2015 Cultural Council Grant Applications are due by October 15, 2015
THE RAYNHAM 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 (LCC) that serve every city and town in the state. The Raynham Cultural Council is one of 335 local cultural councils in the state of Massachusetts.
The mission of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) 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 funds from the Massachusetts Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. It distributes some of these funds to local councils, which then regrant funds to individuals and organizations in their own communities through two types of grants:
1. Standard LCC grants which fund a broad range of cultural activities;
2. PASS grants which fund cultural field trips for young people.
Local cultural councils consist of at least five but no more than 22 citizens appointed by the top appointing official in the community (i.e., the mayor, city manager, board of selectmen or executive officer). Council members should have a demonstrated interest or record of service to the arts, humanities or interpretive sciences. The term of membership for a council member is three years; members can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms, or a total of six years, unless the appointing authority removes a member before the expiration of a term. Members must remain off the council for a one-year interval before serving additional terms. Each council must annually elect a chair, secretary and treasurer. Local councils may also elect to designate former officers or members as non-voting, ex
officio council members.
Each local council must keep all funds (MCC distribution, interest earned and any additional dollars raised locally) in separate interest-bearing revolving accounts administered by the city or town treasurer. Councils are entitled to interest on their accounts and to regular financial reports from the municipality. The funds may be spent as the local council directs, but may be accessed only through the process used by the community’s treasurer for the expenditure of public funds. Separate checkbooks or non-municipal accounts are not permissible.
Local councils may use up to 5 percent of their state allotment each funding cycle for administrative expenses such as postage, stationery, publicity and so on. They may also use any interest earned on their state allotment or funds derived from sources other than the state allocation for administrative expenses without being subject to any such percentage limit. Local council members cannot receive compensation, but can receive reimbursement for expenses.
Each local council has a number of mandatory duties:
(a) Soliciting community input and assessing local cultural needs;
(b) Establishing priorities and guidelines for the review of local grant applications;
(c) Communicating with the public;
(d) Reviewing and recommending action or local applications;
(e) Reporting to the MCC;
(f) Carrying out other necessary administrative functions such as record keeping;
(g) Complying with guidelines and rules promulgated from time to time by the MCC.
The Raynham Cultural Council (RCC) is a “streamlined” council. It achieved this status because it met the three basic requirements set by the MCC. 1) The RCC has demonstrated knowledge of LCC program requirements. 2) The RCC has also demonstrated sound local administration of the grant making process. 3) Finally, the RCC’s membership has attended training workshops conducted by an MCC staff person or field representative. To maintain this streamline status, all new members must attend a training session within two grant cycles after joining the local council.
The advantage of being streamlined is that the RCC now receives their funds in January, following the local grants review process and submission of required paper work to the MCC in mid-December.
The typical year of a streamlined local cultural council such as the RCC is a follows:
The MCC determines the allocation amount for the local councils by the end of August. In early September, the LCC publicizes its grant program along with deadlines for applying for grants. Applications are made available by way of the MCC website, at the Town Clerk’s office or at the local public library. The deadline for submitting grants to the RCC is October 15. In early to mid-November, the RCC holds an open public meeting to vote on funding of applications. From mid to late November local councils notify disapproved applicants. By December 15, the RCC submits recommendations to the MCC. During December and January, the MCC notifies RCC of the release of funds to the local account. The RCC then notifies successful applicant and publicizes awards. During the
Spring and Summer, the RCC must conduct regular community input processes to assess the current cultural needs of the community in order to develop or revise local guidelines and funding priorities. The RCC will also use this time period to engage in fund raising to supplement state allocations. All monies raised by way of local fund raising will be used specifically for funding grant applications.
This web page will be updated from time to time with specific updates and notices of meetings and specific deadlines.