How to Apply for a Grant

The deadline for 2023 Cultural Council grant applications is Monday, October 17, 2022. 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 (see also "local priorities" on this page).

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, churches and religious organizations, and youth, senior and family associations. For-profit businesses are not eligible to apply (but may benefit by working on a funded project).

Completed applications must be received by October 17, 2022. All applications must be completed and submitted online. Note that the application system was changed in 2021, and you might need to create a new account—see the FAQ. The MCC has recorded a webinar on YouTube that explains the 2022 program and walks you through the application process.

Click this link to access the online application.

Decisions will be made by the end of the year, and applicants are notified by January 2023. Grant funds are available immediately following notification of approval.

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. Lower priority is given to projects which have been recently funded by the Winchester Cultural Council.
  4. If the project's budget is greater than $1000, 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 are 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.

Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Organizations.

Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Organizations offer unrestricted grants ranging from $5,000-$75,000 to Massachusetts cultural organizations, collectives, and businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application is online; the deadline is September 28, 2022.

Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals

Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals offer unrestricted grants of $5,000 to creatives and gig workers to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and set a path for growth. The application is online; the  deadline is November 1, 2022.

Other Grant Opportunities

  • Project Grants offer $2,500 to fund projects that actively engage the public or build capacity for an organization
  • Festival Grants offer $1,500 for festivals (such as PorchFest), live, online, or hybrid, that feature arts and cultural events for audiences. There are separate applications for Fall/Winter (September–February) and Spring/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.