How to Apply for a Grant

Note that the grant application deadline is normally October 15 of each year, but has been extended (TWICE) to December 14 in 2020. Any time is the right time to think of new projects, but grant applications are generally not available until the fall. Meanwhile, if you have a great idea for a cultural activity in Winchester, go ahead and tell us about it (or join us!).

Anyone may apply for funding and the range of programs funded in the past has been very broad — a good idea is what counts. The Council requires only that the applicant have a local sponsor and that the program clearly benefits Winchester directly.

Applications are evaluated in terms of several review criteria: artistic or creative merit; project design; qualifications; dedication and track record of individuals and organizations involved; physical accessibility of any facilities being used; and community benefit/involvement. Enrichment projects utilizing outside professionals are allowed. Winchester based applicants are given preference over those from out of town. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have a Winchester sponsor.

Who is eligible? (a) Arts, humanities or interpretive science organizations, (b) individuals including artists, science educators, historians or other humanists, parents, community members, etc.; and (c) community organizations such as schools, neighborhood centers, youth, senior and family associations.

Completed applications must be received by Dec. 14, 2020. All applications must be completed and submitted online. Click the following link to access the online application.

Winchester Grant Priorities

The Winchester Cultural Council uses the following guidelines in evaluating grant applications.

  1. Priority is given to applicants from Winchester residents and organizations, and that primarily serve Winchester and its residents. Outside applicants must include a letter of support from a local (Winchester) sponsor as part of the grant application (or forward such a letter to the Council by email no later than the application deadline).
  2. We particularly encourage applications from local artists, performers, and other cultural creators.
  3. We do not fund identical projects more than two years in a row.
  4. If the project's budget is greater than $500, preference is given to applications with outside funding or in-kind donations that are equal to or greater than the amount requested of the WCC, and documented in the application.
  5. Higher priority is given to projects that benefit a larger number of people relative to the amount of the grant.
  6. Grant projects must take place during the calendar year for which the grant is given (i.e., not prior to the grant decisions).
  7. Following the project, we require that photos, news clippings, testimonials from participants, or other appropriate documentation of the project or event be submitted to the WCC.

Special Grant Programs from the Massachusetts Cultural Council

The following special grant programs are available directly from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

  • Big Yellow School Bus provides $250 transportation grants for K-12 school field trips to non-profit cultural institutions and activities in the arts, sciences, and humanities in Massachusetts
  • The Festivals Program, designed to provide funding and resources for producing, promoting, and developing festival audiences. There are separate applications for Fall/Winter (September–February) and Sopring/Summer (March–August) festivals.
  • Individual Artist Fellowships, grants awarded directly to artists within several disciplines in a competitive process.
  • STARS Residencies offer $500–$5,000 grants to support three-day-plus residencies that bring students and teachers together with practicing artists, scientists, and scholars.