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Arlington Cultural Council Call for 2020 Grant Applications

Post Date:07/09/2019 4:34 PM

The Arlington Cultural Council (ACC), a program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), announces the 2020 season of grant making.

Online applications will be available on September 1, 2019 for projects occurring between January 1 and December 31, 2020. Grant proposals are due Oct 15, 2019.

Arlington continues in the MCC pilot program -- awarding grantees their funding upfront, rather than waiting for reimbursement at the completion of the project. Organizations, agencies, schools, non-profits, libraries, and individuals may apply for grants that support activities in culture, humanities, arts, and sciences in the Arlington community. Examples of artistic projects and activities include
• Exhibits
• Festivals
• field trips
• short-term artist residencies
• workshops, lectures and / or performances open to the public.

Typical grants range from the $250-$1500 range
Call for Proposals: Online Only applications to the ACC for community-oriented Arts, Humanities, and Science programs are due by 11:59:59 pm, Monday, October 15, 2020. For specific guidelines, complete information and to apply, please go to, click on “Applicants.”

An informal grant information session with co-chairs Kimberley Harding and Lisbet Taylor will be held on Monday, September 10 from 7-8:00 pm, in the Town Hall annex 1st Floor Conference Room (rear of the building 1st floor).
About ACC: The Arlington Cultural Council distributes funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, to support arts, humanities and interpretive science projects that benefit our community. The ACC is actively seeking new members to join its group of dedicated volunteers. Of special interest are people with experience in graphic design and/or fine arts. Those interested in joining the Council in any capacity should email ACC at Monthly meetings are open to the public (generally second Mondays, 7:30-9 pm). The next one is Monday, Aug 12, from 7:30-9 pm, in the Arlington Town Hall Annex, 1st Floor Conference Room.

The Arlington 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 Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.
More information can be found at
CONTACT: Corresponding Secretary at

ACC 2019 Guidelines Overview

The ACC will award grants to individuals, nonprofit organizations, and community groups for Arlington-based projects in the Arts (including dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and crafts), Humanities (including history, literature, social studies, and philosophy), and Interpretive Sciences (including activities that connect science to everyday life and provide access to information about science and technology).
The grant process is competitive, and each year the ACC receives more in funding requests than it has means to grant. Grant awards typically range from $250 to $1,500, with an average grant award of $500. In most cases, only partial funding can be awarded. In accordance with state guidelines, ACC funds are not intended to replace existing public funds for programs.
Awards will be announced in January 2020, and projects must take place between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Council Priorities
The ACC will give priority to proposals (whether that be an exhibit, festival, public art project or performance) that feature the any of the following characteristics:
• a strong and significant community benefit component
• benefit or include an underserved population
• led by Arlington-based artists and cultural organizations
• collaborate with other Arlington-based groups, agencies, organizations, and businesses
• appeal to inter-generational audiences
• demonstrate other sources of financial support or matching funds.

Criteria for Evaluation of Proposals
Only online applications will be accepted.
All applications will be reviewed by ACC members based on the following criteria:
a) Artistic and creative merit must be clearly demonstrated.

b) Arts and humanities qualifications of applicants should be clearly illustrated in the request by including resumes, biographies, and/or related press materials about project leaders.

c) Budget must be as complete and detailed as possible. Please list how the requested ACC funds will be used towards the proposed project. As an example: “$500 is being requested to support conduct of two performances. $300 will be used towards performer costs; $150 will be used to rent related audio-visual equipment; and $50 will be used to pay for advertisement.”

d) Applications that include a public performance: please show evidence of acknowledged contact with the proposed Arlington venue, and where possible, a specific agreement for date, time, projected length, and other relevant commitments to the proposed project. Include any required permits or signed releases; this includes police permits; Recreation Department permits; and other affiliated organizations’ event guidelines. For outdoor events, it is strongly recommended that a rain date be scheduled upfront, with appropriate town agency approvals. This should be done prior to submission of the grant proposal. If your proposed project requires State or Town permits (e.g., painting a mural on a building in the Town), please review what is necessary and detail in your application, how you will meet the requirements. The ACC can only provide limited guidance and support in permitting issues.

e) If you have made contact with potential funders, submit letters of contact plus any letters of commitment you have received, in support of your application.

f) The ACC typically receives more in funding requests than funding available; it is rare that we will provide full funding for a project. Please only request the amount of funds needed to successfully complete the project.

g) As ACC funding is not meant to provide continued support, ACC will typically not fund the same project for more than three consecutive years.

h) As partial awards are common, please detail how the project may be completed, if full funding is not awarded. If the project cannot be completed without full funding, please state so in the application.

i) Please identify prior funding from the ACC (Year; Project; Amount Awarded; and Amount Expended).

Grant Information Session for Applicants
The ACC will host an informal grant information session on Monday, September 10 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm at Town Hall Annex, 1st floor conference room. All applicants are welcome and encouraged to attend. Applicants may wish to start drafts of their applications before the session, so they can have specific issues addressed by Council members.

Presentation Meetings
The ACC will host Presentation Meetings at which applicants will have three minutes to share highlights from their proposals and respond to questions from ACC members. It is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory, that you present your proposal to the ACC. Presentation Dates: Monday, October 21st from 7:00 - 8:30 pm OR Thursday, October 24th from 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Arlington Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Avenue, Lyons Room, 2nd Floor.

A SignUpGenius link will be emailed to you, so you may choose a slot on a first come-first served basis.

3rd Year, Upfront Payment of Grants
Arlington Cultural Council is continuing its Mass Cultural Council pilot program to eliminate reimbursement-based grants from MCC allocations. Instead, during this pilot program, ACC will be making grant money available in full to grantees upfront, once their projects are approved. If you are awarded a grant, you will be required to submit the Grant Agreement + W9 forms provided, to confirm your acceptance and receive full payment; then upon completion of your program, submit a final report to ACC.

Questions Council members also will be available until October 13 at this email.

To Apply: Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) link:

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