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Changes Coming to the Cultural Investment Portfolio Grant Program

Sara Glidden, Program Manager

gallery filled with people seated for a classical music ensemble concert
Concert at Hopkinton Center for the Arts.

Last October, Mass Cultural Council launched a Racial Equity Plan to strengthen and extend the Agency’s existing Strategic Plan goal of advancing inclusion and equity, to further align our work with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 592, and to provide racially equitable investments in the cultural sector. An important part of this equity work is the process of reviewing and revising all steps of our grant making processes.

The Agency has conducted an internal review of the Cultural Investment Portfolio with the goals of maintaining the values that are important to grantees – the availability of unrestricted operating support that is reliable and predictable – while also centering equity in our evaluation and program revisions.

The most significant changes to the Cultural Investment Portfolio are:

  1. The launch of a re-application process for current grantees.
  2. The introduction of Equity Impact Points in the calculation of the grant determination formula. 

What does this mean for current CIP Portfolio grantees?

All current Portfolio grantees will continue to be funded in the Cultural Investment Portfolio in FY23 and FY24. Starting in FY25, Portfolio grants will become a 5-year grant commitment, with an annual application open to current grantees and new applicants. In FY23, current Portfolio grantees will be randomly assigned to a year (1-5) for their re-application to the Portfolio:

  • “Year 1” organizations will apply in FY24 for FY25-29 grants.​
  • “Year 2” organizations will apply in FY25 for FY26-30 grants.​
  • “Year 3” organizations will apply in FY26 for FY27-31 grants.​
  • “Year 4” organizations will apply in FY27 for FY28-32 grants.​
  • “Year 5” organizations will apply in FY28 for FY29-33 grants.​

The Equity Impact Points will be introduced into the grant calculation formula for FY23 grants. This means that in addition to the three-year average of an organization’s expenses as reported in their DataArts profile, grant amounts will also be impacted by Equity Impact Points for organizations that are in, or are centered on, historically under-resourced communities. Our goal is sustained investment in the most marginalized and historically underfunded communities.

We recognize that this is a significant change to the program, but we are excited by the possibility of serving and supporting more cultural organizations through the reimagined Cultural Investment Portfolio program. We are proud that the Portfolio has been able to provide ongoing unrestricted operating support to so many Massachusetts cultural organizations over the past 13 years.

We encourage you to sign up for one of our office hours to talk with Agency staff about the program. Additional office hours will be posted as needed.

Register for office hours to learn more

Timeline for Program Transition

 FY23 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023)

  • Funding sustained for current Portfolio and Gateway grantees
  • New Equity Impact Points to influence grant amounts
  • Portfolio-funded organizations are assigned a review year (1-5)

FY24 (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024)

  • Funding sustained for current Portfolio and Gateway grantees
  • New application guidelines and program criteria announced
  • “Year 1” Portfolio organizations apply for FY25-29 funding

FY25 (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025)

  • Funding sustained for “Years 2-5” Portfolio organizations
  • “Year 2” Portfolio organizations apply for FY26-30 funding
  • First year of funding for NEW FY25-FY29 operating support program

During the next year, Agency staff will be crafting the guidelines, criteria, and application for the new program. Your Cultural Investment Portfolio staff contact will continue to keep you informed about the process. Current Portfolio grantees, please sign up for Mass Cultural Council’s e-news to make sure that you hear about updates, and any additional funding opportunities.

Please note that Mass Cultural Council grant making is subject to funding received through the Agency’s annual state budget appropriation, as well as the approval of an annual Spending Plan by the governing Council. Grantees must continue to meet the eligibility in the published guidelines, and must continue to complete their annual reporting requirements.

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