Massachusetts Cultural Council
In Massachusetts, public funding for the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences is provided through a central state agency, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and through a network of local cultural councils that serve every city and town in the state. The mission of the Massachusetts Cultural Council is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.
The MCC receives funding from the Massachusetts Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and it distributes funds through two channels:
1) Direct grants to individuals and organizations, available through statewide competitive grant processes; and
2) Distributions to local councils, which then regrant funds to individuals and organizations in their own communities through two types of grants:
- Standard LCC grants which fund a broad range of cultural activities;
- PASS grants which fund cultural field trips for young people.
The Local Cultural Council (LCC) program was established in 1982 and was overseen by the Massachusetts Arts Lottery Council until 1990. It then merged with the Massachusetts Council on Arts and Humanities to form the Massachusetts Cultural Council. LCCs are made up of volunteers who are appointed by the community?s chief elected official and who are responsible for making decisions on how they will award the money granted to them by the MCC in ways that will serve local cultural needs. There are currently 329 LCCs in Massachusetts that form an extensive grassroots system of public support for community cultural programs. Collectively, these councils distribute more than $2 million each year to fund cultural activities in all 351 cities and towns in the state. Distributions to each LCC are based on a local aid formula devised by the state. The formula takes into account population and property values, and is weighted in such a way to give larger distributions to less wealthy communities.