Professor Flavia Montenegro-Menezes - UMass Amherst - "Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, Participatory Asset Mapping: Sustainable Planning and Development in Holyoke." This project will develop a tested and transferable approach to integrating locally unique cultural assets into urban and regional planning. Beyond the immediate benefits to Holyoke, the broader goal is to demonstrate how cultural asset mapping can enhance the planning process while better integrating community strengths and concerns. Amount awarded: $27,000.
Professor Jean Forward - UMass Amherst -"Native American Trail in Massachusetts." Professor Forward intends to work with the Native American tribal communities of Massachusetts to establish a Massachusetts Native American Trail. Importantly, the project will allow Native communities to present their history, heritage and contemporary culture largely in their own words. Amount awarded: $24,000.
Professor Rajini Srikanth - UMass Boston -"Undergraduate Creative and Social Entrepreneurship Fellows." This project plans to select and train teams of UMB honors students who will identify a local or regional organization within the creative industry that is facing specific challenges and then work with that organization to solve its individual problems. This effort reflects UMB's desire to strengthen its honors program and promises to add to UMass Boston's already substantial record of service to its surrounding community. Amount awarded: $37,000.
Professor Paul Atwood - UMass Boston - Tamzig: A Multi-Media Arts Project. During the past year, the Tamzig project at UMB has sponsored a film series, presented a well-received art exhibit at the Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, and helped produce the play, Waiting for Gilgamesh. This year's award reflects that success and represents modest additional support to help further develop the drama component within the Tamzig Project while its leaders pursue on-going funding. Amount awarded: $10,000.
Professor Askold Melnyczuk - UMass Boston - "Instilling Hope in the Homeless through Reading and Writing." This program seeks to cultivate a student population among the homeless that has been previously overlooked due to public misconceptions and, in doing so, possibly to change outmoded patterns of public assistance. An earlier modest pilot program at a different institution has demonstrated that anticipated improvements in self-perception and employment outlook for the target population are indeed feasible. Amount awarded: $10,000.
Professor Robert Lublin and Cliff Odle - UMass Boston - "The Emancipated Century: A Staged Reading Series." This project, which will produce a coordinated series of dramatic staged readings in theatres throughout Boston, will pay tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and, in doing so, will also grow new theater audiences and bring more resources to the middle segment of Boston's cultural pipeline. Amount awarded: $30,000.
Professor Clyde Barrow - UMass Dartmouth - "Analysis of the Creative Industry in Somerville, Massachusetts." The City of Somerville has identified the creative industry as an important component of its economic development strategy. The Center for Policy Analysis at UMass Dartmouth will work with the City of Somerville to measure the asset base of its creative industry in terms of employment, wages and tax base for comparison to the City's other major sectors. By underscoring the financial viability of the creative industry, this project should make supportive planning and financing mechanisms more available to that industry. Amount awarded: $12,000.
Professor Grant O'Rielly and Kathy Miraglia - UMass Dartmouth - "The Music of the Spheres." This project will use the May 2014 New Bedford Symphony Orchestra's performance of The Planets as a linchpin event around which to build a series of activities featuring community outreach and engagement at the intersection of science and the arts. Amount awarded: $33,300.
Professor Andrea Klimt - UMass Dartmouth - "Community Empowerment through Photography." This project will bring together students in photography at UMass Dartmouth and M. C. Durfee High School in Fall River into teams to create a publicly accessible visual record of the ways of life and diverse neighborhood geographies of one of Massachusetts' most important Gateway Cities. The project holds considerable promise to foster community pride in Fall River, develop a wider understanding of its diverse culture and history, and bring new insights into its many strengths. The link between UMD and Durfee is also welcome and will constitute a major community service in itself. Amount awarded: $24,600.
Dr. Robin Toof and Professor Meg Bond and Professor Michele Haynes - UMass Lowell - "Best Practices in Board Diversity." This project will investigate the dynamics that enable culturally and ethnically diverse boards to be successful, to identify best practices in board diversification and to assess new training programs designed to increase board diversity. It should prove of great value to groups and organizations throughout the Commonwealth by bringing into the Board process voices and perspectives that may otherwise be neglected or not heard. Amount awarded: $15,000.
Professor Pat Fontaine - UMass Lowell - "Lowell: A City of Refugees, a Community of Citizens." This project will support a multifaceted effort to tell the story of the new Cambodian refugee population in Lowell and to highlight the growing importance of Cambodia Town in the economic growth of Lowell as a whole. The planned collaboration with the Lowell National Historical Park and the Tsongas Industrial History Center should provide valuable contributions and updating to those enterprises. The proposed "healing garden" will be a welcome addition to Lowell's public spaces. Amount awarded: $37,000.