Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) Grants & Eligibility

Eligible organizations are 501(c)3 grantee organizations funded by the MCC, which are engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. Eligible cultural facilities include theaters, concert halls,museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, exhibition spaces, classrooms for arts and cultural education programs, and auditoriums. Facilities must also be 1) accessible to the public; 2) owned, leased, or used by one or more nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and 3) owned by public or private higher education institutions that demonstrate financial need and provide service and access to the general public beyond their education mission. Facilities may also be owned by municipalities, but must have 50 percent of square footage devoted to arts and cultural purposes and be a minimum of 50,000 square feet in size.

The Fund awards three types of grants:

  • Capital Grants for cultural facility acquisition, design, construction, repair, renovation, and rehabilitation.
  • Feasibility and Technical Assistance Grants for cultural facility planning and assessment of a cultural facility.
  • Systems Replacement Grants for 20-year capital needs assessments of cultural facility buildings and mechanical systems.

Applications to the Cultural Facilities Fund are due in October and November of each calendar year. Visit MCC's website to view the program guidelines, FAQs, and dates for upcoming information sessions.

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Best Practices

Cultural Facilities' Impact in Massachusetts

According to data compiled by the MCC, in 2016, the CFF has awarded grants of $91.9 million to nearly 700 projects across the Commonwealth over the last eight years and has generated notable impacts in terms of jobs, economic activity, and spending.

  • CFF grants support projects that create jobs in construction and cultural tourism; expand access and education in the arts, humanities, and sciences; and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. CFF projects have hired more than 21,000 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers between 2007 and 2014.
  • CFF-funded organizations employ more than 8,000 workers and generate $3.1 billion in annual economic activity, according to the Cultural Data Project.
  • CFF has leveraged more than $1.9 billion in spending on arts, history and science building projects. All grants are matched 1:1 with private or municipal funds.
  • CFF supports the sustainability of cultural organizations of various sizes and the vital studio, rehearsal, and performance spaces of working artists; more than half of grants awarded to date have gone to cultural organizations with budgets of less than $1 million.