Lynn Celebrates Creativity: Lynnspire 2024 Grants Awarded to 15 Local Projects

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Photo of Cultura Latina Dance Academy by John Andrews/Creative Collective

The City of Lynn, Massachusetts, has announced the recipients of the Lynnspire 2024 Creative Placemaking Grant Program, showcasing its commitment to fostering creativity and community engagement. This initiative, part of the broader Lynn Creative Cities program, has selected fifteen diverse projects to receive a share of $60,000 in grant funding.

The Lynn Creative Cities initiative is a comprehensive effort to leverage arts and culture as catalysts for economic development and community revitalization. Launched in partnership with MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) and supported by the Barr Foundation, this program aims to transform Lynn into a hub of creative activity, attracting artists, entrepreneurs, and visitors while enriching the lives of residents.

Luis Cotto, creative strategist for the Lynn Creative Cities initiative, expressed enthusiasm about the program’s impact: “We are incredibly proud of the diverse range of grant applications we received, reflecting the rich tapestry of our community’s creativity and innovation. The distribution of these events and programs across various city spaces ensures that every corner of our city will benefit from this vibrant cultural exchange.”

The Lynnspire grant program, a vital component of the Creative Cities initiative, was open to all applicants but favored Lynn-based creatives. Its goal is to support community-driven projects that promote engagement and create a sense of place. The selection process involved specific eligibility criteria and a standardized rubric to ensure fair evaluation.

Mayor Jared C. Nicholson commented, “This opportunity supports our local, creative talent and is a great way to promote inclusivity while embracing our City’s artistic identity. Lynn has an outstanding community engagement and collaboration tradition through arts and culture, and we are excited to see these art projects come to fruition.”

The 2024 Lynnspire Grant awardees and their projects are:

  1. Raquel Jimenez, “Department of Dreams” – $10,000
  2. Wil Renderos and Audio Chemists, “Nuestro Lente (Our Lens)” – $10,000
  3. Galleries at Lynn Arts (GALA), “Art For All” – $10,000
  4. Sunil Gulab and Beyond Walls, “Breaking Bread to Break Silos” – $5,000
  5. Eleni Rossi & Jilliana Rodriguez, “Lynn Fashion Showcase” – $5,000
  6. Cultura Latina Dance Academy Inc., “CLDA Family Day Festival” – $5,000
  7. Shontae Pitcher & Paulomi Dave-Potter, “Selfish Women’s Group” – $5,000
  8. Lynn Council on Aging, “Getting Creative w/ Lynn Seniors” – $3,000
  9. David Simmons, “Music at Lynn Farmers Market” – $1,000
  10. Jeff Crosby, “Masters of the Air Showing” – $1,000
  11. Steven Foley, “Stand Up Stick Up Monthly Comedy Show” – $1,000
  12. Shanna Blaney, “Brickett Garden Expansion” – $1,000
  13. Michelle Guzman, “Follow the Boot” – $1,000
  14. Ion Certan, Art Classes at Lynn Beach – $1,000
  15. Keyla Lopez, “The Soul Speaks Project” – $1,000

These projects span various creative endeavors, from site-specific sculpture installations and student-led mask-making programs to citywide festivals and arts activities for seniors. The diversity of the selected projects reflects Lynn’s commitment to inclusive and comprehensive community development through the arts.

LaCrecia Thomson, Arts & Culture Planner for the city, praised the community’s engagement: “Once again, the City of Lynn has shown up with beautifully planned initiatives to promote not only creative endeavors but with creative programming and opportunities to come together as a community. It is always inspiring to see how the people of Lynn come through for each other.”

As these projects unfold throughout 2024, they will contribute to Lynn’s ongoing transformation through the Creative Cities initiative. By integrating arts and culture into the fabric of daily life, Lynn is enhancing its visual appeal and strengthening community bonds, supporting local artists, and driving economic growth. The Lynnspire grants represent a significant step forward in realizing the vision of Lynn as a vibrant, creative, and culturally rich city.