Cultural organizations across the state are doing their best to keep up with the COVID-19 outbreak and its ramifications. As a state agency, we are following the guidance provided by the Baker Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Cultural organizations should work closely with their municipal health departments and/or the Mass Department of Public Health for specific guidance on whether you should hold or cancel cultural events. We have pulled together the following information and resources to help the cultural organizations in their planning and consideration.
Public Health Resources
Updated daily with the latest information about COVID-19 in Massachusetts. This page provides specific information such as:
- Steps individuals can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Additional recommendations including:
- Avoid large gatherings if you are at higher risk.
- Postpone or cancel non-essential large events and gatherings.
- Postpone or cancel school travel, both international and domestic AND strongly consider cancelling activities that involve hosting either domestic or international students or teachers.
- A printable fact sheet – that can be posted in workplaces and public spaces.
- Guidance and recommendations for:
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Updated daily with the latest national information about COVID-19. This page provides specific information such as:
- Information for communities, schools, and businesses, including:
Mass Cultural Council Updates
- Our Conversation with Congressman Jim McGovern (5/21/2020)
- $30K Available to Berkshire County Theater Professionals Impacted by COVID-19 (5/19/20)
- Federal CARES Act Funds to Support Creative Youth Development Programs Across MA (4/29/20)
- Mass Cultural Council Awards $272,000 from COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals (4/28/20)
- MA Cultural Organizations Report More $264M in Revenue Loss and 1000s of Jobs Impacted by COVID-19 (4/15/20)
- NEFA Joins State Arts Agency Partners in COVID-19 Artist Relief (4/14/20)
- Cultural Organizations: Share How COVID-19 is Impacting Your Business (4/8/20)
- Two COVID-19 Relief Programs Approved (4/8/20)
- What We Heard at the Legislative Listening Session (4/8/20)
- COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals (4/1/20)
- COVID-19 Relief Effort for Organizations (4/1/20)
- Early Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on MA Cultural Sector (3/24/20)
- Update to Our Response to COVID-19 (3/16/20)
- Letter to the Field from Anita Walker (3/12/20)
Data collection on the impact of COVID-19
We collected information about the impact COVID-19 is having on the cultural sector. Our goal is to ensure that the sector receives any available mitigation funding or stimulus finding. We will reissue the surveys in the coming weeks as needed.
Updated economic impact figures (as of 4/15/20).
Read the early economic impact findings (as of 3/24/20).
Webinar: COVID-19 Preparedness for the Cultural Sector
Mass Cultural Council hosted this webinar on March 19, 2020 to share the best advice available on how to manage our organizations during this crisis. We heard from the Boston Public Health Commission, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and our Executive Director Anita Walker. This session provides you with strategies your organization can adopt to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus and to manage incidents of racial stigma you may encounter.
- Boston Public Health Commission’s presentation (Powerpoint)
- Nonprofit Finance Fund resource slide (Powerpoint) – and get more resources on their web site
- Resources and Information
- Funding Opportunities
- Webinar recording: Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic (ASL & Captioned), hosted by HowlRound
Guidance for Mass Cultural Council Grant Recipients
If you received a grant from the Mass Cultural Council for a specific project that had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have policies in place to ensure you do not lose your funding. We will work with grantees to help minimize impact on their organization. You can easily and quickly submit a request to modify your approved project or change the date of your approved project.
Extension and/or Modification Request
Grant recipients need the Mass Cultural Council’s written permission to make changes to their projects. However, we recognize that due to the pace at which the COVID-19 situation is evolving grantees may be requesting permission after having already cancelled an event, in this case pre-approval is not required. The Mass Cultural Council will approve reasonable extensions and modifications of funded projects. The modification should not significantly alter the original purpose of the approved application. Project extensions and modifications must be requested in writing by email to the contact person listed below. Requests will be reviewed as they are received and our aim will be to provide a response withing two weeks of receipt.
Impacted Mass Cultural Council Programs:
- Project Grants, contact Sara Glidden
- Festival Grants, contact Lisa Simmons
- STARS and Big Yellow School Bus, contact Diane Daily
- Amplify, contact Käthe Swaback
- Local Cultural Council Program, contact your Local Cultural Council directly for guidance on requesting a project modification or extension.
While the Mass Cultural Council plays no role in reviewing modification and extension requests for Local Cultural Council grants, we have issued guidance to LCCs encouraging them to work with grantees to ensure that the funded programs are able to take place in a new way or at a later date given the extraordinary circumstances prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Please include the following information in your request for modification or extension:
- Grant Program
- Name of approved project/residency/festival/field trip
- Original date of approved activity
- The date you would like to move the approved activity to
- Any modifications you are making to the proposed project/residency/festival/field trip
Mass Cultural Council Office, Meetings, and Events
The Mass Cultural Council is operating remotely and during normal business hours. Per the guidance from the Baker Administration when the State of Emergency was declared, we have also directed our staff to cancel all travel and conference attendance. Agency staff will work to continue with planned meetings by phone or web instead.
Additionally, we will not hold any public gatherings until further notice and any existing meetings will either be rescheduled or held online as a virtual meeting. Check our Agency Dates page for current information about events and webinars.
Cultural Sector Resources
TSNE MissionWorks’ Urgent Information for Nonprofits Applying for the CARES Act
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts are waiving their service fee for artists with crises related to COVID-19.
- Webinars on how nonprofits apply to SBA loan process
Arts: Loans and Other Funding Information
The Georgia Council for the Arts and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits provide nonprofit cultural organizations with how-to guidance for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and applications for the Payroll Protection Program.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Overview Webinar
Nonprofit consulting firm Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) reviews step-by-step tips for nonprofit organizations considering applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans. FMA authored this helpful blog on Managing Nonprofit Finances During the Coronavirus Crisis, published by The Wallace Foundation.
How the CARES Act Supports the Arts Sector
This Americans for the Arts webinar helps arts groups understand the loan and grant opportunities made possible through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. (A member login is required.)
- Prepare Your Organization for the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, hosted by Event Safety Alliance
- Coronavirus Preparedness for Theatres, hosted by Theater Communications Group