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WBUR To Expand Arts & Culture Reporting With $1M Grant From The Barr Foundation

This article is more than 3 years old.

WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, is pleased to announce its arts and culture team, The ARTery, has received a $1 million grant from the Barr Foundation. The grant will build the capacity of The ARTery to increase content production over a three-year period.

Led by senior editor Maria Garcia, The ARTery expands on WBUR's commitment to provide insightful, deep explorations on Greater Boston’s arts and culture scene. Among its editorial objectives, The ARTery seeks to help local audiences navigate and engage fully with the area’s vast cultural scene and to steer community conversations on issues of race, equity, class, gender and body politics in the arts and culture sphere. The ARTery covers everything from well-established visual and performing artists to grassroots innovators who are changing Boston’s cultural landscape.

“We are truly grateful to the Barr Foundation for its continued support of WBUR’s arts journalism and for recognizing the value of The ARTery,” said Sam Fleming, interim general manager and managing director of news and programming at WBUR. “Through this grant, The ARTery will be able to maintain the momentum the team has created, expanding our audience and employing a diverse roster of contributors who bring a more incisive, connected cultural lens to our work.”

In 2016, The ARTery received its first $1 million grant from the Barr Foundation to expand its contributions to the strength of Greater Boston’s creative economy by driving greater participation in and support for local artists, organizations and institutions. Since then, The ARTery has grown to six team members with a diversity of backgrounds. Demand for its content has increased and its audience is more diverse since Garcia implemented The ARTery’s new editorial vision and strategy, and emerging artists and arts organizations are engaging with them through new content and events. This spring, the team identified, “The ARTery 25: Millennials of Color Impacting Boston Arts And Culture,” a daring cohort of young creatives molding the city's cultural ecosystem in promising ways. 

“Arts and creativity are essential for vibrant, vital and engaged communities,” said San San Wong, director of Arts & Creativity for the Barr Foundation. “With The ARTery, WBUR is now bringing the same depth and thoughtful commentary to the arts as it has long brought to other critical sectors and urgent issues. It has been our privilege to support WBUR in bringing new voices and ideas into the discourse about our region.”

With the Barr Foundation’s latest award, The ARTery will expose community members to more enterprise storytelling, news and happenings in arts and culture and convene diverse communities in person to exchange ideas and spark civic conversation about the way arts and culture can shape Greater Boston.

For more information about The ARTery, please visit

About Barr Foundation

The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and help all young people succeed in learning, work, and life. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets of $1.8 billion, and has contributed more than $911 million to charitable causes. For more information, visit or follow @BarrFdn on Twitter and Facebook.



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