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Barr Foundation Awards $26.8 Million in Third Quarter of 2019

New grants include support to accelerate arts strategies and investments in Gateway Cities, build coalitions to advance climate equity work, and expand services to support parents through their child’s educational journey.

At its third meeting of 2019, the Barr Foundation Board of Trustees approved grants totaling $13.2 million, in addition to nearly $13.6 million approved since the June board meeting. We are pleased to highlight some of our partners and their work below.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded 24 grants totaling over $10 million. A $500,000 grant to Massachusetts Development Finance Agency will support planning and testing of arts-based strategies and investments in the Transformative Development Initiative, a program for Gateway Cities designed to accelerate economic growth. A $1,000,000 grant to Trustees of Boston University will build the capacity of The ARTery at WBUR to increase production of arts and culture content. A $675,000 grant to Emerson College will support HowlRound to optimize operations, strengthen and deepen field impact, and increase its financial sustainability.

In Climate, Barr awarded 24 grants totaling $6.5 million. A $750,000 grant to Community Labor United will support a coalition of community-based organizations and labor unions to bring the benefits of the clean energy economy into low-income communities and communities of color. A $300,000 grant to Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund (fiscal sponsor is New Venture Fund) will support a newly-formed alliance of community organizing and base-building groups to strengthen their climate equity work and strategy in Pennsylvania. In Mobility, a $20,000 grant to the Eno Center for Transportation will support a delegation from Boston to travel to London and Stockholm this fall to learn how congestion pricing policy works. A $300,000 to Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) will continue its ongoing efforts to make the Transportation and Climate Initiative a reality throughout the Northeast region. UCS will work with diverse stakeholders to inform an ambitious policy that empowers communities to advance low-carbon, equitable transportation solutions. A $465,000 grant to the Boston Public Health Commission will assist the creation of a Community Resilience Network that will build the capacity for community-level preparedness in Boston neighborhoods. The Health Commission seeks to address gaps in resilience work by focusing on both the built environment and the health of the people who live within them. A $150,000 grant to Charles River Watershed Association will provide training to and convene elected and appointed municipal officials to discuss challenges and solutions to climate adaptation.

In Education, Barr awarded 21 grants totaling $8.8 million. A $750,000 grant to EdNavigator will support continued operations, including expanded services for Boston-area employer partners. EdNavigator partners with business and community organizations to provide personalized educational support to parents as a workplace benefit. A $650,000 grant to UnboundEd will support 50 Massachusetts educators and leaders to participate in UnboundEd’s Standards Institute and in capacity-building programs later this year. UnboundEd uses a multi-pronged approach to support educators in deepening their understanding of curriculum and pedagogy, equitable instructional practices, and the role race and bias play in systems and schools. A $300,000 grant to Great Oaks Charter Schools, a network of schools that serve historically disenfranchised, high-poverty communities in the Northeast, will support the redesign of its school model at Great Oaks Bridgeport to provide students with high-quality, student-centered learning experiences.

In Sector Effectiveness, Barr awarded four grants totaling $600,000. A $200,000 grant to the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, in partnership with TSNE MissionWorks, will support the development and piloting of a diversity, equity, and inclusion curriculum for organizational development consultants. A $225,000 grant to Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) will provide core operating support. GEO plays a key leadership role in the social sector, advancing the grantmaking practices that matter most to nonprofits and the impact they seek to achieve.

Third 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 four grants totaling $600,000.
View all Sector Effectiveness grants


In Education, Barr awarded twenty-one grants totaling $8.8 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 twenty-four grants totaling over $10 million.
View all Arts & Creativity grants

Special Initiatives

Through its Special Initiatives program, Barr awarded three grants totaling $650,000.
View all Special Initiative grants
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