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Worcester Arts Council

The mission of the Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for Worcester residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our city.

WAC accepts grant applications on an annual basis between September 1st and October 15th. Applicants are notified of the Council’s funding decisions in January of the following year. Grants are awarded to support arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, visual artists, performing artists, science educators, historians and other humanists, as well as community, civic groups, social service organizations, schools, neighborhood centers, and youth, senior and family associations.


Nikki Erskine

455 Main Street Room 409
Worcester, MA 01608-1821

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FY22 Allocation


FY22 Local Priorities

Each year, WAC seeks community input though a Funding Priorities Survey. The responses inform WAC on the types of projects that are most important to the people of Worcester. WAC uses this feedback to determine its Funding Priorities for its annual grant cycle. Projects and programs that align with the Funding Priorities are given preference in the Council’s review of applications.

Based on over 2,000 survey responses, WAC’s Funding Priorities for FY22 are:

• Project Categories | Projects that focus on Public Art, Arts Education & Instruction, and Children’s Programs.

• Cultural Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion | Projects that elevate the voices and experiences of historically marginalized groups to highlight the current and historical diversity of Worcester. Projects should create opportunities for artists and community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQIA+, refugee, immigrant, or person living with a disability.

• Locations | Projects that take place in or benefit areas of Worcester that are historically underserved.

FY22 Local Guidelines

WAC’s grant guidelines may differ from other Local Cultural Council’s guidelines. For detailed requirements and instructions, applicants must review the Worcester Arts Council’s FY22 Grant Guidelines before applying.

WAC project grant applications are only accepted through the MCC-hosted application (SmartSimple).

WAC fellowship grant applications are only accepted through Airtable.

For the first time, in FY22 WAC will use direct granting for both its project and fellowship grants. This means that all grants issued by WAC for FY22 will be paid up front. Detailed instructions for initiating direct payments will be provided to FY22 grantees in January 2022.

How Grant Recipients Are Paid

Direct Grants

FY22 Funding List

Name Project Title Amount
Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts 18th Annual Asian Festival; 16th Annual Moon Festival $4,500
Music Worcester, Inc. Dancing towards the future: Music Worcester presents Ballet Hispanico $3,750
Christopher G King Upcycling Textile Scrap into Rope and Fabric $3,596
Edward Street Child Services, Inc. Play On - Explorations and Documentation of Play Through the Lens of the Child $3,750
Worcester Center for Performing Arts, Inc. The WYSH (Worcester Youth Speak Honestly) Project $5,000
ArtsWorcester, Inc. 100 Views of Worcester $4,500
Indian Lake Community Association, Inc. Block Party at The Teaching Garden $3,750
Worcester Caribbean American Carnival Association, Inc. Worcester Caribbean American Carnival $3,750
Joy of Music Program, Inc. World Drumming Connections $3,536
Black Excellence Academy Self, Family, Community $3,330
Worcester Chamber Music Society, Inc. Free Family Concert $2,625
The Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, Inc. Music is the Key Partnership: a music and mentoring pilot project $5,000
Building Futures, Inc. BFI Kids Club Plus Summer Music Program $3,000
Open Door Arts! Connecting and Creating Through the Arts $4,500
Worcester Youth Orchestras, Inc. Spring Community Concert $3,750
Be Studios Now 2021-2022 Photography Exhibition Series: Abstract & UpClose $2,250
Worcester Natural History Society Art, Nature, and Play Days 2022 $1,958
Worcester County Light Opera Club Fun Home $4,500
Artreach Studio, Inc. Worcester Youth Press Project $3,750
Pakachoag Music School of Greater Worcester, Inc. Making Music with Elm Park After-School $5,000
Render Creative, Inc. Community Garden Mural $3,800
Andrew Slowaski Scoop Drip Sneaker Customization Work Shop $3,750
Worcester County Mechanics Association Founders' Day $1,875
Black Heritage Juneteenth Committee Juneteenth Festival $3,600
Worcester Art Museum Artist Panel Discussion for the Exhibition “Us Them We | Race Ethnicity Identity” $4,500
Cyrus Alexander 3rd Annual Beats & Barbecue Community Festival $3,750
Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, Inc. An Evening Celebrating Great Latin-American Musical Influences $5,000
Summer Gospel Fest 7th Annual Summer Gospel Fest $2,700
Main South Community Development Corporation Main South Community Mural Project $5,000
Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District, Inc. Downtown Worcester Vacant Storefront Activation $5,000
Creative Hub Worcester, Inc. Creative Hub Mobile Art Van 2022 $5,000
Guardians of Traditions, Inc. Dominican carnival, a colorful tale of satire and world heritage $3,750
Piya Samant The Saffron Notes Project, Saffron Notes’, a collection of oils featuring beauty and solitude $3,645
WICN Public Radio, Inc. Youth Harmony Recording $2,907
Christopher Bettencourt/ Tom Grady Congress Alley $3,750
Studio Theatre Worcester, Inc. STW's production of Next to Normal $3,750
Push Worcester DIY Paint n Skate Youth Program $3,500
Mihoko Wakabayashi Seed to Fashion $3,260
Girls Incorporated of Worcester Theater Workshop $2,250
Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates, Inc. Creative Movement for Individuals with Disabilities $5,000
Anna MacInnis Too Darn Hot: 150+ Years of Burlesque History $525
Flamenco Worcester Flamenco Worcester 10 Year Anniversary Celebration $3,750
Preservation Worcester, Inc. "By the Canal" Historic Marker and Self-Guided Tour Signs in Pickett Park $3,750
Worcester Historical Museum PRETTY POWERFUL Women’s History Month Fashion Programs: The Politics of Hair; Fast Fashion; and High School Essay Contest $4,200
Worcester Hip Hop Congress, Inc. The Elements: Worcester Hip Hop Through the Ages $4,491
Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Inc. Walking Tour of Worcester's Peace History $2,628
Patricia Kirkpatrick Flower Crown Farm Community Event Series $1,593
African Community Education Program ACE & Crocodile River Music Drumming $4,800
Ferdinand Nazario Fire Fighter Comic Book Mural $3,750
Living In Freedom Together, (LIFT) Inc. Clothing & Accessories Not For Sale: An Exhibit Exposing the Realities of the Sex Trade $5,000
George A. Annan, Jr. Fellowship $2,000
Jerry Kazarian Fellowship $2,000
John Albert Powers Fellowship $2,000
Khalil Guzman-Jerry Fellowship $2,000
Sharinna S. Travieso Fellowship $2,000
Emmanuel Carboo Fellowship $5,000
Richard Cummings Fellowship $5,000

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Mass Cultural Council publishes any updates to this page's information twice a day. Last update was made on June 29, 2022 at 07:15 PM UTC
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