December 29, 2022
Creative County ALAANA Grants Application Open Jan. 1

Danvers, MA — Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) is pleased to announce a new round of grants designed to support artists who have been historically and systemically denied access to resources that empower them to create and share their work.

Applications for ECCF’s Creative County Initiative ALAANA Grants will open Jan. 1 at

“These grants serve to expand the inclusivity of our grantmaking by funding new works or works in process by artists who identify as African, Latine, Asian, Arab or Native American,” said Karen Ristuben, program director of Creative County. “We’re thrilled to be able to expand our Creative County grantmaking to include this new effort.  It’s designed to support some incredible artists who otherwise might not have access to the resources they need to bring their creative visions to life and share them with the world.”

Since 2018, ECCF’s Creative County Initiative has sought to elevate arts, culture and the creative ecosystem in Essex County.

“Over the last two-and-a-half years, this mission has become increasingly critical to the strength and well-being of our communities,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. “We need art, and we need artists and organizations that represent the diversity of our region to all thrive.”

Starting Jan. 1, applications to the ALAANA grants program will be accepted on a rolling basis. The program will provide up to $5,000 for five individual artists each year to develop a work or series of works in any creative genre.

“Projects might include a series of poems, a spoke word piece, a piece of music, a painting, sculpture, short play or dance performance,” said Ristuben. “Collaborative projects are welcomed.”

“ECCF is fully invested in increasing access and opportunity for everyone that calls Essex County home, and the arts are no exception,” said Hehershe Busuego, ECCF’s director of programs and racial equity. “Art has the wonderful potential to build awareness and understanding across difference, but we can only truly achieve this when all artists have the opportunity for their voices to be heard.”

To learn more about the ALAANA Grants Program, and other grant opportunities offered through ECCF’s Creative County Initiative, please visit and click on “Grant Opportunities.”

How arts enrich the state’s civic life

April 4, 2023 ECCF’s Beth Francis and Karen Ristuben and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Peter Taylor and Emily Bronson write about how local communities benefit from the remarkable ways...

ECCF Logo in White Overlay


  1. 175 Andover Street, Suite 101
    Danvers, Massachusetts 01923