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Barr Foundation Awards $13.7 Million in Second Quarter of 2023

New grants will elevate community voice to advance excellence and equity in New England public high schools; support efforts to address extreme heat in Greater Boston; and make Massachusetts public spaces more inclusive through artist-led projects.

The Barr Foundation Board of Trustees met in-person this June and approved grants totaling $8.9 million, in addition to nearly $4.8 million in new grants approved since the March 2023 board meeting, for a total of $13.7 million in the second quarter of 2023. Learn more about some of our partners and their work below.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded five grants totaling $4.48 million. A $2.8 million grant was awarded to the New England Foundation for the Arts to apply a spatial justice lens in its public art programs, with a goal to make public spaces more inclusive for all. A $1 million grant will support the renovation of historic Zeiterion Theatre, the premier performing arts center for the Southcoast and a critical economic driver for downtown New Bedford. A grant of $525,000 was awarded to EdVestors to continue support for the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Initiative, a public-private funder collaborative that supports arts programming in schools, professional development for teaching artists, and youth workforce pathways in the arts.

Barr’s Education Program awarded 11 grants totaling $1.4 million. As part of the Program’s Build Public Will strategy, Education Reform Now received a $250,000 grant to provide core support for its Massachusetts chapter. A $200,000 grant to Nellie Mae Education Foundation will provide technical assistance and capacity building support for a cohort of New England community-based organizations that are advocating for impactful, equity-focused uses of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

The Climate Program awarded 17 grants totaling $5.7 million. A $400,000 grant to Mystic River Watershed Association will help manage an initiative to address extreme heat in Greater Boston communities. A $200,000 grant to Massachusetts Public Health Association will support transportation and public health-related coalition strategy, communications, and advocacy. In addition, a $130,000 grant to 350Vermont will support grassroots campaigns focused on environmental justice and energy affordability in Vermont.

Sector Effectiveness awarded three grants totaling $1.6 million. A $1.2 million grant will provide core support for Fund for Shared Insight (fiscal sponsor is Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors), a national funder collaborative improving listening and feedback practices within the field of philanthropy. A $250,000 grant to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Foundation will provide continued support for the Chamber’s City Awake program, including a survey to better understand the civic interests of young professionals.

For more information about these and other grants awarded by the Barr Foundation, explore the chart below and our grants database.

Grants Awarded in Second Quarter of 2023


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 $1.6 million.
View all Sector Effectiveness grants


In Education, Barr awarded 11 grants totaling approximately $1.4 million.
View all Education grants


In Climate, Barr awarded 17 grants totaling $5.7 million.
View all Climate grants


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

Arts & Creativity

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded five grants totaling $4.5 million.
View all Arts & Creativity grants

Special Initiatives

Through its Special Initiatives, Barr awarded three grants totaling $427,000.
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