$99,000 In Organizational Investment Grants Awarded To 11 Cambridge Organizations


Cambridge Arts: $99,000 In Organizational Investment Grants Awarded To 11 Cambridge Organizations. With photos of hearts and suns images decorating a fence; children doing yoga; a leaping dancer; and people on stage at the Brattle Theatre.

Eleven Cambridge organizations have been awarded $99,000 in Organizational Investment Grants by Cambridge Arts and the City of Cambridge. The funding program provides $9,000 grants to support operational costs, sustainability, and resiliency for local cultural organizations that benefit Cambridge residents.

This year’s recipients are:
• Brattle Film Foundation
• Cambridge Art Association
• Cambridge Community Television
• Central Square Theater
• Community Art Center
• The Dance Complex
• Global Arts Live (formerly “World Music”)
• Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre
• Liars & Believers, Inc.
• Maud Morgan Arts (part of the agency formerly known as Agassiz Baldwin Community)
• Multicultural Arts Center
(Full organization descriptions see below.)

This is the second year of the Organizational Investment Grants, which began as part of Cambridge Arts’ covid relief efforts. Rather than funding individual cultural projects, like most Cambridge Arts grants, our Organizational Investment Grants offer our largest financial grants to local organizations to support their ongoing, overall good work. Creating this category just for organizations also helps individual artists by creating more funding opportunities for them in our other grant categories—because of less competition there with substantial organizations.

Overall Cambridge Arts and the City are distributing grants totaling $299,350 to artists and community organizations this year through three funding opportunities that Cambridge Arts offered last fall—including Art for Social Justice Grants, Local Cultural Council Grants, and Organizational Investment Grants. Each year, the City of Cambridge contributes substantial funding to support local artists, cultural workers, and arts organizations through the Cambridge Arts Grant Program. This support is coupled with funding received through the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s statewide Local Cultural Council Program.


Eleven Cambridge organizations have been awarded $99,000 in Organizational Investment Grants by Cambridge Arts and the City of Cambridge. The funding program provides $9,000 grants to support operational costs, sustainability, and resiliency for local cultural organizations that benefit Cambridge residents.

Brattle Film Foundation
Grant Award: $9,000.00
The Brattle Film Foundation's (BFF) mission is to celebrate film as a popular & fine art form with cultural & historic importance that excites, educates & inspires community. Our goal is to provide our community access to a diverse palette of films in order to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the art form. The BFF is the nonprofit organization that programs & operates the historic Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA, which has been a repertory cinema since 1953. BFF took over the cinema in March, 2001 in order to preserve its repertory programming model, ensuring that future generations will have access to this innovative programming style for years to come.
We provide year-round film programming at our single-screen cinema which includes curated film series and multiple day engagements for film premieres and reissues. As the premier destination for repertory cinema in New England, the BFF uses an international view of cinema to:
* Ensure cinema is respected, viewed and recognized alongside other great works of art.
Enrich the cinema experience through diverse film programming, education and access to film artists and academics.

Cambridge Art Association
Grant Award: $9,000.00
It is the mission of the Cambridge Art Association (CAA) to build a vibrant community through visual art: connecting individuals and facilitating dialogue among artists and art lovers of all ages and backgrounds. To accomplish this, CAA exhibits quality works of art and seeks to enrich lives and engage art enthusiasts and collectors. CAA also provides educational opportunities to its members and others to enhance their skills as artists and promote the appreciation of visual art. The Cambridge Art Association was founded in 1944 by a group of local artists and art supporters. At the time, there was no other local association like it. The CAA was a space for exhibiting work, learning new techniques, and socializing. It was and is above all, a community of artists.

Cambridge Community Television
Grant Award: $9,000.00
Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) nurtures a strong, equitable and diverse community by providing tools and training to foster free speech, civic engagement, and creative expression while connecting people to collaboratively produce media that is responsive, relevant, and effective in a fast-changing technological environment.

Central Square Theater
Grant Award: $9,000.00
Central Square Theater (CST), is dedicated to the exploration of the feminine perspective and science and society, through the lens of social justice. Based on the evolution of its founding theater companies, The Nora and Underground Railway, and through award-winning productions, the Catalyst Collaborative@ MIT Science Theater Initiative, and youth development programming, CST creates theater where points of view are heard, perspective shifts, and change can happen. CST is the oldest female-led theater organization in Greater Boston. With a combined history of over 50 years of work, CST engages over 35,000 people annually through live performance, rigorous youth education, and community programs. Central Square Theater serves a multigenerational audience with the majority (40%) coming from Cambridge and Central Square neighborhoods. Community curated programming is evident in our education programs and theatrical seasons. Recent COVID responsive digital and adapted live programming also serves audiences in the entirety of Cambridge as well as Boston neighborhoods in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. The CST full time and part-time core staff is 40% BIPOC. Pre-COVID, CST employed up to 150 artists, educators, and front-of-house staff throughout the year. As of FY22, we are slowly rebuilding to similar staffing numbers. The CST board is 42% people of color and we are aggressively rebalancing by gender and age.

Community Art Center
Grant Award: $9,000.00
Founded in 1937, the Community Art Center (CAC) is a neighborhood institution committed to our mission: to cultivate an engaged community of youth whose powerful artistic voices transform their lives, their neighborhoods, and their worlds. We believe in the power of young people. We believe in the power of artistic expression. We believe in taking care of ourselves and each other. We believe in creating positive change in our neighborhood & beyond. Art is the mechanism we use; but we do much more than arts education. We provide social and emotional support, the presence of trusted adults, transportation, and up to three healthy full meals daily. The CAC began in a basement at Newtowne Court, functioning as the community center for Newtowne Court and Washington Elms, two of the oldest public housing developments in the United States. In 1999, the CAC moved into a space across the street from Newtowne Court, and still serves many residents of the Newtowne Court, Washington Elms, and other public housing developments in and around Cambridge's Port neighborhood. CAC began as a grass-roots organization and remains that way over 80 years later. Our programs are effective because of our constant and consistent communication with our community. These conversations allow us to tailor our programming to support the specific needs of our children and families. One program alumni said "The Arts Center is like the family that never left the neighborhood. It's like coming home."

The Dance Complex
Grant Award: $9,000.00
The Dance Complex (The DC) enables the creation, study and performance of dances from around the world, promoting legacies and cultures that reflect our local and regional community. In addition to 120+ classes weekly taught by world renowned faculty, additional programming-festivals, performances, community engagements-creates intersections of audiences, artists, and our Central Square neighborhood blurring geographic and ethnic boundaries. We celebrate individual voices that combine to create the stories of our people through movement. Our programming’s unique "all in movement" lens engages those with disabilities and the movement impaired, the queer community, elders and intergenerational groupings, the business and arts sectors, immigrant families, and those "othered" due to race or income or other factors. An artist-centric administration and financial system that supports artists-as-entrepreneurs offers lower than market value studio rental rates and in turn, ensures low class fees to the public. In the last 18 months, we chose to keep dance a dynamic force in Cambridge through an immediate transition in the early days of the pandemic to virtual programming, investing in health-related capital changes, and pivoting nimbly within the ebbs and flow of COVID’s wrath. We have built upon strategic partnerships with the City of Cambridge, local business and corporations. We have kept true to our mission of sustaining the performance, creation and study of dance.

Global Arts Live (formerly “World Music”)
Grant Award: $9,000.00
Based in Central Square in the heart of Cambridge for over 30 years, Global Arts Live’s mission is to bring inspiring music and dance from all corners of the world to stages across Greater Boston. By shining a spotlight on exceptional artists and reflecting our diverse and vibrant community, we aspire to transcend borders, cultivate community and enrich lives. Global Arts Live was founded and incorporated in Cambridge in 1990 under the name World Music. In May 2019, recognizing the need for a more powerful brand that represented our wider programming, we changed our name to Global Arts Live. By putting the spotlight on what we value most, the transformative power of live performance to enrich and shape lives, we believe our new name reflects our place in today’s global world. Throughout the years, our passion for bringing international and diverse performances to the Cambridge cultural scene never wavered. We have featured more than 800 artists from 70+ countries in over 1,500 performances attended by more than 1 million people. Global Arts Live is now the foremost New England presenter of music and dance from all corners of the globe.

Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre
Grant Award: $9,000.00
Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre (JMBT) is Eastern Massachusetts’s 2nd largest dance organization, serving people throughout Greater Boston. Cuban-born, Artistic Director/choreographer, Jose Mateo founded the company in 1986 with a vision to increase accessibility to ballet, reach nontraditional participants and engage a diverse population of students, audiences, and artists. JMBT has forged a new model for a ballet organization through innovative programming, artistic excellence, and extensive community outreach.

Liars & Believers, Inc.
Grant Award: $9,000.00
I developed Black Matters in June 2020 in light of my own experiences facing adversity as a Black man with a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and a lifelong passion for creating music under the name Lizzle4 (Lizzle is an ode to my name Elon and 4 is an ode to the Port). As a professional recording artist born and raised in the Port who has produced two full length albums, countless music videos and performed locally, nationally and internationally, I created the Black Matters movement to celebrate Black identity, Black communities, Black artists, and Black businesses. The Black Matters performance series will host Port-based BlPOC artists and those that support the mission of Black Matters (rappers, singers, poets, dancers, spoken word performers, videographers, and so much more) through monthly open air performances in locations throughout the Port neighborhood as a free offering to my community. In preparation for the series, we will film a short documentary that highlights Black Matters, the work of artists involved and their process, as well as words of inspiration and hope. The Black Matters short film will be screened throughout the performance series as a unifying thread.

Maud Morgan Arts (part of the agency formerly known as Agassiz Baldwin Community)
Grant Award: $9,000.00
Maud Morgan Arts builds community through the visual arts by connecting, inspiring, and enriching individual lives. Fka ABC is to be a place that nurtures individual growth and creativity, builds connections, and serves as a forum for community advocacy. We believe in welcoming and including everyone; lifelong learning; and fostering a culture of creativity and cooperation.

Multicultural Arts Center
Grant Award: $9,000.00
The Multicultural Art Center is a non-profit corporation founded in 1978 as an arts center focused on helping diverse populations better understand one another. In 1985 we moved into our home at 41 Second Street in East Cambridge. Since our founding, we have worked to bring the arts to the people of Cambridge, to provide opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, particularly artists of color, and to be a standard-bearer of the arts in our community. Our mission is to present multicultural visual and performing arts programs to educate the community about diversity, and to make our facility available to artists or groups that might not otherwise have access to a professionally equipped facility or the cultural mainstream.