Stoneham Cultural Council
In Massachusetts, public funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences is provided through a central state agency,the Mass Cultural Council, and through a network of Local Cultural Councils that serve every city and town in the state. Local Cutural Council’s also receive money to support programs from donations, fundraising events, and their local municipality.
The mission of the Mass Cultural Council is to promote excellence, education, diversity, and inclusion in the arts, humanities, and sciences to foster a rich cultural life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities and economy.
The Mass Cultural Council receives funding from the Massachusetts Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and it distributes these public funds through two channels:
1) Direct grants to individuals and organizations, available through statewide competitive grant processes;and
2) Distributions to Local Cultural Councils, which then regrant funds to individuals and organizations in their own communities.
The Local Cultural Council Program was established in 1982 and was overseen by the Massachusetts Arts Lottery Council until 1990. It then merged with the Massachusetts Council on Arts and Humanities to form the Mass Cultural Council.
In Stoneham our Cultural Council members are appointed by the Select Board. They are responsible for making decisions on how to award the money granted to them by the Mass Cultural Council plus funds raised in other ways that will best serve local cultural needs. There are currently 329 Local Cultural Councils in Massachusetts that form the most extensive system of public support for community cultural programs in the country. Collectively, these councils fund thousands of cultural activities in all 351 cities and towns in the state.