Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund
About the Fund
Program Guidelines
Info Sessions
Funded Projects
Contact the Fund

<< Program Guidelines

Systems Replacement Plan Grants

The FY19 Cultural Facilities Fund application is now available. The final application deadline is Friday, January 11, 2019 at 5 PM.

Goals of the Systems Replacement Plan Grants Program
The goal of the Systems Replacement Plan Grants is to provide organizations who do not have full-time maintenance staff with the tools they need to prioritize their capital maintenance needs. The Systems Replacement Plan will help managers and board members of cultural organizations get the objective information and analysis they need to address the cycles of maintenance, green building and universal design for their facility. (Please note: some cultural facilities are located in buildings with non-cultural/arts activities. We can only fund planning for facilities with arts, humanities and interpretive sciences programming.)

Back to Top

Grant Implementation
With a Systems Replacement Plan Grant, grantees will enter into contract with a pre-approved third party consultant who will survey the building envelope (roof, walls, and entry systems) and the mechanical systems (heating, cooling, ventilation, plumbing, and pool filtration). The survey will provide the estimated usable-life expectancy and the approximate replacement cost of your building systems. At the conclusion of the survey, organizations will receive a 20-year Systems Replacement Plan which forecasts the necessary replacement schedule of specific systems and equipment.

Back to Top

Review Criteria
As outlined in previous sections, the Cultural Facilities Fund statute establishes four threshold review criteria for all grants. All projects must provide evidence that they meet these four statutory criteria to be considered for a Systems Replacement Plan Grant:

  • There must be a demonstrated community need for the project*.
  • The project must be able to demonstrate that it will benefit tourism in the local area**.
  • There must be a demonstrated financial need for a grant.
  • The project must be able to demonstrate local support*.

*Please address “community need” and “local support” in terms of your cultural organization and/or programming.
**Tourism is defined as: “a person traveling 50 miles or more one way to a destination or who stays overnight”.

Back to Top

Application Instructions

I. Intent to Apply

  1. Review the eligibility requirements for the Cultural Facilities Fund as defined by the statute.
  2. Login or create an organizational profile to access the Intent to Apply and online application. 
  3. Submit an Intent to Apply by November 16 , 2018.

  4. The Intent to Apply form is the first section of the online application--the “Project Overview” page. The information can be changed anytime up until the final application deadline.  You do not need approval from the Mass Cultural Council after submitting the Intent to Apply to continue with the full application.

II. Final Application

  1. Complete the remaining online Systems Replacement Grant application including any updates or changes to the organizational profile and  Project Overview page.

  2. Click the "final submission" button of the online application by the deadline - 5 PM on January 11, 2019. The electronic component of your application will then be automatically received by the Mass Cultural Council and you will receive an email confirming receipt of the narrative with a pdf copy of the narrative attached for your records
  1. Submit the following required materials to the Mass Cultural Council, by the deadline,  5 PM on January 11, 2019.

III. Supplementary Materials:

Supplementary materials will now be submitted electronically via the Mass Cultural Council’s account. If there are materials you wish to include with your application that cannot be submitted electronically, contact Miranda Cook at

To submit supplementary materials:

  1. Create a “free individual account” at and log in.
  2. Access the Cultural Facilities Fund FY19 Application folder.
  3. Click “Join Folder” in the top right corner.
  4. Go to the “Systems Replacement Plan” folder.
  5. Create a new folder in “Feasibility & Technical Assitance” with the name of your organization by clicking the “New” button and selecting “Folder.”
  6. Upload your files by clicking on the “Upload” button in the top right. Be sure to label each file clearly from the list of requirements below. Once your materials are uploaded, they will be considered submitted. Your files will only be viewable by you and Mass Cultural Council staff. 

Required Materials:

  1. Financial Information:
    1. Nonprofit Organizations:
      1. Income statements and balance sheets since your last audit, accountant’s review, or 990.
      2. Audited financial or draft audit statements for the two most recent fiscal years. (If your organization's annual budget is less than $500,000 and no audited financials are available, please provide the review statement by the accountant or internally prepared income and expense statements and balance sheets for the two most recent years. Audit statements are not required if the applicant is a municipality, but are required for all 501(c)3s including colleges and universities.)
    2. Municipalities: Facility-specific financials for the last two years for the subject facility. Audit statements are not required.
    3. Colleges and Universities:
      1. Audited financial statements for the two most recent fiscal years.
      2. Facility-specific programmatic financials for the last two years for the subject facility.
  1. Board list with affiliations (not required for municipalities).
  2. Staff List.
  3. Copy of Current Long-Range Plan, if available.
  4. Copy of IRS 501(c) (3) tax exemption letter (if applicable).
  5. Copy of the lease, deed, ground lease or use agreement for your facility.
  6. Images of the overall site as well as specific areas of work.