Age-Friendly Funding Alert: Shared Streets & Spaces, Commonwealth Places, Mass Cultural Council

Jan 12, 2022

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is excited to promote a fourth round of the Shared Streets & Spaces Grant Program from the Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

The program, which awards bonus points for projects that are inclusive of older adults,  provides funding to municipalities and public transit authorities to quickly implement improvements to plazas, sidewalks, curbs, streets, bus stops, parking areas, and other public spaces in support of public health, safe mobility, and strengthened commerce.

In MHAC’s 2021 Year in Review blog post, it was noted that the Shared Streets and Spaces program distributed more that $1.1 million in 2021 to communities for projects that included older adults.

Some recent examples of those communities receiving support include Holyoke, which received $73,100.00 to install pedestrian safety beacons to better serve recreational and open spaces, the Senior Center, and multiple schools. Quincy received $114,735.56to reconstruct pedestrian facilities, including ramps, and improve traffic signals adjacent to both low-income and senior housing developments.

More information on Shared Street and Spaces is available here.

MassDevelopment’s “Commonwealth Places” is a competitive opportunity to advance locally driven placemaking in downtown and neighborhood commercial districts in eligible communities throughout Massachusetts. Placemaking is a collaborative process through which people in communities work together to improve public spaces and maximize their shared value. The process facilitates creative patterns of use, and leverages the local physical, cultural, and social assets that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

Nonprofits and other community groups can apply to MassDevelopment for seed grants of between $2,500 and $15,000 to fund inclusive community engagement, visioning, and local capacity building that will support future placemaking efforts, or implementation grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 to execute a placemaking project. Seed grants must be matched with local funding or in-kind donations, and implementation grants must be matched with crowdfunding donations. Expressions of interest will be accepted on a rolling basis as funds allow at

The Spring/Summer Festivals grant round will support festivals taking place March 1 – August 31, 2022. Program guidelines and application are now available. Register for an information session on January 20, 2022. Applications are due March 1, 2022.

Mass Cultural Council has also created a Festivals Toolkit, a resource for all festival and event producers. This toolkit is a product of the Festivals Audience Lab, a project between the Mass Cultural Council and ArtsBoston that is intended to help organizations build diverse audience in the arts and culture sector through disruptive innovations in marketing practices, using collaborative and data-informed experimentation.