Arlington Cultural Council

  • Arlington Belmont Chorale

The Arlington Cultural Council (ACC) exists to support public programs in our community that promote access, education, diversity and excellence in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences. Our funding derives from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency, which funds 329 local cultural councils throughout the state.

Members of the Council are artists, arts administrators, and other community members with an interest in arts, sciences and culture. We are volunteers appointed by the Arlington Board of Selectmen for up to two consecutive three-year terms.

The Council is committed to funding a diverse cross-section of activities supporting a broad variety of art forms, ongoing work of individual artists, projects serving specific local populations, and local cultural organizations. Meetings are once a month, usually second Monday evenings from 7:30-9pm at Arlington Town Hall Annex, 1st Floor Conference Room. The dates are posted on the Town website, and all areopen to the public.

We also participate in Town Day, hold an annual Spring Celebration of the Arts to honor our grantees, and are now a member-at-large of the newly formed Arlington Commission for the Arts, a brand new umbrella organization of major arts and cultural organizations in Arlington, to consolidate energy, resources, personnel, ideas and an Events Calendar, among other initiatives.

Currently recruiting new members, should the idea excite you of promoting the arts, please send an email to, come to a meeting or two and see how we aim to make Arlington a rich, arts-filled happening place to live, work and be! Some of our happiest moments are sharing community by partially funding such projects as Arlington Porchfest, Arts on the Bikeway, and East Arlington Public Art Initiative–celebratory murals on building exteriors that tell the story of theirsmall business owners.

Links:–to apply for grant

> Guidelines for Grant Applications, 2020 Grant Season

Downloadable .pdf of Grant Guidelines for 2020 (click here!)



The Grants Committee of the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture offers grants annually that range from $150 to $1500 to fund arts, humanities, and science programs benefiting the community of Arlington. The Grants Committee receives its funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Below is a summary of the MCC application guidelines. For the complete guidelines visit MCC Grant Guidelines. Arlington’s priorities and evaluation criteria are specified further down.


Organizations, agencies, schools, non-profits, libraries and individuals may apply for grants that support activities in culture, humanities, arts, and sciences benefiting the Arlington community.

NOTE:  All applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts


  1. The program must involve the arts, humanities or science.
  2. The program must have a public benefit for Arlington residents.
  3. The proposed project cannot discriminate on the basis of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin; or immigration, military or socio-economic status.
  4. Approved projects must take place between July 1, 2019 and  be completed by December 31, 2020.


    • Applications must be submitted online via the MCC website. The application will open September 1, 2019. 
    • To learn about the process, visit MCC Grant Application Process.
    • The deadline for applying is Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 11:59pm. We cannot accept late applications.


We will give priority to projects which include one or more of these components:

    • The activity is open to the broadest possible range of Arlington residents.
    • Arlington-based artists or cultural organizations are leaders of the project.
    • The project is planned in collaboration with other Arlington-based groups, agencies, organizations, and businesses.
    • The proposal demonstrates other sources of financial support or matching funds.
    • Under-utilized venues are activated.
    • Outreach includes minority populations.


Each year the Grants Committee typically receives grant requests totaling about twice the funds we have available. Therefore we look for proposals that are thoroughly prepared. 

  • Identify the Arlington location where the event(s) will take place and include confirmations from venue host.
  • Provide dates and times, including duration of program.
  • Budget: Include all costs and in-kind donations (i.e. free use of space or donated services) in your budget statement. Include all expenses including space rental, project supplies, marketing and fees.
  • If permits (e.g., permission from the Town to utilize a public park) are needed for your proposal please identify where you are in the permitting process. While applicants do not need to acquire permits for the application submittal, it is highly recommended to begin the planning process.
  • If outreach and/or collaboration (e.g., working with a school system) is needed for your proposal, please identify what has been done and cite any related agreements.


An informal grant information session with co-chair Kimberley Harding and members of the grant committee  will be held on Tuesday, September 10 from 7-8 pm, Arlington Town Hall Annex, 1st Floor Conference Room (in the rear of the building, to the right, beyond the stage).


The grants committee will host Presentation Meetings at which applicants will have three minutes to share highlights from their proposals and respond to questions from grants committee members. It is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory, that you present your proposal to the grants committee. Presentation Dates: Monday, October 21st  from 7- 8:30 pm OR Thursday, October 24th from 7 – 8:30 pm, Arlington Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Avenue, Lyons Room, 2nd Floor.

A SignUpGenius link will be emailed to you, so you may choose a slot on a first come-first-served basis.

Review Grant Writing Tips for more information.


Please send any questions about this grant program to

The Council website is

> Current Grant Winners

Learn more about the current grant winners and their projects.


> Past Grant Winners

Learn more about past grant winners, dating back to 2009.