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Arts & Culture Grants

Cultural Development Grants

Worcester Arts Council Grants

The Worcester Arts Council receives an annual appropriation of state funds from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and makes these funds available to the community through competitive grant programs. WAC accepts grant applications for individuals and organizations, and is one of the few local councils in the Commonwealth which offers Fellowships on an annual basis.

Grants are issued to support arts, humanities, interpretive sciences, visual artists, performing artists, science educators, historians and other humanists; as well as community, business and civic groups, social service organizations, schools, neighborhood centers, and youth, senior and family associations.

Each year the Worcester Arts Council seeks public input though a Funding Priorities Survey. Responses inform WAC as to the types of projects most important to the community. Based on community input, WAC voted on its FY21 funding priorities during the September 2020 meeting. The official WAC Funding Priorities for FY21 are:

  1. Project Categories - Projects that focus on Public Art, Arts Education & Instruction, Children's Programs and Musical Performances.
  2. Cultural Equity, Diversity and Inclusion - Projects that elevate the voices and experiences of historically marginalized groups to highlight the current and historical diversity of Worcester. Projects should create opportunities for artists and community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQX, refugee, immigran, or person living with a disability.
  3. Locations - Projects that take place in or benefit areas of Worcester that are historically underserved.

View the full report on the Worcester Arts Council 2020 Funding Priorities Survey.

Fellowship Grants: Assist individuals in developing their work outside the structure of a specific project or presentation. Artists in any discipline may apply. All Fellowship applicants must maintain a residential, commercial or studio address in the City of Worcester. Fellowship grants are paid up-front, unlike Project Grants which are reimbursement-based.

Project Grants: Assist in the development of projects and programs in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences. Applicants must demonstrate a tangible benefit to Worcester citizens. All grant applicants must maintain a residential, commercial or studio address in Worcester County. All WAC-funded projects must occur within the City of Worcester. Project grants are reimbursement-based.


The Worcester Arts Council awarded a total of $219,100 to 65 Worcester area applicants. The 2021 allocation also includes 13 Artist Fellowships, awarded to individuals to assist in the funding of their endeavors in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences.


In order to receive payment, both Fellowship and Project Grant recipients must complete all required paperwork. Payment requests must be submitted within one year of the date of notification of the grant award. If a project cannot be completed as described in the approved grant application, a request for project modification or extension must be submitted to WAC using the Grant Amendment Form.

Grantee Forms and Resources

Contact Information

Worcester Arts Council
City Hall, 4th Floor
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Phone: 508-799-1400
Fax: 508-799-1406
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Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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