Ten Greater Boston organizations share $113,000 in grants to provide free music

The grants from the Free for All Fund will provide free classical and orchestral music and related events to audiences throughout Greater Boston

April 17, 2018

Boston – Neighborhoods across Boston will resonate with the sounds of high-quality music in 2018, as ten musical projects have been selected to share in $113,225 in grants from the Free for All Fund at the Boston Foundation. Created in 2015, the Free for All Fund is designed to ensure that all people from the Boston region—children, adults, families—have regular and permanent access to the rich world of classical, orchestral music and related cultural events.

The recipients were chosen from 35 applicants on the basis of their artistic quality, their use of interesting and nontraditional venues, and their ability to execute on their planned performances.

“This Fund has a noble goal, to bring the best and most-talented musicians in the city to neighborhoods throughout it,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to ensure that access to the arts need not be limited by location or cost.”

Free for All Fund 2

The largest grant of the docket, $50,000, will support the 2018 Summer Series of free concerts by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell. The series, launched in 2007, creates opportunities for thousands of music lovers of all ages to enjoy live music on the banks of the Charles River each summer – often in collaboration with other regional performing arts groups.

Other grants range from $4,575 to $7,500 for free projects across Greater Boston. Details are in the project descriptions below. Specific times and dates in many cases are to be determined.

The Free for All Fund continues to fundraise with a goal of creating an $8 million endowment to support and encourage the presentation of high-quality classical music in perpetuity, taking care to provide opportunities to those who would otherwise not have access to it. The Boston Foundation and the Ansbacher Foundation have made a commitment to grow the Free for All Fund through a challenge grant of up to $2 million each.

Free for All Fund 2018 grantees:

Boston Landmarks Orchestra: $50,000 to support the 2018 Summer Series of free concerts at the Hatch Shell.

A Far Cry: $7,500 to support a free all-strings performance at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain in September 2018, and to launch of a new “Behind the Music” series to be presented by A Far Cry at St. John’s. These will be interactive, educational concerts in which musicians from A Far Cry speak about, demonstrate, and perform selected works from the season’s repertoire.

Atlantic Symphony Orchestra: $7,500 to support an hour-long, Sunday afternoon program with a chamber orchestra of 29 players plus conductor, and a soprano solo vocalist to perform an entertaining survey of classical and orchestral music, at the United First Parish Church (“Church of the Presidents”) in Quincy Center in the Fall of 2018.

Boston Baroque: $7,500 to enhance and expand its Classics for Kids series at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, the Essex Art Center, and the Boston Public Library, with two performances at Dorchester’s Fields Corner branch.

Cardamom Quartet: $4,575 to support four concerts at organizations that help low-income women and survivors of domestic violence (Project Hope, Rosie's Place, Second Step) to be held in October 2018.

Convergence Ensemble: $7,500 to support a three-concert series to bring adventurous chamber music of a high artistic caliber to communities with limited access to classical music performances, while working with community members to identify specific gaps in arts programming and obstacles residents face in engaging with music. Concerts are planned for Saint Augustine and Saint Martin (Roxbury) and Saint Mary’s (Dorchester).

Eudaimonia, A Purposeful Period Band: $7,150 to support three performances of Boundary Issues II, The Second Annual Shindig de Chambre, to take place at United Parish in Brookline, Follen Church in Lexington, and Villa Victoria in Boston’s South End in November 2018.

Guitar & Friends: $7,000 to support two planned shows in June 2018 (at the Dorchester Arts Collaborative and Carriage House Violins in Newton), and three in July 2018 (Copley Plaza, Tony William Dance Center in Jamaica Plain, and on Boston Common), all featuring a five-person ensemble with choreography performing Son Jarocho music.

musicConnects: $7,000 to support the first-ever concert and community dinner at Franklin Park Apartments in Dorchester, in May 2018, including works composed by women, composers of color, and contemporary composers.

Shelter Music Boston: $7,500 to support 10 concerts at Pine Street Inn’s Men’s Stabilization program from February to December 2018, featuring a range of composers, classical musical styles, historical periods and emotional responses.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of more than $1 billion. In 2017, the Foundation and its donors paid $130 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $194 million. The Foundation is a close partner in philanthropy with its donors, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. It also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.