Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival awarded grant from COVID-19 economic recovery funds

Hampden County

Photo provided by MassDevelopment of 2019 Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MassDevelopment has awarded a $10,000 grant to relocate he Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival downtown.

The funds were provided to Blues to Green, Inc. to help the economic recovery and support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)-owned businesses in the neighborhood. Festivals will take place at local parks and businesses, including three emerging Black-owned businesses. It is to help provide employment and exposure opportunities to Springfield artists.

“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. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to support downtowns and town centers through various economic recovery programs, and these Resurgent Places grants are providing non-profit community organizations with the resources to activate public spaces, boost economic activity, and support an equitable recovery.”

“We are proud to support Blues to Green, Inc. in this way as it relocates the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival downtown to drive foot traffic to BIPOC-owned businesses,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is focused on assisting hard-hit neighborhoods as they recover from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19. Our Resurgent Places grants will help make it easier for people to come together again for arts and cultural celebrations that benefit both the local economy and the larger community.”

A crowdfund goal of $40,000 by Blues to Green, Inc. this summer will receive an additional $40,000 matching grant from MassDevelopment.

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