Age-Friendly Funding Alert: Local Cultural Council Program

Mass Cultural Council’s Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually. Each year, LCCs award more than $4 million in grants to more than 6,000 cultural programs statewide. The program promotes the availability of rich cultural experiences for every Massachusetts resident.

With an application deadline of October 15th, these grants can benefit local Age-Friendly and Dementia Friendly initiatives by improving inclusiveness of older adults and access to arts and cultural opportunities for residents of all ages.

Mass Cultural Council distributes funds to local and regional cultural councils, who then re-grant funds to arts, humanities, and interpretive science projects in their own communities. Currently, there are 329 local and regional councils that represent all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The program is administered by 2,500 municipally appointed volunteers serving statewide.

A hallmark of the LCC Program is the emphasis on local autonomy and decision making. Councils are free to make funding decisions that best meet the particular needs and priorities of their community within the parameters of the broad state guidelines. Each LCC determines its own local eligibility requirements based on a community input process and these are incorporated into their council priorities and published to the council’s profile.

Applicants may apply to the LCC Program for projects, operating support, ticket subsidy programs, artist residencies, fellowships or other activities, based on local priorities and needs. LCCs may also choose to fund cultural field trips for children, grades pre-K through 12, by subsidizing the cost for children to attend programs in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences (including performances, educational tours and exhibits).

The LCC application process can be quite competitive. Because of the large number of requests and the limited funds available for regranting, many LCCs receive far more applications than they can fully, or even partially, fund. Average grants tend to be modest ($500-$750) and are either reimbursement based, meaning the applicant expends their own money, and if approved for a grant, then submits paperwork for reimbursement or Direct Grant based, meaning funding is provided up front to approved applicants and requires the applicant submit a W9. Grant Agreement, and Final Report. A list of Direct Grant Councils is online.

Application Guidelines

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