Several JP organizations receive Boston Cultural Council grants

Several Jamaica Plain non-profits will receive a portion of the latest round of Boston Cultural Council grants totaling $489,000. 

OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, the Jamaica Plain Arts Council, JP Movie Night and the Hyde Square Task Force will join 150 other Boston arts and cultural organizations in sharing  $489,000 through the Boston Cultural Council grant program. 

Acting Mayor Kim Janey, together with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Cultural Council (BCC), made the announcement last month. 

Janey said these grants support the organizations’ general operating expenses, with the goal of enhancing the quality of life in Boston through the arts.

“The arts are integral to ensuring our city is a culturally vibrant place where everyone is able to thrive,” said Janey. “These organizations have done incredible work over the past year to engage our communities during such a difficult time, and we are proud to support them as they continue to carry out this much needed work.”

The Boston Cultural Council also awarded the Modeling Equity Organization grant for the third year in a row to Jamaica Plain’s OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center. The center was awarded an additional $5,000 for meaningfully addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership, board, staff, and programming, and their ongoing work to serve historically underrepresented groups. 

Founded in 1994 by Artistic Director Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga, OrigiNation is a non-profit organization that produces innovative performing arts programs that motivate, challenge, and inspire youth to be the best they can be. 

“We offer quality dance, theater arts, and African history education,” said the group in a statement. “Special emphasis is placed on teaching young people between the ages of 2 through 18 the importance of self-respect, health, nutrition, education, self-esteem, and the extent of African influences on various contemporary art forms.”

Every year OrigiNation serves close to 150 young people through its on-site programs in Jamaica Plain and an additional 1,500 youth through its off-site programs.

OrigiNation also implements special initiatives to raise its students’ awareness about pertinent social issues and to facilitate their development into well-rounded, productive citizens within their families and communities. 

For the second year in a row grant amounts were determined by budget size. Organizations with budgets under $2 million received grants between $2,000 and $5,000. This funding strategy aims to better support small- to medium-sized organizations. Organizations were evaluated on a series of criteria, including diversity of the organization, service to historically underrepresented populations, benefit to the public, and reflection of the goals and ideas of the Boston Creates cultural plan.

A virtual reception celebrating this year’s grantees will be livestreamed to the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s Facebook page (@ArtsinBoston) on May 20, 2021 from 6-7 p.m. 

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