Lowell Cultural Council
The Lowell Cultural Council’s (LCC) mission is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences in order to improve the quality of life for all Lowell residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of this community through the re-granting of public monies awarded to the LCC by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). The Lowell Cultural Council is an agent of the Massachusetts Cultural Council which receives funding from the Massachusetts Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Distributions are based on a local aid formula devised by the state and are not determined by the individual municipality.
Erin Duffey, Administrator
375 Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852-5909
FY24 Local Priorities
Lowell Cultural Council Priorities
Priorities for the 2024 year are based on the responses from a city-wide survey. Based on those results, the LCC will give extra consideration to grants with a focus on:
– DIY Program – programming that is hands-on and teaches participants how to do something.
– Children’s and Youth Programming
– Music and musical performances.
This does not preclude grants being awarded to individuals and organizations applying from all other Arts & Culture disciplines, and we welcome creativity and diversity.
FY24 Local Guidelines
Lowell Cultural Council Guidelines for 2024
Because the application process is competitive, it is imperative that applicants familiarize themselves with Council guidelines. Applicants must ensure that they follow the guidelines in the application process and then, if the application is successful, follow the guidelines for publicity and reimbursement.
Applications will be accepted for projects taking place between January 1 and December 31, 2024.
Deadline for receipt of online applications is 11:59pm, Monday, October 17th. Early submission is strongly recommended.
Lowell Cultural Council restrictions:
The Lowell Cultural Council will accept no more than two applications per lead individual, lead organization, or under the umbrella of the same program serving the same or overlapping audience. For further clarification, please attend one of the online grant workshops. We do not fund semester long residencies in the Lowell Public Schools. Please apply to the Mass Cultural Council Stars Residencies which are grants to schools to fund this type of project.
– Available funding and high demand for support may result in an award smaller than funds requested. Indicate on the application how this may affect your project. In 2023, LCC awarded $128,000 to 32 project grants ranging in size from $500 to $10,000 to individuals and organizations seeking to enrich Lowell with arts, cultural and social science programming.
– Incomplete Requirements: Grant recipients who fail to complete grant requirements are ineligible to apply for a new grant for two years. This includes:
– Project changes scope and applies for reimbursement without Council approval,
– Failure to credit the Council with appropriate and approved branding images,
– Failure to submit receipts for reimbursement by December 31, 2024
LCC reserves the right to restrict funding of any item(s) and or grantees regardless of cost that do not provide a significant public benefit.
Electronic applications will be available online at https://massculturalcouncil.org/ on September 1, 2023 .
For assistance with creating an application a video walk through from MCC is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD7mPcAroKI
For more information on the grant application process, visit https://massculturalcouncil.org/communities/local-cultural-council-program/application-process
The Lowell Cultural Council requires that the following documentation MUST accompany the application:
1. Resumes of all individuals engaged in leadership roles in the project.
2. Written letters of support from partner organizations/individuals.
3. Written letter from venues confirming participation in/acceptance of the project if necessary.
4. Public art projects must have written permission from owners of property and a Public Art Permit authorized by the City of Lowell. If Public Art projects are to take place in Historic Districts and/or Lowell National Historical Park, letters of support from the Historic Board and/or Lowell National Historical Park must accompany the application. If the Public Art project is a permanent installation, a maintenance plan must accompany the application. If the Public Art project is a temporary installation, an installation and removal plan must accompany the application. City of Lowell Public Art Permit application can be found at: https://www.likelowell.com/public-art
5. All applications that anticipate gatherings of over 50 people or those that will be held outdoors are strongly encouraged to provide an alternative plan and/or venue should pandemic restrictions or weather require modification of the original project.
6. As needed or applicable, projects are required to provide assistive support for the deaf, hard of hearing or blind in addition to meeting ADA requirements for those with physical disabilities. This includes noting the venues being used are ADA accessible. Budgets must include a line item for assistive support. Please note that the Lowell Cultural Council maintains a separate fund for assistive support and will pay providers directly.
Please note that the online application allows a maximum of three pages of PDF attachments for supplemental materials. Additional pages of supplemental materials should be sent as an attachment to the Council via the Council’s Gmail account (email@example.com).
There are five major areas considered by council members in evaluating each grant application:
1) quality of project,
2) community benefit,
3) budget and funding,
4) planning, and
Each area has a rating scale of one to five for a total of 25 points. The criteria used to evaluate these areas and determine a grant’s success include:
1. Quality of Project – Is it creative, unique? Does it have a specific focus and is that focus well defined? Is it engaging? Is it collaborative? Will the project enhance the cultural life of the city? Where will the project take place? Are dates and times included?
2. Community Benefit – How well does the project serve the residents of Lowell? What is the audience to be served? Does the project reflect priorities developed from the community survey? Is the target audience an underserved population?
3. Budget and Funding Support – Does the budget balance? Is the budget appropriate and clear? Are there other sources of funding or is LCC the sole source of funding? If the project is only partially funded, can it be modified and completed successfully? Does the budget include a line item for assistive support for the deaf, hard of hearing, blind or physically disabled? What provisions have been made for marketing to reach the intended audience? (Per Mass Cultural Council: No food or beverage – including water and ice – can be funded by the Cultural Council)
4. Planning – Are there well-defined goals / targets/ benchmarks and has the applicant made those clear? Has the applicant provided enough detail including accessibility, proposed venue, rain date plans, intended dates, and desired results? Is there a letter of support from the venue and/or from outside presenters being brought in by the applicant?
5. Leadership – Does the leadership / staff have experience? Do personnel qualifications match the project’s needs? Who is involved in the planning process for the project? Are specific individuals/organizations and their contributions listed? Is there evidence of past success in executing a similar project?
Timeline for Lowell Cultural Council Grant Cycle
MCC online application goes live September 1, 2023.
Online applications are due no later than 11:59pm on October 17, 2023.
Applicant Review Procedure
Council members review each grant application. Members then submit questions they have regarding your grant to the Chair. Applicants will receive an email from the Cultural Council by Wednesday, October 25, 2023 and if there are questions on the applications, responses must be submitted via email by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, November 1st.
Council members are not experts in every field and the questions allow members to fill in their knowledge gaps. While there is no standard set of questions, all questions are based on the application. Questions tend to fall into one of the following categories:
– Asking for information that was missing in the application.
– Clarification about the project description
– Details about the planning process
– Explanation of community benefit
– Strategies for marketing and promotion
– Qualifications of project leaders
– Clarification of budget details
Council members will attempt to keep their questions direct and succinct. We ask you to do the same in your responses. Responding to these questions is strictly voluntary but is strongly recommended.
The Voting Meetings
Once the Council members have had an opportunity to review all applications and responses to questions (if any), they will tentatively score each application.
Denials and Approvals
– Applicants who are not approved for funding will have 15 days from the date of notification to request reconsideration. Please note, reconsideration can be requested if, and only if, it is believed that the Council did not follow published state and local guidelines in the grant making process.
– Applications that do not receive grant funding in this cycle will receive notification before the end of the calendar year.
– Once the reconsideration period has passed, and the Lowell Cultural Council has received the allocation for 2024, the Council will send out approval letters to successful applicants.
– The Council will not be sending out approvals before January 5, 2024.
How Grant Recipients Are Paid
FY23 Funding List
|Angkor Dance Troupe, Inc.
||Angkor Dance Troupe presents Yike
||City of Lowell
||Spring Clean Up Concert Series
||City of Lowell
||Senior Artists Learning Together
||Corporation for the Celebration of Jack Kerouac in Lowell
||Annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival
||Community Idea Summit 2023
||The Lowell Photo Archive Phase 2
||Image Theatre, Inc.
||Lost Cellphone Weekend
||Ismatul Oliva, Susana
||Salsa in the Park
||Face to Face
||Latinx Community Center for Empowerment, Inc.
||Lowell Hispanic and Latinx Festival
||Loading Dock Arts, Inc.
||Loading Dock Arts Workshops and Speaker Series
||Lowell Art Association
||"Whistler's Mother Reborn"
||Lowell Art Association
||Art in Gardening and Landscaping for Seniors
||Lowell Chamber Orchestra
||Lowell Chamber Orchestra: FY23-24 Season
||Lowell Film Collaborative
||Lowell Book to Film, Volume I
||Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race
||Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race
||Lowell Makes, Inc.
||2023 Mill City Skill Share
||Merrimack Repertory Theatre
||MRT Educational Offerings for 2023
||Dance MOVES for PD
||Dance MOVES for EveryBODY
||New England Film Orchestra, Inc.
||Lowell Summer Music series
||Untitled Open Mic 2023
||Points of Light Lantern Celebration
||Points of Light Lantern Festival
||Pollard Memorial Library
||Children's Songs and Singing Games Family Concert
||The Town and The City Festival
||The Lowell Festival Foundation
||Lowell Folk Festival - Programming Assistance
||The Lowell Festival Foundation
||Lowell Summer Music Series Free Fun For Kids
||The Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra, Ltd.
||Mega Grant for 5 Concerts in 2023
Review Complete LCC Program Guidelines