Mass Humanities awards nearly $50K to Valley cultural organizations

  • The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/13/2021 1:14:12 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Mass Humanities, the state’s humanities council, has awarded close to $50,000 in grants to a range of cultural organizations in the Valley — museums, historical societies and arts groups — to help with digital and alternative programming during the pandemic.

All told, 11 organizations in Amherst, Northampton, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hatfield, Holyoke and three other communities have been awarded just under $50,000 in Digital Capacity Grants, made through funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Those funds are part of more than $250,000 that Mass Humanities had awarded to cultural organizations statewide to help them offer a range of services — website upgrades, mobile walking tours, virtual exhibits — as the pandemic lingers.

Mass Humanities Executive Director Brian Boyles says the goal behind the funding is to provide commonwealth residents continued “access to their heritage despite social distancing.”

“These grants … also provide a preview of the future of public humanities programming,” Boyles said in a statement. “As we begin to rebuild from the impacts of this crisis, our communities deserve the chance to engage with each other and our cultural heritage. It’s also clear that the digital space offers organizations the chance to build their audiences.”

Grants to Valley orgnizations range between $3,000 and $5,000.

Grant recipients include the Amherst Historical Society and the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst; the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield; The David Ruggles Center in Florence; Local Access to Valley Arts (the LAVA Center) and The Literacy Project in Greenfield; and the Hatfield Historical Society.

Also receiving grant funding are Valley Arts Mentors in Holyoke; Forbes Library in Northampton; the Plainfield Historical Society; and Springfield Museums.

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at spfarrer@gazettenet.com.




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