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Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) - Project Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits and Agencies
for Public Arts and Culture Activities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/02/21 11:59 PM (ET)


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Grants of $1,000 and grants of $2,500 to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies for public arts and culture programming and capacity building activities. Funding is intended to support virtual or in-person projects, programs, performances, and events in the humanities, arts, and interpretive sciences. Grants will also be awarded for staff training, supplies, planning, and other activities that contribute to organizational development.

Project grants provide support for cultural projects that benefit the public.Grantees will receive a grant to support a specific project. Projects may be in-person, virtual, broadcast/streaming, or a combination of these.

- Public Programming projects: Programs and events, whether in-person or virtual. Examples include projects in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences, such as performances, education programs, or events. 

Eligible Public Programming projects must meet these guidelines:

  • The Project must have the goal of providing access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.
  • The Project is the work of an organization, not an individual.
  • If the Project is for in-person programming, the applicant must have a plan for it to be delivered virtually if state guidelines do not permit in-person events.
  • Projects grants support a specific, connected set of activities. These activities have a beginning and an end, explicit objectives, and a set cost. This might be an aspect of the organization’s cultural activities, such as a one-time event; a single production; an exhibition; a workshop; or series of related arts activities, such as art classes or training sessions. A Project may be a one-time activity. or it can be a program that is repeated for multiple years.

- Organization Investment projects: Applicants with a primary mission in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences can choose to apply for in internally focused project instead to enhance their ability to provide public benefit. These are Organization Investment projects that build capacity for organizations. Examples include in staff training and supplies so that the organization can produce virtual/online programs; developing health protocols for welcoming employees and the public back into your physical spaces, investment in staff capacity to help an organization be effective in changed settings, such as DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access) training, strategic planning, other work that enables the applicant to improve its ability to serve its mission. 

Eligible Organization Investment Projects must meet these guidelines:

  • The Project is for organization development, not for professional development for individual employees.
  • The goal of the Project is to improve the organization’s ability to deliver future programming.

These grants provide a point of entry for smaller organizations, many of whom provide unique opportunities for Massachusetts residents to participate with cultural events in their own communities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179707

Estimated Size of Grant:

Projects grantees will receive a grant award in either of two amounts:
- $1000 grants to support projects with cash expenses of $2,000 – $4,999
- $2,500 grants to support projects with cash expenses of $5,000 or more

Term of Contract:

Projects grants provide a 1-year grant.

Planning or spending may start before June 1, but those costs may not be included in the application.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible to apply:
- Massachusetts organizations with a 501(c)3 designation with the Internal Revenue Service which is currently active
- Programs under a federal, state, or local government
- Applicants using a fiscal agent: Massachusetts based unincorporated group/association with a non-profit objective, or a Massachusetts based corporation in the process of obtaining a 501(c)3 designation.
(a )Fiscal agents can either be municipal entities or non-profit entities incorporated in Massachusetts or registered as a foreign corporation doing business in Massachusetts.
(b) If you are thinking about using a fiscal agent, you are encouraged to talk with Mass Cultural Council staff before you submit your application.

To be eligible to apply, you must:
- Have completed at least two full years of public cultural activity in Massachusetts.
- Have completed any previously funded projects and have submitted your final report prior to the application deadline for FY21 Projects grants.
- Follow state and federal regulations which bar discrimination based on race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, or sexual orientation, and which require accessibility for persons with disabilities. Specifically: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Note: A Parent Organization of a CIP Cultural Affiliate may also apply to Projects for a separate program. The maximum total combined grant amount of $30,000 to any Parent Organization still applies.

Project Eligibility:
- A project must have minimum cash expenses of $2,000 to qualify for a grant of $1,000, or minimum cash expenses of $5,000 to qualify for a grant of $2,500. The application should only include the cash expenses. The applicant can describe in-kind goods and services in the text, but should not include them in the budget.

A cultural organization is not eligible for a Projects grant if it will receive Portfolio or Gateway funding in FY21.

Unlike the CIP Portfolio and Gateway Programs, these awards do not provide general operating support.

For ineligible activities, please see the URL for Full Text below.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An Info Session will be held on February 3, 2021 4-5pm.
For more info and to register:

Project Office Hours will be held as follows:
- 02.16.2021 (online meeting)
For more information and to register, see
- 02.19.2021
For more information and to register, see
- 02.24.2021 (online meeting)
For more information and to register, see

For more information, see:

Pre-Application Information:

- Application Forms Online: January 25, 2021
- Information Session: February 3, 2021
- Office Hours for Applicants: February 16-24, 2021
- Application Deadline: March 2, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET)
- Notification to Applicants: TBD

In order to respond to the unique needs of the cultural sector during these challenging times, applicants can either apply for a project grant for public programming OR for an organizational investment.

Projects grants are subject to a 1:1 Match Requirement.

All applicants must engage in an advocacy activity. For advocacy requirements, please see


Watch the recorded information session:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

For questions, please contact:
Sara S. Glidden, Program Manager

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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