Age-Friendly Funding Alerts: Community Connectors Grant, Community Transit Grant Program, Mass Cultural Council, Asphalt Art Initiative, BCBS Foundation

May 31, 2023

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly to consider the following funding opportunities:

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Smart Growth America in collaboration with Equitable Cities, the New Urban Mobility Alliance, and America Walks have created the Community Connectors program to help advance locally driven projects that will reconnect communities separated or harmed by transportation infrastructure and tap available federal and state funds to support them. 15 teams from small to mid-sized cities (between approximately 50,000 and 500,000 in population) will be selected to receive a capacity-building grant to advance these projects.

Public entities and nonprofit organizations may apply together as small teams to receive grants of up to $130,000 each for capacity building to advance these projects.

In addition to the grant, the selected teams will also receive customized technical assistance and participate in a learning exchange program over the subsequent 18-24 months, which includes a required convening in Atlanta, GA in November 2023.

More info on this program is available here.

MassDOT’s FY24 Community Transit Grant Program is now open for applications for operating and mobility management projects to expand mobility for older adults and people with disabilities. If you would like to apply, contact Rachel Fichtenbaum for application training and the application forms: or (857) 368-8584. Applications are due June 23, 2023.

Later this year, MassDOT will open applications for wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Currently, only the operating and mobility management applications are open.

The next grant round of Festivals & Projects will support activities incorporating the arts, humanities, or sciences that provide community and/or public benefit and take place between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. These awards of $2,500 will support outdoor performances, art workshops, public art projects, pop-up markets, small capital projects, art and nature hikes, regional food festivals, cultural celebrations – and more – across the Commonwealth.

More information is available here.

The Asphalt Art Initiative grant program is designed to fund visual art on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure in cities. Typically, the projects are painted murals, organized in collaboration between city governments and local communities, with the following primary goals:

    • Improving street and pedestrian safety
    • Revitalizing and activating underutilized public space
    • Promoting collaboration and civic engagement in local communities

The program will award up to 20 cities grants of up to $25,000 each, as well as on-call technical assistance from the tactical urbanism firm Street Plans. Winning cities are expected to be announced in fall 2023 for projects installing during calendar year 2024.

More information is available here.

The Special Initiatives grant program provides organizations with a one-time grant of up to $50,000 to pilot or launch a new project over a one-year period. Special Initiatives grants are intended to fund projects which empower communities to advance health equity. Projects should positively impact the health or health care related needs of those Massachusetts residents who have been economically, socially, culturally, or racially marginalized.

If successful, it is hoped that these projects can be sustained, scaled, and potentially replicated.

Special Initiatives grant proposals must align with one or more of the Foundation’s three focus areas: access to health coverage and care, access to behavioral health services, and elimination of structural racism and racial inequities in health. Projects must serve the Foundation’s populations of focus: Massachusetts residents who are economically, racially, culturally, or socially marginalized.

More information is available here.