Mass Cultural Council Awards $975,000 for Pandemic Recovery to 51 AAPI Organizations 

Khmer Post USA print. file photo.

BOSTON – Three Cambodian American organizations in Lowell received the grants from Mass Cultural Council according to a press release on Wednesday, May 3rd. Khmer Post USA, CMAA and Angkor Dance Troupe are amongst the 51 recipients of the FY22 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Arts & Culture COVID-19 Recovery Program

“We understood the Massachusetts House Asian Caucus wished to prioritize and provide pandemic recovery funds to organizations focused on one or more Asian ethnicity that conduct cultural events, cultural education, or cultural performances,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council. “I appreciate the Caucus’ trust in us to develop and execute their vision and acknowledge the leadership and expertise of the Caucus Members who provided our team with valuable assistance during program development.”

Courtesy Photo from Angkor Dance Troupe website

It is one-time pandemic relief program to provide financial assistance to AAPI arts and culture organizations economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. established and funded through a legislative earmark in the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget secured by members of the Massachusetts House Asian Caucus.

“COVID-19 has not only impacted AAPI cultural organizations financially; the community is also working to combat the effects of anti-Asian discrimination, which has increased during the pandemic. Through these disparities, the AAPI arts and culture sector is raising awareness and providing cultural education and events for communities,” added the statement.

The AAPI Arts & Culture COVID-19 Recovery Program funds all eligible applicants, granting a total of $975,000 to 51 nonprofit, for-profit, and fiscally sponsored organizations that specifically reflect and serve one or more community that self-identify as Asian or Pacific Islander. Grant awards range between $5,000 and $45,000 and are based on reported changes in earned revenue between 2019 and 2020. Organizations with greater economic losses received larger grant awards, to assist in their pandemic recovery.

Thirty-two organizations or 63% of the grant recipients are first-time applicants to a Mass Cultural Council program. Khmer Post USA was awarded $25,000, Angkor Dance Troupe received $15,000, and CMAA received $5,000.

“The impact of covid-19 pandemic has costed us nearly 50% of our revenue and the production outputs. As we’re struggling to revive our business after two years of the pandemic, we’re so thankful for the grant. It will give us a jump start and continue to serve our community as the economy is fully open,” said Soben Ung, Publisher of the Khmer Post USA.

A complete funding list for the FY22 AAPI Arts & Culture COVID-19 Recovery Program is available online.