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Performing Arts Centers: Apply for Gaming Mitigation Grants

Lillian Lee, Program Officer

photo of a music performance - a trumpet player and trombone player are playing while other band members smile and watch
Gilberto Santa Rosa at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Photo: Dianeris

A new cycle of the Gaming Mitigation Program will open on October 19, 2022 from the Mass Cultural Council. The Gaming Mitigation Program – established under MGL chapter 23K, section 59 – aims to mitigate a direct threat to the sustainability of nonprofit and municipally-owned performing arts centers in Massachusetts. These grants are meant to help organizations increase their buying power when directly competing with resort casinos to book touring artists.

During the first round of funding, $3,340,000 was awarded to 52 nonprofit and municipally-owned performing arts centers across the state. After a pause in FY21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program returned for its second round of funding and awarded $3,675,000 to 39 performing arts centers. The pause in FY21 also allowed Mass Cultural Council to continue to develop and improve the program based on input from affected performing arts centers. The changes and improvements implemented in FY22 will be carried into the FY23 cycle.

The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 somewhat of a “lost year” in terms of presenting touring shows and/or artists. Just as with the FY22 cycle, the Agency is not asking organizations to report on their 2020 touring shows and/or artists. For the FY23 cycle of the program, all organizations will report on their calendar year 2021 touring shows and/or artists.

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

  • Applicants must be a performing arts center, which means:
    • The organization’s primary mission must be to promote access, 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).
  • Applicants must be a Massachusetts nonprofit OR owned by a Massachusetts municipality.
  • Applicants must present touring shows and/or artists.

Applications are due December 8, 2022.

Register for an information session on October 25, 2022.

Questions? Contact Lillian Lee, Program Officer.

Read the Program Guidelines

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