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Gaming Mitigation Grants Available

Cheyenne Cohn-Postell, Program Officer

A bald male dancer with a beard wears a black sleeveless t-shirt and red suspenders. He's looking at his extended arms that cross at his hands. Two other dancers watch from the behind him.
Xavier’s – The Musician and the Mover presented by The Yard.

A new cycle of Gaming Mitigation grants is available for FY22 from the Mass Cultural Council. The Gaming Mitigation Program was established under MGL chapter 23K, section 59 and aims to mitigate a direct threat to the sustainability of nonprofit and municipal performing arts centers in Massachusetts. In its first round of funding (FY20), the program awarded $3.34M to 52 performing arts organizations across the Commonwealth to help increase their buying power when directly competing with resort casinos to book touring artists.

The program was paused in FY21 as casinos and cultural institutions alike were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This time was used by Mass Cultural Council to continue to develop the program with input from affected performing arts centers. As a result of the development process several action steps were identified and addressed:

  1. Clarify definition of touring artist to include more measurable and inclusive criteria.

Resulting change: Touring shows or artists are independent entities which are presented at the “Performing Arts Center” as a guest. Touring shows or artists can be verified through appearance on shows or artists that appear on Pollstar or another similar touring performing arts roster, representation by established artists’ management, and/or a touring schedule that includes at least three states in the last three years.

  1. Create a template for applicant organizations to use to report performance and artist information.

Resulting change: The application will include an excel template applicant organizations will download to provide information on all performances presented by the organization and the verification for the eligible touring shows and artists.

  1. Move to calendar year 2019 for reporting on performances and fees paid to artists.

Resulting change: The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 somewhat of a “lost year” in terms of presenting touring shows and/or artists. For this cycle of the program, all organizations will report their financial activity from calendar year 2019 as to avoid 2020 and start the FY22 process on equal footing for first- and second-time applicants.

To be eligible applicants must meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. Applicants must be a performing arts center, which means:
    • ​The organization’s primary mission must be to promote access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.
    • The organization commits 50% or more of their operating expenses to the performing arts. Performing arts are types of art that are presented live for an audience; examples include dance, music, opera, musical theater, theater, and folk/traditional performance art (dance, music, and/or traditional storytelling).
  2. Applicants must be a Massachusetts nonprofit OR a Massachusetts municipality.
  3. Applicants must present touring shows and/or artists.

Applications are due November 5, 2021.

Read the program guidelines and register for an information session on October 7, 2021.

Questions? Contact Program Officer Cheyenne Cohn-Postell.

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