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Carlisle Cultural Council

The Carlisle Cultural Council is a volunteer group of Carlisle residents interested in the arts and humanities who support local cultural initiatives and vote on local grant applications. Our goal is to serve our community by supporting and producing both participatory and audience-based cultural and arts activities which benefit local residents.

To better understand the cultural needs of our community, the Council sponsors a town-wide survey at least every 3 years. In May/June 2023, 90 people completed our online survey. Here are some highlights:
—Respondent Profile:
Nearly 88% have lived in town for 3+ years; 51% for 20+ years; about a third have children at home; About 18% did not attend cultural events in Carlisle in the past year; about 37% stated they attended 4 or more cultural events in Carlisle in the past year

—Programming reach:
Strong interest (48- 78%) in reaching every age group, except preschool. Programs that reach adults and seniors were supported by greater than 72% of responses

—Event types with the most interest (multiple responses allowed):
Music concerts (80%); Community-wide gatherings/festivals (77%); Nature (60%); Visual arts (60%); Theater (57%). A specific question about a First Night event was supported by only 22% of respondents.

—Publicity: Residents learn about cultural events primarily from the Carlisle Mosquito (92%), followed by word of mouth (>50%), City In The Woods and the Gleason Library newsletter (both approx. 46%)

—Music preference (multiple responses allowed):
The most popular category was Folk (68%), followed by Classical (66%), Rock/R&B/Blues (52%), Jazz (47%)

—Awareness of Cultural Council grants:
56% knew that organizations can apply for grants from the Carlisle Cultural Council


Mark Levitan, Chair

66 Westford Street
Carlisle, MA 01741-1582

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Application Information

FY25 Allocation


FY25 Local Priorities

The volunteer members of the Carlisle Cultural Council are committed to promoting the arts, music, history, culture and the humanities in Carlisle. We serve our community by supporting and producing both participatory and audience-based cultural and arts activities which benefit local residents. We know that lists of requirements can seem daunting. Our goal is to encourage applications for a variety of experiences. We are here to help should you have any questions. What we mean by culture: music, dance, theater, fine art, pop art, graphic arts, sculpture, photography, multimedia, fiber arts, ethnic customs, culinary arts, humanities, literature, poetry, nature, gardening, woodworking, ceramics, storytelling, history, science, language and more…

Carlisle residents and organizations:
Preference will be given to Carlisle organizations and applicants. Non-Carlisle residents will be considered for programs directly benefiting Carlisle residents. All applications should demonstrate a strong connection and benefit to the Carlisle community.

Non-resident individuals and organizations:
1. If your program occurs in Carlisle, you must have a predetermined local sponsor and a letter from the sponsor with your application. The letter should specify the type and level of support that the sponsor will provide. The application must identify the venue as either in-person or virtual (or both). Virtual programs must be managed by the sponsor.
2. If your program does not occur in Carlisle, you must have a supporting letter from at least one resident that explains how your program will benefit Carlisle residents.

All applicants – preference will be given to:
1. Projects which encourage community-wide participation
2. Projects which encourage multi-generational engagement
3. Projects celebrating cultural diversity and inclusivity
4. First time funding of projects

FY25 Local Guidelines

All applications must specify a committed date and venue for in-person or remote events. Preference may be given to events that take place in Carlisle or venues that typically draw in a large percentage of Carlisle residents.

For in-person and online events, accessibility, including physical and digital access (e.g. captions) should be thought of when planning project location and/or delivery. For the 2023-20234 grant cycle, applicants should indicate how they will comply with COVID-19 safety protocols for in-person events, and indicate if they have flexibility to deliver projects virtually should adjustments be needed due to Massachusetts health safety recommendations.

Please tell us as much as possible about your project’s intended audience and/or participants, including the estimated number of Carlisle residents, age group recommendations, areas of interest, and appeal to underserved audiences.

Applicants should indicate when they are co-sponsored by another organization and the level of commitment from the co-sponsor. If applying to other LCCs, be sure to include all possible LCC grant funds in your budget. Your event should be able to proceed with only partial funding from the Carlisle Cultural Council.

Applications must be made online via the Mass. Cultural Council SmartSimple system. Applications provide for attachments that will help us understand how your program fits with the Council’s priorities. Correspondence, including any clarifications and notifications of awards will be conducted via email. Please be sure the email address on the application is one which will be used throughout the process.

Grants typically range up to $500.

Post-award Requirements
Upon award, all grantees will be asked to include specific language regarding ADA accessibility on promotional materials, including directions to accessible entrances.

Approved grantees must advertise or announce their program(s) to the Carlisle community via local media, including digital and physical. We can provide guidance about local communication vehicles. The Carlisle Cultural Council logo must be used in promotional materials as approved in advance; additional instructions are included in grant award letters.

All grantees will be required to send a press release or thank you letter to the Carlisle Mosquito, crediting the Carlisle Cultural Council and the Mass Cultural Council.

Grants are made on a reimbursement basis. Instructions are included in award communications.

We can provide assistance in support of grant applications, especially to anyone requiring accommodation for a disability.

We appreciate your interest!

How Grant Recipients Are Paid

Reimbursement Grants

FY24 Funding List

Name Project Title Amount
Carlisle Community Chorus Carlisle Community Chorus Community Concerts $400
Carlisle Public Schools Supporting Culturally Responsive Teaching at Carlisle Public Schools $500
Concord Art Association, Inc. 54th Annual Concord-Carlisle High School Exhibition 2024 $400
Discovery Museum, Inc. Open Door Connections $200
Friends of Center Park, Inc. What and How to plant bulbs in lawns and flower beds that will not get eaten by varmits $400
Groton Hill Music, Inc. Bach's Lunch Concert Series $200
Open Door Theatre of Acton, Inc. The Wizard of Oz $300
The Concord Chorus, Inc. Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms Concerts $200
The Concord Orchestra, Inc. Love Lingers $300
The Delvena Theatre Company Meet Julia Child! $500
Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, Inc. Artistic Movement: Moving to Heal $300

Mass Cultural Council publishes updates daily. Last update was made on July 17, 2024 at 05:07 AM UTC
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