Worcester Arts Council’s FY23 Grant Applications Open September 1 through October 17, 2022


Worcester, MA  – The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) is now accepting grant applications for its FY23 funding cycle. The deadline to apply is October 17, 2022. 

As part of a statewide network of Local Cultural Councils (LCCs), WAC receives funding through Mass Cultural Council (MCC) annually. For FY23, WAC will once again award thousands for local arts and cultural programs in Worcester to individuals, nonprofits, associations that can establish a nonprofit objective, schools, libraries, and other public agencies. This year, WAC will receive $226,600 from MCC for its grants – nearly $40,000 more than last year’s funding allocation.

“The Worcester Arts Council is excited to support local arts and culture with our Fellowships and Project Grants again in 2023, and we are grateful to have received over $226,000 in funding from Mass Cultural Council this year,” said Worcester Arts Council Chair Jennifer Riley. “There is a lot of creativity here in Worcester that is deserving of our support. This much-needed funding is vital to our creative community, and these grants make it possible for many projects, programs, and people to bring arts and culture to life across the city.”

WAC offers two types of grants: Project Grants and Fellowship Grants. Project Grants support individuals and organizations from Worcester County in developing projects and programs within the city of Worcester that are innovative, collaborative, provide a public benefit, reach under-served populations, and demonstrate creative excellence. Fellowship Grants help Worcester artists of all trades in developing and exploring their work outside the structure of a specific project.

While all projects within the realm of arts, sciences, and humanities will be considered, based on the feedback received from the Worcester community through its annual Funding Priorities Survey, WAC will give preference to grant applicants and projects that align with the following priorities for FY23:

  • Project Categories | Projects that focus on Public Art, Musical Performances, Arts Education & Instruction and programs for all age groups from children to seniors.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access (DEIA) | Projects that elevate the voices and experiences of historically marginalized groups to highlight the current and historical diversity of Worcester. Projects should create opportunities for artists and community members through a DEIA lens.
  • Locations | Projects that take place in or benefit areas of Worcester that are historically underserved.


WAC’s FY23 Grant Guidelines and instructions on how to apply can be found at: https://www.worcesterma.gov/cultural-development/grants 

All applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm October 17, 2022. Late applications cannot be accepted for any reason. WAC will review all grant applications from November through December 2022. Applicants who are denied funding will be notified by early January 2023. Applicants who are awarded grants will be notified by mid January 2023.

This year, WAC will also host two virtual Grant Workshops on Zoom to offer more flexibility for potential applicants. WAC encourages anyone who may be interested in learning more or applying, especially first-time applicants, to attend. 


The current Worcester Arts Council members are Jennifer Riley (Chair), Lisa Malo (Vice Chair) Brandon Lewis (Secretary), Christopher Rich (Treasurer), Silvana Boaheng, Sean Brennan, David Filar, George Sedares, and Avae Thomas Quartey.

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/wac

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: www.massculturalcouncil.org

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