Bellingham Cultural Council Announces Deadline for Grant Applications—Oct. 15
The Bellingham Cultural Council (BCC) awards grants each year to applicants who meet all of the qualifications noted on the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). Bellingham will have $7800 from the MCC to disburse; the deadline to submit grant applications is October 15. The grant cycle for this year runs from September 1 to October 15. According to the MCC, “Local Cultural Council funds may only be used to support programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences in Massachusetts. This definition includes the study, pursuit, performance, exhibition, and appreciation of cultural activities in the broadest sense.”
To help clarify which categories qualify for grants, the MCC website also states, “Arts refer to the creation of work in the crafts and performing, visual, media, folk, design, literary, and inter-disciplinary arts. In addition, they also include the presentation and preservation of, and education about works in these disciplines. Humanities are types of learning that deal with human values and aspirations, human thought and culture, language, and creativity. Examples include, but are not limited to, history, social studies, philosophy, criticism, and literature. Science is limited to its cultural, interpretive, and educational expression, and refers to types of learning that deal with nature, science, and technology in ways that explain how they relate to people’s lives.”
Local volunteers in Bellingham meet monthly to oversee the disbursement of funds from the MCC and to pursue other efforts to promote the Arts in Bellingham. All applications must be submitted online. Those interested in submitting a grant application for funding of projects that begin next year can find detailed information and the online application at this link: https://www.mass-culture.org/lcc_public_applicant_guidelines.aspx.
At a recent meeting of the Bellingham Cultural Council, Chairperson Linda Trudeau stressed that she hoped churches and other organizations with non-profit status will look through the application guidelines and apply for funding to help support local events that meet the MCC guidelines. Trudeau also noted that the town of Bellingham will soon be posting a page on its website with information about the local Cultural Council, along with photos from local events. During the meeting, Trudeau shared drawings created by children who visited the Cultural Council’s booth during Old Home Days. “I told the kids that if they made me a drawing, they would be able to go pick out a stuffed animal. It was hot! Some children rushed through, just to get their stuffed animal, but other children created some great drawings.” She displayed numerous samples of the pictures the children had made.
Luis Cotto, program manager with the MCC, attended the recent meeting of the Council and spoke at the end of the meeting. He urged applicants for funding to take advantage of the Eligibility “wizard” program on the MCC website to help clarify if an organization’s planned program met MCC eligibility guidelines. He also suggested that teachers could benefit from applying for transportation funds for field trips to art, science and humanities-related programs through the MCC’s “Big Yellow School Bus” funding program.
The council met in the Bellingham Upper Town Hall in September to judge the suitability of the space for future art shows and other related events. At the conclusion of the meeting it was decided that the space is difficult for those with hearing impairments, so they will return to meeting at the Bellingham Senior Center on Blackstone Street. Their next meeting will take place the 3rd Wednesday of the month (Oct. 16), at 2PM, to begin the grant application review process.
story & photos by Marjorie Turner Hollman, Bellingham Bulletin Contributing Writer