By John Lynds
Last week Zumix, East Boston’s popular youth music and arts program, was named one of 173 organizations that will receive a 2017 Boston Cultural Council grant.
Zumix will share in $462,250 in grant money with the other organizations across the city.
“The Boston Cultural Council organizational grants continue to support innovative arts and culture programming, and help keep the arts flourishing in Boston,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “These grants allow for a diverse group of organizations and projects to pursue their creative ideas, and I congratulate each recipient on their achievement. Any time we are able to support hardworking local artists and innovative institutions, we are building a stronger and more dynamic arts ecosystem in Boston.”
Zumix applied for funding through a competitive process and was selected based on their potential to enhance the quality of life, the economy and the design of Eastie, as well as advancing the goals of the BCC Cultural Plan.
Zumix has been the beneficiary of the grant money in the past and has enabled the program to engage the community through free events, music shows and other endeavors to celebrate the culture and diversity of the neighborhood.
“Boston Cultural Council’s long-time partnership with Zumix has been instrumental in enabling us to host free, all ages community arts events in East Boston,” said Zumix Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski. “We are so grateful to receive another year of funding.” –
The funding is provided by both the City of Boston, which contributed $300,000 and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which allocated $179,000 to the Boston Cultural Council.
Walsh’s office said that two hundred and eight applications were received for this year’s grant program.
Zumix and other applicants were required to show how they plan to help grow access to the arts in areas not already well served by cultural opportunities, foster access to the arts for populations who don’t typically have access to the arts, elevate the work of Boston’s creatives, inspire the creation of new works, and support the achievement and provision of excellent, high quality arts and culture in the City of Boston.
“Boston is home to many organizations that are essential for our cultural ecosystem to thrive,” said Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston Julie Burros. “The Boston Cultural Council organizational grants support organizations and projects of varying sizes, making arts more equitable and accessible for all.”
The Boston Cultural Council is housed within the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and receives annual funding from the state-run MCC to support the arts, humanities and innovative science programs that enhance the quality of life in the City of Boston.
Last month, Walsh received the 2017 Public Leadership in the Arts Award, presented by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and the United States Conference of Mayors. Walsh received the honor for his work in ensuring the arts are a top priority for the city.
These efforts include increasing the budget of the Boston Cultural Council, creating a Cabinet-level position for arts and culture and launching Boston AIR, an artist-in-residence program within City government. In 2015, Mayor Walsh launched Boston Creates. The resulting cultural plan is the product of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen cultural vitality over the long term.