Community Foundation Announces 20 Artist Grantees for ValleyCreates Capacity Program

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is pleased to announce the names of 20 artists selected for its ValleyCreates Capacity program. Chosen from a pool of 143 applicants—each of whom embody the spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship driving the local arts economy—these remarkable individuals have demonstrated skills, vision, and dedication in their respective artistic areas. The Community Foundation is proud to support their journeys. 

The Capacity Grant Program (formerly the Working Capital Grant Program) is a capacity-building and sustainability initiative for artists who currently live or work in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties in Massachusetts. The grant is funded by the Community Foundation’s ValleyCreates Initiative and is administered by MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program.  

“In reviewing applications,” said Senior Program Officer, Nicole Bourdon, “I was truly struck by the amount of such outstanding talent in this area. It was such an incredible window to look through, and our goal should include ways to shine a light on all the amazing artists in this region.” 

Artist grantee Gloria “Yaya” Agosto of Springfield stated, “I’m so grateful for this opportunity. It’s truly an honor to be chosen to be part of these great opportunities.” 

The grantees will each receive a $2000 grant, along with a coaching opportunity from a number of professional experts. Additionally, they will gain access to business-planning workshops and will have the chance to convene with other artists and arts supporters in planned community-building events hosted by the Community Foundation. 

“I’m honored to have been selected and am looking forward to the growth and community that will undoubtedly spur from this opportunity,” said ValleyCreates grantee Aisha Burns of South Hadley.  

The following artists have been selected as the ValleyCreates Artist Grantees for 2023: 

Pamela Acosta, Northampton 
Gloria “Yaya” Agosto, Springfield 
Ayawna Burnett, Springfield 
Aisha Burns, South Hadley 
Aparna “Pampi D” Das, Holyoke 
Eva Fahey, Chicopee 
Amalia FourHawks, Florence 
Indë Francis, Westhampton 
Aliana de la Guardia, Ashfield 
Cima Khademi, Amherst 
Sharon Leshner, Easthampton 
Michael Medeiros, South Hadley 
Taylor Mickens, Springfield 
Elias Neijens, Amherst 
Emilio Pereira-Tosado, Agawam 
Vick Quezada, Easthampton 
Erica Russo, Conway 
Meegan Schreiber, Sunderland 
Porn Siphanoum, Springfield 
Tomantha Sylvester, Ashfield