Special to the Journal
Mass Humanities, the statewide council that champions opportunities for communities in Massachusetts to share their stories through grants, launched its annual End of Year Giving appeal.
Since 1974, the council has believed that the humanities needs to include diverse authors, stories, and ideas. With a proven track record of championing the humanities, Mass Humanities amplifies the diverse ideas and stories that its grantees generate, through public events and media partnerships. Through these grants Mass Humanities aims to reinvigorate our democracy by telling, sharing, and reimagining the diverse stories and ideas of our citizens across the state.
â€œAt Mass Humanities, we support the people and places committed to a better future. Our grantees and partners are the architects who can rebuild our democracy,â€ said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. â€œYour contribution to our fundraising campaign directly supports this resilient, vibrant network.â€
The past two years have been trying times for nonprofits across Massachusetts. Many small organizations have been doing more with less, are understaffed and are in need of financial support to continue their work of providing meaningful access to the humanities.
In every region of Massachusetts, there are organizations and people who count on Mass Humanities to continue to tell their stories. A contribution to Mass Humanities–no matter how big or small–is an investment in our people, our mission to reshape our democracy and our ability to uplift vulnerable nonprofits this holiday season and beyond.
â€œThe future of our nation depends on people like you, who understand that change begins at the local level when we come together to learn, share, and imagine a better way,â€ continued Boyles. â€œThis has been a time of separation and anger, but it has also been a time of renewal, of personal strength, and of earthshaking calls for a better way. In the face of rising intolerance, the humanities connect us to our place and to each other.â€
Donations can be made at www.masshumanities.org/support/
â€œI hope you can make a contribution and I hope you can visit a local humanities organization to be a part of this rebuilding,â€ added Boyles. â€œTogether, we can reimagine the stories of Massachusetts and fulfill the promise of a democracy led by and for the people.â€
Why your support matters
This year, Mass Humanities committed to bringing more organizations and people into this statewide network.
In 2022, the council saw significant results of this commitment by:
â€¢ Supporting more organizations: Mass Humanities delivered $1 million in direct funding to Massachusetts non-profits in 2022, part of $5 million in grants awarded since 2019.
â€¢ Reaching new communities: 42% of Mass Humanities 100 grantees were first-time grantees in 2022.
â€¢ Going to bat for grassroots organizations: 68% of Mass Humanities major grants went to organizations with annual budgets of less than $500,000; 69% had five or fewer employees.
â€¢ Creating opportunities for diverse audiences: 73% of Mass Humanities 2022 Clemente Course in the Humanities students self-identified as people of color.
â€œYour contribution this month to our fundraising campaign directly supports this resilient, vibrant network,â€ said Boyles.
What your donation supports
From the local museum director who rallies a small town to read the words of Frederick Douglass on Juneteenth to the human services center that welcomes new immigrants to record and share their stories. From the documentary filmmaker chronicling the lives and heroic persistence of her neighbors to the librarian willing to host a difficult conversation in the face of hostile threats. From the single mother juggling two jobs to study history and improve her writing skills through the Clemente Course in the Humanities to the faculty members tutoring, mentoring, and encouraging Clemente students in six cities.
The future of the Commonwealth depends on these people, these voices and these stories.
Your support can help ensure important Mass Humanitiesâ€™ programs and initiatives thrive across the state such as:
â€¢ Expand Massachusetts Stories: Through the Expand Massachusetts Stories grants program Mass Humanities supports projects that collect, interpret and/or share narratives about the Commonwealth, with an emphasis on the voices and experiences that have gone unrecognized, or have been excluded from public conversation.
â€¢ Reading Frederick Douglas Together: Each year, Mass Humanities organizes and funds an event series where communities gather together to read and talk about Frederick Douglassâ€™s influential address, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?
â€¢ Smithsonian Museum on Main Streets: Mass Humanities partners with small towns to bring the Smithsonianâ€™s Museum on Main Street to Massachusetts, with the goal of engaging small town audiences and revitalizing attention to rural communities.
â€¢ Clemente Course in the Humanities: The Clemente Course champions opportunities for Massachusetts residents from historically and systemically excluded communities to engage with, discuss, and author stories and ideas about our democracy.