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Lowell Folk Festival

The Grant Cycle

Online Grants Management System

What LCCs Need to Know

As Mass Cultural Council prepares for the FY23 grant cycle here are some things to note:

Program Guidelines

FY23 LCC Program guidelines are now available
Please note this PDF now also includes guidelines for LCCs offering Direct Grants.

Watch a recorded webinar about the FY23 LCC Program guidelines:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my LCC accept paper applications in addition to online applications?
No. LCCs cannot accept paper applications. Applicants should contact their LCC if they are not able to use or access to the online grants management system.

Can an applicant now apply to all 329 LCCs at once?
No. An applicant may submit to only one LCC at a time. They are welcome to apply to multiple LCCs but will need to start a new application for each LCC they apply to.

How will we receive the applications that have been submitted online to my LCC?
After the application deadline, online submissions to your LCC will be collated by the grants management system into a PDF file you can download. Members are also free to read the applications in the system if they prefer that to using the PDF panel book.

Our council priorities require a letter from the venue or other additional support materials as part of the application process. How will we get these materials from the applicant?
Applicants must read the LCC’s priorities to determine if any additional support materials are required. If an LCC requires support materials, such as an artist resume, a flyer for the project, or a support letter, the applicant will be instructed to convert the document to a PDF and upload it as part of the online application. These materials will be collated with the application and included in the PDF panel book that the LCC can download.

How will we receive and review the PDF panel book?
The PDF panel book becomes available for download 1-2 days after the application deadline so it can be viewed electronically or printed and reviewed as a hard copy.

I prefer to read from a paper application or have a paper copy of each application in front of me during the voting meeting. Can I do this?
If you’d like to print the applications from the PDF panel book your LCC receives, remember that you can set aside up to 5% of your allocation for administrative funds, which can be used for this purpose.

Can we work with applicants once we see the panel book to ask questions and get additional information?
Yes, LCCs can decide if they would like to do any follow up to applicants after receiving their application. Follow up with applicants would need to take place prior to the LCC’s voting meeting. If an LCC chooses to reach out to an applicant, be sure to offer all applicants the same courtesy.

My LCC prepares a spreadsheet of the applications to bring to our voting meeting. Will we still be able to do this?
Yes. you can export all of that information into an Excel spreadsheet and customize it to your liking.

Now that the applications are online, will we be able to discuss them online or vote online too?
On June 16, 2021, Governor Baker signed into law An Act Extending Certain COVID-19 Measures Adopted During the State of Emergency. This Act includes an extension, until March 31, 2023, of the remote meeting provisions of his March 12, 2020, Executive Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law. The new law has two major parts.

First, the new law allows public bodies to continue providing live “adequate, alternative means” of public access to the deliberations of the public body, instead of holding meetings in a public place that is open and physically accessible to the public. “Adequate, alternative means” may include, without limitation, providing public access through telephone, internet, or satellite enabled audio or video conferencing or any other technology that enables the public to clearly follow the proceedings of the public body in real time.

Second, the new law authorizes all members of a public body to continue participating in meetings remotely; the Open Meeting Law’s requirement that a quorum of the body and the chair be physically present at the meeting location remains suspended.

This means that your LCC does not need a quorum of members physically present to hold a decision meeting, however it does not eliminate the requirement for a quorum.

However, the public must still have access to the virtual meetings. As a result, do not hold any virtual meetings until you seek and receive permission and guidance from your city/town. The municipality will determine the process by which municipal boards and commissions can hold virtual meetings, and/or if they can hold them at all. All other aspects of Open Meeting Law are still in place such as the requirement to give notice, post an agenda, and keep minutes of the meeting.

Review the updated guidance on holding meetings pursuant to the Act Extending Current COVID-19 Measures for additional information.

Can we assign a unique identifier to each application to make it easier to review. Will this be possible in the new process?
Unique identifiers or Application IDs are automatically generated by the online application system. All applications submitted online will have an application number. This will appear in the panel book as well as in the annual reporting.

Does our LCC need to send denial letters? 
No, the system generates a denial notification automatically based on the denial reason you select in the grants management system.

Can we send our own denial letters instead of having them get sent by the grants management system?
You can send an additional email or letter, but the automatic notification cannot be turned off for your council.

Will I be able to easily export applicant information into an Excel document that will help facilitate creating the approval letters?
Yes. Currently, you can export applicant name and address information into an Excel spreadsheet from the grants management system. Using this spreadsheet, the LCC can create a mail merge Word document to use for approval letters.

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.

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