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Home / Blog / Communities / Local Cultural Councils Award $5.6M to Community-Based Projects Across the State

Local Cultural Councils Award $5.6M to Community-Based Projects Across the State

Lisa Simmons, Program Manager

people looking up and around at an installation that covers the walls and ceilings at Somerville Open Studios
Somerville Open Studios. Photo: Timothea Pham

Residents and visitors to Massachusetts benefit greatly from the dedicated work facilitated by municipal appointees who steward Mass Cultural Council’s Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program, the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation. Through their efforts we are all able to participate in, and enjoy, thousands of arts and cultural programs, projects, and initiatives each year.

The LCC Program enriches the cultural life of every city and town in Massachusetts by supporting community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences, including everything from murals to lectures, festivals, and performances.

To date, in FY22 LCCs have awarded 6,472 grants totaling $5,616,397. (Mass Cultural Council allocated $4,785,000 to 329 LCCs through the LCC Program. Additionally, some LCCs contributed local and municipal funds they’d raised to their grant pools.) Through these LCC grants, new and vibrant cultural programming will once again be available across the state, including:

  • Agawam Cultural Council’s “Applause Series”, in production for 19 years, has gained popularity and recognition for bringing cultural events to the community. Agawam Cultural Council continuously works with a number of local sponsors, partners, and even surrounding LCCs to make this series possible.
  • Belchertown Cultural Council is supporting MUSIC Dance.edu’s “Hip Hop Dance Chair Exercise for Seniors”, which explores hip-hop dance as a way of exercise and physical wellness for elders in the community.
  • Carlisle Cultural Council is sponsoring a music festival at Carlisle Old Home Day June 25-26, 2022. This year’s theme is “Carlisle Through the Decades.”
  • Chesterfield Cultural Council is supporting “Fun with Food,” a project produced by the Hilltown Community Development Corporation. The project brought in musicians, chefs, artists, and cultural educators to the Hilltown Mobile Market to enliven their weekly markets.
  • Framingham Cultural Council is supporting the Framingham Public Library’s “Read Beyond the Beaten Path Summer Reading Adventure” project, which works with the Massachusetts Library Association and the Boston Bruins to promote reading practice for Pre-K and elementary age children.
  • Franklin Cultural Council is supporting “Diwali Celebration!” a program produced by the Franklin Public Library, as part of their strategic initiative to celebrate the vibrant and diverse cultural heritage of our community. They featured a dance performance, provided crafts and activities for children (including decorating clay diya lanterns, making colorful rangoli-inspired creations, a henna station, and interactive music station).
  • Gloucester Cultural Council is supporting the Manship Artists Residency’s “Firefly Watch,” a community science project where graduate students specializing in fireflies will help develop and establish programming for families and “friends of fireflies” who want to work towards restoring their populations. The scientists will be “residents” at the Manship Artists Residency for several weeks and the public will be invited to observe and join in the process.
  • Lakeville Arts Council is supporting the Lakeville Historical Society’s basket weaving project, which instructs participants in basket making using local natural materials.
  • Lee Cultural Council is supporting the Lee Middle and High School’s “Storybook Composition” project, which teaches students how to use the elements of music to tell a story.
  • Lowell Cultural Council is supporting “Celebrating the Diversity That Surrounds Us” a four-sculpture project from the Lowell Housing Authority. These sculptures are meant to draw attention to the rich diversity and immigrant heritage in the Acre.
  • Martha’s Vineyard Regional Cultural Council is supporting the Annual Native American Artisans Festival organized by the Aquinnah Cultural Center and featuring Native American Artists demonstrating, exhibiting and selling a wide variety of artwork, food, song, and dances.
  • Milford Cultural Council is beautifying their community with art through their “Trash to Treasure Barrel” project. Twelve barrels will be showcased along the Milford Upper Charles River Trail and in various Milford parks. Artists are invited to submit deadlines by June 17, 2022.
  • Nantucket Cultural Council is supporting the Nantucket Community Music Center’s “Early Childhood Music and Movement” program that provides a weekly, 45-minute, bilingual (English and Spanish), music class for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and their caretakers, to experience music in a group setting.
  • Needham Council for Arts and Culture is partnering with Needham Art Association to help energize the downtown business area by transforming vacant storefronts into mini art galleries with works by local artists on display.
  • Somerville Arts Council is partnering with East Somerville Main streets to host “SomerStreets: Carnival” on June 5, 2022. It will feature an artisan market, live performances, and food from many different cultures.
  • Wrentham Cultural Council is resuming their “Arts on the Common” festival on June 4, 2022 after a two-year pause. This community event will include a juried art show featuring 35 artists with performances from local dance troupes, live music, and other family-friendly activities.

What Projects Did My LCC Fund?

See what each LCC funded this year by visiting their council profile on Mass Cultural Council’s web site.

Can I Serve on My LCC?

Mass Cultural Council is very grateful for our 2,500+ LCC volunteer members who have been dedicated – throughout the pandemic – to amplifying the importance that arts and culture play in building and restoring communities.

Mass Cultural Council is ever mindful that some communities face difficulties when locating eligible residents to serve as appointed members on local government bodies. LCCs are municipal government boards, and state law outlines who is eligible for appointment.

This year Mass Cultural Council is working with State Rep. Ken Gordon (D- Bedford), himself a former LCC member and chair, and State Senator Adam Hinds (D- Pittsfield), to pass legislation clarifying and expanding membership opportunities for LCCs. This legislation, H. 3378, was engrossed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives on May 5, and is now being reviewed by the Massachusetts Senate. Mass Cultural Council is eager for the Senate take up the bill, so that those who wish to serve on their LCC but have been unable to do so because of other positions held in their community, can get involved and make a difference.

Those interested in being appointed to their LCC should connect with a Community Initiative team member to learn more or inquire at your City or Town Hall.

Mass Cultural Council’s dynamic Community Initiative Team is tasked with liaising with LCC members to provide assistance as they run their grant programs, as well as administering the Cultural Districts Initiative and Festivals grants. Stay in touch by signing up for their monthly e-newsletter to see what they, and their LCC partners across Massachusetts, are doing to advance the power of culture in your community, and follow the Community Initiative Facebook page.

 


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