Promoting Access to Arts and Culture in New Bedford

Spring Social Issue Talks
March 20, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Reynders McVeigh Capital Management LLC

Join the Social Innovation Forum on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 12:00-1:30 pm for the Social Issue Talk "Promoting Access to Arts and Culture in New Bedford." Lunch will be provided. Space is limited so please RSVP. 

Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Mass Cultural Council

Anita Walker has served as Executive Director of the Mass Cultural Council since April, 2007. Anita is the Commonwealth’s highest ranking cultural official, overseeing a range of grant programs, services, and advocacy for the arts, humanities, and sciences in communities across Massachusetts.

Anita has raised the visibility of the nonprofit creative sector as a driving force for growth and prosperity in Massachusetts. She led advocacy for the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund, which has invested $91.9 million in arts and cultural building projects statewide over eight years. CFF grants are leveraging more than $1.9 billion in spending on cultural building projects, providing more than 21,000 jobs, restoring many important historic structures, and attracting more than 28 million cultural tourists to Massachusetts annually.

Anita also launched Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Districts Initiative to help cities and towns attract new visitors and commerce through new arts and cultural activities. She also led the creation of a new Cultural Investment Portfolio for more than 400 outstanding nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations that simplified the state’s support system for the nonprofit cultural sector. Coupled with DataArts, it is helping organizations better understand their finances and become better advocates for their work and the sector as a whole.

Under Anita's leadership, Mass Cultural Council also has put new emphasis on defining and building a new field of practice called Creative Youth Development. As part of that effort Mass Cultural Council launched SerHacer, a program to support intensive, aspirational, ensemble music making as a vehicle for education and social change. Anita also led development of Mass Cultural Council’s UP Initiative to support organizations that recognize the power of inclusive design to grow audiences and enhance cultural experiences for all, and embrace inclusivity as core to their mission. The intent is to generate transformational experiences for participants that will not only build capacity but fuel insight and action.


The Dream Out Loud Center (DOLC) in downtown New Bedford is a nonprofit organization that provides a supportive environment for both youth and adults who are pursuing a creative path and/or career. All members participate in classes and utilize DOLC’s writing space, graphic design lab, music production equipment, band space, and recording studio, while also participating in business seminars and career-related discussions. Additionally, program participants are given the chance to be involved in the production of their publications, CDs, television shows, videos, theatrical productions, and/or musical performances.

Track Partner 

Schrafft Charitable Trust


The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is excited to announce the expansion of our annual March Social Issue Talk Series to all of spring. With the optimistic energy necessary to live and work in Boston, we are ushering in the start of spring early with our first event on February 21. The newly renamed Spring Social Issue Talk Series is still made up of eight free, educational events across the city but now takes place throughout the months of February to April. At each event, funders and community leaders can hear from leading experts and our 2019 Social Innovators about the latest trends, best practices, and exciting innovations across a variety of fields.

Learn about the entire series here.