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Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, Municipalities, and
IHEs to Support the Planning of a Cultural Facility

Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) - Feasibility and Technical Assistance Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Mass Cultural Council and MassDevelopment

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/14/22 11:59 PM (ET)


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Grants of up to $50,000 to Massachusetts nonprofit cultural organizations, municipalities, and IHEs for activities to plan a cultural facility. Applicants are required to submit an intent to apply prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to support research and fact-finding activities as well as analysis that assist applicant organizations in their efforts prior to the implementation stage of the proposed project.

The purpose of the Feasibility and Technical Assistance grants is to help managers and board members of cultural organizations get the objective information and analysis they need before they commit their organization’s energies and financial resources to a facilities project. Funds support pre-implementation planning – research, fact-finding and analysis that can help organizations make more informed decisions about their facilities development effort.  Types of planning and technical assistance may include but are not necessarily limited to: Architectural and engineering plans, business plans and market research as it relates to a new facility, capital campaign feasibility studies, comprehensive facility maintenance plans and new project feasibility studies.

Organizations can also plan for Universal Design solutions to accessibility challenges in their facilities. Organizations can work with a consultant who will identify possible solutions that meet ADA, 504, and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAP) requirements, but go beyond to provide solutions that are an improvement for all visitors.

All projects must provide evidence that they meet these five statutory criteria to be considered for a Cultural Facilities Fund Grant.

  • The project is an “eligible project”.
  • There is a demonstrated community need for the project.
  • The project benefits tourism in the local area.
  • There is a demonstrated financial need for a grant.
  • There is demonstrated local support for the project.

In addition:

  •  A College or University must demonstrate that its cultural facility provides service and open access to the community and the general public outside of the regular educational mission.
  •  A Municipality must demonstrate how 50% or more of its facility is for arts, humanities, or interpretive science programming. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139141

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants up to $50,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities (“Cultural Organizations”) are eligible to apply for grants for cultural facilities:
- Nonprofit cultural organizations: 501(c)(3) organizations that are primarily concerned with the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The legislation includes but is not limited to museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, theaters, concert halls, exhibition spaces, classrooms, and auditoriums (“Cultural Facilities”). Eligible facilities must be owned, leased, or used by one or more nonprofit cultural organizations, and must be accessible to the public.
- Municipalities that own cultural facilities: Provided that the cultural facility is at least 50,000 square feet in size, and at least 50% devoted to cultural purposes provided. However, if such building, structure, or site is 125 years old or older and is significant in the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the nation, the commonwealth, or the community in which it is located, it may be of any size.
- Public or private institutions of higher education that own cultural facilities: Provided that the cultural facility provides service and open access to the community and the general public beyond its educational mission and can demonstrate financial need.

Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant funds are not available for non-facilities-related planning efforts (such as an overall organizational strategic planning); site acquisition; regular operating activities; ongoing staff positions; complete architectural drawings; fundraising or marketing activities; or publications.

Pre-proposal Conference:

1. Cultural Facilities Fund Info Session:
The Info Session will take place on October 28, 2021, 1-3 PM. Learn about the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) grants for cultural organizations. This session will provide an overview of the FY22 grant process including a review of the guidelines, application process, and time at the end for questions.

To register:

For questions about the Info Session, please contact Miranda Cook at

For information, see

2. Cultural Facilities Fund Office Hours:
The Cultural Facilities Fund team is hosting weekly Cultural Facilities Fund Office Hours throughout the FY22 grant cycle. Participants can drop in and ask questions about the CFF program or application process. Attending Office Hours is not a requirement or a presentation, but an opportunity for folks to talk to staff about their projects.

You can choose to attend one or more of the following sessions:
- Nov 4, 2021 10:00 AM
- Nov 10, 2021 10:00 AM
- Nov 18, 2021 10:00 AM
- Dec 2, 2021 10:00 AM
- Dec 9, 2021 10:00 AM

Additional office hours will be held on December 23 and December 30, 2021, and on January 6 and January 13, 2022.

To register:

For questions about the office hours, please contact Miranda Cook at

For information about the office hours, see

Pre-Application Information:

Complete and submit the online application, including supplementary materials, by January, 14, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET).

Key Dates:
- Application Opens: October 20, 2021
- Intent to Apply: November 19, 2021
- Application Deadline: January 14, 2022
- Notifications: May 2022

Intent to Apply:
- Submitting the Intent to Apply is the funding source's way to check your eligibility before you fill out the entire application. It is the first section of the online application, in the “Project Information” tab.
- Once you submit your Intent to Apply, you can find your application under “In Progress” on your grants management system home page. The information can be changed anytime up until the final application deadline. If you miss the Intent to Apply deadline, you can still apply up until the final application deadline.
- You do not need approval from Mass Cultural Council after submitting the Intent to Apply to continue with the full application. Mass Cultural Council staff will contact you if any eligibility issues are identified.

For requirements for returning CFF grantees, see the Application Process listed below.

All grants are subject to a 1:1 matching requirement. Grantees will have up to 12 months from the grant approval date to raise matching funds. However, as part of the evaluation criteria, applicants which demonstrate ability to raise matching funds within 18 months of the application deadline will be prioritized for award.

Application process:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For the Intent to Apply and online application:

Mass Cultural Council
10 St. James Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02116-3803
Tel: 617-858-2700
Toll Free (in MA only): 800-232-0960

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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