Key of Excellence Spotlight: Massachusetts Cultural Council


In May 2014, The Massachusetts Cultural Council received the Key of Excellence Award for its efforts to provide youth and other vulnerable populations in Massachusetts with in-depth arts, humanities, and science experiences. Their grant programs, partnerships, and services increase the pool of resources — public and private — available for the arts, humanities, and sciences across the Commonwealth yielding more public access for residents and strong economic returns for communities.

Here are just some of the compelling reasons why The Phi Beta Kappa selected the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a Key of Excellence Award recipient: 

  • The Massachusetts Cultural Council advocates effectively on behalf of the cultural community--ensuring that arts, humanities, and sciences have a voice in discussions about the future of the Commonwealth.
  • The YouthReach initiative promotes out-of-school arts, humanities and science opportunities that nurture the spirit of creative inquiry in young people as a tool to overcome challenges such as disability, violence and poverty.
  • Hire Culture is a free service provided to help connect nonprofit arts, science, and humanities organizations in Massachusetts with qualified and passionate job candidates.
  • Big Yellow School Bus provides grants to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to non-profit cultural institutions and activities such as art and science museums, historic sites, and music, dance, and theater performances.
  • STARS Residencies (Students and Teachers working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars) provides grants to schools to support creative learning residencies with cultural partners such as artists, scientists, scholars, and cultural organizations that bring creative learning to students, both in and outside the classroom.
  • The National Summit on Creative Youth Development was recently hosted by MCC to celebrate progress in the field and collaborate with funders, academics, policymakers, and business leaders to shape the future of creative youth development.

Moving forward, the Massachusetts Cultural Council plans to use the Key of Excellence award as seed money for UP, a new initiative that aims to make the arts, sciences and humanities even more accessible and central to the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth.

For more information:

View event highlights, photos and community testimonials

Connect with the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

About Phi Beta Kappa’s Key of Excellence Award:

Recipients of Phi Beta Kappa’s Key of Excellence Award must demonstrate a strong record of success at engaging the public across multiple disciplines in the arts and sciences. Their work must make highly visible the excellence, range, and relevance of the arts and sciences to their communities through public programming and community outreach. In addition, programs must engage diverse constituencies in program planning and execution while improving the availability of and access to the arts and sciences in their community. Nominate a program here.




Love of learning is the guide of life.