Power of Culture Blog
This year, the Agency is committing over $1M to this program, with a goal of doubling the number of artists funded.
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Mass Cultural Council believes in the power of culture, and we recognize that the work done by creative and innovative individuals is key to our vital communities. We know that the COVID-19 crisis has caused major disruptions for the careers of individuals who earn income through their work in the cultural sector. In response, Mass Cultural Council launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals in April of 2020, which repurposed existing FY20 monies to grant 272 $1,000 awards to impacted cultural practitioners.
In November 2020 Mass Cultural Council released new COVID economic impact data which found that Massachusetts’ creative individuals were dealing with dramatic financial loss from the pandemic. A total of 2,423 artists, teaching artists, and scientist/humanists from every region of the state reported more than $20M in lost personal income ($20,138,858) and 39,693 cancelled gigs/jobs since March. To attempt to mitigate this financial strain Mass Cultural Council is launching a second round of COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals grants.
The purpose of the COVID-19 Relief Fund is to support individuals whose creative practices and incomes are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $1,500 are available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures. Because we anticipate grant requests exceeding the program’s budget, grants will be distributed through a randomized, lottery-style process.
The application deadline is February 2, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET). Grants will be awarded by geographic region proportional to that region’s application demand. The individual grantees in each region will be randomly selected. Grants will be unrestricted.
You may apply for Mass Cultural Council COVID-19 Relief funding if you are:
AND you meet all six of the following requirements:
January 12: Application opens at 10am (ET)
January 21: Online information session at 4pm (ET)
February 2: Deadline to apply
February 10: Awards finalized; email notifications sent
March: Contracts sent out
Mass Cultural Council expects to award approximately 460 $1,500 grants in FY21. We are proud to have awarded more than 300 $1,000 awards through this program in Spring of 2020.
If you have questions about eligibility, the application timeline, or any aspect of the program, please contact Dan Blask.
Thank you for your continuing work making Massachusetts a more creative and vibrant place.