Council Priorities

Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council Funding Priorities and Grant Evaluation:

Applications are initially screened using the following criteria:

  • All projects must follow State and Local safety guidelines in effect at the time of submission – should those guidelines change, projects must adapt.

  • We acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on programming and encourage creative approaches for your projects.

  • Specificity - project must include performance/exhibit date, audience, and confirmed venue. For a live event, application must include date and venue confirmation in the form of a letter or approved reservation form from the venue host. For a virtual event, application must include date (or date range) and hosting and/or sponsor confirmation.

  • For in-person performances/exhibitions, project must specify alternative plans in case the project cannot go on due to COVID-19 or State/Town restrictions.

  • If the event is taking place outside of Acton-Boxborough, and you are not a resident of one of those towns, you must include a letter of support from an Acton-Boxborough resident with your grant application.

  • Non-substitution - Cultural Council funds are not intended to substitute, replace or relieve existing public funds for programs in the arts. Schools and libraries may only request funding for cultural enrichment activities that are led by outside artists, humanists or interpretive scientists. The cultural professional cannot be a current employee of the school system.

Applications will then be evaluated using all of the following criteria:

  • Must demonstrate benefit to Acton and/or Boxborough residents

  • Collaboration between and among artists and local institutions

  • Artistic excellence (as reflected in resumes, letters, press, videos, other qualifying materials)

  • Diversity of age groups, cultural backgrounds and artistic disciplines

  • Originality

  • Feasibility - ability of the applicant to carry out the project as proposed (or an alternative due to COVID-19 or State/Town restrictions)

  • New projects will get priority

  • Maximum community/audience impact, including ratio of dollars spent to number served.


  • Projects for consideration must fall between July 1 of the current Fiscal year and December 31st of the following year.

  • Only arts organizations are eligible to request funds to support fundraising events.

  • Non-dependency for ongoing projects: Council funds are not intended to be used as the sole source of funding for artists or organizations with ongoing projects (e.g. annual concerts, annual art exhibits, etc.)

  • Costs for refreshments and transportation will not be funded.