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Barr Awards $32.7 Million in Third Quarter Grants

New grants will assist superintendents with public engagement; support a transportation coalition pursuing a new vision; and activate community-based arts and economic activity in Massachusetts Gateway Cities.

On September 13th, the Barr Foundation Board of Trustees, including newly-appointed trustee Tracy Palandjian, met in person and approved five grants totaling $11.9 million. This adds to 75 grants and $20.8 million approved earlier this quarter, for a total of $32.7 million in the third quarter of 2023. Learn more about some of our partners and their work below.

In Education, Barr awarded $9.7 million through 27 grants. A $470,000 grant to Leading Now (fiscal sponsor is New Venture Fund) will provide communications training and support for superintendents in New England. It will also support the national organization to embark on new work with a focus in New England. In addition, a $3 million grant to Springpoint (fiscal sponsor is National Center for Civic Innovation, Inc.) will provide technical assistance to six schools in the Beyond Engage New England cohort as they continue to deepen the impact of their school redesign work. A $400,000 grant to Parents Leading for Education Equity will enable the Rhode Island family organizing group to train more families in education advocacy, and to serve a critical role in elevating family voices as state and district leaders decide what’s next for Providence Public Schools.

The Climate Program awarded 27 grants totaling $13.5 million. A $900,000 grant to One Square World will provide general operating support including for its liberation leadership program, a nine-month cohort fellowship for Black Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) leaders working in climate and environmental justice. This grant aligns with the Climate Program’s goal of building leadership and organizational capacity within equity-centered climate organizations, empowering them to grow their influence and shape the climate field. A $400,000 grant to Slingshot will continue its grassroots engagement on grid reform and public transparency and with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A $4 million grant will support the Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) Coalition (fiscal sponsor is the Conservation Law Foundation), the sole transportation advocacy organization focused on the state level in Massachusetts. This grant aims to bolster T4MA's efforts in aligning the coalition towards transportation justice and its new mission, vision, priorities, and approach. A $260,000 grant to Allston Brighton Health Collaborative (fiscal sponsor is the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation), a neighborhood based public health nonprofit, will support organizing and advocacy for mobility and climate resilience in Allston and Brighton.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded $6.3 million through 10 grants. Two grants totaling $4.1 million were awarded to the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment) to strengthen local infrastructure, grow creative economies, and support artists to lead community-engaged collaborative projects through its Transformative Development Initiative. A portion of these funds will be invested across six Gateway Cities in eight real estate projects that leverage commercial spaces to catalyze community-based arts and economic activity, such as Panache Banquet Hall, an iconic Black-owned space in Springfield. A $400,000 grant to Jean Appolon Expressions will support the planning and build out of a brand-new dance facility in the heart of Boston’s dynamic Nubian Square neighborhood.

Special Initiatives awarded four grants totaling $1.2 million. Within the Boston Waterfront Initiative, a $100,000 grant to Boston Harbor Now will provide support for its Waterfront Data Project, which aims to measure and understand how residents utilize public spaces around Boston’s waterfront and the Harbor Islands. The data has the potential to help advocates better serve their communities, including by helping them identify inequities and barriers in accessing the waterfront.

Sector Effectiveness awarded 11 grants totaling $2.1 million. A $300,000 grant to New England Blacks in Philanthropy will provide general operating support. A $180,000 grant to Listen4Good (fiscal sponsor is the Tides Center) will support the launch of the New England Equitable Access Fund. The Fund will provide nonprofits with access to Listen4Good’s program that gathers and analyzes constituent feedback for strategic decision-making and advancing equity goals.

Grants Awarded in Third Quarter of 2023


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

View all grant data


In Education, Barr awarded $9.7 million through 27 grants.
View all Education grants


The Climate Program awarded 27 grants totaling $13.5 million.
View all Climate grants

Arts & Creativity

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded 10 grants totaling $6.3 million.
View all Arts & Creativity grants

Special Initiatives

Through its Special Initiatives, Barr awarded four grants totaling approximately $1.2 million.

Sector Effectiveness

In Sector Effectiveness, Barr awarded 11 grants totaling approximately $2.1 million.
View all Sector Effectiveness grants


This category includes dues for Memberships & Sponsorships, honorariums, and employee gift matching.
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