Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) recently received a welcome financial
boost in its mission to provide training, technological access and a
public forum for Hub dwellers.
The network, which operates two public access cable television stations, will receive a $518,400 capital grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in support of BNN’s new community media facility in Boston’s Egleston Square.
News of the grant award — one of the largest capital grants to applicants from Greater Boston — came from Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker, following a vote by the board of MassDevelopment to approve 36 new awards to arts and cultural organizations across the Commonwealth.
BNN recently moved into its new Roxbury home at the new BNN Charles J. Beard II Media Center, named in honor of Beard, a founding BNN board member, role model and lifelong advocate for community media, education and diversity in Boston. The $8.7 million development project converted the former MBTA Power Station at 3025 Washington Street, which had remained vacant for more than two decades, into a new community technology center. The network is currently in the process of obtaining green building certification and listing the site on the National Register of Historic Places.
With its state-of-the-art location and the new funding, BNN officials said in a statement, the network plans to provide “new creative tools to the city’s diverse residents, communities and arts and cultural organizations.” It will also use new distribution capacity to help promote cultural tourism throughout the city and state, increasing public awareness of lesser-known events and opportunities.
“Today, technology has led us to a new world of opportunity for communication among the citizens of Boston and the world as people are creating and connecting in new ways,” said BNN Executive Director Curtis Henderson Jr. “There’s an incredible array of tools available for creative self expression and communication. But there is still a digital divide that excludes many from this evolving culture of participatory media. We greatly appreciate the capital support from the Cultural Facilities Fund, as this will enable us to share these tools, resources and training with all the people of Boston.”