The Stow Cultural Council’s Mission: ~“Building Community Bridges”
The Stow Cultural Council (SCC) defines its mission as follows: to create a closer-knit community in Stow by sponsoring and supporting activities and events that bring the diverse elements of our community together for enjoyment and cultural enrichment. The SCC is seeking to fund projects that will bring together parts of the community that do not often interact in their day-to-day life. ~We feel that a wide variety of cultural events can be used to foster understanding between the various groups in town through experiencing events together, working together on projects, and sharing stories about Stow’s history.
Who is the SCC?
We are a group of residents who were appointed by the Stow Board of Selectmen to dispense public funding to support community-based projects and activities in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to benefit the residents of Stow. ~These funds come from money allocated to the SCC by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as other funds that may come from the town, foundations, or private donations
What does the SCC Do?
The Stow Cultural Council met in November to review their annual grant applications and approved $6765 to support a wide variety of programs in Stow for the coming year. ~Out of 31 applications received, 18 received funding. ~The grants this year ranged from $65-$1500 and many were critical in making these local events possible. ~The funds distributed for this year’s grants came from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Fieldstone Foundation as well as the Town of Stow. ~In addition private funds allowed the SCC to fund $1500 for additional projects out of the state mandated Oct 15th cycle.
What type of projects can the SCC fund?
· The Lake Boon Water Carnival Music Boat
· The Stow West School Open Houses
· The Hale Middle School Play
· Decorating the light control boxes by library
· Stow video contest
· The Sounds of Stow Concert Season
· Symphony Pro Musica
· The American Boys Choir
· Stow Garden Tour
· Charlie Chaplin Movie Night
· Jeff Bernhardt Performance at Town Hall
· Three Apples Story Telling Festival
· The Rivers Edge Community Concert
· The Community Arts Festival at Center School
· The Randall Library Summer Reading Program
· The Discovery Museum Stow Day
· Clarence Darrow Performance
· Senior Musical
How does the SCC decide which projects to fund?
The SCC reviews all the grant applications submitted for the annual Oct 15th deadline and then distributes the available funds to projects that will support its mission in the following areas:
·Enjoying Stow’s Open Spaces: Activities focusing on our connection to the outdoors utilizing town landscapes and resources, such as local farms and conservation areas.
·Enriching Connections: Activities jointly sponsored by local organizations that would serve the Town of Stow. All local organizations are invited to collaborate and apply.
·Exploring the Arts & Sciences: Activities providing a community forum for experiencing the arts and sciences.
What other criteria are used to make grant decisions?
Proposals are evaluated in terms of several considerations, including benefit to the community (especially projects that may benefit segments traditionally underserved by cultural activities) and if the project applicant or project sponsor is located in Stow. Community benefit is the MOST important criteria for review; other review criteria include the following:
- Quality of the activity
- Evidence of planning (project dates, times, and venue secured)
- Qualifications of the individual(s) who will lead the activity
- Track record of the sponsoring group
Who can apply for grants from the SCC?
These grants are open to Massachusetts-based individuals, artists, non-profit community groups, cultural institutions, and schools to support particular programs related to the arts, humanities or interpretive sciences. School-related proposals must be for enrichment activities and not for programs, supplies, or salaries that should be part of the school budget. Call the council for clarification about school and library requests, or about any capital expenditure requests. The Council carefully scrutinizes repeat requests; such proposals should include other sources of support to show the project is not dependent solely on Council funding.
What is the PASS Program?
PASS provides funds for the purchase of tickets and/or transportation for cultural field trips for children (pre K-12) in public, private and parochial schools, as well as those in special needs, after-school and other youth groups. Activities, which include performances, educational tours or exhibits and museum visits, must take place outside of the school setting. Tickets must cost $12 or less. Events must be chosen from an approved roster published by the MCC. PASS application forms are available in the same locations as the general application form (library, town hall, senior center and school departments). The PASS Roster is on line at www.massculturalcouncil.org.
How does someone apply for funding?
Applications are available at the Town Building, at Randall Library or from any member of the Stow Cultural Council. ~Application forms are also available on line at this website or at www.massculturalcouncil.org~where applicants can complete the form and print it out. The library offers access to the Internet.
When are applications due? How should they be completed?
The deadline is Oct. 15 of each calendar year and postmarks are acceptable. All applications should be typed and signed by the applicant and sent or delivered to the Town Building. ~Programs must be specifically described with the names, artist fees, qualifications of the individual(s) leading the activity, letters of support from facility to be used and collaborators. Applicants must use physically accessible facilities.
What is the process for approval?
Approximately two months after the Oct. 15 deadline, the Stow Cultural Council will inform applicants of their approval/disapproval. Applicants have one year from the date of final approval to complete their project and apply for reimbursement. Extensions may be requested in writing but are not automatically granted.
How is payment received?
By submitting a Reimbursement Request form along with invoices, bills, a brief financial report, and copies of promotional material to the Stow Cultural Council at the address listed above. Request should be within 60 days of project completion. To receive reimbursement, grantees must acknowledge the source of funding, either by using the MCC logo or the following credit line in all verbal and written promotion: "This program is supported in part by a grant from the Stow Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency." Payment takes approximately six to eight weeks.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in volunteering at an upcoming SCC event or in donating to the SCC please contact a member of the Cultural Council.