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Holyoke High School North has received two separate $2,500 Mass Cultural Council grants, for a total of $5,000. One of the grants will help support HHS North’s Ethnic Studies Block Party, scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on Friday, May 12 at the school. The other $2,500 grant was awarded to the Holyoke High School Theater Company to support its February 2023 production of “She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition.”

The block party has been planned by 11th grade students in the Leadership and Action class at North as a way to bring together students, families, community members, and allies to celebrate the important work that the Ethnic Studies program does for students in grades 7-11 across the district. The block party is for people of all ages from throughout the Holyoke community and will be celebrated both in the school parking lot and also the gym. Scheduled activities include music by Level the DJ, poetry by local poet Lyrical Faith, open mic performances, games, a bounce house, and free food provided by El Rincon Boricua.

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

Mass Cultural Council funds reach every community in Massachusetts. 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 their communities and economy.