Gateway City Arts

Investing in New Spaces for Artists and Creative Innovators

Barr contributes $1.965 million for planning, development, and build-out of new arts-related collaborative workspaces across Massachusetts.

Earlier this week, Jim Canales was at Gateway City Arts in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts, joining Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, MassDevelopment CEO Marty Jones, and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse to announce a new partnership and RFP for the creation of arts-related collaborative workspaces in cities across the Commonwealth. Here are Jim’s remarks.

I am delighted to join you today on behalf of the Barr Foundation. 

At Barr, we strongly believe that arts and creativity are essential for vibrant, vital, and engaged communities.

Many of us have experienced the power of arts and creativity in our own lives and how they enrich our communities.

The arts connect us to our cultures and our history, to meaning and purpose, and, at their best, to one another. We also depend on artists and creative innovators to challenge the status quo, to provoke us to new ways of thinking and doing, and to inspire us on the issues we care about.

We depend on artists and creative innovators to challenge the status quo, to provoke us to new ways of thinking and doing, and to inspire us on the issues we care about.

But, that is not all the arts do for our communities.

The arts and creative industries are also a large and growing part of our economy. Indeed, as just one illustration, the Boston Globe reported this week that the Tanglewood summer music festival alone generates $103 million in economic activity for the Berkshires each year.

So, we know that smart investments in the arts and creative sectors brings many benefits, including economic ones. And—as Lieutenant Governor Polito’s presence here attests—how fortunate we are to have leadership in Massachusetts that recognizes that.

Smart investments in the arts and creative sectors brings many benefits, including economic ones.

When you talk to artists and creative professionals and ask what they need to be successful, one of the great needs they often point to is physical space—space to create, collaborate, do their work, and bring their visions to life.

That is why Barr is so pleased to join with the Commonwealth and MassDevelopment in response to that tangible need through the Collaborative Workspace Program.

We are excited about the potential of this program to benefit the arts sector directly. We are also enthusiastic about the potential to integrate arts and creativity in other sectors, such as planning, economic development, and community development.

These spaces will serve as cauldrons of creativity, enabling small-scale manufacturing and fostering entrepreneurship in ways that will revitalize economies and keep our state at the forefront of innovation.

These spaces will serve as cauldrons of creativity.

And these spaces will also create opportunities for learning and creative expression that are open to residents, fostering a sense of welcome and community.

So, it is my pleasure to announce the Barr Foundation’s grant of $1,965,000 to MassDevelopment for the planning, development, and build-out of arts-related collaborative workspaces.

MassDevelopment brings deep expertise to this work and a suite of economic tools to nurture and grow Massachusetts’ creative economy. Through the Transformative Development Initiative and the Cultural Facilities Fund, MassDevelopment has proven itself a leader, and is well positioned to continue strengthening this growing field, adding muscle to the arts and creative industries as a major economic force.

We are excited to see what emerges from this partnership.

Read the press release

Learn more and apply for a Collaborative Workspace Program grant

Media Coverage:

Massachusetts Development Finance Agency

To award grants for the planning, development, and build-out of arts-related collaborative work spaces.

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • Amount: $1,965,000
  • Term: 36 months
  • Program: Arts & Creativity
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Jim Canales

James E. Canales

President & Trustee