Amplify Youth Voices
Program Guidelines & Application Instructions

"We also have our social imagination: the capacity to invent
visions of what should be and what might be in our deficient
society, on the streets where we live, in our schools." – Maxine Greene

Program Description
The Massachusetts Cultural Council has been a leader in supporting Creative Youth Development over the past 21 years, providing more than $10m of support to programs that infuse the arts with the principles of youth development, empowering a generation of young people to find their voice and contribute to their communities. As we move forward in our support for this work we want to make visible the contributions that young people make to their communities in the arts, sciences and humanities by providing support directly to young people to create and share their work in a public setting.

Amplify grants provide support of $500 to $1,000 for projects designed and executed by young people in programs currently supported by MCC’s Youthreach and SerHacer programs. The grants support the creation of work by young people in the arts, sciences, or humanities that demonstrates the capacity they have to be a visible and audible part of developing safe and thriving communities throughout the Commonwealth. These projects can be connected to the funded SerHacer or YouthReach programming, but must be recognizable as a distinct project led by the youth applicant.

Proposals for Amplify grants should come from young people (participants or project leaders) and must include the Amplify Application Form and the Application Project Narrative.  Projects can be connected to the funded SerHacer or YouthReach programming but must be recognizable as a distinct project led by the youth applicant.

Eligibility Requirements
To apply for an Amplify grant, applicants must meet ALL of the following eligibility requirements

  • The applicant is an individual or group of individuals currently enrolled in a program supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s YouthReach or SerHacer initiative.

  • The Project activities will take place in Massachusetts.

  • Proposals for Amplify grants must come from young people (participants or project leaders) with appropriate support and/or guidance from program or organizational staff.

  • Projects can be connected to the funded SerHacer or YouthReach programming but must be recognizable as a distinct project led by the youth applicant.

  • The applicant, or people leading the project, has received the support of the Executive Director or appropriate leadership of the organization in which they are enrolled

  • MCC grant funds will not be used:
    • To purchase food or refreshments.
    • To pay salaries or stipends for employees of the school system or organizational staff.
    • On capital expenditures.
    • On programming that discriminates or discourages participation on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation or age.

  • The project must provide public benefit
    Amplify 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. For example, an artist working with a small group of teens is a valid public benefit. Whenever possible, activities funded by an Amplify grant should be available to the general public by exhibit, performance, demonstration, reading, or other means.

Review Criteria
Amplify grants will be reviewed using the following criteria:

Why: Community Need (15 points)
What: Project Goals (20 points)
How: Work Plan and Budget (35 points)
Public Benefit (20 points)
Evaluation (10 points)

Community Need (15 points)
What is the need for this project in the community?

Project Goals (20 points)
Does project clearly articulate goals that are consistent with identified needs?

Work Plan and Budget (35 points)
Does the workplan clearly outline the steps to achieve the identified goals?
Is the budget is appropriate?

Public Benefit (20 points)
Does the presentation of the work clearly provide public value?
Is the event widely publicized, visible, and well planned?

Evaluation (10 points)
Is there is a clear plan for evaluation to measure success and inform future projects?

Grant Amounts
Successful applicants receive grant amounts of $500 to $1,000 to be used between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017.


October 1, 2016Amplify grant guidelines available
October 19, 2016 Information Session Webinar
October 27, 2016Information Session Webinar
November 18, 2016 Applications due via email
December 16, 2016 Grant awards announced
January 1-June 15, 2017Project work and culminating events
Final Reports Due 2 weeks after the completion of the project and no later than June 30, 2018. Find the Final Report.

Application Instructions

All applications will have two parts and must include both in order to be considered:

  1. Amplify Application Form (Word)

  2. Amplify Project Narrative (Word): This narrative addresses the review criteria.  It can be submitted in any format including, audio, video, or written word. Written submissions should be included as part of the Application Form and are subject to character limits. Video and audio submissions will be limited to a length of 10 minutes.

Applications must be submitted via email to Rodrigo Guerrero, and received by the deadline of 11:59pm EST on November 18, 2016.

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