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ToolkitLCC Program Information

Council of the Year Award

LCCs are doing outstanding work in every community across the state. The Mass Cultural Council will present the Council of the Year Award to showcase one Local Cultural Council's work over the past year. The Mass Cultural Council does not accept nominations for this award. The award is presented to one council each year that meets the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates sound local administration of the grant making process and knowledge of LCC program requirements.
  • Engages with the community to promote excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences.
  • Advocates about the power of the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to build healthy, livable communities.

Award Ceremony

In odd years, the Mass Cultural Council honors the award-winning council at the Commonwealth Awards at the State House. In even years, Mass Cultural Council honors the award-winning council at a local award ceremony in partnership with Local Cultural Councils, community members, municipal officials, state legislators, and the public.

For more information or questions, please contact Lisa Simmons at 617-858-2707.

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2017 Awardee - Greenfield Cultural Council

The Greenfield Local Cultural Council provides resources for applicants, hosts a grant writing workshop, and advertises opportunities beyond the grant cycle. The council has organized a juried art show for four years, including one in conjunction with the Town of Greenfield that provided photographic illustrations for the Town’s Master Plan. It has participated in Park(ing) Day, an annual revisioning of public space, with the Greenfield Business Association and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. The chair, Caitlin von Schmidt, helped form and sits on the Town’s Public Art Committee, which organized the creation and installation of the Brookie sculpture on one of Greenfield’s main thoroughfares, as well as light pole banners designed by local children. Greenfield’s Crossroads Cultural District was inaugurated thanks to council members spearheading the initiative and partnering with local businesses and the municipality.

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2016 Awardee - Medford Arts Council

Medford Arts Council

In 2015, the Medford Arts Council included eight members: Gary Roberts (Chair), Laurel Siegel (Treasurer), Anita Tucker (Secretary), Bettina Lengsfeld (Grant Coordinator), Patricia Davis, Jenny Gilbert, Linda Malik, and Allie Fiske Shvonski.

The City of Medford doubled their municipal funding to the Medford Arts Council from $15,000 to $30,000 this year following tremendous public support. This funding allowed the Medford Arts Council to undertake their first branding effort with the help of a local design firm. They also created their first marketing internship opportunity with Tufts University. They participated in the "Create the Vote" initiative with MASSCreative, and reviewed their funding history and published on their website a comprehensive grant-making analysis, the "Funding Matters" report.

Last fall, they convened and facilitated the first Arts and Culture Summit in Medford, which brought together more than 70 individuals and community stakeholders, representing more than 40 local organizations, for a collaborative visioning process focused on the arts, humanities, and creative economy.

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Fitchburg Cultural Council

Fitchburg Cultural Council meeting

The Fitchburg Cultural Council serves as a conduit for arts and cultural based programs in the community. The council is made up of seven members: Kenisha Coy, Chairperson; Janet Holstrom, Treasurer; Steven Cristofono, Secretary; Jim Walsh, Grants Coordinator; Dean Bailey; Irene Hernandez and Coelynn McIninch. These members bring a unique blend of diversity and skills, each sharing their distinctive experiences that add to the community's vitality.

This year the council's increased promotional efforts in local print and television, as well as its grant writing workshop, resulted in a greater number and wider variety of applications. In addition to conducting the grant cycle, the council initiated a pop-up art exhibit, Pop Fitchburg, established relationships with local businesses, and successfully fundraised. A grant from the Walmart Community Giving Foundation was recently written and awarded, and partial funds from this grant will be utilized towards establishing a scholarship program for artists who have the ability but lack funding for materials. When able, the Fitchburg Cultural Council has donated food and materials to local businesses and charities.

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Mid-Cape Cultural Council

Mid-Cape Cultural Council

Established as a regional council in 2003, the Mid-Cape Cultural Council is a collaboration between the towns of Barnstable and Yarmouth. The council is made up of 11 members: Chairperson, Rebecca Lawrence; Co-chair, Mary Carroll Allen; Treasurer, Janet Preston; Secretary, Crystal Gips; Patricia Austin; Angela Bilski; Joline Diehl; Sharon Keller Hughes; Doug McHugh; Elise McMullin; diverse arts and cultural backgrounds, and have experience as arts practitioners, educators, and administrators. In addition to managing the LCC grant program, members serve on various committees, such as Cape Creative, which works to promote the region's cultural resources.

The council funds programs with connections to the Mid-Cape region and encourages proposals that are innovative, result from collaborations among individuals, or organizations, and leverage additional funds from other sources. Over the past year, through increased promotion of grant opportunities and help sessions held at local libraries, the council has tripled the number and broadened the diversity of applications that were received. The council also produced a showcase of Mid-Cape Cultural Council grantees to share with the public and both towns' elected officials and staff. Most recently, the council has launched a modest fundraising effort to tap into local resources, partnering with five restaurants who give a portion of their sales to support our council's work.

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