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Home / Organizations / Gaming Mitigation / Application Process

Gaming Mitigation

Application Process

The Gaming Mitigation Program provides capital to non-profit and municipal performing arts centers in Massachusetts to preserve their ability to compete in a new, unbalanced marketplace.

How To Apply

  1. Read the program guidelines below, review a sample application, and see the FAQs.

     

  2. Watch the information session recording.

     

  3. Log in or create an organizational profile to access the online application. 

     

  4. Complete online application by April 17, 2020, 11:59pm (ET).

     

Program Guidelines

The Gaming Mitigation Program, established by MGL Section 59 chapter 23K, aims to mitigate a direct threat to the sustainability of non-profit 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

$2.58 million will be awarded by this program in 2020. Grants will be awarded to using a formula as the primary factor. However not all eligible grantees will receive funding. 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. Because this is the first time the agency will run the formula, we cannot tell applicants if they will be funded or at what level they might be funded.

Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants must meet all three of the following characteristics:

  1. Applicants must be a performing arts center, which means:
    • The organization’s primary mission must be to promote access, excellence, 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 present touring shows or artists. Touring shows or artists are shows or artists that appear on Pollstar or another similar touring performing arts roster.
  2. Applicants must be a Massachusetts non-profit OR a Massachusetts municipality:
    • Non-profit performing arts centers include fully-cultural performing art centers and cultural affiliates as defined below that meet the relevant requirements for each.
      • Fully-cultural non-profit performing arts center: A legally recognized 501(c)3 performing arts center in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This includes non-profit performing arts centers managed by separate non-profit managing organizations.
      • Cultural affiliate performing arts center: A semi-independent performing arts center that operates under a non-cultural parent organization. The primary mission of the cultural affiliate must be to promote access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.

The parent organization for the cultural affiliate must be a Massachusetts recognized non-fully cultural 501(c)3 organization. For example, a theater at a university, or a performance venue at social service organization.

In order to be considered an eligible entity, in addition to meeting the eligibility requirements for all non-profit applicants, the cultural affiliate must:

        • 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.

To be eligible all non-profit applicants must:

        • Be legally recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
        • If a non-profit performing arts center has a separate managing entity, the managing entity must have a contract, lease, or deed articulating their management responsibilities.
    • Municipally-owned performing art centers include:
      • Municipally-owned performing arts centers managed by the municipality itself.
      • Municipally-owned performing arts centers managed by an eligible managing organization:
        • The managing organization must have a contract, lease, or deed articulating their management responsibilities.
        • Eligible managing organizations include:
          • A legally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit
          • A for-profit managing company
        • Ineligible managing organizations include:
          • Resort-style or slot parlor casinos
          • For profit or non-profit managing companies that operate under the direction of resort-style or slot parlor casinos

Funding

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 percent 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.

Definitions related to funding:

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, and 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

AND

  • Are available to the general public by free or paid admissions

AND

  • Feature touring arts show/artists.

Performances only open to university students, K-12 school groups, or other limited audiences are not considered open to the general public.

Total Fees Paid to Touring Shows or Artists: To calculate the total fees paid to touring shows or artists, review the list of Total Eligible Performances already identified and calculate the sum of all the actual cash expenses paid by the organization to touring shows or artists for the eligible performances. This can include:

  • Payments to the show/artist, including bonuses and percentages
  • Housing costs for the touring show/artist
  • Travel costs for the show/artist

Do not include any fees paid to artists/shows by a producer renting the applicant organization’s venue, only payments made directly from the applicant organization to the touring shows/artists. Fees cannot include in-kind figures. Fees cannot include any show or artist fees that were not included in the Total Eligible Performances.

However, if a contract package/agreement with a touring show or artists includes both eligible and ineligible performances (such as matinees for school groups) the applicant can include the full amount they paid the touring show/artist for all the performances in the Total Fees Paid to Touring Shows or Artists. If a touring show or artist’s contract package/agreement only included ineligible performances, then none of the fees paid to that artist can be included in the Total Fees Paid to Touring Shows Artists.

Grant Amounts and Use of Funds

The maximum and minimum grant amounts 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 in 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 show/artist including bonuses and percentages
  • Housing costs for the touring show/artist
  • Travel costs for the show/artist

If the grantee is a non-profit performing arts center:

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

  • In the case of fully-cultural non-profit performing arts centers with a non-profit 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.

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 Requirements

The 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.
  • Acknowledgement of Funding: Grant recipients are required to credit the Mass Cultural Council for funding.  Refer to your Contract Package or the online Credit and Publicity Kit for more details.
  • Accessibility: The 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. The Mass Cultural Council’s grantees sign a contract certifying that they will comply with ADA and Section 504. The 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.

Additionally, the 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 the 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, the Mass Cultural Council will attempt to work with that organization to address the challenge.

Reconsideration Policy

An applicant may request reconsideration of a Mass Cultural Council decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the 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 Council.

Timeline

February 5, 2020: Guidelines and application available.

February 25, 2020: Information session webinar: Walk through of the program, guidelines, and timeline with time for Q&A. The session will be recorded and available online.

April 17, 2020: Applications due 11:59 PM EST

TBD 2020: Mass Cultural Council votes on Gaming Mitigation grants

TBD 2020: Email award notifications sent to grantees

TBD 2020: Contracts mailed to grantees

TBD 2021: Final Report Due/Application for next cycle of funding deadline

Proceed to the Online Application


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