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Proxy VII/Yemul Po (silk) by Jieun Shin.

AAPI Arts & Culture COVID-19 Recovery Program

Application Process

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Arts & Culture COVID-19 Recovery Program is a one-year program, established and funded through a legislative earmark in the FY22 state budget. It is intended to uplift and provide financial assistance to AAPI arts and culture organizations that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This site uses Google Translate to offer online translation. Click the “translate” button at the top right of the screen and select the preferred language.

You can also request application materials be translated offline. These will take 5-10 business days to complete upon request.


您也可以要求離線翻譯申請材料。根據要求,這些將需要 5-10 個工作日才能完成。
Trang web này sử dụng Google Dịch để cung cấp bản dịch trực tuyến. 
Nhấp vào nút "dịch" ở trên cùng bên phải của màn hình và chọn ngôn ngữ ưa thích.

Bạn cũng có thể yêu cầu dịch tài liệu ứng dụng ngoại tuyến. 
Quá trình này sẽ mất 5-10 ngày làm việc để hoàn thành theo yêu cầu.

How to Apply

  1. Read the program guidelines below and FAQs. Preview the questions on the application.


  2. Watch a recorded information session in English or in Cantonese (廣東話), download the slide deck, and/or register for optional office hours.


  3. Learn more about requesting an accommodation for accessibility or requesting translation services.


  4. Register (or check to see if you already have a user profile) for the new grants management system. See details under “New Grants Management System” below.


  5. Complete and submit the online application by March 23, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET).


Questions? Contact Jay Wong, Program Coordinator.


FY22 Program Guidelines

Program Description

The FY22 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) COVID Recovery Program was established through a legislative earmark sponsored by the Members of the House Asian Caucus, funded in the Mass Cultural Council’s line-item of the annual state operating budget (Line Item 0640-0300 of Chapter 24 of the Acts of 2021). The goal of the program is to provide pandemic recovery funds to entities that focus on one or more Asian ethnicity and conduct cultural events, cultural education, or cultural performances, with these funds being prioritized to entities who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass Cultural Council expects to award a total of $970,000 in grant funds to this purpose. The number and size of grants will be determined as part of the application review.

Mass Cultural Council’s Racial Equity Statement

Mass Cultural Council works to invest financial, programmatic, and informational resources equitably. It also provides leadership to repair, heal, and build toward a cultural sector where racial diversity flourishes, decolonization of art and the cultural sector is achieved, and inclusion and belonging is the norm. Massachusetts’ communities, residents, and visitors benefit from robust diversity in the cultural sector, without which the Commonwealth cannot continue to thrive.

A vision of the world that honors a breadth/variety of perspectives makes for a richer and more productive cultural sector. Seeing the world through different perspectives and bringing those ideas to life is the charge of the cultural sector and its leaders. Mass Cultural Council supports these creative visions and visionaries with co-creative, innovative, equitable, inclusive, and decolonized programming and grant-making.

For more information, please review Mass Cultural Council’s Racial Equity Plan.

Applicant Eligibility

Who can apply?

In order to be eligible, applicants must meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. The applicant’s primary mission, programming and/or practices explicitly and specifically reflect and serve one or more communities that self-identify as Asian or Pacific Islander.
    • A community can be defined as any group that your organization is intentionally working to serve. E.g., members, students, artists, participants, audience, geographic community, ethnic heritage, or cultural tradition
    • Asian ethnicities include East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Western Asia (Middle East), Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Polynesia includes Hawaii, Samoa, American Samoa, Tokelau, Tahiti, and Tonga.
  2. The applicant conducts cultural events, cultural education, or cultural performances.
    • Events include festivals such as Asian or Pacific Islander holiday celebrations (Southeast Asian New Year, August Moon Festival, Diwali) or commemorations. These are open to the public, and may be free or charge admission.
    • Education includes training and/or instruction in traditional Asian or Pacific Islander music, dance, martial arts, language, cooking, or other artistic expression.
    • Performances include events such as Asian or Pacific Islander concerts, dance, theater, martial arts demonstrations, films, showcases, and other performing arts.
  3. The applicant has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this program Mass Cultural Council will accept applications from Massachusetts:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Unincorporated groups with a non-profit objective
  • Incorporated for-profit entities
  • Municipal entities

However, each must meet the specific eligibility requirements outlined below to be eligible.

Non-profit organizations: Massachusetts organizations with nonprofit status (all types)

  • Includes organizations that focus on one or more Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity, and are primarily cultural, such as multi-disciplinary arts organizations, performing arts, or arts education.
  • Includes organizations that focus on one or more Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity, and are not primarily cultural, but conduct some cultural events, education, or performances. This could include community centers, community business associations, or organizations that support immigrant communities.
  • Religious organizations or groups with a religious affiliation are eligible to apply for funding if they produce or present cultural programming that is available to the general public, primarily cultural in intent, and does not have the effect of advancing religion.

Unincorporated groups with a non-profit objective:  Massachusetts-based unincorporated groups/associations with a non-profit objective and Massachusetts-based corporations in the process of obtaining a nonprofit designation are eligible for this program if they have a fiscal agent OR if they use a fiscal agent provided by Mass Cultural Council to receive and disburse grant funds:

  1. Applicants using their own fiscal agent:
    • Fiscal agents must either be municipal entities or non-profit entities incorporated in Massachusetts or registered as a foreign corporation doing business in Massachusetts.
    • If awarded a grant, payment will be made through the fiscal agent.
  1. Applicants using a fiscal agent provided by Mass Cultural Council:
    • Mass Cultural Council has secured a non-profit organization to act as a fiscal agent for unincorporated groups that do not have a fiscal agent at the time of application.
    • If awarded a grant, payment will be made through the non-profit fiscal agent.

If you are thinking about using a fiscal agent, you are encouraged to talk with Mass Cultural Council staff before submitting an application.

Incorporated for-profit entities: For-profit entities must conduct cultural education AND cultural events or cultural performances that are available to the public and primarily cultural in intent.

Early Application Review

Program staff will make best effort to identify any errors or omissions for applicants that submit their application prior to March 9, 2022. If staff find a problem, they will notify the applicant and offer them an opportunity to correct the error and resubmit the application. Applications must be resubmitted prior to the application deadline on March 23, 2022.

Applications submitted after March 9, 2022 will likely not be able to be reviewed due to limited time.  Applicants are encouraged to submit early in order to take advantage of this opportunity​.

Review Criteria

If application demand from eligible applicants exceeds the funds available to award, the following priorities will be used to create a score for the application which will determine if applicants will be awarded a grant and what the grant amount will be:

  • Priority will be given to Asian or Pacific Islander led and run organizations (30%)
  • Priority will be given to non-profit and unincorporated applicants (10%)
  • Priority will be given to organizations that felt the greatest negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic (35%)
  • Priority will be given to applicants that have had less access to other state and federal COVID relief funds (25%)

Award Amount and Funding Period

  • This is a one-year grant for Fiscal Year 2022, which ends on June 30, 2022.
  • This program is driven by eligibility because it was created by a statute from the legislature. The funding is driven by a set of priorities. Not all eligible applicants are guaranteed funding. The total amount available to grant is $970,000. The number of awards and award amounts will depend on the number of applicants and the needs demonstrated.

Use of Funds

Eligible Expenses: Grant funds must be used for operational expenses incurred between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Operational expenses include but are not limited to payroll, fees paid to artists, rent, mortgage, utility bills, program expenses, program supplies and materials, marketing, and fundraising.

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Major equipment purchases
  • Construction, purchase, or capital renovation costs of facilities or land
  • Lobbying
  • Visa costs that are paid to the U.S. Government
  • Subgranting or regranting
  • Costs of entertainment, including amusement and social activities such as receptions, parties, galas, dinners, etc., and any associated costs including catering, alcoholic beverages, planning, staffing, supplies, etc.,
  • Costs of goods for resale are unallowable. This includes the sale of concessions, promotional merchandise, or items purchased to sell.

Also, grantees must prevent the duplication of benefits, which means these grant funds may not be used to pay expenses if another source of financial aid has paid that same expense.

Grant Requirements

Reporting Requirements
Grantees will be responsible for completing a final report by July 15, 2022.

Acknowledgement of Funding
Grant recipients are required to credit Mass Cultural Council for funding. Attachment D of your contract package and the online Credit and Publicity Kit have more details.

Accessibility and Non-Discrimination Policies

Mass Cultural Council is committed to ensure that all personnel and service programs, policies, and practices will be formulated and conducted in a manner which will ensure equal access for all people and prevent discrimination not only as a matter of law, but also as a policy designed to encourage the participation of all segments of the Commonwealth’s population in Mass Cultural Council programs and services.

Mass Cultural Council is happy to offer applicants/grantees alternative formats, auxiliary aids, and services necessary so that any individual can participate in the Mass Cultural Council’s programs and services. Contact our staff for help.

Mass Cultural Council is dedicated to creating a workplace, programs, and services that welcome, respect, and value people of all races, color, age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religions, creeds, ancestry, national origin, disability, and veteran status. Mass Cultural Council will not fund any organization or program that discriminates based on these attributes. We strive to reflect diversity in all activities, programs, and services removing any barriers to accessibility. Mass Cultural Council and its grantees are expected to comply with:

Mass Cultural Council’s grantees sign a contract (see contract requirements) certifying that they will comply with ADA and Section 504. Mass Cultural Council aims to help grantees understand their obligations and recognize the opportunities that increasing access can support both the public and the grantee. Additional information about Mass Cultural Council’s accessibility requirements and compliance tools for grantees are located in our Access Policy.

Contract Holds, Penalties, and Restrictions
Mass Cultural Council may apply a contract hold, penalty, or restriction if you are not in compliance with necessary grant requirements. You might not be able to apply for grants in the future if you do not meet your grant requirements.

Reconsideration Policy
An applicant may request reconsideration of a Mass Cultural Council decision on their application if the applicant can demonstrate that Mass Cultural Council failed to follow published application and review procedures. Dissatisfaction with the results of a review does not constitute grounds for reconsideration.

The first step in the reconsideration process is to consult with the appropriate program staff to discuss the review process that concluded in Mass Cultural Council’s decision. If the applicant wishes to pursue a reconsideration, a request must be sent to Mass Cultural Council’s Executive Director, in writing, within 30 days of Mass Cultural Council’s notification to the applicant of its decision.


Online Application Opens: February 7, 2022
Information Session: February 7, 2022
Office Hours for Applicants: February 23, March 3, and March 10
Application Deadline: March 23, 2022 at 11:59 (ET)
Please note: There will be no Mass Cultural Council staff available after 5pm on the night of the deadline so applicants are encouraged to start their applications prior to the deadline in case they need help or have a questions. 

Award Notification: April 2022
Contracts Sent: April 2022
Contract Due: May 13, 2022
Final Report Available: Once contract is returned
Final Report Due: By or before July 15, 2022

New Grants Management System

All applicants should submit their applications through the online system.

  1. Check to see if you already have a user profile in the grants management system:
    • Go to the online application.
    • Click “Forgot Password”.
    • Once you submit your email address, you will receive an email with a temporary password and a link to the site.
    • Copy the password to use on the login page, you will then be prompted to create a new password.
  1. If you do not already have a user profile, complete a registration in the grants management system:
    • Register as an Organization. You will select your organization using a search field or add it if it is not listed. The organization is the applicant and grantee and you are the primary contact for the application.

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