The ACAC Grants Committee is part of a network of Local Cultural Councils (LCC) serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year.
The Committee exists to support public programs in our community that promote access, education, diversity and excellence in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community. Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a board of municipally appointed volunteers.
Members of the Committee are artists, arts administrators, and other community members with an interest in arts, sciences, and culture. Members are appointed by the Arlington Board of Selectmen for up to two consecutive three-year terms. The Committee 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, via Zoom until further notice, and all are open to the public.
The Grants Committee also participates in Town Day, holds an annual Spring Celebration of the Arts to honor our grantees, and is a member-at-large of the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture — an umbrella organization of major arts and cultural organizations in Arlington formed to consolidate energy, resources, personnel, ideas, and an Events Calendar, among other initiatives.
The 2020/2021 ACAC Grants Committee Members are
- Todd Brunell
- Nick Castellano
- Andrew Conway
- Susan Larson (Chair)
- Emily Reynolds
- Scott Samenfeld
The Committee is currently recruiting new members! Should the idea of promoting the arts excite you, please send an email to ArlingtonCulturalCouncil@gmail.com, and see how we aim to make Arlington a rich, arts-filled and happening place to live, work and be! Some of our happiest moments are sharing community by partially funding such projects as Arlington Porchfest, Pathways installations along the Minuteman Bike Path, and East Arlington Public Art Initiative–celebratory murals on building exteriors that tell the story of their small-business owners.
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What are the Grants Committee priorities?
We will give priority to projects which include one or more of the following 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 elevates the voices and experiences of historically marginalized groups.
- 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.
- New projects that have not received prior funding from the Grants Committee.
How are applications evaluated?
Each year the Grants Committee typically receives grant requests totaling about twice the amount of funds that we have available. Therefore, we look for proposals that are thoroughly prepared to include the following:
- Identify the location where the event(s) will take place and, as applicable, include confirmation from venue host.
- Provide dates and times, including duration of the program.
- In the application 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.
Would an arts and culture grant help you or your organization…
- Use music or art to bring groups together?
- Create an experiential program that brings interpretive science or history to life for a diverse audience?
- Complete a series of paintings, a musical composition, or theatrical performance?
- Create or enhance an arts program addressing social or environmental justice, or cultural inclusion?
- Actively seek to address or expose systemic racism in Arlington and our society at large?
The Grants Committee of the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture offers grants annually that typically range from $150 to $1000 to fund arts, humanities, and interpretive science programs benefiting the community of Arlington.
The Grants Committee receives its funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).
Below is a summary of the MCC application guidelines. For the complete MCC guidelines please visit their website HERE
The Grants Committee priorities and application evaluation criteria are found below.
Who can apply?
Organizations, agencies, schools, non-profits, libraries and individuals may apply for grants that support activities in culture, humanities, arts, and interpretive sciences benefiting the Arlington community. All applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts.
What are the grant requirements?
- The program must involve the arts, humanities, or science.
- The program must have a public benefit for Arlington residents.
- The proposed project cannot discriminate based on age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, or immigration, military, or socio-economic status.
- Approved projects must take place between February and December 31 of the year for which you are applying.