The Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action received $11,600 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support outstanding literary arts programming in Western Mass. Funding from MCC acknowledges the significant public value and impact of Juniper’s renowned Visiting Writers Series, Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Juniper Institute for Young Writers, and annual Juniper Literary Festival. The Juniper Initiative is located in the MFA for Poets and Writers, part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s English Department.
“We are honored to receive funding from MCC,” Donna LeCourt, Chair of the English Department said. “The literary programming offered by the Juniper Initiative creates opportunities for community engagement and showcases the exceptional work of our department. The reading series, festival, and summer institutes reflect the long tradition of educational leadership at UMass Amherst. We’re pleased that this funding continues to support our work in the literary arts and has such a positive impact on the commonwealth.”
Since 2004, programming by the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action has brought hundreds of people to the region each year for readings and literary events that provide an economic boost to local business and institutions as attendees dine in restaurants, purchase books from independent booksellers, and visit area museums. One in six people in Western Mass participate in the arts according to a regional economic survey. In Massachusetts, for every one person who attends a sporting event, five people go to an arts event.
The Mass Cultural Council funds reach every community in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to promote excellence, education, access and diversity in the arts, humanities and sciences, to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities and economy. The Juniper Initiative is honored to be among the 2023 grantees supporting literary arts in Western Massachusetts.