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Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) - Systems Replacement Plan Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, Municipalities, and
IHEs to Design Plans for Cultural Facilities Maintenance

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Mass Cultural Council and MassDevelopment

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/15/21 11:59 PM (ET)


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Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and IHEs for assistance in planning the maintenance of cultural facilities. A letter of intent is required prior to submitting a full proposal. Funding is intended to support surveys of building envelopes and mechanical systems conducted by a consultant, as well as the resultant systems and equipment replacement schedules created for the facility.

The goal of the Systems Replacement Plan (SRP) grant program is to provide small and medium-sized organizations with facilities of up to approximately 50,000 square feet and no full-time maintenance staff a tool to prioritize their capital maintenance needs. The Systems Replacement Plan will help managers and board members of cultural organizations get the objective information and analysis they need to address the cycles of maintenance and replacement for their facility. 

Please note: Some cultural facilities are located in buildings with non-cultural/arts activities. The Council can only fund planning for facilities with arts, humanities and interpretive sciences programming.

With a Systems Replacement Plan grant, grantees will enter into contract with a pre-approved third-party consultant who will survey the building envelope (roof, walls, and entry systems) and the mechanical systems (heating, cooling, ventilation, plumbing, and pool filtration). The survey will provide the estimated usable-life expectancy and the approximate replacement cost of the applicant organization's building systems. At the conclusion of the survey, organizations will receive a 20-year Systems Replacement Plan which forecasts the necessary replacement schedule of specific systems and equipment.

Systems Replacement Plan Grants are a specific type of Feasibility and Technical Assistance Grant specifically designed for organizations without full-time maintenance staff. 

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#: 139142

Estimated Size of Grant:

Systems Replacement Plan grant amounts range from $7,000 to $12,500, and are determined by the square footage of the facility(ties) up to 50,000 square feet.

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.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Cultural Facilities Fund Info Session:
The Mass Cultural Council is hosting an online Information Session webinar for applicants to learn about the Cultural Facilities Fund. There will be a presentation on the FY21 application process and time at the end for questions.

- Event Date: 10.21.2020
- Time: 10:30am-12pm

To register for the webinar:

Captioning is available upon request. If you have additional questions or access requests, please contact Miranda Cook at

For information about the Info session:

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- Info session October 21, 2020
- Intent to Apply: Nov. 13, 2020
- Application Deadline: Jan. 15, 2021 11:59pm (ET)
- Notifications: May 2021

The online application, and all supplementary materials, must be submitted by 11:59pm (ET) on January 15, 2021.

There is a separate application form for each Cultural Facilities Fund grant category. Make sure you have filled out your Intent to Apply for a Systems Replacement Plan grant.

Once you submit your Intent to Apply, Mass Cultural Council staff will create a folder for your organization in Supplementary materials must be submitted electronically via the Mass Cultural Council’s account. If there are materials you wish to include with your application that cannot be submitted electronically, contact Miranda Cook.

Please allow 1-3 business days to receive the email invitation after submitting your Intent to Apply.

Submitting the Intent to Apply is the Council's way to check your eligibility before you fill out the entire application. It is the first section of the online application, titled the “Project Overview” page. The information here 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 the 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.

All grants awarded by the Cultural Facilities Fund are subject to a 1:1 matching requirement.

A Systems Replacement Plan Grant may be applied for in tandem with any other grant category. In addition, if an organization is awarded a Capital Grant it may also be awarded a Systems Replacement Plan Grant, if recommended by the Cultural Facilities Fund review panel. Completion of said Systems Replacement Plan may be a precondition to obtaining any capital grant funds.

If you are applying for a Systems Replacement Plan (SRP) grant in addition to a Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant, you can do so without having to fill out two separate applications. In the Intent to Apply of your Capital or FTA application, select that you are also requesting an SRP. In which case, please submit your supplementary materials according to the requirements for the prior grant application. Those materials will be used to make assessments for both grant requests.

Application process:

Contact Information:

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

To access the Intent to Apply and online application:

To register for an account, go to

For questions, contact Jay Paget at

Miranda Cook

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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