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Lowell Folk Festival

Local Cultural Council Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we find our Local Cultural Council?
FY22 LCC contact information and council priorities are available on this site.

When is the application deadline?
November 1, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET).

What is in the application?
Download a sample application form (PDF).

How do we apply for an LCC grant?
Watch a video walk-through of the online application. Get more details on navigating the new grants management system.

How do I access the online application?
If you are an LCC applicant and have not applied to any other Mass Cultural Council programs, or are applying for an LCC grant for the first time, you do not have a record in the new system. Click “Register” to create a new user account/password and then select a profile type (individual or organization) to register.

  • Register as an Individual if you are applying for a grant for yourself or a project you are leading. In this case you will be considered the applicant and grantee.
  • Register as an Organization if you are applying for a grant on behalf of an organization, school, town, or other group. In this case the organization is the applicant and grant recipient and you are the primary contact for the application.​

Start typing your organization’s name, select your organization from the list, and then complete your contact information. If your organization is not listed, follow the directions to add your organization information and your contact information to register your organization manually.

Applicants who have previously applied for LCC grants AND other Mass Cultural Council grants are likely to have a record in the new grants management system.

To see if you already have a record, go to the grants management system and click “Forgot password?” Enter your email address. If the email you entered matches the one in our system, you will be sent an email from “masscultural_noreply@smartsimple.com” with instructions for resetting your password.

If our project was postponed due to COVID-19 in FY20 or FY21, can we apply again for additional funding in FY22?
Yes, you can apply for funding for the same project. However, it is entirely up to the LCC how they want to handle postponed FY20 and FY21 grantees applying for FY22 grants (for different projects or the same ones). You should communicate directly with the LCC you are applying to, to find out their policy.

How do we check in about the status of a grant?
Please contact your Local Cultural Council directly.

Who is eligible to apply for an LCC grant?
Applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts. Local Cultural Councils may accept applications from anyone included in the list below:

  • Individuals. Individual applicants must show that a public benefit results from the project for which they are applying.
  • Incorporated private nonprofit organizations.
  • Unincorporated associations that can establish a nonprofit objective.
  • A group of individuals coming together with a common purpose (e.g., local community band, theater group) that do not have nonprofit status.
  • Public schools, libraries, other municipal agencies, and the Local Cultural Council itself.
  • Religious organizations. Religious organizations or groups with a religious affiliation are eligible to apply for funding of cultural programming that is available to the general public. LCCs can only approve applications that are primarily cultural in their intent and do not have the effect of advancing religion. Be sure to read the Applicant Guidelines page for eligibility and review criteria.

Do LCCs fund operating support? What are some examples of what operating support could look like for organizations?
LCCs can fund operating support, but sure to check with the LCC you are applying first to make sure they do.
Examples of operating support include:

  • Theaters can apply for funds to maintain a clean, socially distanced environment for programming.
  • Art Education Centers or Public Schools may apply for funds to invest in education technology for their virtual programs.
  • An organization may need to hire someone for fundraising.

What are some examples of what a virtual program could look like?
Watch a recording from a Mass Cultural Council webinar that talks about virtual programming and another that highlights.

If we are planning to bring our project to a virtual medium, what are some resources we could look at?
Check out these resources from Mass Cultural Council:

What are some examples of what virtual galleries/opportunities for artists could look like?

I do not have an internet connection at home, or prefer to handwrite my application. Can I mail a paper application?
For FY22 and going forward, LCCs will not be able to accept paper applications. Please contact your LCC if you are not able to use or access the online system.

Can I apply to more than one LCC?
Yes, you are welcome to apply to several local cultural councils if you think your project may benefit more than one community. You will need to start a new application for each LCC. Remember to read each council’s profile before applying.

I’d like to apply for funding for a field trip, but I can’t find the application.
Applicants may still apply for funding for field trips using the Standard LCC application. Check your council’s profile before applying to make sure that they fund field trips.

The LCC to which I’m applying requires a letter from the venue or other additional support materials as part of the application process. How do I attach these materials?
As in the past, applicants must read the council profile to determine if any additional support materials are required by that LCC. If an LCC requires support materials, such as an artist resume, a flyer for the project, or a support letter, the applicant must upload those materials as a PDF as part of the online application. These materials will be collated with the application and included in the panel book that is reviewed by the LCC. Please note that these PDF’s are limited to three pages.

How do I know if my application has been successfully submitted?
Once you submit your application you will see a black-lettered “congratulations” on the first page of the application. You should also receive the submitted application as a PDF attached to a confirmation email sent by the grants management system.

Will I receive notice of whether my application has been accepted via postal mail or email?
LCC’s have the option to send denial and acceptance letters via email or postal mail. Most LCCs will choose to send emails. If you haven’t received news by February 1, 2022, try contacting the LCC.

Will the reimbursement process be moving online as well?
No. The reimbursement process will stay the same as it has in the past and will not move online this year.

I have another question that isn’t answered here.
If you have a technical issue or a question about the online application, please contact our help desk at 617-858-2721.

If your question doesn’t involve the application itself, please contact the LCC directly.

Questions about the LCC Program in general or application requirements for councils? Contact us.


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