Who can apply?
I don’t have a 501(c)3. Can I apply? Close Open
If you have a group that isn’t incorporated, but acts like an organization, you can apply by working with a fiscal agent. You have to arrange for a non-profit organization to agree to be your agent. This means that they will manage the funds for the project, and will make sure that the funds are used for the non-profit purpose. When you fill out the application, your organization is the applicant, and you fill in the information for the fiscal sponsor in the fiscal sponsor section.
I work for a city department that does some programming. Can we apply? Close Open
Yes. A program/department of a local, state, or federal government agency can apply, as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements. Some examples: Local Cultural Councils that do their own programming; Public art programs in a town government; a senior center that does music programs. If there are several cultural programs at your city, the city has to pick just one. For example: a city that has a music program at a city owned and operated senior center, and a public art program. The city has to choose which one will apply.
I run an art gallery at a college. Can we apply? Close Open
Yes. Programs at colleges can apply. The college can only submit one application, so if there are several cultural programs at your college, the college has to pick just one. For example: a college that has a professional performing arts series, an art gallery, and a public lecture series. The college has to choose which one will apply.
I work for science organization. Can we apply? Close Open
Yes. The Mass Cultural Council funds arts, humanities, and sciences. We support science organizations that educate and engage the public about the natural world. This includes science museums, watershed associations, botanical gardens, and more.
I don’t have an organization. Can I apply? Close Open
Sorry, but no. Projects grants are for organizations.
My organization is partnering with two other groups to apply. Is that okay? Close Open
The application has to be submitted by one organization, and that organization has to be eligible on its own merits. Partnering with other groups might be a great way to make your project happen, and might make your application stronger.
My organization just started 15 months ago. Can we apply? Close Open
Sorry, but no. You have to have 2 years of public cultural programming before you can apply.
Our expenses last year were $9,900. Can we apply? Close Open
Sorry, but no. You have to have $10,000 of cultural programming in your most recent fiscal year to be eligible.
Is my project eligible?
My organization has a weekly music group that runs all year. Is this eligible? Close Open
No. We define a ‘project’ as a specific, connected set of activities, with a specific objective. A project will have a defined beginning and end, and an agreed on budget. If you have a program that runs all year round, without a defined beginning and end, that will not be eligible.
My project is to create a smartphone app. Is that eligible? Close Open
Maybe. The Projects grants support public programming. So, creating an app probably won’t be eligible. However, if you are using that app for some sort of activity that engages with the public, it might be eligible. The same is true for groups that want to create a book, mural, a film, signage for a walking tour, or other projects where you are creating ‘something’. There needs to be some part of your project that includes public participation.
My project will happen after June 1, but we will start planning and spending money before June 1. Can we apply? Close Open
Yes. Your application budget should only include what you will spend during the eligible period (June 1 through June 30 of the next year). It is your responsibility to make it clear in your application that you are only including the eligible expenses.
My budget includes a lot of donated services and goods. Are they eligible? Close Open
The donated goods and services are not eligible. They should not be included in the project budget. You can explain in the application that you are receiving these goods and services, to show the full scope of your project.
The organization’s employees are working on this project. Can I include those costs in my budget? Close Open
Yes. If you are paying people to make your project happen, you can include those costs in your budget. This is true whether you are including people that you have hired just to work on this project, or if these are regular employees and part of their paid time will be spent on this project. You should include them in the correct section of the project budget (examples: artists, teachers, administrators), and you should explain this in the application narrative.
My organization gets a grant from the Cultural Council in my town. Is this the same thing? Can I apply to both? Close Open
These are separate programs. The Projects grants are a program of the Mass Cultural Council – the state-wide agency. This program funds projects that take place all over the state. The Local Cultural Councils typically fund activities in their own towns, or nearby. You can apply to both programs.
What does 1:1 match mean? Close Open
This means that you have to match the Project grant with at least $2,500 from other sources. This can be from earnings (tickets, tuitions, ad sales, concessions), or donations from other sources, such as individuals, businesses, or foundations. The only thing you can’t use for the match is money from another state source. So, the money that you received from your Local Cultural Council can’t count towards your match. The match doesn’t have to be from ‘new’ money. You can also use money from your organization’s reserves to match the grant amount. You should explain that in your application.
Do I have to complete the DataArts Cultural Data Profile? Close Open
No. Not for this application. All you need is the budget for the project.
My organization is planning to apply to the Gateway grant program. Can we apply to both Projects AND Gateway? Close Open
Yes, you can apply to both programs, but you will only get one grant. If your organization receives a Gateway grant, we will remove you from the applicant pool for Projects. It will never count against you to apply to both programs.
Does the Project grant count towards getting into the Portfolio? Close Open
No. You need to apply to the Gateway program, which is the ‘on-ramp’ for the Portfolio.
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