Local Cultural Councils in Massachusetts

Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 10, Section 58 and 962 CMR 2.00 in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations outline provisions that govern the establishment and appointment of local and regional cultural councils. Each city and town in Massachusetts has a Local Cultural Council (LCC), which regrants money it receives from the MCC on an annual basis towards individuals and organizations that support the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences in Massachusetts. The MCC obtains funds for the LCC program through the annual state appropriation process.

Each city and town has an LCC; the amount of annual funding that is allocated to each LCC for regranting is determined through a local aid formula, which is based on population and equalized property values in order to ensure an equitable distribution of resources and relatively larger allocations to low-income communities. There is no cash match required of municipalities in order to receive the annual allocation from the MCC. LCCs are required to disburse funds received from the MCC on an annual basis. Municipalities are notified about their allocations in late August and awards must be made by December 30th, with funds transferred from state to local accounts by mid-January of the following calendar year.

In addition to the 329 Local Cultural Councils in the state of Massachusetts, there are also 9 Regional Councils which allow smaller towns to join together and/or with a larger town or city in order to make their allocations go further. Municipalities pursuing the establishment of a regional cultural council must designate one municipality to serve as a fiscal agent. Regional consortia must be approved by the MCC.