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Barr Foundation Announces $13.4 Million in New Grants

These represent Barr’s first grants awarded in 2016 aligned with new strategic priorities.

Earlier this month, at Barr’s first board meeting of the year, the trustees approved grants totaling $11 million. In addition, the Foundation awarded $2.4 million in grants approved by the president during the first three months of the year.

Below we highlight some of these new and longtime partnerships, which represent the first grants awarded under Barr’s new strategic priorities. We invite you to explore these and all of the grants awarded this quarter through our online grants database.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded two grants totaling $685,000, both in support of our goal to activate public support for the arts, with these resources directed specifically towards advocacy, network building, research, and communications. A $385,000 grant to MASSCreative will help strengthen its systems and staff capacity for advocacy work and external partnerships. Earlier this quarter, Barr approved a $300,000 grant to the New England Foundation for the Arts to produce and share the third installment of the Creative Economy Employment Report, including New England’s first census of individual artists, which will fill a critical data gap and better equip the field to show the impact of the creative sector.

In Climate, Barr awarded 12 grants totaling $10.7 million. A $3-million grant to The Energy Foundation will establish a new partnership as Barr’s expanded Clean Energy portfolio aims to accelerate a massive scale-up of renewables and energy efficiency across the U.S. Northeast. A $4.25-million grant to longtime partner the Metropolitan Area Planning Council will support analysis, planning, and technical assistance that holistically advance low-carbon communities, incorporate clean energy, and support climate resiliency in Greater Boston municipalities.

In Education, Barr awarded six grants totaling $1.7 million. Two grants awarded earlier this quarter are supporting ambitious efforts to create learning environments that promote personalized, competency-based, and engaged approaches in educating students. A $250,000 grant to the Center for Collaborative Education is supporting the launch of the Massachusetts Personalized Learning Network, an effort in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the National Center on Time and Learning, LearnLaunch, and BPE. A $150,000 grant to sprout & co. is supporting planning and development of the Somerville STEAM Academy, a new Innovation School high school, working with the City of Somerville.

In addition, Barr earlier this quarter awarded a grant of $200,000 to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network to support staffing and new policy initiatives that aim to increase member engagement and elevate public understanding of the nonprofit sector and its role in the Commonwealth.

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Trevor Pollack

Guest Author Former Program Officer and Manager of Special Projects