Connecting the arts and creative communities across Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties
Art and creativity bring people together, create community dialogue, and inspire imaginative approaches to community challenges. And, arts expressions not only enhance communities, but they help cities and towns attract tourism and creative talents and spur innovation and economic growth.
Our Valley boasts extraordinary artists and creative energies which enhance the quality of life of local residents in countless ways. Looking ahead, the Community Foundation aims to create an even more vibrant arts and creativity sector that is interconnected and collaborative, actively engages the full and diverse community with programs and artistic expression opportunities, and is recognized as a force for economic vitality and civic engagement across the region.
We recognize that gaps and inequalities currently exist across our arts and creativity sector. Below are the needs identified by people in our region’s arts community. Our ValleyCreates grantmaking seeks to address these issues in our region’s artistic communities. Ultimately, we all will benefit.
Current ValleyCreates Grant Opportunities
Working Capital Grants for Artists
In partnership with MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists, we offer the ValleyCreates Artist Working Capital Grant program—a fast-tracked financial wellness and sustainability initiative—to artists who currently live or have studio space in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties.
This program pairs a $1,000 artist mini-grant with one-on-one coaching and online financial and business resiliency webinars focusing on navigating a post-COVID cultural sector.
An open application process yielded 115 applications for the first cohort, of which 20 artists were chosen.
The first group, primarily artists of color, convened (virtually) in July 2020 to complete the series of webinars. Each received a $1,000 grant. The following artists participated:
- Diana Alvarez, Holyoke
- Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegria, Springfield
- María Luisa Arroyo, Springfield
- Donald Blanton, Springfield
- Frankie Borrero, Springfield
- Omarthan Clarke, Springfield
- Patricia Crutchfield, Southwick
- Michelle Falcón Fontánez, Dorchester
- Joshua Gale, Northfield
- Michael Grant, Springfield
- Andrae Green, Springfield
- Imo Imeh, Agawam
- Amina Jordan-Mendez, Holyoke
- Robert Markey, Ashfield
- Jesse Morrisey, Easthampton
- Ryan Murray, Springfield
- Lorna Ritz, Amherst
- Leslie Parks, Springfield
- Alexcelin Saldana, Chicopee
- Myles Sanders, Chicopee
The second cohort was selected in January 2021 and will complete the program this spring:
- Susanna Apgar, Easthampton
- Emma Ayres, Greenfield
- Justin Beatty, Hadley
- Cinamon Blair, Clinton
- Ed Branson, Ashfield
- Brendaliz Cepeda, Springfield
- Keshawn Dodds, Springfield
- María José Giménez, Easthampton
- Magdalena Gomez, Springfield
- Joanne Holtje, Belchertown
- Jeff Kasper, Northampton
- Qualina Lewis, Springfield
- Emma Mesa-Melendez, Springfield
- Hannah Mohan, Pelham
- Jason Montgomery, Easthampton
- Damaris Perez-Pizarro, Chicopee
- Akil Pinnock, Palmer
- Julissa Rodriguez, Indian Orchard
- Kristina Scott, Springfield
- Emikan Sudan, Northampton
- JaJa Swinton, West Springfield
- Narelle Thomas, Springfield
- Leonard Underwood, Springfield
A third cohort will be selected in the summer 2021.
Check back to learn more about grants and trainings available to arts and creativity nonprofits in 2021.