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Museum of Russian Icons receives $75,000 grant from Mass Cultural Council

Press release submitted by The Museum of Russian Icons


The Museum of Russian Icons has received a grant of $75,000 from the Mass Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency. The unrestricted funds are the maximum allowed through the Council’s Cultural Sector Pandemic Recovery Grants for Organizations Program. 

“Covid brought with it many unforeseen challenges, particularly for smaller museums like ours.  This significant grant will help us continue our recovery,” said Simon Morsink, Executive Director of the Museum of Russian Icons. “We are grateful to the Mass Cultural Council and the many advocates who fight so hard to secure critical funding for the cultural sector.”

The Recovery Grant Program is part of MCC’s historic $51 million public investment into the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sector to organizations impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the largest grant announcement the Mass Cultural Council has ever made.

“This historic investment of state Covid relief funds will support 1000s of cultural organizations and creative individuals living and working in Massachusetts,” commented State Senator John J. Cronin. “This new funding reinforces our commitment to assisting artists and cultural groups that suffered from closures during the pandemic. The money will go a long way to helping the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sectors rebound.”

In December 2021 a $4 billion pandemic recovery package was approved by the Legislature and signed into law. This Act, Ch. 102 of 2021, directed Mass Cultural Council to develop and administer grant programs to assist cultural organizations and artists recover from the pandemic and operate more efficiently moving forward. Mass Cultural Council received $60.1 million in surplus state revenue funds to support this effort. These unrestricted funds will provide critical support to offset significant losses incurred from necessary suspension of the Museum of Russian Icon’s activities during the height of the pandemic. 

“The Museum of Russian Icons is a critical part of Clinton’s cultural fabric, and I'm proud to be an advocate for its efforts,” said State Senator Meghan Kilcoyne.   

This grant signifies that the Museum of Russian Icons provides meaningful public value through its programs and services. Located in Clinton, Massachusetts, the Museum houses and exhibits one of the Western world’s largest collections of icons—sacred paintings used for veneration in the Orthodox Christian tradition–along with religious artifacts, and Slavic folk arts. It illustrates the evolution over six centuries of the icon from its early Egyptian and Byzantine origins to the establishment of its own tradition. Founded in 2006 as a nonprofit educational institution by Massachusetts art collector and industrialist Gordon B. Lankton, the Museum’s exhibitions, lectures, workshops, symposia, concerts, and guided tours offer a unique cultural experience.

The Recovery Grants offer unrestricted grants, ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 to Massachusetts cultural organizations, collectives, and businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cultural Council received 1,359 applications to the program, of which 1,218 were approved.

Mass Cultural Council has an annual budget of $15.7 million, including an appropriation of nearly $14 million from the state of Massachusetts and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. The agency also runs the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with Mass Development. 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.

Interior view of the Museum of Russian Icons. (Courtesy photo by Norm Eggert)


CURRENTLY ON VIEW AT THE MUSEUM OF RUSSIAN ICONS

Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion, 

March 2—August 27, 2023

Created in collaboration with New Mexico State University, this bilingual exhibition explores the beauty and spirituality of Orthodox icons and Mexican retablos, devotional works of art which convey artistically similar themes utilizing different materials, styles, and iconographies.


ABOUT THE MUSEUM

The Museum of Russian Icons preserves and exhibits one of the world’s largest collections of Orthodox Christian icons, bronze crosses, and Slavic folk arts. Spanning over six centuries, the collection showcases the development of the Russian icon from its Egyptian and Byzantine roots and explores the spread of Orthodoxy across cultures.

The Museum serves as a leading center for research and scholarship through the Center for Icon Studies and other institutional collaborations. It is the only Museum in the US dedicated to Russian icons, and the largest collection of icons outside of Russia.

MUSEUM HOURS
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10am-4pm. Closed Monday–Wednesday.

Admission: Adults $12, seniors (59+) $10, Students $5, Children (13-17) $5, Children under 13 Free. 

Follow the Museum of Russian Icons on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Visit the website www.museumofrussianicons.org, home of the online collection (including research papers on individual icons), a virtual tour of the Museum, the Journal of Icon Studies, and the British Museum’s Catalogue of Byzantine and Greek Icons. 

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