Mass Cultural Council logo
Home / Blog / Artists & Creatives / 138 Additional Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals Awarded

138 Additional Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals Awarded

Dan Blask, Program Manager

This $690,000 in awards completes the Agency’s COVID-19 relief grant making

photo of a cello player in a black dress playing in front of a brick wall
Catarina Ferreira, a 2024 recipient of a Cultural Sector Recovery Grant for Individuals. Photo: John Spaulding.

Mass Cultural Council believes that the Commonwealth thrives when its cultural sector is healthy and supported. We are thrilled to announce that 138 additional applicants to last year’s Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals program will receive $5,000 awards this Spring. These grants represent the remaining $690,000 in available funding for COVID-19 relief.

The Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals was a one-time COVID-19 relief program, created by an act of the Legislature as part of a $4 billion pandemic recovery package signed into law in December 2021. Mass Cultural Council developed program guidelines through a public process to maximize the funding’s impact on the cultural sector.

We accepted applications in Fall 2022 and received 7,593 applications. An unprecedented 4,000 awards were announced in February 2023, totaling $20 million.

Today, Mass Cultural Council is able to grant the remaining $690,000 in state pandemic recovery funds it received to an additional 138 individuals who initially applied for funding in 2022. We hope these $5,000 grants will help set a path for growth for the creative individuals whose work is so crucial to the cultural sector.

Mass Cultural Council used the same review methods as the original grant round. This includes geographic distribution, funding priorities, and a randomized, lottery-style selection. In alignment with the Agency’s equity goals:

  • 49 grantees self-identify as BIPOC (36%)
  • 22 self-identify as d/Deaf/disabled (16%)
  • 64 reside in under-resourced communities (as defined by the program guidelines)

Additionally, this will be the first Mass Cultural Council grant ever received by 135 of the 138 awards announced today (98%).

The FY24 Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals funding list is available online.

Use of Pandemic Funds

The 4,000 initial recipients of the Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals were asked to submit a short final report to the Agency detailing how the funds were used. Upon staff review of this data, Mass Cultural Council finds the COVID-19 relief funds served as intended and provided urgent economic lifelines to the Massachusetts creatives affected by the pandemic. Grant recipients reported using these funds to help with:

  • Living, Workspace, or Housing Costs (54%)
  • Supplies (52%)
  • Technology or Equipment Upgrade(s) (47%)
  • Savings/Debt Repayment (46%)
  • Professional Development (36%)
  • Touring/Travel Costs (25%)
  • Hiring Other Artists (18%)
  • Healthcare Costs (11%)

This year, FY24, Mass Cultural Council is investing a total of $2,615,000 into grants providing support to individual artists, creative practitioners, and culture bearers. Earlier this month the Agency announced $1.9 million in awards through the inaugural round of Grants for Creative Individuals.

Sign up for our Artist News e-newsletter to receive monthly updates on all opportunities, resources, and deadlines for artists and creative individuals from Mass Cultural Council.

Read the Funding List

Back to Top