Worcester Arts Council Seeks Community Input on Funding Priorities for 2020 Grants


The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is seeking community input through its 2019 Funding Priorities Survey. This survey will help the Council determine its funding priorities for the upcoming 2020 grant cycle, which begins September 1st, 2019.

The survey is an opportunity for the community to provide input on arts and culture in Worcester. The responses directly influence where the Council allocates grant funds. The survey takes about 3-4 minutes to complete.

The survey will be open through August 28th, 2019 and can be accessed and completed via Google Docs.

Because WAC is responsible for distributing public dollars, the Council solicits and collects public opinion about how to best distribute those funds through its Funding Priorities Survey. Like most Local Cultural Councils, WAC typically receives more grant requests than can be funded, and strong priorities based on community input can help guide its grant-making decisions. All LCCs are required to conduct a community input process, and LCCs receiving more than $20,000 must develop funding priorities.

In the 2018-2019 Community Input Survey, participants said they’d like WAC to focus on Music, Children’s Programming, and Performing Arts. The Council gave projects and programs aligned with those priorities more weight when it reviewed and voted on grants. Overall, WAC awarded 46 grants totaling more than $127,000 for arts and cultural programs in Worcester last year, supporting programs and organizations including: “Worcester’s Got (African) Talent” with Crocodile River Music, The “Mindful Me” after-school program at Woodland Academy, a “Teen Arts Program” at Main IDEA, the “Youth Harmony Recording Program” with WICN Radio, the 16th Annual Asian Festival, Art in the Park 2019, and many more. The 2019 grant allocation also included two $5,000 Artist Fellowships, which were awarded to musician Thomas Lubelczyk and artist Scott Boilard.

This year, WAC is seeking to gain more overall participation in its Funding Priorities Survey, and wider demographics among survey participants. “It’s important for us to ensure the survey respondents reflect Worcester’s diverse community. We hope to achieve that by widely distributing the survey and encouraging anyone who resides or works in Worcester to participate,” said Samantha Fiakofi, Worcester Arts Council Vice Chair.

The Worcester Arts Council is part of a statewide network of 329 Local Cultural Councils supported through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). The Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences. This program assists the Worcester community in the development of local projects and adds to the cultural vitality of the city.

The current Worcester Arts Council members are Meaghan Hardy-Lavoie (Chair), Samantha Fiakofi (Vice Chair), Stephanie Mireku (Secretary), Mitchell Perry (Treasurer), Thomas Conroy, Yasmin Goris, Lisa Malo, Gabriel Rollins, and Amanda Kidd Schall.


About the Worcester Arts Council:

The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is a municipal body consisting of nine members appointed by the City Manager. The Council is charged with promoting the cultural affairs of the City of Worcester and allocating funds received by the Council for cultural projects and programs. The mission of the Worcester Arts Council is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences to improve the quality of life for Worcester residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our City. The Worcester Arts Council is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information visit: www.worcesterma.gov/development/cultural-development/worcester-arts-council.


About the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grant programs, partnerships, and services for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. For more information visit: http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/about/about.asp

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