Round one TDI Creative Catalyst Grant project “Main South Grown: Celebrating Food & Gardens in Main South” uses food and art to bring together Worcester growers, restaurants, urban farms, and artists

MassDevelopment today announced the availability of $360,000 in funding for a new round of the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Creative Catalyst Grant program, a competitive grant program for eligible Gateway Cities that supports locally initiated, public-facing projects that advance arts- and culture-based economic development and neighborhood revitalization. Individuals and organizations proposing projects in and near current and former TDI districts in Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lynn, Peabody, Pittsfield, Revere, Springfield, Worcester (Main South), and Worcester (Theatre District) are eligible to apply. Grants will range from $20,000 to $40,000 for individual projects, and from $60,000 to $100,000 for clusters of projects in the same geographic area.

“Thanks to continued support from the Barr Foundation, MassDevelopment is pleased to launch another round of our TDI Creative Catalyst Grant program for Gateway Cities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “Arts and culture are integral to positioning these former industrial centers to be economically competitive. We are pleased to see that projects funded through the first round of the program are helping build community, advance neighborhood priorities, and support local businesses throughout COVID-19, and we look forward to continuing this momentum with a second tranche of funding.”

Applicants can find the full Request for Proposals and details about upcoming region-specific informational webinars at Expressions of interest are due by January 8, 2021 at 5 p.m..

Launched in 2019, MassDevelopment’s TDI Creative Catalyst Grant program is made possible by the Barr Foundation, which has awarded funding to MassDevelopment to create and administer arts-based programming for Gateway Cities. During the first round of the program, in January 2020 MassDevelopment awarded $340,000 in grants to 11 organizations to support public art, community theatres, public markets and gardens, artist spaces, and other projects.

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative works with cross-sector partnerships in targeted commercial districts in order to engage community members, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. During the program’s first five years, MassDevelopment has invested $17.8 million in the TDI districts through tools such as technical assistance, real estate investments, grant programs, and fellows who work in the districts. That investment has directly influenced over $78.6 million and assisted an additional $81.9 million of public and private investments in the districts. The TDI Creative Catalyst Grant program complements other MassDevelopment grant programs that support Massachusetts’ creative economy, including TDI Local, Commonwealth Places, and the Collaborative Workspace Program.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.