Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall to announce $2 million in awards to 34 recipients as part of the Destination Development Capital (DDC) Grant Program, a new competitive grant program created through the economic development bill signed into law by Governor Baker earlier this year. The announcement was made at Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, commonly referred to as The Clark, in Williamstown.
The DDC grants provide funding for projects that expand, construct, restore, or renovate Massachusetts tourism destinations and attractions, and aid in destination recovery and resiliency. Their aim is to strengthen the Massachusetts economy through destination development projects that enhance tourism resources and infrastructure, especially physical or structural upgrades that have a lifespan of greater than five years.
“Massachusetts’ tourism and cultural sectors are vital to the fabric of the Commonwealth, and will continue to be an important part of our economic recovery in the coming months,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to support these facilities which are also great examples of the types of unique places that would benefit from our spending plan to put $100 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act toward cultural facilities and tourism assets across the state.”
“Cultural facilities are an important part of our travel and tourism industry in Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The impact of these capital grants will go far beyond the destinations and attractions receiving them by attracting the visitors who will patronize local small businesses, contributing to local economic recovery and growth.”
Examples of projects that received funding include:
- The Clark Museum in Williamstown, to improve accessibility and safety, and ensure stable environmental control for the comfort of visitors and the preservation of collections.
- Battleship Cove in Fall River, to develop an immersive exhibit to interpret a working Vietnam War-era helicopter hangar.
- The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, to make repairs to the roof, replace windows, and develop additional outdoor programming space.
- Old Sturbridge Village, to make improvements to the circa 1832 Center Meetinghouse.
- The Discovery Museum in Acton, to support a comprehensive project to improve the visibility and safety of its location.
“As we continue down the path of economic recovery, these grants provide critical support for the travel and tourism sector’s recovery,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “I want to thank the team at MOTT, under the leadership of Executive Director Orrall, for administering this program, which will have a lasting, positive impact on this key industry that has weathered the pandemic through creativity and community backing.”
“Since Massachusetts fully reopened on May 29, visitors from neighboring states have enthusiastically returned to enjoy our state’s wonderful visitor assets,” said MOTT Executive Director Keiko M. Orrall. “These grants will further solidify Massachusetts as a state fully committed to its travel and tourism industry.”
“For many community organizations in Western Mass like the Clark Art Institute, state investments are critical for maintaining operations and continuing to provide the invaluable resources and services they offer to their communities,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds.
“I am delighted to join in the announcement of the FY22 Tourism Destination Development Capital Grants. I proudly joined my colleagues in the House in support of this program as part of the economic development bill, and I am happy to see these resources deployed in my district to support the Clark Art Institute and the Town of Lanesborough Pavilion,” said State Representative John Barrett III. “I commend the Baker-Polito Administration for their partnership in supporting cultural arts and tourism.”
“This grant from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism is so important to our ability to enhance our facilities to best serve our visitors,” said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark Art Institute. “From making improvements to our walking trails and bridges to upgrading accessibility inside our buildings with new door amenities, we will be able to make immediate changes that will benefit our visitors. The Clark is deeply appreciative of the state’s partnership and support.”
“The Clark has been a cornerstone of our regional economy for decades, and we are grateful for the Commonwealth’s support of the Clark’s mission and value as a cultural centerpiece,” said Andy Hogeland, Chair, Williamstown Select Board. “The support for the Clark and other cultural attractions in Williamstown helps the entire region maintain its attraction as a leading destination for tourists, helping our hotels, restaurants and the larger community to give a warm welcome to our visitors.”
The DDC Grant Program was created through the Economic Development Bill and is funded in the FY22 Capital Plan. Applicant eligibility selection criteria included any public, nonprofit agency, 501(c)3, 501(c)6, which has been in operation in Massachusetts for at least two consecutive years since January 2019, and is in good standing with taxes and all license and registration requirements in the Commonwealth. Projects have a one-to-one match requirement and need to completed by June 30, 2022.
In April, The Clark also received an award through the related Travel and Tourism Recovery (TTR) Grant Program for its “Go West” campaign to drive stronger attendance from eastern Massachusetts and New England. Both the DDC and TTR programs are in alignment with the Baker-Polito Administration’s Partnerships for Recovery Plan to help stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy. The plan focuses on getting people back to work, supporting small businesses, fostering innovation, revitalizing downtowns and ensuring housing stability. A $100 million investment in the state’s cultural facilities and tourism assets is among the economic development priorities in the recently filed plan to immediately put to use a portion of the Commonwealth’s direct federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) aid.
Through Partnerships for Recovery, the Administration has awarded more than $700 million to small businesses, and has opened new grant programs to revitalize downtowns, create shared community spaces, support community foundations, and fund regional economic development projects. In January, the Administration awarded nearly $10 million in COVID relief to 183 cultural nonprofit organizations, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Images Cinema, through the Cultural Organization Economic Recovery Grant Program administered by the Mass Cultural Council.
|Applicant||Region||Award Amount||Brief Description of Project|
|Amesbury Carriage Museum||North of Boston||$24,487||This is the final element of a three-year project to develop and open the Industrial History Center (IHC) in the Amesbury Millyard.|
|Atlantic White Shark Conservancy||Cape Cod & Islands||$77,550||Renovations and upgrades in Provincetown including ADA compliant restrooms.|
|Battleship Cove||South of Boston||$85,696||The construction of a portable steel building and the development of an immersive exhibit to interpret a working Vietnam War helicopter hangar.|
|Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Inc.||Western MA||$12,900||Construction of a 14×24 performance shed pavilion on the town green in downtown Lee to provide performance space.|
|Boston Children’s Museum||Greater Boston||$35,000||Replace broken pavers, deteriorating wooden benches, and long-dead trees, thereby putting the Museum’s best face forward to welcome tourists to Fort Point and the Seaport.|
|Cape Cod Maritime Museum||Cape Cod & Islands||$24,915||Removal, abatement, and replacement of outdated vinyl and clapboard on south-facing exterior; computer upgrades; signage upgrades.|
|Cape Playhouse||Cape Cod & Islands||$64,581||Completion of a comprehensive structural evaluation of campus buildings, creation of technical drawings, and a site survey.|
|Discovery Museum||Central MA||$105,000||Improve the visibility and safety of the site, expanded parking, relocate the entrance drive to improve safety and visibility, create new outdoor exhibit spaces, and enhance street frontage.|
|Double Edge Theatre||Western MA||$40,000||Outdoor performance stage.|
|Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art||Western MA||$51,000||Outdoor directional signage, comfortable indoor seating, and improved outdoor accommodations and tent.|
|Franklin County Fairgrounds||Western MA||$79,000||Walkway improvement and replacement project to allow all guests inclusive and safe access throughout our historic cultural facility.|
|Franklin County Chamber of Commerce||Western MA||$27,800||Visitor information center improvements in Historic Deerfield.|
|Franklin Performing Arts Company, Inc.||Central MA||$49,900||Capital maintenance and equipment purchases, including HVAC repair, HVAC roof unit, electrical work, lighting and audio equipment, and a theatrical communication system.|
|Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau||Greater Boston||$149,999||Mobile visitor center that travels to special events and outdoor activations throughout Greater Boston and the entire RTC region, connecting local economies to the greater Boston brand.|
|Historic New England||Greater Boston||$27,000||Accessibility planning project at eight historic sites and landscapes, to improve physical accessibility in parking areas, landscape and building circulation, and building entrances.|
|Irish Cultural Center Inc. of Western New England||Western MA||$120,000||Establish a 220-seat Performance Center on fourth floor. Refurbishment includes HVAC, two ADA compliant restrooms and energy efficient windows.|
|John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum||Cape Cod & Islands||$8,300||Increase multimedia exhibits, programs and student programs by installing 100 Mbps symmetrical internet service.|
|Johnny Appleseed Trail Association/Visit North Central Massachusetts||Central MA||$76,754||Modernize Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center to increase access; improve appearance and functionality with new amenities; and showcase businesses and attractions through interpretive displays and museum quality signage.|
|Lanesborough, Town of||Western MA||$75,000||Install a new Pavilion – a permanent structure to provide multigenerational travelers with engaging programming,|
|North of Boston||$44,286||Reconstruction of information area into an attractive accessible Information Plaza.|
|Middleborough, Town of||South of Boston||$80,000||Rehabilitate historic Peirce Building: upgrade ADA accessibility and fire codes; accessible ramp and bathrooms, window restoration, electrical and plumbing upgrades, exterior building signage, benches and landscaping.|
|The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home||Western MA||$24,489||Equipment to improve air quality for all indoor event spaces and wedding venues.|
|Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame||Western MA||$127,200||Upgrade to the roadside digital messaging system to provide clear and effective messaging to those using the interstate highway.|
|Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum||Cape Cod & Islands||$98,891||Repairs to the roof and window replacements. Repair and develop the grounds around the museum for expanded outdoor programming.|
|Old North Church & Historic Site||Greater Boston||$32,000||Increase functionality and improve ADA accessibility and safety of publicly available restrooms|
|Old Sturbridge Village||Central MA||$39,750||Improvements to the c. 1832 Center Meetinghouse, including slate roof repair to prevent damage to the plaster and paint inside, and interior painting.|
|Provincetown Art Association and Museum||Cape Cod & Islands||$67,500||Restore the historic facade of 200+ year old building, making it a year-round cultural institution.|
|See Plymouth||South of Boston||$75,000||Tourism focused expansion for increased workspace, lobby, an ADA restroom, add electricity to the outdoor porch.|
|Spirit of Springfield||Western MA||$28,000||Signage to increase awareness for gift shop area at Bright Nights at Forest Park with a holiday lighting display.|
|Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute||Western MA||$50,000||Improve accessibility and safety and ensure stable environmental control for the comfort of visitors and the preservation of collections.|
|Tower Hill Botanic Garden||Central MA||$95,000||Widen paths, replace bluestone and brick, and install more seating. Improve electrical, storage, irrigation, and stone walls. Build new path connecting Secret Garden to apple orchard.|
|Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill||Cape Cod & Islands||$30,000||Construction of an outdoor stage at its Edgewood Farm campus.|
|Trustees of Reservations||Central MA||$50,000||Renovate the property entrance, parking area, visitor amenities, and circulation system for Fruitlands Museum to improve the visitor experience, safety, and accessibility.|
|Windhover Performing Arts Center||North of Boston||$25,000||Renovate restrooms for ADA accessibility, making this cultural and natural resource more accessible and comfortable for all visitors.|