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CommunityLocal GroupTown Updates

Applying for a Blackstone Cultural Council Grant

Blackstone Cultural Council Grant applications are now available online. Applications for funding went live on Thursday, October 1, 2020. The submission deadline is Monday, November 16, 2020.

The grants can support a variety of projects and activities in Blackstone – including exhibits, festivals, workshops, and lectures. Recipients are expected to adhere to COVID guidelines present at the time of their program’s completion.

We originally saw the information published on the Blackstone Enlightener so we tried to find more information for you. Key program and application information below!

What is the Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program?

The Mass Cultural Council’s LLC 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 $3 MILLION in grants to more than 6,000 cultural programs statewide. The program promotes the availability of rich cultural experiences for every Massachusetts residents.

In order to apply for an LCC grant, applicants must meet all eligibility and criteria requirements of the LCC Program.

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.

Application Guidelines

In order to apply for an LCC grant, applicants must meet all eligibility and criteria requirements of the LCC Program. Councils make funding decisions that best meet the particular needs and priorities of their community within the parameters of the state guidelines and council priorities. Key aspects of the eligibility requirements for LCC grants and criterial for funding are below.

Eligibility

Application deadline: the deadline is until November 16, 2020 only. Note that only online applications will be accepted.

Types of grants: Applicants may apply to the LCC Program for projects, operating support, ticket subsidy programs, field trips, artist residencies, fellowships or other activities based on local priorities and needs. Local councils may 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 sciences (including performances, educational tours and exhibits).

Program eligibility: Applicants may apply for grants for programs that take place during an 18 month window of eligibility between July 1, preceding the application deadline in October, through December 31 of the following year. This means that applicants may apply for projects that have already happened or which happen prior to LCC’s grant announcements, with the knowledge that funding is not guaranteed.

Applicant eligibility: Applicants must be located or reside in Massachusetts and could either be:

Individuals: Individual applicants must show that a public benefit results from the project for which they are applying.
Incorporated private nonprofit organizations: Nonprofit preschools, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools are subject to the same criteria and restrictions as public schools.

Unincorporated associations that can establish a nonprofit objective: A group of individuals coming together with a common purpose (e.g. local community band, theater group) that do not have nonprofit status.

Public schools, libraries, other municipal agencies and the local cultural council itself: Municipal agencies are eligible to apply for funding.

Religious organizations: Religious organizations or groups with a religious affiliation are eligible to apply for funding of cultural programming that is available to the general public. LCCs can only approve applications that are primarily cultural in their intent and do not have the effect of advancing religion.

Criteria

LCCs use the first three rules below in the review of all funding decisions. All three rules are equally important. Additionally, councils have the option of developing local review criteria and may decide how to weigh their importance.

  1. Arts, Humanities, and Sciences
  2. Public Benefit
  3. Non-Discrimination
  4. Local Criteria

The Blackstone Cultural Council Priorities
The Blackstone Cultural Council strives to enrich the lives of our children, our general public and our senior citizens through new experiences and various venues regarding the arts, humanities and sciences. The Blackstone Cultural Council gathers input from the community yearly and develops funding priorities based on this feedback.

This year the Blackstone Cultural Council will give priority to:
• Applicants that have secured a local venue
• Projects that serve youth or adults
• Projects that focus on local history In addition to the state criteria applications will be evaluated using the following review criteria:
• How well the program meets our local priorities
• Community support and involvement
• Evidence of track record and dedication of the applicant
• Ability to address the diverse cultural needs of a community’s underserved populations or support diverse forms of cultural activities
• Financial need
• Demonstrated planning

Restrictions

Refreshments. Grant funds received from a local council may not be used to purchase food or beverages.

Scholarships. Although individual students are not eligible to apply for scholarships, an organization may apply to an LCC to sponsor a scholarship provided the LCC feels the scholarship program provides sufficient public benefit and meets all other state and local criteria.

The Application Process

Applicants are required to complete their applications online and to be submitted to the Blackstone Cultural Council. Because the demand for LCC funds far exceeds the supply, applicants should contact the Blackstone Cultural Council to discuss whether or not it makes sense to submit more than one application or to prioritize the applications.

October – November
This is the Application period. Applications should be submitted online. Users will be prompted to create an account for the online application system. Once logged in, users can begin to complete their form online. Once the application is complete, it can be saved and submitted to the Blackstone Cultural Council. Users will receive a confirmation email notifying them that their application has been submitted successfully.

December – January
After the deadline, online submissions will be collated by Mass Cultural Council and delivered to the Blackstone Cultural Council in the form of a PDF panel book.


Between December 14,2020 and February 13, 2021 councils will hold voting meetings to make decisions on applications, send denial letters, and handle reconsideration requests.

An applicant may request reconsideration of an LCC decision on his or her application if the applicant can demonstrate that the LCC failed to follow published state guidelines and council priorities. Dissatisfaction with the denial of an application or with the amount of an award does NOT constitute grounds for reconsideration.

February – March

Mass Cultural Council announces LCC’s state allocations (Date TBD)
By March 1, the Blackstone Cultural Council will have submitted their Annual Report to the Mass Cultural Council, and will begin to notify successful applicants.

Helpful videos

Webinar on the online application system

Video Tutorials

LCC Application Walk through

For more information about the application process, click this link.

Ready to Apply for a Grant?

Remember the deadline: November 16, 2020, Monday


For questions about the LCC Grants, contact the Blackstone Cultural Council


Blackstone Cultural Council

Diane Robidoux, Chair

Municipal Center Blackstone, MA 01504-2276

Phone: 508-883-3623

Email robidouxbernard@yahoo.com

The Blackstone Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

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