When individual artists approach Mass Cultural Council looking for support and opportunities, we point them toward our Artist Fellowships (unrestricted monetary awards in recognition of artistic excellence) and ArtSake (our online resource for artists, which you already know about, since… here you are). But there are other opportunities closer to home. Artists can richly evolve their practices by connecting with their local communities.
Connect with Your Local Cultural Council
Along with our statewide programs, Mass Cultural Council funds local councils throughout the Commonwealth, supporting arts and culture in all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. There are numerous reasons artists should connect with their Local Cultural Councils (LCCs). First, there are grants. LCCs fund cultural projects that can demonstrate a benefit to the local community. Most councils accept applications from individual artists. So if you have a current or upcoming project that may benefit your community, contact your LCC. Apply for LCC funding by October 15.
Join Your Local Cultural Council
Artists can apply for grants from their LCC, but they can also connect in a more fundamental way: by joining their local council. Local Cultural Councils are administered by 2,500 municipally-appointed councilors. Those members run the LCC grant cycle and support nearby artists, organizations, and community-members in a variety of ways. What’s more, members take an active role in shaping the local creative environment. Learn more about membership. If you’re interested in joining your LCC as a member, find your council and express your interest.
Programming by Local Cultural Councils
Beyond grants, LCCs can develop and produce local projects, such as a festival, a work of public art, or an exhibition. So whether or not artists seek grants from their councils or join them as members, artists can participate as collaborators in LCC projects – or help shape council-originated projects by attending a community planning meeting.
We recognize that time to devote to art-making is a precious commodity. But artists can find ways to advance both their creative lives and their local communities by connecting with their LCCs.
Read an article on expanding Local Cultural Council membership by LCC Program Officer Timothea Pham.
Image: GeoUtopia, a mural by Kim Carlino (Drawing & Printmaking Fellow ’16), part of the Fresh Paint Springfield project. Photo by Timothea Pham.