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The Weston Cultural Council, administered at the state level by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, receives state funds to be granted at the local level. The Town of Weston also provides a matching amount in their annual budget. Municipally-appointed volunteers meet and decide how to distribute the money to projects that promote access, education, diversity and excellence in three areas: the Arts, Humanities, and Interpretive Sciences. Weston Cultural Council (WCC)
According to requirements determined by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, funds are to be used for arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. There must be a public benefit. Applicants may not be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, religion, creed, color, national origin, disability or age. Funds must not be used to substitute or replace current or previously funded public programs of a municipality, such as schools or libraries.
The Weston Cultural Council recently conducted a town-wide survey to help set priorities for funding. These priorities include, but are not limited to the Arts — including the performing arts (e.g. music, theater, film), visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, photography), crafts, folk, design, and interdisciplinary arts; the Humanities — including history, social studies, philosophy, criticism, and literature; and the Interpretive Sciences — including lectures and activities to engage people in nature, science, and technology in ways that connect to their lives. Grant applicants are not required to be Weston residents; good quality, entertaining and sustainable programs from non-residents will be considered, particularly if the program is of particular interest to Weston. Applicants are encouraged to work with local institutions such as the Weston Public Library, the Arts and Innovation Center, and the Council on Aging to secure a venue in advance for their program. Programming can be in-person, online, hybrid, or hands-on where appropriate.
Grants must have a local venue/connection. Funds are not to be used as the sole means of support for projects of a continuing nature. Reapplications for continuing projects are occasionally funded, but the Council encourages groups not to rely on Council funding on a yearly basis and to develop other sources of funding. Funds may not be used for the purchase of food. Funds for scholarships are available to applicant organizations or individuals and must demonstrate community benefit. A complete list of requirements is available and can be found on the
Local Cultural Council website.
Due to the limited amount of funds available, the majority of grants funded are for less than $1000. Partial funding is frequently offered by the WCC and smaller requests are more likely to be funded in full..
Grants have supported an enormous range of activities, including community-wide festivals, concerts, and plays; exhibitions and projects by local artists; nature, science, and environmental education programs and participatory activities; video productions; after-school youth programs; workshops in writing and the visual arts; local history and cultural diversity projects; and lectures and book discussions in the humanities. A list of past Grant Recipient projects is listed on the Weston Cultural Council web page.
Grant applications must be submitted via the MCC website from September 1 through October 15. The Weston Cultural Council then meets to review the grants and determine which to approve. Funds generally become available after January 1st and are paid directly once a contract has been signed and returned by the grantee. Projects must be completed within the following 12 months.
Applications must be submitted online on the Mass Cultural Council website on the Local Cultural Council page, under Weston.