Bedford Cultural Council Looks Ahead to the New Grants Cycle

By Ben Oleksinski

The enthusiasm was tangible at the first FY2019 meeting of the Bedford Cultural Council on Wednesday, August 22. Drawing on some of the resources from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, they aim to update their approach. In order to extend their outreach and increase the number of applicants, the Cultural Council is looking to promote the Council in ways they haven’t done before. This means more of an online presence: use of social media accounts, revising press releases, coordinating social media posts, etc.

The Bedford Cultural Council is anticipating the next grant cycle which begins September 1, with the exact amount of state funds not yet announced.

Based on a prior vote of the Selectmen, the Mass Cultural Council (MCC) allocation is expected to be matched by town support. Last year the Bedford Cultural Council received $4,600 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Although this fiscal year the MCC had a $2 Million increase. However, the Town Manager has informed the Council it will likely be $4,600 for Bedford again. The reason has all to do with timing. For the current grant cycle, the town decides the budget before they know what the state allocation will be.

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The Cultural Council considered the last round of grants to be a success. They hope to pick up on this trend and continue it, hoping to stay even and perhaps add some growth along the way.

The Council will know exactly how much they will receive from the state allocations in early September. Next, they will meet shortly after applications close on October 15 to see if the applicants qualify. At these meetings, they go applicant-by-applicant and see how much in total is requested. These are just a few parts making up the whole for the Council, which will include more outreach with this grant cycle, to change publicity strategies and get the word out to more applicants.

The grant application process will begin on September 1 and continue through October 15. For more information, interested applicants should go to either the Bedford town website:
https://www.bedfordma.gov/cultural-council or to the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s website at  https://www.mass-culture.org/Bedford and download the forms you will need,  https://mass-culture.org/samples_forms.aspx

Forms with more details will be available beginning September 1.

Editor’s Note: In the 2017/18 grant cycle, the Council supported a wide range of activities, everything from music, art, and theater to organic gardening and diversity efforts. To see the full list and to decide if your group might be eligible for a grant, go here: https://www.bedfordma.gov/sites/bedfordma/files/minutes/bedford_cultural_council_minutes_12_11_2017.pdf

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