The Mass Cultural Council is seeking applications for the Local Cultural Council Program.
Donor Name: Mass Cultural Council
County: All Counties
Type of Grant: Grant
Size of the Grant: $250
The purpose of the local and regional cultural councils is to support public programs that advance the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sector to foster a rich cultural life in communities across the Commonwealth. Local decision-making is an integral element of this system. Local Cultural Councils have the right and responsibility to award grants that address cultural needs specific to their communities.
LCCs provide arts and cultural grants to every community in Massachusetts through the efforts of more than 2,500 volunteers. They fund some 8,000 public projects annually that include everything from field trips to lectures, festivals, and dance performances. Mass Cultural Council allocations to LCCs range from $5,500-$297,200, based on a formula that reflects state aid to municipalities.
The Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program was established in 1982 and was overseen by the Massachusetts Arts Lottery Council until 1990. It then merged with the Massachusetts Council on Arts and Humanities to form Mass Cultural Council.
- LCCs are authorized and encouraged to develop additional criteria based on their annual community input process and may give priority to their criteria to reflect local concerns and community cultural needs. Councils should formulate council priorities that ensure funding is broadly available to the widest range of diverse community needs.
- Based on community input and community need LCCs could consider:
- Encouraging applications for operating support to allow organizations more responsive, flexible support.
- Loosening local requirements for a set date and set venue at the time of application given the uncertainty applicants face in planning at this time.
- Prioritizing funding for historically under-funded communities including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, individuals with disabilities, low-income communities, and individual artists.
Local Cultural Council grants vary by council, and are determined by each LCC. Mass Cultural Council strongly encourages granting no less than a minimum of $250 to each approved application.
Applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts. LCCs may accept applications from anyone included in the following list. LCCs are authorized to prioritize eligible applicant types or limit which types of applicants they fund; if they do so, they must publish the eligibility in their council guidelines:
- Individuals. Individual applicants, which includes sole proprietors, must show that a public benefit results from the project for which they are applying. Individual members of LCCs may apply for funding from their own Local Cultural Council but must observe all conflict-of-interest laws and regulations in the granting process. LCCs may also establish their own rules regarding applications from fellow members if these are consistent with the state’s conflict-of-interest laws.
- Incorporated non-profit organizations. Organizations incorporated as nonprofits with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- Unincorporated associations. A group of individuals coming together with a common purpose (e.g., local community band, theater group) that do not have nonprofit status.
- Incorporated for-profit organizations. For-profit organizations incorporated with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. This includes corporations, partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Applicants must show that a public benefit results from the project for which they are applying.
- Tribal, federal, state, and municipal government organizations. This includes any governmental entity such as public schools, libraries, other municipal agencies, and the Local Cultural Council itself.
- Religious organizations. LCCs cannot fund activities that are “inherently religious” such as religious worship, instruction, and proselytization. Religious organizations or groups with a religious affiliation are eligible to apply for funding for a project or program that:
- is available to the general public.
- has purpose of benefitting the public, not the religious organization.
For more information, visit MCC.