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Barr E-Newsletter Archive

Learn more about Barr's grantmaking, partnerships, and community efforts with our e-newsletter archive.

What's New(s) at Barr?

  • October 2022
    Learn more about the Foundation's giving this quarter. New grants will catalyze artist support services across Massachusetts, environmental justice efforts in Connecticut, and the development of new high school models across New England.

  • July 2022
    Effective philanthropy is fundamentally about learning. We want to learn how systems work, about barriers faced by communities seeking change, and how our resources might be best put to use in support of those changes. Yvonne Belanger shares a few concrete ways we are reimagining our learning practices to better align with our commitment to build trusting relationships with our grantees and center racial equity in our work.

  • April 2022
    The pandemic confined us to small spaces, while movements for racial and social justice compelled us to expand and shift. What have these shifts meant for the social sector and our partners? Explore our new retrospective of the past two years and share your thoughts with us.

  • January 2022
    "We must not—and cannot—go back to how things used to be, which we know were not equitable, were not just, were not inclusive." Jim Canales reflects on the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection and previews the work ahead at the Barr Foundation and with our partners, with an invitation to shape a new, more just reality together.


  • October 2021
    Over the past year, we have seen the imperative to invest in leadership and to do so in different ways that advance racial equity. Barr is exploring three areas to invest in leadership for racial equity: challenging the basic concepts and structures of leadership and leadership development; investing in organizations, not just individuals; and developing approaches that span a region or field. Roger Nozaki shares more about these approaches and pilot work underway in partnership with organizations like the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and TSNE Mission Works.

  • July 2021
    Jim Canales introduces refreshed core values, recent grant investments, and new website section focused on Barr’s commitment to racial equity.

  • April 2021
    As we approach AAPI Heritage Month, Jim Canales denounces rising anti-Asian hate crimes and the recent murders in Atlanta.

  • January 2021
    In the aftermath of insurrection in Washington D.C., reflections from Barr’s president on what enabled last week’s violence and what it demands of each of us.


  • October 2020
    The events of the last few months have only deepened our commitment to advance racial equity. Our trustees outline key principles to guide Barr's racial equity work.

  • January 2020
    Explore our 2019 Year in Review; learn more about transportation solutions we want to see implemented in Boston; and meet the 14 New England communities creating a Portrait of a Graduate.


  • October 2019
    Hear from our Arts team on expanded support for Creative Commonwealth; learn from our Climate team about why there's no time for complacency on climate action; and get to know our new Program Officer for Education.

  • July 2019
    Get to know our 2019 Class of Barr Fellows; learn about the rising power of podcasts in Boston; explore new research on school leadership in Massachusetts.


  • October 2018
    Learn about updates on Barr's work including, a $25 million arts initiative; the largest-ever joint commitment in climate philanthropy; lessons on the ways protecting communities from rising seas can also make them better; and two new job opportunities at the Foundation.

  • July 2018
    See the results of Barr's grantee perception report; learn about Barr's commitment to protect civil rights; and hear from Barr Fellows about their learning journey to Rwanda.

  • March 2018
    Hear from our Climate team on the urgency and opportunities in preparing for climate change; discover what the Boston School Finder tool can do for families; and get to know our trustees, Sue Tierney and Lee Pelton.


  • December 2017
    Meet our new Director of Learning and Evaluation, remember the year that was with the 2017 Year in Review, and read our Climate Resilience program announcement.

  • October 2017
    Learn about our transition from family philanthropy to a legacy foundation; delve into the Wider Learning Ecosystem; and check out the results from an all-door boarding pilot on the MBTA.

  • July 2017
    Say hello to our new class of Barr Fellows, meet our Education partners who are doing high school differently, and learn more about our growing Board of Trustees.

  • March 2017
    Find out about our new grants, new research, and a new special initiative in response to the shifting political climate.


  • October 2016
    Our president makes the case in the Boston Globe for a Waterfront for all of Boston's residents; we welcome three new colleagues; and reach out to new partners with an Education RFI.

  • June 2016
    Read more about our new Waterfront initiative, the City of Boston's work to make universal Pre-K a reality, and how local artists are transforming our city planning process.


  • December 2015
    Hear from Barr staff about their strategic planning work—from smarter travel and smarter places, to connecting all students to success in high school and beyond—we aim to keep our partners connected to our ongoing progress.

  • September 2015
    Meet our new program assistants for Arts & Creativity and Education; learn how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative lifts economies while lowering emissions; and discover what two Arts & Creativity partners learned from their successful efforts to diversity their audiences.

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