Springfield, MA – MassDevelopment has awarded a $7,500 grant to Common Wealth Murals (CWM) to help the nonprofit fund an in-depth evaluation of its Community Mural Apprentice Program, which introduced a diverse group of 11 local early-career muralists into the Fresh Paint Springfield 2021 mural festival this past summer.
Through the pilot round of this apprentice program, CWM trained 11 participants in the skills and techniques used to create community-engaged murals. Common Wealth Murals is using grant funds to evaluate this pilot round and develop a long-term program model and additional supports for community muralists. The funds are awarded through MassDevelopment’s special Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places, which was made available specifically to assist local economic recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors.
“Before this pandemic, the vibrant centers of our cities and towns were not only a driving force behind the strength of local economies, they were the places where we gathered to dine, to shop, and to be entertained, and the Commonwealth Places program is one way that we can help these areas bounce back stronger than ever,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors.