Cultural District Investment Grants
Apply for Funding
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.
Attend an info session on September 19, 2023 at 10:30am.
Register or check to see if you already have a user profile in the grants management system. (See details under “Grants Management System” below.)
Complete and submit the online application by September 27, 2023 at 11:59pm (ET).
Questions? Contact Carolyn Cole, Program Officer.
FY24 Program Guidelines
Cultural District Investment Grants are annual funding offered to state-designated Cultural Districts. Funding from this grant is intended to encourage the development and success of these districts and to foster local cultural preservation in accordance with Massachusetts’ Cultural Districts legislative statute.
All Cultural Districts designated prior to March 31, 2024 are eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.
Use of Funds
Funding must be allocated in support of Cultural District activities and goals and at the direction of the entity’s management team. In accordance with these requirements, funding expenditures will be unrestricted.
Funding must be spent or encumbered within the current fiscal year ending on June 30, 2024.
We encourage projects or programs that institute a practice of access, equity, or inclusion and are in alignment with your Cultural District’s audience and mission.
Examples of possible expenditures include, but are not limited to:
- Marketing and promotion of district activities
- Capacity building opportunities to fund operational support and infrastructure and professional development costs to district management entity
- Artist or vendor fees, including any interventions and/or supplies and materials
- The development and/or implementation of creative community placemaking/placekeeping, or public art, projects or initiatives
- A collaborative cultural policy or strategic planning process
- A community-engaged and informed data collection strategy and/or report
- Annual Report
All grantees are required to submit an Annual Report at the end of the fiscal year describing how they utilized their grant funding and measured the District’s impact. This report will be completed within our online grants management system. Failure to complete the annual report may result in loss of eligibility for this and other Mass Cultural Council grant programs until it has been received.
- Racial Equity Commitment
Grantees will also be required to provide, as part of their annual report, a statement of recent or ongoing practices of equity and inclusion. Examples of this may include, but will not be limited to, anti-racism and/or intersectional justice training, reformed or established policies, equitable and participatory programming, and reparative processes or actions. Read: Mass Cultural Council’s commitment to racial equity and Racial Equity Plan.
- Share Innovations and Outcomes
Grantees will be encouraged to contribute to the developing Community of Practice via Mass Cultural Council hosted webinars, check-ins, office hours and/or other Community Initiative events.
- Acknowledging Mass Cultural Council Support
Grant recipients are required to credit Mass Cultural Council for funding. See Attachment D of your contract package and/or the Credit and Publicity Kit for further details.
Award Amount and Funding Period
Grant awards will be in the amount of $15,000. There is no match requirement.
This is a one-year grant for Fiscal Year 2024, ending on June 30, 2024.
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.
- Application Opens: September 6, 2023
- Info Session: September 19, 2023 at 10:30am
- Application Deadline: September 27, 2023 at 11:59pm (ET)
- Award Notification: Mid-October
- Annual Report Due: July 18, 2024
Legal and Other Requirements
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 within our Access Policy.
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”
- Enter 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.