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Home / Organizations / Gaming Mitigation Fund / Application Process

Gaming Mitigation Fund

Application Process

The Gaming Mitigation Fund provides grants to Massachusetts nonprofit and municipal performing arts centers to spend on touring shows or touring artist fees.

Además, usted también puede solicitar la traducción de los materiales de la aplicación y que estos se le sean enviados digitalmente. Este proceso tardará de 5 a 10 días hábiles.

Mass Cultural Council is happy to offer alternative formats, auxiliary aids, translation, interpretation, and other services necessary so that any individual can participate in Mass Cultural Council’s programs and services. Contact staff for help. To facilitate your request in a timely manner, please contact us at least three weeks before any Mass Cultural Council event or grant deadline.

How To Apply

  1. Read the program guidelines below, FAQs, and a sample application (PDF).


  2. Watch a recorded information session , download a slide deck (PDF), and/or join an office hour (various dates) to learn more about the program.


  3. Learn more about requesting an accommodation for accessibility including translation and interpretation services.


  4. Check to see if you already have a user profile in the grants management system.


  5. Complete and submit the online application beginning on December 5, 2023. Submit it before the application deadline on February 1, 2024, at 11:59pm (ET).


Questions? Join our office hours or contact Mass Cultural Council staff.

Program Guidelines

Program Background

The Gaming Mitigation Fund was established by MGL Section 59 chapter 23K and aims to mitigate a direct threat to the sustainability of nonprofit and municipal performing arts centers in Massachusetts by providing capital to preserve their ability to compete in a new, unbalanced marketplace.

This is important because performing arts centers:

  • Are economic engines for communities
  • Ensure access to the arts across the Commonwealth
  • Are centers of community gathering and place making
  • Provide young people creative learning opportunities


To be eligible, applicants must meet all three of the following characteristics described in-depth below:

  1. Applicants must be a performing arts center
  2. Applicants must be a nonprofit OR municipally owned
  3. Applicants must present touring shows or artists


  1. Applicants must be a performing arts center, which means:
    • The organization’s primary mission must be to promote access, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.
    • The organization commits 50% or more of their operating expenses to the performing arts. Performing arts are types of art that are presented live for an audience; examples include dance, music, opera, musical theater, theater, folk/traditional dance, and/or music.
  1. Applicants must be a Massachusetts nonprofit OR owned by a Massachusetts municipality:
    • Nonprofit performing arts centers include fully-cultural performing art centers and cultural affiliates as defined below.
      • Fully-cultural nonprofit performing arts center:
        • A legally-recognized 501(c)3 performing art center in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
        • Nonprofit performing arts centers managed by separate nonprofit managing organizations.
          • The managing entity must have a long term (at least 5 years) contract, lease, or deed articulating their management responsibilities.
    • Cultural affiliate performing arts center: A semi-independent performing art center that operates under a non-cultural parent organization.In order to be considered an eligible entity, the cultural affiliate must:
      • Have a primary mission to promote access, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.
      • Have a parent organization that is a Massachusetts recognized non-fully-cultural 501(c)3 organization in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (For example, a theater at a university or a performance venue at a social service organization.)
      • Manage their own budget.
      • Have at least one full-time (min. 30 hours per week) compensated administrative staff position dedicated solely to operation of the performing arts center.
      • Have its own advisory board that meets regularly to discuss policy, strategic direction, and resource development plans to ensure long-term sustainability.
    • Municipally-owned performing art centers can be:
      • Managed by the municipality itself.


    • Managed by an eligible managing organization:
        • The managing organization must have a long term (at least 5 years) contract, lease, or deed articulating their management responsibilities.
        • Eligible managing organizations include:
          • A legally-recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit
          • A for-profit managing company
        • Ineligible managing organizations include:
          • Resort-style or slot parlor casinos
          • For profit or nonprofit managing companies that operate under the direction of resort-style or slot parlor casinos
  1. Applicants must present touring shows or artists as defined below: Touring shows or artists must be an independent entity being presented as a guest at the organization.
    • Touring artists featured in a piece produced by the applying organization are only considered an independent entity if they are considered a headliner(s) with name recognition that is used as a marketing tool.
    • Touring shows and artists MUST ALSO meet at least TWO of the following three criteria:
      • Appears on one of the below (or similar, but not listed) artist rosters. (Must include link to artist/show information in application.)
      • Has an established history of touring within the last five years. Touring being defined as travel to different towns, cities, states, or countries in a pre-planned route for a series of live performances. (Must include link to artist/show schedule in the application.)
      • Has established artist representation. (Must include agent information from the list below, or other similarly reputable agency, in the application.)
        • CAA
        • CAMI
        • High Road Touring
        • Jensen Artists
        • IMG Artists
        • Paradigm Agency

Funding Factors & Application Components

Not all eligible applicants are guaranteed funding. Funding decisions are made primarily through a formula that considers the following factors, which have equal weight:

  1. Percent of Performances Impacted

The percent of performance impacted is the Total number of eligible performances divided by the Total number of performances.

For example, if a performing arts center presents 100 performances a year and 30 of them are eligible performances, then 30% of the performing arts center’s performances would be considered impacted because the eligible performances are those that compete most directly with casinos. The formula allocates more funds to those performing arts centers that have a higher percentage of impacted performances.

  1. Total fees paid to touring shows or artists for the eligible performances.

The formula allocates more funds to those performing arts centers that spend more money on touring shows or artists because organizations whose business model relies more heavily on these types of shows/artists will be the most impacted by competition with casinos.

The application components that are used to calculate these funding factors are described in-depth below:

For the FY24 application, organizations will need to report on performances for calendar year 2022 (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022).

    • Total Performances: To calculate the total number of performances the organization should count the number of performances that are:
      • Live presentations of performing arts for an audience: For organizations that present multidisciplinary events, they do not have to count every gallery opening, yoga workshop, or craft fair. The focus is on the number of performing arts events for live audiences.
      • Presented by the organization or presented by a producer renting the organization’s venue.
    • Total Eligible Performances: To calculate the total number of eligible performances the organization should review the list of Total Performances already identified and should count the number of performances that meet all three of the following criteria:
      • Take place in Massachusetts.


      • Are available to the general public by free or paid admissions. (Performances only open to university students, K-12 school groups, or other limited audiences are not considered open to the general public.)


      • Feature touring shows or artists.
  1. Total Fees Paid to Touring Shows or Artists: Using the list of Total Eligible Performances already identified, provide the eligible, actual cash expenses paid by the organization to touring shows or artist for those eligible expenses.

Eligible Cash Expenses that should be included:

    • Payments to the show/artist, including bonuses and percentages
    • Housing costs for the touring show/artist
    • Travel costs for the show/artist
    • Only payments made directly from the applicant organization to the touring show/artist

Ineligible expenses that should not be included:

    • Any fees paid to the show/artist by a producer renting the applicant organization’s venue
    • In-kind expenses
    • Any show or artist fees for performances that are not included in the Total eligible Performances

Application Review Process

Applications are first reviewed by staff to confirm eligibility:

  • Ineligible applicants are notified.
  • Eligible applicants stay in pool.

Eligible applications are then reviewed by staff to confirm formula components are correct:

  • Staff will contact applicants that need to correct or edit their submission if any problems are discovered. The applicant will be given a deadline to resubmit the corrected application. If the applicant fails to do so, the applicant will not be moved forward.
  • Applications without issue and corrected applications will then be moved into formula consideration.

The formula is applied to the applications remaining in the pool and awards and/or funding amounts are finalized by Mass Cultural Council staff.

Grant Amounts and Use of Funds

The maximum grant amount and the minimum grant size needed to qualify for funding will be determined after the applications are submitted. Any caps or minimums that are set will be determined depending on the amount of funding available, the number of applicants to the pool, and the need to target funding to those most directly impacted by the operation of resort-style casinos.  Not all eligible applicants are guaranteed funding.

Grant funds must be spent on fees paid to touring shows or artists which can include:

  • Payments to the touring show/artist including bonuses and percentages for in-person and/or virtual performances.
  • Housing costs for the touring show/artist for in-person performances.
  • Travel costs for the touring show/artist for in-person performances.

If the grantee is a nonprofit performing arts center:

The grant will be made to the performing arts center with the following exceptions:

  • In the case of fully-cultural nonprofit performing arts centers with a nonprofit managing entity, the payment will be made to the organization responsible for paying the touring shows/artists, which is typically the managing entity.
  • In the case of cultural affiliate performing arts centers, the payment can be made to the non-cultural parent organization, but the funds must be used to subsidize fees paid to touring shows or artists at the performing arts center.

If the grantee is a municipally-owned performing arts center:

The grant will be made to the municipality that owns the performing arts center with the requirement that the funds must be used to subsidize fees paid to touring shows or artists at the municipally-owned performing arts center.


December 5, 2023: Online application opens

December 5, 2023: Information session. The session will be recorded and made available online and will be supplemented with weekly office hours.

January 11, 2024: Suggested deadline to request accommodations or translation services

February 1, 2024: Applications due by 11:59pm (ET)

Late February/Early March 2024: Email award notifications sent to grantees

March 2024: Contracts mailed to grantees

TBD (Fall 2024): Final Report Due/Application for next cycle of funding deadline

Grant Requirements

Mass Cultural Council may apply a contract hold, penalty, or restriction if the grantee is not in compliance with necessary grant requirements. Grantees that do not meet annual requirements may not be eligible in subsequent grant years. Grant requirements include:

  • Grantees must submit a final report.
    • For this grant program, the subsequent year’s application counts as the final report.
  • Acknowledgement of Funding: Grant recipients are required to credit Mass Cultural Council for funding. Refer to your Contract Package or the online Credit and Publicity Kit for more details.

Additionally, Mass Cultural Council has the right to withhold, reduce, discontinue funding, or apply restrictions to the use of grant funds if a grantee:

  • Intentionally misrepresents its finances, programming, or other eligibility requirements.
  • Does not notify Mass Cultural Council of significant organizational changes.
  • Cannot carry out stated mission.
  • Demonstrates inadequate financial management and oversight.

In cases where a grantee experiences serious organizational capacity issues, Mass Cultural Council will attempt to work with that organization to address the challenge.

Legal and Other Requirements

Accessibility and Non-Discrimination Policy

Mass Cultural Council is committed to ensuring that all programs, services, policies, and practices are 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 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, and does not discriminate on the basis of these attributes. We strive to reflect diversity in all activities, programs and services by removing any barriers to accessibility.

Mass Cultural Council and its grantees are contractually committed to abide by state and federal regulations which bar discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and which require accessibility for persons with disabilities. Mass Cultural Council’s grantees sign a contract 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 provide for both the public and the grantee. Resources and additional information about accessibility are available.

Reconsideration Policy

An applicant may request reconsideration of a Mass Cultural Council decision if the applicant can demonstrate that Mass Cultural Council did not follow published guidelines and procedures. Dissatisfaction with the denial of an award or the award amount does not constitute grounds for reconsideration.

A written request must be sent to the Mass Cultural Council’s Executive Director within 30 days of the date of notification of the decision. Such requests will be reviewed by the Mass Cultural Council Grants Committee and the governing Council.

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.

Proceed to the Online Application

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