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County Cultural, Entertainment Venues Get $9M in SBA Grants
02:33PM / Monday, July 26, 2021
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Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art was one of 33 organizations in the 1st Massachusetts district receiving grant funding.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire County cultural venues were awarded more than $9 million in U.S. Small Business Administration funding to alleviate the impacts of having to close during the pandemic.
 
Grants ranged from $2.7 million for Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and $1.5 million for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket to  $124,765 for Images Cinema in Williamstown and $15,187 for Athlone Artists in Lenox.
 
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal on Monday announced $20,010,864 in grant funds for the 1st Massachusetts congressional district from the Shuttered Venues Operation Grant program. The congressman was at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield with the museum's President and CEO John Doleva; the Hall of Fame received $3,740,728 in funding.
 
"These funds are incredibly instrumental to operations like the Basketball Hall of Fame who suffered greatly because of the pandemic," said Neal. "For the safety of the American people, the government forced these agencies to close their doors. And now, it is the government again stepping in to make sure that they are able to get back on their feet."
 
Doleva said the grant commitment "means the Basketball Hall of Fame can stabilize its business operations that were so severely impacted over the last 15 months and allow us to better position ourselves for long term survival and future growth. Without the SBA's SVOG many venues, like ours, would have struggled to regain footing and suffered long term consequences that for some may have been permanent."
 
The pandemic that began in March 2020 caused disruptions throughout the county's cultural and entertainment industry. Many museums closed completely at first and then opened for limited access for nearly a year. Mass MoCA has been forced to cancel its featured performances, including the three-day Solid Sound Festival, and theater companies struggled (and continue to) to put on outdoor performances. 
 
SVOG was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes more than $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible entities include live venue operators or promoters; theatrical producers; live performing arts organization operators; museum operators; motion picture theater operators (including owners); and talent representatives.
 
Institutions and companies can use the funds for regular payments for utilities, mortgages, debt and leases; payroll, insurance and worker protection; and a range of administrative, advertising, business and capital costs. 
 
Across Massachusetts, there have been 244 grants awarded totaling $194,408,323. There are 33 in the First Congressional District that total $20,010,864 and include:
  • Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Becket: $1,492,373
  • Stationery Factory Events, Dalton: $132,652
  • Berkshire Choral International, Great Barrington: $525,735
  • Berkshire International Film Festival, Great Barrington: $47,713
  • Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington: $296,530
  • Shaw Entertainment Group, Great Barrington: $99,114
  • Athlone Artists, Lenox: $15,187
  • Edith Wharton Restoration, Lenox: $184,493
  • WAM Theatre, Lenox: $43,383
  • HiLo Holding Co., North Adams: $116,523
  • Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, North Adams: $2,636,094
  • Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield: $608,989
  • Berkshire Theatre Group, Pittsfield: $923,619
  • The Egremont Village Inn, South Egremont: $257,720
  • Triplex Management Corp., South Egremont: $396,099
  • Community Images Inc., Williamstown: $124,765
  • Williamstown Theatre Foundation, Williamstown: $1,347,489
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