Apply for Grants

Application window: September 1 through October 15

We offer grants to individuals and organizations from throughout Massachusetts who want to use the arts, humanities, and sciences to engage the Medford public. Each year we fund public activities such as lectures, concerts, festivals, performances, classes, school field trips, and public art. Our grant awards can cover a broad range of cultural activities and capital projects.

The funds we distribute are an annual allocation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council through their Local Cultural Council (LCC) program. The Council also receives funding from the City of Medford.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (August 2018): For grants awarded in 2019 and beyond, we are moving to a direct granting program. You will get your grant up front, instead of later upon completion! This means that reimbursements will no longer be required (though a final report will be requested). We are very excited about this new approach, which should reduce the financial burden on grantees and the administrative burden on the City of Medford.

•  How to apply
•  State guidelines
•  Local Medford guidelines
•  Funding priorities
•  Grant application assistance
•  After you apply
•  See a list of our 2018 grants.

If you wish, you can go directly to the online application tool.  The deadline to apply is October 15, 2019. As an applicant to the Medford Arts Council, you will need to find Medford in the search pane in order to read our local priorities and guidelines.


You do not have to be a Medford resident to apply, but your project does have to serve the Medford public at large or specific Medford audiences such as kids, seniors, or other groups.

We have local requirements, so be sure to follow Medford’s additional guidelines before submitting your application.

We are available to help potential grant applicants with their proposals. Consider attending one of our informal meet-ups, or write us about your idea. Check our Meetings page for the latest information on where and when to find us, or contact us directly with specific questions about our priorities or your proposals.

Complete the online application. For background information on the state’s new online system, follow this link.

Helpful tips

* Letters of support and other application documents should be uploaded using the “Supplemental Materials” tab of the online system.
* The project budget on the application form must be filled out completely.
* Include information about other sources of project income in your project budget.
* Grant funds may not be used to purchase food, refreshments, or gifts.
* We do not return application materials, so please do not send us anything you need returned.

If you have a technical issue or a question about the online application, please contact the MCC help desk at 617-858-2721.

State guidelines

Please read the general state guidelines for LCC grants and cultural field trip grants.

In accordance with state law, local councils may not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation or age, nor may we fund projects that discriminate on the basis of these attributes.

Federal law mandates that any program or service that receives federal or state funding must be accessible to persons with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the general public. Therefore, all events and programs we fund must be accessible to persons with disabilities, including the facility or event location as well as the content of the program.


Local Medford guidelines

In addition to the general state guidelines for LCC grants and cultural field trip grants, we have specific local guidelines.

Timetable: For the grant cycle with a deadline of October 15, 2019, proposals must be for events or programs taking place between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

Attendance data and proof of promotion: Grant recipients are required to complete a short assessment form after the completion of their project or event.

Local planning: You must show that you have made specific plans to hold your event or activity in Medford. This means including a specific letter of support from the organization that controls the local venue. For example, if you plan to hold your event at the Medford Public Library, you must include a letter of support from the Medford Public Library saying that they want to host your event. We do not fund applications which show no sign of specific local planning. Please upload your letters using the online application system.

Collaboration: Projects involving collaboration must include a letter from the collaborating organizations confirming their commitment to the project. Please upload your letters using the online application system.

Business support: The Council welcomes proposals that show a collaboration between grant applicants and businesses offering to host, sponsor, or otherwise support cultural events for the public in Medford. Businesses are encouraged to donate a location/space, partially fund an event, or provide volunteer services for grant applicants. The Council will look favorably upon proposals of merit that include a commitment by partner businesses to provide partial funding for the proposed project.


Funding priorities

Local Priorities: We have local priorities for 2020. In reviewing applications, we will give preferential consideration to proposals that match our priorities. In brief, the local priorities are:

Public art
Neighborhood revitalization
Partnerships and collaborations
Humanities and interpretive sciences (projects looking at the social and cultural aspects of science, nature, and technology).

Please read about the local priorities here to get more information about what is included in these priorities.


Grant application assistance

Read more about the application process at this link:

Questions about the grant application process or how to use the online system? We encourage all grant applicants to talk to us. There are several changes to the grant program as of August 2016, including a new online application process, new local priorities, and less restrictive local guidelines.

We’d love to hear about your project and help you submit a better grant application.

For more information, contact us by phone or e-mail or come to one of our meetings.

Go directly to online application tool. The deadline to apply is October 15, 2019. And as an applicant to the Medford Arts Council, you will need to find Medford in search pane and then read our local priorities and guidelines.


After you apply

We review all grant applications at public meetings using the state and local guidelines and our scoring procedures. We also balance the amounts granted to different sorts of projects and different audiences so our grants can best serve the entire community.

We send preliminary notification to all applicants shortly after we vote on grants. Declined applicants are notified first to allow for the reconsideration process. Approved applicants generally receive a letter along with crediting instructions and other forms in January.

Crediting and Publicity Requirements

If the project involves a public performance or exhibition, grant recipients are asked to send an announcement of the event to the Council two months prior to the event so that the Council can attempt to publicize it and have the option of attending the event.

You can find helpful tips on how to promote your event or project in this guidebook produced by the New Jersey Council on the Humanities: Getting the Word Out.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the Medford Arts Council (MAC) must be credited by using the MCC and MAC credit logos and the credit line. We encourage grant recipients to use both the MCC and MAC credit logos and the credit statement, but you are only required to use one. If the logo is used, both the MCC and MAC logos must be used together.

Logos may be downloaded from our website using the menu found through this link. The logo must be produced as a unit without alteration.

The credit line is as follows:

“This program is supported in part by a grant from the Medford Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.”

We encourage you to send us digital photos of events we’ve funded that we can use on our web site. This is a great way to help us promote Medford as a community with many arts and cultural activities. Send photos (or links to on-line photos) to

Massachusetts Cultural Council logo

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