Requirements of Council Membership:
The Lowell Cultural Council is an agent of the Massachusetts Cultural Council which receives funding from the Massachusetts Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Distributions are based on a local aid formula devised by the state and are not determined by the individual municipality.
Council members are appointed by the City Manager, are considered special municipal employees and complete the online ethics training required of all City employees. Council members must also complete online MCC training. Terms are 3 years long and a member may be reappointed for an additional 3 year term at the discretion of the City Manager. After 6 years, per MCC guidelines, members must go on a one year hiatus before requesting reappointment.
The Lowell Cultural Council meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the Mayor’s Reception Room in City Hall. In November the Council holds additional meetings to interview applicants for grants and to review and allocate grant funds for the coming year. Attendence at Council meetings is mandatory. There are several events which are organized and attended by Council members outside of regular council meetings including the Community Input meeting in May, manning a table at the Lowell Folk Festival in July and Application Workshops in September.
The Lowell Cultural Council grant cycle begins in May with the Community Input meeting where residents of Lowell are invited to suggest areas of interest and concern that they wish the Council to address during deliberations for the coming year. Over the summer input from the community is discussed and incorporated into guidelines which are published at the end of August on the LCC website. In September the Council holds workshops for potential applicants where the application process is reviewed and Council members are available to help potential applicants focus and refine their concepts. The deadline for submission of Cultural Council grant applications is on or around October 15th. This is an online application process administered by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The grant panel book is made available to Council members by November 1st and applications are reviewed online. Two evenings of interviews are scheduled early in November where Council members are able to ask questions of applicants in order to best understand projects being proposed. Before Thanksgiving the Council meets to make determinations for funding.
At monthly Council meetings, in addition to grant cycle activities, the Council reviews requests for reimbursements, organizes events (an annual reception for grant recipients, a presence at the Lowell Folk Festival, plans for the Community Input meeting and workshops), receives reports from our Admin and project leaders and discusses updates to the website and social media presence.
There is an executive board composed of the Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Project activities include liaison with grantees and publicity and advocacy.
Council members are encouraged to attend events funded by LCC to support our grantees and to evaluate and report back on their projects.