On Thursday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture announced Mission Hill’s Sociedad Latina, Inc. was one of 146 local arts and cultural organizations to receive grant money as part of the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund.
Sociedad Latina, Inc. will share in $815,000 in grants money from the City of Boston’s CARES Act funding. The CARES Act funding was established earlier this summer to support small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofits in adapting their programs, spaces, and operating models as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Supporting the organizations that bring transformative arts programming to every neighborhood in our city is imperative during this unprecedented time,” said Mayor Walsh. “These organizations have put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure Bostonians can still participate in the arts and express themselves creatively, and it’s important that we do what we can to ensure they remain a part of Boston’s arts community in the future.”
Since 1968, Sociedad Latina has been working in partnership with Latino youth and families to end the cycle of poverty, inequality to access health services, and lack of educational and professional opportunities in Mission Hill and surrounding communities.
Each year, Sociedad Latina serves 5,000 young people and adults. Over a thousand of these young people participate in the program’s integral and coordinated daily programming, in four key areas that meet the needs and interests of the community: Education, Workforce Development, Civic Engagement, and Arts and Culture.
However, like many community programs, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted many in-person programs and forced organizations like Sociedad Latina to adapt and change how they operate.
Sociedad Latina continues to operate remotely at this time, while adapting all youth programs and family services online.
In addition to its summer learning program, Sociedad Latina has been keeping youth active through its virtual Youth Artist Mastery music classes, STEAM team online, and Youth Community Organizers’ “Stay at Home/Quédate en Casa” social media public advocacy campaign.
The City’s Chief of Arts and Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega said COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the arts and culture sector, particularly performing arts organizations. As organizations and cultural facilities begin reopening, the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund aims to mitigate costs for finding new safe spaces for performance and rehearsal, adapting existing facilities to comply with public health standards, developing new capacities in streaming and virtual engagement, addressing issues of equitable access on digital programs, retraining staff, and other costs associated with physically distanced program delivery.
“Providing ongoing support to Boston’s arts organizations is critical during this time,” said Elliott-Ortega. “We hope this will encourage Boston residents to do what they can to make sure these organizations are able to continue providing valuable programming to our communities in the future.”
If you are a parent or guardian and are interested in learning more about Sociedad Latina’s out-of-school time programming, contact Andrea Gilbert at [email protected] If you are a currently enrolled Sociedad Latina family and are in need of assistance due to the pandemic, please contact Andrea at [email protected]