Bellingham Cultural Council
The goal of the Bellingham Cultural Council is to provide Bellingham residents including their schoolchildren to the arts, sciences, humanities, culture and heritage in the most positive manner available. We do this by exposing children, adults and seniors to different types of programs that enhance their expertise and knowledge. This is accomplished through performances, exhibits, workshops, lectures, and creative activities held within local Bellingham Community schools, public buildings, park like settings or taking participants to another local venue. We seek to be a contributing source of funding to local artists for a balance of Arts, Humanities, and cultural programs that helps us achieve the needs and desires of the Bellingham Community. As wonderful and meaningful as LCC programs conducted outside of the Bellingham community may be, we are unable to participate in those programs. We reserve the right to balance those LCC applications to the arts AND Humanities AND Science programs that best serve the Bellingham Community. Due to the COVID-19 experience and the advancement in technologies, we encourage the use of broadcast arts, humanities, and cultural programs provided that these projects are specific to benefitting the Bellingham residents and local artists. Applicants will need to provide details on how they are ensuring these videos are broadcast to the Bellingham community and specific promotional effort that will be undertaken to inform Bellingham residents of such broadcasts.
10 Mechanic Street
Bellingham, MA 02019-1698
FY24 Local Priorities
Priorities For Granting Awards
BCC grants reimbursed awards for arts, culture, and science. The guidelines for these awards and payments thereof are as stated out in the Massachusetts MCC general guidelines for LCC awards.
BCC Priorities within these guidelines are:
1. LOCAL Community access to and benefit for residents of Bellingham and towns adjoining Bellingham.
2. LOCAL Artists
3. Balance of Arts, Humanities and Science Grants
4. Based upon Bellingham Research
5. Zoom, Broadcast programs should be specifically targeted at our local community featuring Local artists and providing local benefits.
6. Very little interest in funding grants for outside the neighborhood.
BCC Grant Priority Statement
The goal of the Bellingham Cultural Council is to provide Bellingham residents including their schoolchildren to the arts, sciences, humanities, culture and heritage in the most positive manner available. We do this by exposing children, adults and seniors to different types of programs that enhance their expertise and knowledge. This is accomplished through performances, exhibits, workshops, lectures, and creative activities held within the local Bellingham Community schools, public buildings, park like settings or taking participants to another local venue. We seek to be a contributing source of funding to local artists for a balance of Arts, Humanities, and cultural programs that helps us achieve the needs and desires of the Bellingham Community. As wonderful and meaningful as LCC programs conducted outside of the Bellingham community are, we are unable to participate in all those programs. We reserve the right to balance those LCC applications to the arts AND Humanities AND Science programs that best serve the Bellingham Community. Since the COVID-19 experience and the advancement in technologies, we encourage the use of broadcast arts, humanities, and cultural programs provided that these projects are specific to benefitting the Bellingham residents and with local artists. Applicants will need to provide details on how they are ensuring any proposed videos use local artists, are broadcast to the Bellingham community and have specific promotional programs that will be undertaken to inform Bellingham residents of such broadcasts.
FY24 Local Guidelines
BCC Grant Guidelines
a. BCC funds may only be used to support the creative, cultural and science sector of the Bellingham local community through programs and events.
b. The MCC Guidelines takes precedence over the BCC Guidelines.
a. How does Mass Cultural Council define the arts, humanities, and sciences?
i. Arts refer to the creation of work in the crafts and performing, visual, media, folk, design, literary, and inter-disciplinary arts. They also include the presentation, preservation of, and education about works in these disciplines.
ii. 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.
iii. Science is limited to its cultural, interpretive, and educational expression and refers to 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.
b. Refer to the MCC 2024 Grant Guidelines for LCCs for further details.
3. Types Of Grants Awarded
a. BCC awards Reimbursement Grants Only
4. Program Eligibility
a. Any MA resident artist, culturalists or scientist may apply for a MCC/BCC grant.
i. Individuals, which include sole proprietors, show a public benefit for the proposed project.
ii. Individual council members of BCC may apply for funding from their own Local Cultural Council but must observe all conflict-of-interest laws and regulations in the granting process.
iii. Organizations incorporated as nonprofits with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
iv. A group of individuals coming together with a common purpose (e.g., local community band, theater group) that do not have nonprofit status.
v. For-profit organizations incorporated with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. This includes corporations, partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Applicants must show that a public benefit results from the project for which they are applying.
vi. Tribal, federal, state, and municipal government organizations. This includes any governmental entity such as public schools, libraries, other municipal agencies, and the BCC itself.
b. To submit an application for the Local Community Cultural Grant, go on-line to the Massachusetts state website (www.mass.gosmart.org) between September 1, 2023 and October 17, 2023
c. Applicants may apply for reimbursement grants for programs that take place during an 18-month window of eligibility from July 1, preceding the application deadline in October, through to 12 months after receiving your grant award approval.
d. In general, Awards letters are sent out by February 1 of each year.
e. For FY’ 2024 this means July 1, 2023, through February 1, 2025
f. You must complete AND request reimbursement prior to February 1, 2025
g. This means that applicants may apply for projects that have already happened or which happen prior to grant announcements of the current fiscal year cycle, with the knowledge that funding is not guaranteed.
h. such as public schools, libraries, other municipal agencies, and the BCC itself.
a. All grant recipients are required to acknowledge the financial support of the BCC which approved their grant and the Mass Cultural Council in all published materials and announcements about their approved project.
6. Applicant Interviews
a. Mass Cultural Council discourages BCC from holding interviews for grant applicants. unless it is necessary to reach a granting decision. If councils find it useful to conduct applicant interviews as part of the grant review process, they must take extra precautions to ensure that the interview process is consistent, fair, and equitable.
i. Interviews must not be required of all applicants.
ii. BCC cannot disapprove an application for the sole reason that the applicant was unable to attend an interview.
7. Grant Conditions
a. BCCs may place conditions on any approved application.
i. These include, but are not limited to conduct, timing, location, etc.
b. Conditions may also require submission of specific documentation related to receipt of grant funds or with the applicant’s final reports after a program or event has occurred.
c. BCCs must communicate any conditions to the applicant in writing (email or hard copy) and note such conditions for the application in the BCC minutes for that meeting.
d. If the applicant does not agree to conditions imposed by BCC, they can choose not to accept the grant.
8. Requesting Reimbursement Grant Payments
1. BCC should meet with the Bellingham Finance Department early each granting cycle to verify that funds can be released within four weeks of receiving a payment request from BCC.
2. A reimbursement grant from MCC/BCC is one whereby the grantee is reimbursed after their event has completed. You must send to BCC your reimbursement request within two (2) weeks of the completion of your event or project.
3. Grantees should be advised that grant payments can be considered taxable income depending on a variety of factors. All recipients of grant payments will be required to complete a W-9. Recipients should discuss the impact of any grant payment on their tax filings with a tax professional. Individuals who are the recipient of income-based benefits should not receive payment without first contacting the agency or agencies providing the benefits as one-time payments can disrupt benefits.
4. To request payment for reimbursements from BCC, the recipient must complete and submit to BCC either by email (to the BCC chairman: firstname.lastname@example.org) or standard mail to BCC, Bellingham Town Hall, 10 Mechanic St., Bellingham, MA 02019; the following:
a. YOU MUST WRITE YOUR GRANT ID ON ALL YOU SEND US
b. A completed and signed 2024 MCC Payment Request Form
c. Completed and signed W-9
d. A copy of the applicant’s invoice
e. Copy of any BCC Conditional Agreement at time of approval
f. Copy of the BCC Award Letter originally sent to applicatant.
g. If any third-parties are to be paid directly by BCC per the grant award agreement, than an invoice and a W-9 is required from each such third party.
h. Documentation of ‘proof’ of the occurrence of said event.
i. Copies of promotional material showing that sponsorship was publicized in part or totally by BCC and MCC
j. Statement of Non-discrimination.
5. Progress payments to a grantee may be made at the discretion of the BCC during the application award negotiations. Payments should always be proportional to the percentage of the project that has been completed. Progress payments need to be requested at the time of submitting grant applications and should be agreed upon by BCC prior to approval of the grant.
6. All grant recipients have one year from the date of their approval notification to request reimbursement. Late requests, made outside the valid reimbursement period, risk loss of funds as BCCs is required to regrant unspent funds each year. If the funds have not already been regranted, it is up to BCC’s discretion whether or not to honor a grantees’ late reimbursement request.
7. Extension Requests
a. Grant recipients have one year from the date of their approval notification to request payment. Grant recipients will need the BCC’s written permission (email or hard copy) to make changes to their projects.
b. At their sole discretion, BCCs can approve reasonable extensions and modifications for projects and or events. The modification should not significantly alter the original purpose of the approved application.
c. Project extensions and modifications must be requested in writing and responded to in the same manner.
d. To review an extension or other modification to an approved grant, a subcommittee of a minimum of two members can review and approve the request.
e. The joint decision should be documented and later reported to the full council at the next meeting.
f. If the subcommittee is unsure whether to approve the request the BCC must convene a quorum of members and vote. The BCC must inform the applicant of their decision in writing and ensure that the vote is reflected in the BCC meeting minutes.
8. Payments may be made either directly to the applicant or to third party vendors (not encouraged) who have provided goods, materials, or services to the applicant.
9. BCCs should process grant requests for payment as they arrive to ensure timely payment to grantees. The guideline is to take no longer than four weeks to forward approved reimbursement requests from BCC to the Bellingham Finance Department. The town has 30 days to make such payments according to state MCC guidelines.
10. Upon receipt of a request for payment, A BCC sub-committee of a minimum of two council members must ensure all documentation has been received and completed correctly.
11. Both members can sign the form to indicate approval, or one member can sign the form on behalf of both. Because the payment is made after the project is completed, a final report is not required of grantees unless BCC adopts guidelines specifying this requirement.
12. If only one BCC member signs the form, it is important that the joint decision is documented and later reported to the full council at the next meeting. This should be noted in the minutes.
13. All required forms and supporting documentation provided by payment requestor to BCC for payment approval are forwarded to Bellingham Finance Department, who will manage and obtain authorization for the release of funds to the approved requesting payee.
14. MCC Guidelines stipulate that BCC will not keep a copy of any W-9. All must be forwarded to Bellingham Finance department with payment request
15. If the BCC is not satisfied that a project or event was completed as promised or not completed at all, the council must contact the grantee with their concerns prior to approving payment and allow the grantee the opportunity to respond. Two council members and the grantee may work out a solution, which should be finalized in writing (email or hard copy). If a compromise cannot be reached, the council must convene a quorum of BCC members to vote on the grant payment request. The BCC council may vote for full, partial, or no payment. Results should be reflected in the BCC meeting minutes, and the grantee should be given final notification in writing of the outcome of the vote.
a. If the grantee is not responsive, the council should institute the penalties as outlined in the Grant Agreement Form.
b. Any grant payment previously made according to the Grant Agreement Form must be repaid to Bellingham in accordance with the BCC vote as noted above.
c. Should BCC Grantees not repay the grant funds to the BCC, this will jeopardize any future funding for them.
How Grant Recipients Are Paid
FY23 Funding List
||Combating Hate and Prejudice
||Attleboro Community Theatre, Inc.
||Peter and the Starcatcher - Rights and Royalties
||Bates III, Davis R.
||Raising Our Voices: Summer Reading Performance
||Romance Of the Tall Ships Art Workshop
||Americana and Original works for horn
||Driscoll, Kevin H.
||Bellingham Senior Center Musical Ventriloquist Comedy
||Greater Milford Community Chorus
||GMCC Spring 2023 - 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Concert Celebration
||The “Me” Decade - A Cultural Review of the 1970s Through Music
||SheGrooves; Using Our Voices for Positive Change
||Quarterly Presentations for Genealogical & Historical Research
||2023 LiveARTS Concert Series
||Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar
||Politics, Power & Principles: First Female CabinetvSecretary
||Silver Moon Gypsies
||"The Fifties - The Golden Age of Music”
||Community Concert with Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards
||Special Needs Advocacy Network, Inc.
||Stall Brook Elementary School
||Learn How To Play the Ukulele
||Live Music Making History Live
||Johnny Cash Songs and Stories
||Elijah T. Grasshopper's Rainbow Dance Party!
Review Complete LCC Program Guidelines