The purpose of the Local Cultural Councils is to support public programs that promote access, education, diversity, and excellence in the arts, humanities, and sciences in communities across the Commonwealth. Local decision-making is an integral element of this system. LCCs have the right and responsibility to award grants that address cultural needs specific to their communities, and they can decide how to distribute funds if the state policies outlined in the program guidelines are followed.
Each LCC has several mandatory duties:
Soliciting community input and assessing local cultural needs
Each LCC is responsible for ensuring that its grants and programs benefit the community to the greatest extent possible. To this end, each LCC must conduct yearly assessments of cultural needs within its community. Learn more about gathering community input.
Establishing council priorities for the review of grant applications
Based on its community input process, each LCC is responsible for determining its own funding priorities. All LCCs are strongly encouraged to develop written council priorities each year. Learn more about creating council priorities.
Communicating with the public
LCCs are responsible for the following: Promoting local awareness of their programs; informing the public of the availability of funds; publicizing the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the LCC office or contact person; communicating with grant applicants and recipients. See sample letters and press releases.
Reviewing and recommending action on local applications
Guidelines regarding local eligibility, review criteria and procedures for the review of applications are laid out in detail in the LCC Program Guidelines. LCCs must also follow all Open Meeting and Conflict of Interest Laws. Learn more about how to review grants.
Reporting to Mass Cultural Council
LCCs must submit the LCC Account Form, completed by the city or town, and then calculate the amount available for granting to Mass Cultural Council through the “Financial Report” section of the annual reporting by October 15 each year. LCCs must submit their annual reporting to Mass Cultural Council through the grants management system by the statewide reporting deadline each year, this year it is January 18.
Carrying out other necessary administrative functions
Additional administrative functions include: the handling and processing of payment requests; all necessary record-keeping; establishment of a local office (if applicable); maintaining communications with the local treasurer; monitoring financial reports; other tasks as necessary for the efficient operation of the LCC.
Complying with Mass Cultural Council guidelines, rules, or rulings
The LCC Program Guidelines are available online.
All applications (both approved and denied), minutes of all meetings, disclosure forms, and any other LCC records must be maintained in a public place. At least six years’ worth of records must be kept in a secure space identified by the city or town clerk. Records more than six years old should be archived using the same procedures employed by the local government. City or town clerks can reference Massachusetts Statewide Records Retention Schedule L13 24 for additional information. To facilitate access to the current year’s records, the LCC Chair may keep those records in their home; however, the city or town clerk should be notified of their location.
Information on LCC members should be entered directly into the grants management system and the town clerk’s office should be provided with regular membership updates so potential applicants can find LCC contacts and get assistance when needed. All records of the actions of LCCs are considered public information and are subject to the state’s Public Records Law. LCCs must be available to respond to requests to view these materials “without unreasonable delay.” The Public Records Law establishes a maximum delay of 10 days from the day of the request.