The Barr Foundation has announced second-quarter grants totaling $14.2 million in the areas of arts and creativity, climate, education, cross-program initiatives, and special initiatives.
The foundation awarded seven grants totaling nearly $400,000 through its Arts and Creativity program, including a grant of $150,000 to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation in support of an effort aimed at "activating" downtown North Adams and leveraging the audiences and excitement generated by the recent opening of MASS MoCA's Building 6. Through its Climate program, the foundation awarded eleven grants totaling more than $3.5 million, including $100,000 to Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), Inc., and $400,000 to Community Labor United, Inc., both members of the Green Justice Coalition, which is working to help low-income residents and communities of color access solar energy and expanding renewable energy procurement requirements in the state.
Through its Education program, the foundation awarded seven grants totaling $6.9 million, including $600,000 to Holyoke Public Schools and $150,000 to the Newport Public Education Foundation for high school redesign planning processes in their respective districts. The foundation also awarded four grants totaling more than $875,000 million in support of cross-program initiatives, including $750,000 to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in core support for the Fund for Shared Insight, which champions the building of greater effectiveness in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors through strong feedback loops and more openness.
And in response to dramatic shifts in the national political landscape, increased polarization, and concerns about equity and opportunity, the foundation awarded fifteen grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its 2017 Special Initiative, including grants in support of frontline organizations working with vulnerable communities in Massachusetts, investigative journalism, and freedom of the press protections.