Cultural District Investment Grants
Apply for Funding
FY22 Cultural District Investment Grants are available to Massachusetts cities and towns to encourage the development and success of their state-designated Cultural Districts.
How to Apply
Confirm that your city or town has an eligible Cultural District, then read the program guidelines below.
Create an organizational profile in the new grants management system. (See details under “New Grants Management System” below.)
Complete and submit the online application by December 15, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET).
Questions? Contact Carolyn Cole, Program Officer.
FY22 Program Guidelines
Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Districts provide support to Massachusetts cities and towns to encourage the development and success of state-designated Cultural Districts across the Commonwealth.
As described in legislative statue, the purpose of a Cultural District is to:
- Attract artists and cultural enterprises to communities
- Encourage business and job development
- Establish the district as a tourist destination
- Preserve and reuse historic buildings
- Enhance property values
- Foster local cultural development
Cultural District Investment Grants are meant to support efforts that benefit the goals of the Cultural District.
All Cultural Districts that are designated prior to June 30, 2022 are eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.
Cultural District funding must be used for costs related to the planning and implementation of activities that will directly assist to goals and objectives as identified by the Cultural District Partnership.
Examples of the costs allowed include, but are not limited to:
- Payments made to business/property owners to repurpose window spaces to highlight local artists
- Marketing and promotion of district activities
- Operational support to district management entity
- Artist or vendor fees connected to COVID-safe cultural, humanities, or science programs (online or in-person)
- Any interventions and/or supplies and materials needed to continue with COVID-safe programming and activities.
Funding received through Cultural District Investment Grants cannot be used for capital improvement projects or for activities that are not directly related to the arts, humanities, or sciences.
The funding districts receive is meant to support the activities of the district in support of its goals. The amount of the grant that a district can spend on salaried district staff is capped at 25% of the grant amount. Twenty-five percent of the FY22 grant amount is $1,875.
Mass Cultural Council will review applications to ensure that the plan described in grant applications is consistent with the Cultural District’s FY22 goals.
Award Amount and Funding Period
Grant amounts are $7,500. There is no match requirement.
This is a one-year grant for Fiscal Year 2022, which ends on June 30, 2022.
A final report section will be included as part of the annual progress report. Failure to complete the annual progress report may result in loss of eligibility for other Mass Cultural Council grant programs until it has been received.
Acknowledgement of Funding
Grant recipients are required to credit Mass Cultural Council for funding. Attachment D of your contract package and the online Credit and Publicity Kit have more details.
Contract and Payments
Contracts will be issued to the municipality or the designee as instructed by the municipality. The municipality must return the contract before funds will be disbursed. Read more about the contracting process.
Accessibility and Non-Discrimination Policies
Mass Cultural Council is committed to ensure that all personnel and service programs, policies, and practices will be formulated and conducted in a manner which will ensure equal access for all people and prevent discrimination not only as a matter of law, but also as a policy designed to encourage the participation of all segments of the Commonwealth’s population in Mass Cultural Council programs and services.
Mass Cultural Council is happy to offer applicants/grantees alternative formats, auxiliary aids, and services necessary so that any individual can participate in the Mass Cultural Council’s programs and services. Contact our staff for help.
Mass Cultural Council is dedicated to creating a workplace, programs, and services that welcome, respect, and value people of all races, color, age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religions, creeds, ancestry, national origin, disability, and veteran status. Mass Cultural Council will not fund any organization or program that discriminates based on these attributes. We strive to reflect diversity in all activities, programs, and services removing any barriers to accessibility. Mass Cultural Council and its grantees are expected to comply with:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Mass Cultural Council’s grantees sign a contract (see contract requirements) certifying that they will comply with ADA and Section 504. Mass Cultural Council aims to help grantees understand their obligations and recognize the opportunities that increasing access can support both the public and the grantee. Additional information about Mass Cultural Council’s Accessibility Requirements and Compliance Tools for Grantees are located in our Access Policy.
An applicant may request reconsideration of a Mass Cultural Council decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the Mass Cultural Council did not follow published guidelines and procedures. Dissatisfaction with the denial of an award does not constitute grounds for reconsideration. A written request must be sent to the Mass Cultural Council’s Executive Director within 30 days of the date of notification of the decision. Such requests will be reviewed by the Mass Cultural Council Grants Committee and the Board.
Application Opens: November 1, 2021
Info Session: November 4, 2021 at 10:30am (ET)
Application Deadline: December 15, 2021
Notification: One week after submission
Annual Progress Report Deadline: July 11, 2022
New Grants Management System
All applicants should submit their applications through the online system.
- Check to see if you already have a user profile in the grants management system:
- Go to the online application.
- Click “Forgot Password”.
- Once you submit your email address, you will receive an email with a temporary password and a link to the site.
- Copy the password to use on the login page, you will then be prompted to create a new password.
- If you do not already have a user profile, complete a registration in the grants management system:
- Click on “Register” and “Select Organization”
- Type your district name into the search field and select it.
- Provide your name and contact information. Your email will be your username. The district is the applicant and you are the primary contact for the application.
- After completing the registration, you should receive an email to activate your account. The account must be activated within 24 hours. After clicking the activation link, you are prompted to create a new 8-digit password.