Power of Culture Blog
This represents the highest level of funding proposed for the Agency, and by extension, the cultural sector, by the state in decades.
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The Agency’s governing Council has approved Mass Cultural Council’s Fiscal Year 2021 spending plan, investing more than $16.6 million in a range of grant programs, services, and initiatives to support the arts, humanities, and sciences in communities across Massachusetts.
While FY21 began on July 1, 2020, the annual state budget process was much delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and it was not signed into law until December. Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, receives most of its operating support from the annual state budget. FY21 runs through June 30, 2021.
The FY21 spending plan consists of grant awards for nonprofit cultural organizations, communities, and individual artists, including a new round of COVID-19 relief funds for individual artists and cultural practitioners. It also invests in creative youth development and arts education statewide and advances the Council’s efforts on access, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“The economic impacts of COVID-19 drastically impacted the normally robust contributions cultural nonprofits and creative practitioners make to the state economy. This plan reaffirms our belief that robust public investment is vital to support the essential role that a rich cultural life plays in our communities and in the lives of all Massachusetts residents,” said David T. Slatery, Acting Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council.
Mass Cultural Council will invest $6.2 million in its Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP), which comprises more than 400 nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations across Massachusetts. These organizations connect children and adults to theater, music, visual art, and film; teach them about history, literature, and the environment; and introduce them to new ideas and cultural traditions. CIP Portfolio, Gateway, and Project grants must be matched 1:1 and range from $4,500 – $60,000.
In addition, we will continue its support Mass Humanities through an annual partnership grant of $686,000 for public programs in history, literature, and other disciplines to enhance civic life across the Commonwealth.
The Local Cultural Council Program will receive $4.4 million to support the 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) that make up the nation’s largest public grassroots arts support network. LCCs provide funding to every community in Massachusetts through the efforts of more than 2,500 volunteers. LCCs support local culture and history, and sponsor community concerts, exhibitions, and arts education. Grants range from $4,800 for more than 100 small towns to $245,900 for Boston, according to a formula that reflects state aid to municipalities. Additional funds will award $7,500 grants to all state-designated Cultural Districts, and $500 grants for local Festivals.
Mass Cultural Council works to expand access to quality, creative learning experiences for young people in schools and community settings through a range of grant programs and initiatives that include:
To help individuals who have suffered staggering economic loss in recent months because of COVID-19, Mass Cultural Council is investing $651,000 in a relief fund for individual artists and cultural practitioners.
We will support Massachusetts artists through a commitment of $652,500 toward Artist Fellowships awards, including Fellowships of $15,000 and Finalist awards of $1,500 in the following categories: Crafts, Dramatic Writing, Film & Video, Music Composition, Photography, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.
We will also award a new round of Traditional Arts Apprenticeships totaling $100,000 to preserve and continue vital ethnic and cultural art forms in a range of media.
Mass Cultural Council will continue to fund a range of services to the nonprofit cultural sector, including consultation, training, convening, and technical assistance, such as: