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Local Cultural Council (LCC) Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, Libraries, Schools, and Agencies
for Science, Humanities, and Arts Activities in Eligible Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC)

Deadline Date:

12/14/20 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, libraries, schools, religious organizations, agencies, and individuals for science, humanities, and arts activities in eligible communities. Funding is intended to support general operations, field trips, artist residencies, ticket subsidy programs, public art, fellowships, community events/programs, site-specific projects, or other activities, based on local priorities and needs.

Local cultural councils use the first three rules listed 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: Local Cultural Council funds may only be used to support programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences in Massachusetts. This definition includes the study, pursuit, performance, exhibition, and appreciation of cultural activities in the broadest sense. 
  2. Public Benefit: Local Cultural Council funds must be used to support activities that contribute to the cultural vitality of the community as a whole, rather than benefiting any private individual or group. However, this does not mean that a large crowd of people needs to participate in order to satisfy the public benefit requirement. 
  3. Non-Discrimination:  In accordance with state law, Local Cultural Councils may not discriminate against applicants and/or programs on the basis of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin; or immigration, military, or socio-economic status. Nor may Local Cultural Councils fund projects that discriminate on the basis of these attributes.
  4. Local Criteria: Local Cultural Councils are authorized to develop additional criteria and may give different weight to their criteria in order to reflect local concerns and community cultural needs.

For more details on the above funding criteria, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163536

Term of Contract:

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 LCCs' grant announcements, with the knowledge that funding is not guaranteed. LCCs are authorized to establish a smaller window of eligibility; if they chose to do so, the date range will be posted in their council priorities.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts. Local Cultural Councils may accept applications from anyone included in the list below:
- Individuals. Individual applicants must show that a public benefit results from the project for which they are applying.
- Incorporated private nonprofit organizations.
- 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.
- 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.

- 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.

For an additional list of LCC grant restrictions, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants can complete their forms online and upload any required supplemental materials until the December 14 deadline at 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time.

The time it takes LCCs and cities/towns to process reimbursements varies but can take 4-8 weeks.

Please note: The application process may vary by community because each Local Cultural Council is authorized to set council priorities. It is important to read a council's priorities before applying.

Application guidelines:

For a detailed LCC grant cycle timeline, see:

Application process:

Recorded webinar on the online application system:

Video tutorials:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

If you have a technical issue or a question about the online application, please contact the help desk at:

If your question doesn’t involve the application itself, please contact the LCC directly by entering the community name in the yellow search box:

Grant Coverage Areas:

30 Local Cultural Councils are currently giving out Direct Grants. See the LCC Direct Grant Guidelines document in Supporting Documents for a list of eligible communities.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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