The Local Cultural Council Program (LCC), of which Westborough is a participant, is the most extensive system of grassroots support for the arts, sciences and humanities in the nation. There are 339 local cultural councils in Massachusetts; collectively, they distribute more than $1.6 million a year in grant monies to support cultural activities in cities and towns in the state. These annual grants are for field trips, after school programs, concerts, broadcasts — programs that are part of people’s everyday lives. Thanks to LCCs, cultural activities are taking place in schools, cultural organizations, community centers, libraries, elder care facilities, town halls and parks; wherever communities come together.
The Local Cultural Council Program was established in 1982. Until 1990, the program was overseen by the Massachusetts Arts Lottery Council, a state agency. In 1990, the Arts Lottery Council merged with another agency, the Massachusetts Council on Arts and Humanities, to form the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). The MCC has overseen the LCC Program since 1990.
The MCC receives its funding from an annual state appropriation. Each year, the MCC distributes funds to LCCs, in turn. LCCs re-grant these funds to schools, organizations and individuals in their communities.
Distribution to each LCC is based on a local aid formula devised by the state. The formula takes into account population and property values and is weighted in such a way to give larger distributions to less wealthy communities.
In addition, proceeds from the annual Arts in Common Festival, sponsored by the Westborough Cultural Council, and the Town of Westborough have provided funds to supplement the Commonwealth grant to provide additional local support to the LCC grant.