Montserrat Wins NEA Grant

July 17, 2012

Image: Mayor William Scanlon, President Steve Immerman and Exec. Director of Beverly Main Streets, Gin Wallace

Montserrat College of Art was one of 80 nationwide recipients selected for the National Endowment for the Arts 2012 Our Town Grant as part of a collaborative partnership along with the City of Beverly and Beverly Main Streets. The group will receive $75,000 of a $150,000 matching grant to create a strategy and implementation plan for an Arts and Cultural district in downtown Beverly.

Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative place-making projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of a minimum of a not-for-profit organization and a local government entity.

The grant will be used for master planning, implementation and sustainability of a Beverly Arts and Cultural district. The master plan will be a blueprint to connect, communicate, and celebrate the arts in all its forms, leveraging the downtown presence of Montserrat College of Art as the core. Each of the three partners has a major initiative underway that will bring even more artists, venues and programs downtown: the college is creating a master plan to expand its footprint, to become a significant force in growing the creative economy, Beverly Main Streets has created a strategic vision, “Downtown 2020” to revitalize the downtown with a strategy that focuses on defining the downtown district through the arts and the city is focused on economic development in the downtown infrastructure.

President Steve Immerman said, “Montserrat was founded as an incubator to develop the next generation of creative thinkers and contributors to the creative economy. We relish the opportunity this grant offers to work with Beverly Main Streets and the city to broaden the scope of the college’s contributions beyond the campus, to make transformational change in the physical, social and economic climate, and create a sense of place in our downtown. Our work to conceive, implement and foster a thriving cultural district will have a lasting impact on future generations who will live, study, work and visit Beverly.”

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