analysis, outreach, and policy education on climate impacts and resilience to extreme heat.

In Education, Barr awarded 48 grants totaling $10.8 million. A $800,000 grant to Teach Western Mass (TWM) will enable TWM to implement its strategic vision and priorities as it shifts towards organizational growth and sustainability. TWM is a regional nonprofit dedicated to ensuring high needs schools have effective teachers in every classroom. A $250,000 grant to The Education Trust will enable the redesign of “College Results Online”, a web tool that provides higher education data for comparison. Based on data analysis from this tool, The Education Trust will develop briefs on post-secondary outcomes in New England.

In Sector Effectiveness, Barr awarded 24 grants totaling $3.9 million. A $300,000 grant to Project Evident (fiscal sponsor is Tides Center) will support its Talent Accelerator cohorts, a virtual capacity building program for New England nonprofits, and the creation of a public report mapping the evidence building resources in our region. A $375,000 grant to Massachusetts Nonprofit Network will provide general operating support to advance its priority strategies and goals to strengthen the nonprofit sector. A $1.2 million grant to Fund for Shared Insight (fiscal sponsor is Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) will renew ongoing support for the Fund’s work to improve philanthropy by elevating often unheard voices through feedback and listening practices.

In Special Initiatives, Barr awarded two grants totaling $2.3 million. A $1.4 million grant to Conservation Law Foundation will support advocacy and communications efforts to create an accessible, climate-resilient Boston waterfront for all. A $975,000 grant to Trustees of Reservations will develop signature, climate-resilient parks on the Boston waterfront as part of the Trustees’ One Waterfront Initiative.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Grants


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 twenty-four grants totaling $3,900,000.
View all Sector Effectiveness grants


In Education, Barr awarded twenty-one grants totaling $10.8 million.
View all Education grants


In Climate, Barr awarded twenty-four grants totaling $6.5 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 over $3.4 million.
View all Arts & Creativity grants

Special Initiatives

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