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

> Current

Learn more about the current grant winners and their projects.


> Past

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


> Guidelines



The ACC will award grants to individuals, nonprofit organizations, and community groups for Arlington-based projects in the Arts (including dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and crafts), Humanities (including history, literature, social studies, and philosophy), and Interpretive Sciences (including activities that connect science to everyday life and provide access to information about science and technology).

The grant process is competitive, and each year the ACC receives more in funding requests than it has means to grant. Grant awards typically range from $250 to $1,500, with an average grant award of $500. In most cases, only partial funding can be awarded. In accordance with state guidelines, ACC funds are not intended to replace existing public funds for programs.

Awards will be announced in January 2019, and projects must take place between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.


The ACC will give priority to projects with a strong and significant community benefit component, whether that be an exhibit, festival, public art project, performance or a proposal to benefit or include an underserved population; led by Arlington-based artists and cultural organizations; planned in collaboration with other Arlington-based groups, agencies, organizations, and businesses; appealing to inter-generational audiences; and proposals demonstrating other sources of financial support or matching funds.


Only on-line applications will be accepted. All applications will be reviewed by ACC members based on the following criteria:

  1. Artistic and creative merit must be clearly demonstrated.
  2. Art and humanities qualifications of applicants should be clearly illustrated in the request by including resumes, biographies, and/or related press materials about project leaders.
  3. Budget must be as complete and detailed as possible. Please list how the requested ACC funds will be used towards the proposed project. As an example: “$500 is being requested to support conduct of two performances. $300 will be used towards performer costs; $150 will be used to rent related audio-visual equipment; and $50 will be used to pay for advertisement.”
  4. Applications that include a public performance: please show evidence of acknowledged contact with the proposed Arlington venue, and where possible, a specific agreement for date, time, and other relevant commitments to the proposed project. Include any required permits or signed releases; this includes police permits; Recreation Department permits; and other affiliated organizations’ event guidelines. For outdoor events, it is strongly recommended that a rain date be scheduled upfront, with appropriate town agency approvals. This should be done prior to submission of the grant proposal. If your proposed project requires State or Town permits (e.g., painting a mural on a building in the Town), please review what is necessary and detail in your application, how you will meet the requirements. The ACC can only provide limited guidance and support in permitting issues.
  5. If you have made contact with potential funders, submit letters of contact plus any letters of commitment you have received, in support of your application.
  6. The ACC typically receives more in funding requests than funding available; it is rare that we will provide full funding for a project. Please only request the amount of funds needed to successfully complete the project.
  7. As ACC funding is not meant to provide continued support, ACC will typically not fund the same project for more than three consecutive years.
  8. As partial awards are common, please detail how the project may be completed, if full funding is not awarded. If the project cannot be completed without full funding, please state so in the application.
  9. Please identify prior funding from the ACC (Year; Project; Amount Awarded; and Amount Expended).


The ACC will host an informal grant information session on Monday, September 17 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Arlington Senior Center, Art Room, 27 Maple Street. All applicants are welcome and encouraged to attend. Applicants may wish to start drafts of their applications before the session, so they can have specific issues addressed by Council members.


The ACC will host Presentation Meetings at which applicants will have three minutes to share highlights from their proposals and respond to questions from ACC members. It is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory, that you present your proposal to the ACC. Presentation Dates: Monday, October 29th from 7:00 – 8:30 pm OR Thursday, November 1st from 7:00 – 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.


Arlington Cultural Council is continuing its Mass Cultural Council pilot program to eliminate reimbursement-based grants from MCC allocations. Instead, during this pilot program, ACC will be making grant money available in full to grantees upfront, once their projects are approved. If you are awarded a grant, you will be required to submit the Grant Agreement + W9 forms provided, to confirm your acceptance and receive full payment; then upon completion of your program, submit a final report to ACC.

Council members also will be available until October 13 via email: