June 2021
Foundation Friends,

We are halfway through the year, and as you will see in this month's ENewsletter, it's a really busy time for GWCF's program team. Now, and over the next few months, we'll be launching new, improved, and returning funding opportunities, each designed to be responsive to the needs of the nonprofit sector as we emerge from the pandemic.

Our grantee partners continue to do vital work in the community, collaborating and innovating to address disparities, create opportunities, and enrich the lives of community members they serve. Exciting things are coming out of our ongoing arts partnership with the Barr Foundation, and as we deepen our commitment to equity, we're also elevating young voices and celebrating our diverse communities.

We hope you enjoy this round of stories and updates from the Foundation. We appreciate all your support in making these things, and more, possible.

Jonathan Cohen
Vice President for Programs & Strategy
New Funding Opportunity for Arts Collaborations

GWCF's Creative Intersections grant program is now open for applications! Part of the Creative Worcester Initiative, the grant program will fund collaborative, innovative Worcester-based projects that leverage the arts as a catalyst to respond to human need in ways that are authentic, inclusive, and equitable. Applications for Creative Intersections grants will be open in two cycles this year: Jun. 15 - Aug. 1 and Sept. 15 - Nov. 1.
Photo Caption: The "Give me a Sign" project, funded by GWCF through the Creative Worcester Initiative, exemplifies a creative and intersectional project that incorporated graphic design, public art, and mental health during the COVID-19 shutdown. Photo Credit: Discover Central MA
Speaking Up for Change:
A Student Perspective

Victoria Njoroge, the 16-year old daughter of Leadership Worcester alum (class of 2020), Milka Njoroge, was wrapping up her junior year of high school with a final American history project when she noticed something missing: Where were the stories from Black communities during the hundred years after Emancipation but before the Civil Rights Movement? 

Victoria decided to learn as much as she could about the Black history and narratives omitted from her textbooks, and she shared these important stories with her peers. But she didn't stop there. Victoria wrote a letter to the editor, which appeared in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette last month, about the importance of teaching diverse perspectives in schools.

Inspired by her activism, GWCF caught up with Victoria to learn more about her decision to take her message out of the classroom and to the public, and about what she hopes comes next. Read more here!
Grantee Partner Highlights
Worcester-based Nonprofits Collaborate to Amplify Youth Voice Through the Arts

Main IDEA Youth & Arts and the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, along with professional muralists Jennessa Burks and Eamon Gillen, recently unveiled a 100-foot social-justice themed mural and with it, a testament to the leadership role young people can and should play in building a more equitable future.

The mural, which now hugs the side of the Boys & Girls Club, was envisioned and completed collaboratively. It incorporates designs submitted by young members of both Main IDEA and the Boys & Girls Club. You can read more about how it came to life in the Worcester Magazine.

This project was supported in part by a grant from GWCF's Creative Worcester Initiative, a multi-year partnership with the Barr Foundation that continues to infuse Worcester's arts and culture ecosystem with capital and knowledge resources.
Photo Credit: Main IDEA Youth & Arts
Through the Leicester Savings Bank Fund,
Deja New Addresses Basic Needs

For Leicester residents without access to a vehicle, getting to appointments like doctor's office visits can be a challenge in a community with limited public transportation options. It's a problem Deja New, a volunteer-run, Leicester-based organization, hopes to address. With a Leicester Savings Bank Fund grant from GWCF, Deja New will launch a pilot to provide Leicester residents with free transportation to medical appointments.

Deja New improves the quality of life for Leicester residents by responding to local needs, coordinating resources, and distributing funds to other grassroots organizations. This year, they are among twelve organizations selected to receive a total of $40K in Leicester Savings Bank Fund grants.

The Leicester Savings Bank Fund, one of several town-specific funds housed at managed by GWCF, was established in 1997 to enrich cultural life in Leicester and address the unique needs of Leicester residents.
Mark Your Calendars:
Grant Opportunities Are Here & They Keep Coming!

Creative Intersections: NEW!
Now Open | Learn More

Jeppson Memorial Fund for Brookfield
Opens June 21, 2021| Learn More

2021 Community Grants:
General Operating & Project Support
Opens July 15, 2021 | Details coming soon!

Nonprofit Effectiveness Grant Program: NEW!
Opens July 15, 2021 | Details coming soon!

Fallon/OrNda Community Health Fund
Opens September 15, 2021 | Details coming soon!
Stay tuned for what's to come at the Foundation, from upcoming grant opportunities to workshops, and more. Together, we are building a stronger, more equitable Central Massachusetts.
Connect with the Foundation on social media!
Greater Worcester Community Foundation