SAWYER FREE 2025 CAMPAIGN GETS $200,000 BOOST FROM MASS CULTURAL COUNCIL

Gloucester, MA—Sawyer Free 2025 (visit sawyerfree2025.org), a newly launched philanthropic capital campaign to fund a comprehensive renovation, modernization and expansion of Gloucester’s public library building, has already won a $200,000 state grant award. MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council have announced that Sawyer Free Library’s mission to transform Gloucester’s cultural, educational and community hub will receive one of 94 capital grants from the organizations’ FY22 Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF).  

The Sawyer Free 2025 project will preserve the original exterior, which will house a fully redesigned interior, and will also double the size of the existing library’s footprint with a 15,000-square foot addition.

“The campaign went public only a week ago and already it’s been endorsed by the Commonwealth in the form of a six-figure grant award,” said Barry Weiner, a retired attorney and the campaign chair for Sawyer Free 2025. “This is a tremendous validation of our vision to fund this once-in-a-lifetime investment in a vital community resource. We are more optimistic than ever that our fellow citizens of Gloucester as well as residents across Cape Ann and the North Shore will respond to this show of support from the state and rise to this occasion with donations both big and small.”

The design principles of Sawyer Free 2025 are grounded in the human experience and an ambition to put people first. The newly renovated and expanded Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library will stand as an exemplar of what a 21st century civic nexus can and should be in terms of architecture, accessibility, sustainability, the use of natural resources and light, layouts, lines of sight, air quality and public safety. The end product will exponentially amplify the library’s ability to deliver critical services and outcomes not only for Gloucester, but for communities across Cape Ann and the North Shore as a place of equity, inclusion, connection, creation, compassion, renewal and advancement. 

“Sawyer Free Library has a broader reach than any other single organization in the community,” said Jenny Benedict, library director “This new space will provide so many more opportunities to connect and collaborate with our more than 100 partner community service providers and will deepen our collective impact on the city of Gloucester.”

The Sawyer Free 2025 project’s total cost is $28 million, a sum that includes built-in inflation costs through completion of the project in 2025. The Sawyer Library Foundation, the fundraising arm of the campaign, has already inspired $14.3 million in pledged donations and grant awards. The completion of the new facility—featuring a sound studio, a film studio, a digital tech lab and 110-seat community meeting space—will result in a 25-percent increase in annual visitors, a 25-percent increase in the number of public programs offered each month by the library and a 50-percent increase in the number of programs hosted at the library by partner agencies.

The Mass Cultural Council grant fund supports investments in cultural facilities and projects throughout the Commonwealth with capital and planning grants for nonprofit organizations, colleges and municipalities that own or operate facilities primarily focused on the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences. CFF grants are administered to support the acquisition, design, construction, repair, renovation, rehabilitation or other capital improvements, or deferred maintenance of a cultural facility.

“These kinds of attractions foster community, build our creative economy and bring vibrancy and visitors to Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “(These grants) will support our partners in the cultural sector.”

✓ How do I learn more or contact Sawyer Free 2025?

Visit sawyerfree2025.org

Facebook: Sawyer Free 2025

Instagram: Sawyer Free 2025

YouTube: Sawyer Library Foundation 2025

info@sawyerfree2025.org

media@sawyerfree2025.org

Call 978.225.0363 or 978.225.0915

✓ How Do I Give to Sawyer Free 2025?

  • Visit sawyerfree2025.org
  • Text to donate: Text “325182” to 1-855-575-7888 and select an amount
  • Checks to: SF2025, 2 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930 (Pay to the order of: “Sawyer Library Foundation”)
  • Volunteer! Reach out if you want to pitch in at the library or with the capital campaign, either in person or virtually. Help your neighbors, serve your community and share your expertise. No matter what kind of volunteer work you do for us, you are contributing in invaluable ways.

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