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Matt Holloway: Amherst Cultural Council seeks applications for grants

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Thursday, September 02, 2021

Arts and culture can help define the character of a town, grow its economy, and enrich the lives of its citizens.

The COVID pandemic has hit artists and arts and culture organizations especially hard. According to the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s most recent COVID-19 impact survey of the cultural sector, “Massachusetts nonprofit and municipal cultural organizations report an overwhelming $588,334,079 in lost revenue since March 2020, while the Commonwealth’s working creatives: individual artists, teaching artists, and scientists/humanists cite $30,403,616 in lost personal income due to the pandemic.”

This year, the Amherst Cultural Council will continue to distribute grants from state lottery funds to Amherst artists and arts and culture organizations for applications that enrich the community. Recognizing the economic hardship people are facing, we have partnered with the town to pilot a direct granting structure to our grants rather than the reimbursement model that has traditionally been in place.

To further broaden the scope of public benefit, we have set aside additional funds to help our grantees provide accessibility services in their projects and performances. And we will continue to prioritize grant applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and other historically marginalized groups.

The ACC grant application will be open from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15. There is a link to the grant application on the ACC website. Prospective grantees and other interested parties are invited to join us on to resolve any questions you might have about the grant application and to share experiences about how the pandemic has affected your life and work. Sessions will be held at the Jones Library on Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 6:30-8 p.m. For those who cannot attend the in-person meeting, the ACC will repeat this meeting via Zoom on Friday, Sept. 17, from 12-1 p.m.

Matt Holloway

Co-chair Amherst Cultural Council