To experience this site in your native language, click below.

Para visitar este sitio web en su idioma nativo, haga clic a continuación.


Para experimentar este site em sua língua nativa, clique abaixo.

Mass Cultural Council logo
Express Yourself performance featuring parisols made by Rachel, an Amplify grant recipient. Photo by Mike Dean.
Home / Creative Youth Development / Amplify / Application Process


Amplify grants support projects designed and executed by young people in programs receiving YouthReach or SerHacer funding.

How to Apply

  1. Read the program guidelines below.

  2. Download the sample FY20 Amplify grant application.

  3. Review the slides from our information session.

  4. Create an individual user profile in the Mass Cultural Council online application system.

  5. Complete and submit the FY20 Amplify grant application no later than by December 2, 2019.

Questions? Contact Käthe Swaback, Creative Youth Development Program Officer, at 617-858-2717.

Program Guidelines

Program Description

Amplify supports projects designed and executed by young people who are currently engaged in creative youth development programs (CYD) that receive YouthReach or SerHacer funding. The grants support the creation of work by young people in the arts, sciences, or humanities that demonstrates their capacity to be a visible and audible part of developing safe and thriving communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Mass Cultural Council typically awards 15 grants for Amplify projects annually. This year, each Amplify project may receive up to $1,500, which is a $500 increase from past years.

The goal of Amplify is to provide youth participants in YouthReach and SerHacer with opportunities to:

  • Create and showcase their work in the arts, sciences, or humanities from conception to implementation.
  • Participate in the full grant process, from grant-writing to panels and funding decisions.
  • Elevate their voice to be a visible and audible part of the cultural ecosystem of Massachusetts

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

To apply for an Amplify grant, you must:

  • Be a youth participant (or a group of youth participants) currently enrolled in a program supported by the Mass Cultural Council’s FY19-21 YouthReach or SerHacer grant program.
  • Agree to serve as the youth project leader(s)
  • Obtain the support of the Executive Director of the YouthReach or SerHacer funded organization where you are currently enrolled, AND
  • Complete and submit the application

 Organizational staff may provide the youth project leader(s) guidance and advice.  However, applications completed or led by staff will not be reviewed.

Project Eligibility

An Amplify project must meet each of the following requirements to be eligible for funding.

  • The project is created, led, and implemented by the youth project leader(s), who receive appropriate support and guidance from program staff.
  • Project activities must take place in Massachusetts.
  • Project activities are conducted between January 2, 2020, and June 30, 2020.
  • The project meets the Mass Cultural Council’s definition of arts, humanities, or sciences for the following disciplines:
    • Arts refer to the creation of work in the crafts and performing, visual, media, folk, design, literary, and inter-disciplinary arts. The presentation and preservation of and education about works in these disciplines are also included.
    • Humanities are types of learning that deal with human values and aspirations, human thought and culture, language, and creativity. Examples include, but are not limited to, history, social studies, philosophy, criticism, and literature.
    • Sciences are types of learning that deal with nature, science, and technology in ways that explain how they relate to people’s lives. Some organizations that conduct this type of activity include aquariums, botanical gardens, nature centers, natural history museums, planetariums, and science centers.
  • The proposed project may be connected to the funded SerHacer or YouthReach programming but must be recognizable as a distinct project led by the youth applicant.
  • The project must provide public benefit, by contributing to the community as a whole, rather than only benefiting a single individual or specific group.
    • When feasible, activities funded by an Amplify grant should be available to the general public by exhibit, performance, demonstration, reading, or other means. Please note public benefit for the community does not mean that a large crowd of people need to participate; for example, an artist working with a small group is a valid public benefit.
  • The Youthreach or SerHacer organization serving as the Sponsor Organization for the Amplify project has agreed to:
    • Serve as a Fiscal Sponsor for the project by accepting, accounting, and distributing funds to the project described in the grant application.
    • Hold responsibility for the oversight and completion of the proposed project, if funded.

Funding and Project Duration

Amplify grant award range from $500 to $1,500. If funded, the Amplify project activities may start on or after January 2, 2020 and must be completed no later than June 30, 2020.

Funding received from the Mass Cultural Council for the Amplify grant must be used for costs incurred during the grant period to implement the Amplify project activities. Examples of allowable cost (what the money can be spent on) include:

  • Supplies: Project supplies that typically can be used within a year, such as art supplies, paint, paper, canvas, etc.,
  • Marketing/ Promotional: Cost used to pay for any publicity or advertising such as newspaper ads, radio time, web placement, brochures, banners, etc.
  • Other Expenses like rental fees for audio/ video equipment, travel, or rental cost for event venues.
  • Amplify funding may also be used to compensate project participants, such as artists, youth participants, and part-time staff serving as advisors or mentors.

Funds received from Mass Cultural Council for the Amplify project cannot be used to:

  • Compensate full-time staff who work for the sponsor organization for 30 hours per week or more.
  • Purchase food or beverages.
  • Pay for any portion of capital expenditures. (A capital expenditure is a cost of an item, or group of items, with a life expectancy of more than three years and a total value of more than $500. Examples include the purchase of equipment, such as lighting or sound equipment, new construction, or the renovation of a cultural facility.)
  • Create or provide programming that discriminates or discourages participation based on race, gender, gender identity or expression, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

Review Process and Criteria

Amplify grant applications will be reviewed by a panel of young artists and leaders from across the state. The panelists review each eligible grant application using the following criteria:

  • Why: Community Need (15 points)
  • What: Project Goals (20 points)
  • How: Work Plan (20 points) and Budget (15 points)
  • Public Benefit (20 points)
  • Evaluation (10 points)

Community Need (15 points)

  • Why are you selecting this project? What is the need for this project in the community?

Project Goals (20 points)

  • Does the project narrative clearly articulate the project goals? Are the stated goals consistent with the identified community needs?

Work Plan and Budget (35 points)

  • Does the work plan clearly outline the steps to achieve the identified goals?
  • Is the budget appropriate? Is the description of how the money will be used clear?
  • Will the money be used for costs that are specific to the project and allowable?

Public Benefit (20 points)

  • Does the presentation of the work clearly provide public value?
  • Is the event widely publicized, visible, and well planned?

Evaluation (10 points)

  • Is there is a clear plan for evaluation to measure success and inform future projects?

2020 Grant Timeline

Information Session Webinar: October 23, 2019 at 4pm

Application Deadline: December 2, 2019

Grant Awards Announced: December 2019

Projects May Begin: January 2, 2020

Projects Completed by: June 30, 2020

Final Report Due: Two weeks after the completion of the Project and no later than July 15, 2020.

Application Instructions

The Amplify grant application must be completed and submitted by the youth project leader(s) by the application due date. The grant application has four sections.

  1. Intent to Apply form is the first section of the online application. Please provide basic information about the primary youth project leader who is applying for the grant and the SerHacer/ YouthReach – funded organization. Applicants also supply information to verify that the proposed project meets the requirements.

The intent to apply must be printed as a PDF. You do not need approval from the Mass Cultural Council after submitting the Intent to Apply to continue with the full application.

  1. Amplify Project Summary: All questions in this section require a written-word response in the space provided on the online application form. The answers cannot go over the character limit (which) includes punctuation and spaces.
  2. Amplify Narrative Questions: Answers to the narrative questions can be submitted in the following three formats: written-word, audio, or video. Regardless of the media format, all applications will be reviewed using the same criteria (described above).
    • Written-word responses will be accepted in the Amplify grant application form. The answers are subject to character limits for each question.
    • Audio or video responses can also be submitted. The total run time for all answers cannot exceed 10 minutes. Audio and video responses will be accepted as:
      • A URL that links directly to the audio or video content to view online via a site like YouTube, SoundCloud, Flickr, Dropbox, or Google using a shared link OR
      • Audio (MP3, WAV, AIF, or WMA) or video (MP4, MOV, MPG, MPEG, MXF, or WMV using the Work Sample section of the online grant application. The maximum storage for all files is 500MB.
  1. Amplify Project Budget: Information about the cost of the project (Project Expenses) and how the project will be paid for (Project Income) must be provided.

Please Note: Mass Cultural Council accepts up to two Amplify applications from each program that currently receives YouthReach or SerHacer funding. All applications must include the support of the Executive Director of the YouthReach or SerHacer funded organization. Amplify applications completed or led by staff will not be reviewed.

Back to Top