The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grant programs, partnerships, and services for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to local and regional cultural councils on the policies and procedures they must use while regranting public dollars from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Both regulations and guidelines are included in this document. Regulations are rules that exist as part of the Massachusetts Code of Regulations (962 CMR 2.00) and changes to them must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office. The guidelines explain additional procedures LCCs must follow to ensure a thoughtful and fair process for distributing public money.
The LCC Program is designed to reimburse an applicant for the award amount once the project has occurred, or the money has been spent on the project. Grantees indicate that this has happened on a reimbursement form that is sent with the award letter. Please check with the chair or treasurer of the LCC from which you received a grant for information on local reimbursement requirements, as this process may vary from community to community.
An applicant whose request was not approved for funding by an LCC may request that the council review the application again if the applicant can demonstrate that the LCC failed to follow published local or state review procedures. Disapproved applicants have two weeks after the notification letters are mailed out to request reconsideration by the LCC. Please note that even if the reconsideration request is granted, the application may again be disapproved. Additionally, reconsideration requests may not be made on the basis of dissatisfaction with the amount awarded or disagreement with decisions made on the basis of artistic quality.
Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) will send preliminary notification to all applicants shortly after they vote on grants. Disapproved applicants are notified first to allow for the reconsideration process. Approved applicants generally receive letters from LCCs in December or January. Final approval from the state is given in March/April and money is available to reimburse applicants in April. Please note that funds may be transferred to local accounts before April in some communities.
There are two kinds of applications that local cultural councils review from applicants: standard LCC applications, which can cover a broad range of cultural activities, and PASS applications, which are used to request money for K-12 students’ field trips to cultural performances.
Suggested institutions for these field trips are designated with a “Type: P” in the MCC Roster.
An applicant may apply to any number of LCC’s. If you do apply to more than one LCC for the same project, it is important that you indicate the amount you requested from the other LCC’s on the appropriate budget line. Some LCC’s have guidelines regarding requests from applicants from other communities. Applicants should find out about any local guidelines before applying.
Send in your application form to the Local Cultural Council (LCC) by the October 15 deadline. While all LCCs use the same basic application forms, some may require additional information from their applicants. It’s a good idea to speak with the chair of the LCC in the towns where you plan to apply. The chair can provide information about where applications must be sent and explain any local requirements (for example, multiple copies of applications or interviews with applicants). It’s up to the applicant to research each LCC before sending an application.
Local Cultural Council Programs, administered at the state level by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, provide state funds to cities and towns to regrant at a local level. Municipally-appointed volunteers meet and decide how to distribute local funds to projects in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences.