What does “Public Programming” mean?
When we say public programming, we mean activities that engage with the public. For example – writing a play is an artistic activity, but it doesn’t engage with the public until there is a performance of some sort. Projects grants for public programming are intended to support activities that actively engage the public – as participants, as audience, as students, as creators. The engagement with the public is a goal of the project.
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 has just started. Can we apply? Close Open
Possibly. Your organization has to have some previous programming history, but that might be a single event or activity.
Is my project eligible?
My project happened during the summer, and it is already completed. May we apply? Close Open
Yes. This Projects grant cycle includes projects that began in June, 2021, which are completed by June 2022.
My organization has a weekly music group that runs all year. Is this eligible? Close Open
Possibly. 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. If participants sign up for multiple sessions, and then sign up again, that could be a ‘project’.
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 organization wants to apply for a Public Programming grant AND a Capacity Building grant. Can we? Close Open
No. Your organization may only submit one application to this grant program.
My budget includes a lot of donated services and goods. Are they eligible? Close Open
Many projects depend on contributed services and goods. They should not be included in the project budget, which is specifically cash expenses. 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.
Do I need to submit an income budget for my project? Close Open
No. You only need to submit the budget for your expenses. Include the complete budget for your project – not just the requested amount of $2,500.
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.
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 Festivals grant program. Can we apply to both Projects AND Festivals? Close Open
Yes, you can apply to both programs. However, the maximum grant that you may receive from Mass Cultural Council for any single festival is $2,500. So, if you receive a Fall/Winter Festivals grant of $1,500, your potential FY22 Projects grant will be $1,000. If you apply to the Projects program for a different project (including a different festival) you may apply for the full amount. You don’t need to explain this in your application, as our grants system will identify your application.
Does the Projects grant count towards getting into the CIP Portfolio? Close Open
No. You need to apply to the Gateway program, which is the ‘on-ramp’ for the Portfolio. The next application deadline for Gateway will be in early 2022.