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Frequently Asked Questions

The questions (and answers) in this section focus mainly on eligibility requirements and our grant review process.

Refer to the contracts section for any questions regarding your SerHacer contract.

Who is eligible to apply to the SerHacer?
The primary applicant for a SerHacer grant must be:

A cultural organization or an organization with a strong programming history in music incorporated in Massachusetts as a non-profit organization and current in its tax-exempt status under IRS Section 501(c)(3).

OR

Any school (public, charter, parochial, or independent) in Massachusetts holding a valid DESE number

Programs currently funded by YouthReach are not eligible to apply for SerHacer. Similarly programs may only apply for SerHacer or YouthReach funds.

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When is the application due?
The application deadline is February 15, 2018.

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How much is a typical SerHacer grant?
Current grants are $15,000 per year. Additional funding of $5,500 is available for programs with multiple sites, as defined in the grant guidelines.

Future grant amounts will be determined by the money available and the number of projects funded.

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Is my summer program or vacation-week intensive a good match for SerHacer?
Probably not. Programs in which an individual young person is enrolled for only a short period of time are not very successful against the SerHacer criteria. This is in line with the emphasis on encouraging mastery in a discipline (something hard to do in a week or even four weeks), and with the emphasis on funding programs that meet the developmental needs of participating young people. Programs based on a positive youth development approach tend to encourage sustained, long-term involvement by participating young people, offering them expanding opportunities as they progress. Developing supportive, meaningful relationships between individuals, another key aspect of positive youth development programs, takes time, as does meaningful youth leadership within a program.

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Can you explain what you mean by a “positive youth development” program?
"Positive youth development" refers to a specific and intentional way of working with young people. Positive youth development refers to both a philosophy and an approach.

For more information, visit Key Characteristics of Creative Youth Development Programs.

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Who should my collaborators be?
There is no single answer to this question. It really depends on the strengths and needs of the applicant organization, the young people with whom the program is designed, and the context and community in which you are working. The most effective programs operate as part of a network. Whether formally through coalitions and other vehicles, or informally through relationships and natural alliances, the most effective programs coordinate with other organizations and efforts within the community. What organizations you should enlist as collaborators depends on what partners you need to better meet the holistic needs of the young people.

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Can a school apply for SerHacer funding?
Yes, schools are eligible to apply.  It is important however, that music programs in schools share a youth development and artistic excellence as goals of intensive ensemble, music making.  If you have questions about your eligibility or competitiveness please contact Rodrigo Guerrero.

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How are applications reviewed?
Once the applicant hits “Submit” and the electronic application is submitted, staff reviews it for eligibility and appropriateness. Ineligible applications and those that are not a good fit by this staff review will be eliminated from further consideration. The remaining applications are then distributed electronically to the reviewers.
The SerHacer panel review process takes place through the spring. The state budget process that determines the Mass Cultural Council’s appropriation for the new fiscal year ends usually in late June/early July. Once the appropriation is received by the Mass Cultural Council, the staff organizes all the SerHacer panels' recommendations in the context of the agency's available funds. These recommendations go to the Mass Cultural Council for review and approval in late-August. Applicants are notified of their funding status in early September.

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Who are the panelists?
Panelists are administrators, musicians, scholars, and youth development specialists who represent diverse geographic, ethnic, philosophical and aesthetic perspectives and have no conflicts of interest with applicants or collaborators. We welcome new panelist nominations.

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What role do site visits play in the review process?
Site visits play a critical role by providing one of the panelists with direct, in-person contact with your program, your people, your space, and your community. On the site visit, the panelist is looking for evidence to document the degree to which the proposed program aligns with the SerHacer review criteria. Information and impressions from the site visit are brought to the full panel during their review. For more on how to prepare for the site visit, see the Site Visit Report (PDF) form reviewers complete and "Preparing for Your Site Visit (PDF)."

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Why won't the site visitor attend my final showcase, performance, or other culminating event?
Past unsuccessful applicants, current grantees, and panelists concur from Creative Youth Development Programs concur--visiting a program during a normal working session is more informative than attending a final event. As exciting as the showcase events always are, seeing the process in action is more useful in understanding the relationships, the teaching practices, and the philosophies on which the proposed program is built.

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How do I get an application?
SerHacer has an online application process. Be sure, however, to read the guidelines and application instructions before beginning the online process.

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What if I have more questions?
If you have further questions, contact Rodrigo Guerrero.

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