The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

MCC/LCC Guidelines Changes to Note for FY17

Local Cultural Councils
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News and To-Do's - July 2016

Guidelines Changes to Note for FY17

Last month, MCC staff and LCC members underwent an intensive evaluation and planning process to improve and streamline the LCC Program. In response to this evaluation, there are several changes to the LCC Program Guidelines, primarily to clarify existing requirements:
  • Online Applications: All applications shall come through the online application system unless a local council chooses to accept paper applications in addition. A council must designate this information on their council profile by September 1.  
  • Application Deadline: In years when October 15 falls on a weekend, the state deadline is the Monday immediately following October 15.  The FY17 application deadline will be Monday, October 17.
  • Field Trips: Applicants may still apply for field trips, but must complete the Standard Application, the same online form as all other applications to LCCs.
  • Council-Initiated Programming: LCO (Local Council-Originated) applications and the LCO process have been discontinued. Councils can now use up to 15% of their state allocation for council-initiated programming.  Additional conflict of interest procedures apply. More details coming soon. 
  • Official LCC Correspondence: LCCs may send denial and acceptance letters via email or mailed via hard copy. Reconsideration requests can be emailed or mailed via hard copy.  Modification and extension requests can be emailed or mailed via hard copy.
  • Applicant Requirements for Scholarships and Capital Expenses: Individuals are still not eligible to apply for scholarships; however, additional requirements for organizations applying to an LCC to sponsor a scholarship have been removed. Capital expenditures for municipal entities are still ineligible; however, additional requirements for non-municipal applicants to apply to an LCC to sponsor a scholarship have been removed.  Councils are encouraged to establish council priorities to ensure that funding provides sufficient public benefit.


Preview the Online Application 
MCC is inviting LCC members and applicants to attend a session to learn more about the new online application:
  • August 2Northampton City Hall Hearing Room
    • 2-4 pm – Online application training for applicants Register
    • 6-8 pm – Online application preview for LCC members Register
  • August 10Framingham McAuliffe Branch Library
    • 2-4 pm – Online application training for applicants Register
    • 6-8 pm – Online application preview for LCC members Register
  • August 17: Webinar Register
    • 6 pm – Online application preview for LCC members
  • September 1: Webinar Register
    • 1 pm – Online application training for applicants
LCC Scholarship Winners Attended Americans for the Arts Convention
From left to right: Westport Cultural Council Member Irene Buck, Maryo Gard Ewell, and LCC Program Manager Jennifer Atwood
The MCC provided 50 scholarships for LCC members to attend this year’s Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Convention, which took place in Boston last month.

Scholarship winners were free to choose from a variety of programs, networking receptions and mixers beyond sessions to attend each day. The morning the conference kicked off, LCC members were invited to an “LCCs and LAAs of Massachusetts Gathering,” where MCC Council Member Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Maryo Gard Ewell gave a background on the history and future of the community arts movement. Those who attended the session on Politics and Art heard Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg give a shout-out to the LCC Program.

Nora Cannon of Georgetown told us, “I left inspired and motived! Now I have so many ideas to work on for the arts and our community!” James Ostis of Lowell wrote, “It was truly an honor to be able to help represent the Lowell Cultural Council in a space with engaged and inspiring creative people from all over the country.” We were happy to see so many scholarship winners participating in the conference sessions and hope all LCC attendees got as much out of the conference as these folks did!

Dig into CreativeGround, New England’s free directory of creative enterprises and artists
                      CreativeGround Logo
Did you know your LCC has a profile on CreativeGround? Login and personalize your profile to demonstrate who you are, and what you do in your community.

CreativeGround spotlights the rich range of creative people and places at work in the six New England states. This free online directory includes profiles for cultural nonprofits like libraries and theaters, creative businesses like recording studios and design agencies, and artists of all disciplines such as performing arts, visual arts, and crafts.

Contact the CreativeGround Team for assistance at 617-951-0010 x535.



Post your council priorities to your council profile by September 1.
  1. Go to and click on “LCC Members”
  2. Login with your council username and password and click “Council Info”
  3. Make any desired changes and remember to click “Save” at the bottom of the page before exiting.
Update the council's online member list to reflect the latest appointments and officer changes. Add email addresses for members that have them to help us save on time and paper costs.
Reminder: Take the LCC Basics Training if you haven’t already completed it.

About the MCC

The MCC is a state agency supporting the arts, sciences, and humanities, to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. It pursues its mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

The MCC's LCC Department

Jennifer Atwood, Program Manager
Charlotte Cutter, Program Officer
Miranda Cook, Program Support 
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