LCC Applicants - Application Process
Online Toolkit for Local Cultural Councils

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Application Process

The application process may vary by community because each Local Cultural Council is authorized to set council priorities. It is important to read a council’s priorities before applying. Continue reading for more general information about applying, and to access the LCC application forms.


Applicants complete their applications online and submit them directly to the LCC to whom they are applying through the online system by the December 14 deadline. While all LCCs use the same basic application form, some may require supplemental materials from their applicants. These can be uploaded and attached to your online application. Before submitting an application, applicants should read the Council’s priorities for additional instructions. Council priorities can be found by typing the name of the LCC into the search box on this page and selecting the "Council Priorities" tab.

Unless a Local Cultural Council prohibits the practice, it may be possible to submit more than one application to an LCC. However, because the demand for LCC funds far exceeds the supply, applicants should first contact their LCC to discuss whether or not it makes sense to submit more than one application or to prioritize the applications.

If an applicant feels that a program will provide public benefit to more than one community, they may submit an application to more than one LCC.

There are currently 58 Local Cultural Councils who are giving out Direct Grants (as opposed to reimbursement-based grants). The Direct Grant process allows Councils to give approved applicants the funding for their projects up front without grantees having to spend their own funds and then get reimbursed. The Direct Grant process does require a final report from the grantee once the project has been completed.

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FY21 Timeline


  • On October 1 the online application opens.
  • On October all councils have posted their funding priorities and additional requirements to their council profiles. Applicants should visit the profile of the council to which they are applying to learn of any council priorities. This is also where a council would inform applicants that they require supplemental materials, such as a support letter, to be submitted with their online application.
  • Applicants can complete their forms online and upload any required supplemental materials up until the December 14 deadline at 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time.
  • Between October 1 and the deadline, applicants will access the online system to complete and submit applications. A link to the application system can be found under the "Apply Now" tab for every council profile. Users will be prompted to create an account for the online application system. Once logged in, users can begin to complete their form online. Once the application is complete, it can be saved and submitted to the chosen council. Users will receive a confirmation email notifying them that their application has been submitted successfully. Applicants can still apply to more than one council. If an applicant wishes to apply to more than one council they have to complete and submit a new application for each council.


  • Grant applications must be submitted to the LCC through the online system by the deadline, December 14 at 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time.
  • After the deadline, online submissions will be collated by Mass Cultural Council for each LCC and delivered to the council in the form of a PDF panel book.
  • Between December 14, 2020 and Febraury 13, 2021 councils will hold voting meetings to make decisions on applications, send denial letters, and handle reconsideration requests.


  • Mass Cultural Council announces LCCs’ state allocations (Date TBD)
  • By March 1, councils will have submitted their Annual Report to Mass Cultural Council, and will begin to notify sucessful applicants.


  • LCCs process reimbursement requests with their municipality. The time it takes LCCs and cities/towns to process reimbursements varies but can take 4-8 weeks.
  • Grantees carry out their programs and acknowledge the funding they've received through Mass Cultural Council/LCC.

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Application Form

All applicants should submit their applications through the online system. There may be some councils that accept paper applications. Check the council’s priorities to learn if paper applications are accepted. If they are accepted, a Word version of the form is available upon request.

Listen to a recorded webinar on the online application system.

Video Tutorials

Check out screen shots from the online application. (PDF)

FY21 Guidance and Applicant FAQs

How do we find our Local Cultural Council?
Type the council’s name into the yellow "Find Your Local Cultural Council" box in the top left corner of this screen.

When is the application deadline?
Monday, December 14, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.

How do we apply for an LCC grant?
Watch this video walkthrough of the LCC application.

If our project was postponed due to COVID-19 in FY20, can we apply again for additional funding in FY21?
Yes, you can apply for funding for the same project. However, it is entirely up to the LCC how they want to handle postponed FY20 grantees applying for FY21 grants (for different projects or the same ones). You should communicate directly with the LCC you are applying to, to find out their policy.

How do we check in about the status of our FY20 grant?
Please contact your Local Cultural Council directly. (Type the council’s name into the yellow "Find Your Local Cultural Council" box in the top left corner of this screen.)

Who is eligible to apply for an LCC grant?
Applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts. Local Cultural Councils may accept applications from anyone included in the list below:

  • Individuals. Individual applicants must show that a public benefit results from the project for which they are applying.
  • Incorporated private nonprofit organizations.
  • Unincorporated associations that can establish a nonprofit objective.
  • A group of individuals coming together with a common purpose (e.g., local community band, theater group) that do not have nonprofit status.
  • Public schools, libraries, other municipal agencies, and the Local Cultural Council itself.
  • Religious organizations. Religious organizations or groups with a religious affiliation are eligible to apply for funding of cultural programming that is available to the general public. LCCs can only approve applications that are primarily cultural in their intent and do not have the effect of advancing religion. Be sure to read the Applicant Guidelines page for eligibility and review criteria.

Do LCCs fund operating support? What are some examples of what operating support could look like for organizations?
LCCs can fund operating support, but sure to check with the LCC you are applying first to make sure they do.
Examples of operating support include:

  • Theaters can apply for funds to maintain a clean, socially distanced environment for programming.
  • Art Education Centers or Public Schools may apply for funds to invest in education technology for their virtual programs.
  • An organization may need to hire someone for fundraising.

What are some examples of what a virtual program could look like?
Watch a recording from a Mass Cultural Council webinar that talks about virtual programming and another that highlights .

If we are planning to bring our project to a virtual medium, what are some resources we could look at?
Check out these resources from Mass Cultural Council:

What are some examples of what virtual galleries/opportunities for artists could look like?

I do not have an internet connection at home, or prefer to handwrite my application. Can I mail a paper application?
Moving to online applications was an effort to make the program more accessible overall. That said, some councils may choose to accept paper applications as well. If a council accepts paper applications, they will post that information in their Council Profile on

Can I apply to more than one LCC?
Yes, you are welcome to apply to several local cultural councils if you think your project may benefit more than one community. You will need to start a new application for each council. Remember to read each Council's Profile on before applying.

What questions will be on the application?
The application will be very similar to the Standard LCC application we have been using. Although applications won’t be available until October 1, these screen shots give a sense of what to expect.

I’d like to apply for funding for a field trip, but I can’t find the application.
Applicants may still apply for funding for field trips using the Standard LCC application. Check your Council's Profile on before applying to make sure that they fund field trips.  

The LCC to which I’m applying requires a letter from the venue or other additional support materials as part of the application process. How do I attach these materials?
As in the past, applicants must read the Council Profile on to determine if any additional support materials are required by that council. If a council requires support materials, such as an artist resume, a flyer for the project, or a support letter, the applicant must upload those materials as a PDF as part of the online application. These materials will be collated with the application and included in the panel book that is delivered to the council. Please note that these PDF’s are limited to three pages.

How do I know if my application has been successfully submitted?
Once you submit your application you will see a blue lettered congratulations on the first page of the application. You should also receive the PDF in your email box. Please make sure to add the following email to your contact list to make sure you receive the copy of your application:

Will I receive notice of whether my application has been accepted via postal mail or email?
LCC’s have the option to send denial and acceptance letters via email or postal mail. Most councils will choose to send emails. If you haven’t received news by mid-March, try contacting the council.

Will the reimbursement process be moving online as well?
No. The reimbursement process will stay the same as it has in the past and will not move online this year.

I have another question that isn’t answered here.
If you have a technical issue or a question about the online application, please contact our help desk at 617-858-2721.

If your question doesn’t involve the application itself, please contact the LCC directly.

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