Amplify Youth Voices
Program Guidelines & Application Instructions

"We also have our social imagination: the capacity to invent
visions of what should be and what might be in our deficient
society, on the streets where we live, in our schools." – Maxine Greene

Program Description
The Mass Cultural Council has been a leader in supporting Creative Youth Development over the past 22 years.  We have provided more than $10m of support to programs that infuse the arts with the principles of youth development. This has helped empower a generation of young people to find their voice and contribute to their communities. Young people make valuable contributions to their communities in the arts, sciences, and humanities.  To support this we make grants directly to young people to create and share their work in a public setting.

Amplify grants provide support up to $1,000 for projects designed and executed by young people.  The young people must be in programs currently supported by Mass Cultural Council’s YouthReach and SerHacer programs. A project can be connected to the funded SerHacer or YouthReach programming, but must be a distinct project led by the youth applicant.

Proposals for Amplify grants should come from young people (participants or project leaders). Proposals must include the Amplify Application Form and the Application Project Narrative.

The review panel will feature young artists and leaders from across the state to center youth voice in the review.

Eligibility Requirements
To apply for an Amplify grant, applicants must meet ALL of the following requirements

  • The applicant:
    • Is a person or group of people currently participating in a program supported by the Mass Cultural Council’s YouthReach or SerHacer programs.
    • Has received the support of the Executive Director or appropriate leadership of the program in which they participate.
    • Must submit the proposal with appropriate support and/or guidance from program staff.

  • The project:
    • Activities take place in Massachusetts.
    • Can be related to the funded SerHacer or YouthReach programming, but must stand on its own as a project led by the applicants.
    • Provides public benefit.

Definition of public benefit:  Amplify funds must be used to support activities that contribute to the whole community, rather than benefiting a single individual or group. However, this doesn't mean that a large crowd of people needs to participate, for example, an artist working with a small group is a valid public benefit. When possible, activities funded by an Amplify grant should be available to the general public by exhibit, performance, demonstration, reading, or other means.

Grant Restrictions
Mass Cultural Council grant funds cannot be used:

  • To purchase food or refreshments.
  • To pay salaries or stipends for employees of the program staff.
  • On capital expenditures.
  • On programming that discriminates or discourages participation on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Review Criteria
Amplify grants will be reviewed using the following criteria:

1. Why: Community Need (15 points)

  • What is the need for this project in the community?

2. What: Project Goals (20 points)

  • Does project clearly articulate goals that are consistent with identified needs?

3. How: Work Plan and Budget (35 points)

  • Does the work plan clearly outline the steps to achieve the identified goals?
  • Is the budget is appropriate?

4. Public Benefit (20 points)

  • Does the presentation of the work clearly provide public value?
  • Is the event widely publicized, visible, and well planned?

5. Evaluation (10 points)

  • Is there is a clear plan for evaluation to measure success and inform future projects?

Grant Amounts
Successful applicants receive grant amounts of $500 to $1,000 to be used between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019.


October 1, 2018Amplify grant guidelines available
October 30, 2018 Information Session Webinar
December 3, 2018 Applications due via email
December 15, 2018Grant awards announced
January 1-June 30, 2019Project work and culminating events
Final Reports Due 2 weeks after the completion of the project and no later than June 30, 2019. Find the Final Report.

Application Instructions

All applications will have two parts and must include both in order to be considered:

  1. Amplify Application Form (Word)

  2. Amplify Project Narrative (Word): This narrative addresses the review criteria.  It can be submitted in any format including, audio, video, or written word. Written submissions should be included as part of the Application Form and are subject to character limits. Video and audio submissions will be limited to a length of 10 minutes.

Applications must be submitted via email to Rodrigo Guerrero, and received by the deadline of 11:59pm EST on December 3, 2018.

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© Mass Cultural Council 2018