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Strategic Plan (FY18-23)


Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, education, diversity, and inclusion in the arts, humanities, and sciences to foster a rich cultural life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities and economy.

We pursue this mission through a wide range of grants, initiatives, and advocacy for artists, communities, organizations, and schools. We work with partners in government, the cultural community, and across sectors, to increase public and private investment in the arts, humanities, and sciences.


We believe in the power of culture. Working through the arts, humanities, and sciences, culture is a dynamic force for enriching communities, growing the economy, advancing equity, and fostering individual creativity. Culture is intrinsically valuable and unique in its ability to lift the human spirit.

We recognize the essential role that a rich cultural life plays in communities and the lives of individuals. To invest in our cultural life is to invest in our shared future.


We envision a Commonwealth where:

  • Culture elevates the quality of life and well-being of all communities
  • Culture drives growth and opportunity through the creative economy
  • Culture is inclusive, accessible, and embraces our diversity
  • Culture empowers a new generation through creative youth development and education



Amplify cultural vitality in cities and towns through integrated community-focused grants, initiatives, and advocacy.


  • Increase the impact of community-led efforts to sustain and promote a rich cultural life by providing communities the resources, training, and tools needed to increase their capacity and effect change.
  • Engage more artists in the full range of Mass Cultural Council’s community-focused initiatives through improved communication, technical assistance,and funding.
  • Partner with regional, state, and local stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth to elevate the importance of culture and artists in community building.


Enhance the Commonwealth’s economic vitality by helping artists and cultural organizations thrive.


  • Support the economic health of communities through targeted investments in artists and the cultural sector.
  • Build strategic alliances between the cultural sector, private developers, state agencies, and other Massachusetts community and economic development groups to stimulate economic growth.
  • Grow the visibility of the creative sector in Massachusetts through partnerships that expand markets and/or promote the work of cultural organizations and artists.


Promote more diverse and inclusive participation in the cultural sector by ensuring equity in policies, practices, and opportunities.


  • Cultivate a culture of equity and inclusion within Mass Cultural Council to ensure these values are reflected in all of our grants and initiatives.
  • Encourage full participation in Mass Cultural Council-supported programs by promoting universal design principles, inclusive practices, and equitable access for all.
  • Increase diversity in the sector by creating connections and expanding leadership opportunities for people of color, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
  • Support artists and organizations working in diverse cultural traditions and/or underrepresented communities, with improved outreach, focused investment, and technical assistance.


Enhance creative learning experiences in schools and communities that instill agency in, and support the growth of, creative, productive, independent-minded young people.


  • Expand opportunities for youth to engage in culture through strategic partnerships with agencies and organizations that share common goals.
  • Advance our national leadership role in creative youth development through advocacy, field building, and partnerships to promote Massachusetts practitioners and attract additional public and private investments.
  • Provide targeted resources and training to increase the depth and quality of creative learning for youth in and out of school.


Strengthen Mass Cultural Council’s internal capacity to deliver the highest quality services to constituents and enable the agency to effectively fulfill its mission.


  • Develop a new messaging and communications strategy to more clearly convey the full range of our grants and initiatives to constituents.
  • Update key processes and systems to improve efficiencies and quality of service delivery.
  • Optimize staff resources to accommodate core grants and initiatives, as well as new program development.
  • Improve data gathering and evaluation systems, to better communicate the full scope of our impact and inform improvements to grants and initiatives.

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