Reading Cultural Council Supports 17 Reading Arts, Music, Cultural Organizations

2019-2020 Activities

Reading, MA — The Reading Cultural Council (RCC) has awarded $14,000 in grants to support the arts and humanities programming of seventeen (17) Reading organizations for activities during 2019 and 2020. The Reading Cultural Council received 21 requests totaling $21,943 for this funding cycle. A grant of $5,000 from the Town Budget supplemented the funds available through the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “Thanks to the generosity of the Town of Reading, the Reading Cultural Council was able to be more generous in our support this cycle than in previous years,” notes Donna Schenkel, committee chair. “It is exciting to see the range of cultural opportunities available in our community. We encourage all in Reading to take note of these rich cultural resources and join in.”

We are excited to support the following organizations:

  • Killam Elementary School for a visit by author Susan Hood for grades K-5
  • The JW Killam Elementary School 50th Birthday Celebration
  • Killam Elementary School for a Grade 3 field trip to DeCordova Museum
  • Birch Meadow PTO to support Poet in Residence, Regie Gibson, during 2019- 2020
  • Coolidge Middle School Science Olympiad Program
  • No. Suburban Family Resource Network for the Hula La Family Concert at Reading Public Library, February 2020
  • Pleasant Street Center for a historical presentation about Martha Washington Parker Tavern for their Colonial Fair (first weekend in May)
  • Reading Community Singers for their 2019 Holiday Concert
  • Reading Community Concert Band for their Spring Concert
  • The Ivy Chord Coffeehouse, for its Concert Series
  • Downtown Reading Art Walk during “Hometown Days,” June 2020
  • Porch Fest 2020, June 6, 2020
  • Arts Reading for the Discover Arts Day Cultural Festival
  • Northeast School of Ballet for their Fall Series
  • Reading Irish Set Dancing
  • Classic Repertory Company

The Reading Cultural Council strives to give funds to as many viable projects as possible. Awards are competitive based on the number of requests and the funds available. The RCC tries to partially fund all worthy projects that meet our funding criteria. Programs must take place at an accessible Reading venue, field trips excepted. The projects that were approved span a range of ages and interests, including author visits to schools, science and art field trips, historical presentations, and music, art, and dance programming that celebrates the talents of Reading residents.

Apply for a Reading Cultural Council Grant Applications Open on September 1

Individuals and organizations planning cultural activities in Reading during 2020-2021 are encouraged to apply for a grant from the Reading Cultural Council. Apply online at beginning September 1, 2020. The deadline for the next round of applications is October 15, 2020. The grant process can be competitive based on the number of requests and the funds available. Grants tend to be modest and are reimbursement-based, meaning applicants expend their own money, and if approved for a grant, submit paperwork for reimbursement for the amount of the award. Programs should have a date and be performed at a Reading, Massachusetts location (field trips excepted).

Transportation Grants Available for School Field Trips
Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Big Yellow School Bus Program provides $250 transportation grants for K-12 school field trips to non-profit cultural institutions and activities in the arts, sciences, and humanities to give students new opportunities to engage with culture and learn new creative skills. The places and programs must be in the arts, sciences, or humanities and run by a non-profit cultural institution. Examples are art and science museums; historic sites; and, music, theater, and dance performances. There is no application deadline. The Big Yellow School Bus Program reviews applications on a “first-received, first-funded” basis until all available funds have been awarded. The application is online. Within two weeks after you submit your application, you will receive an email telling you if the application has been approved.

Join Us on the Reading Cultural Council

The Reading Cultural Council welcomes new members interested in arts and culture in our town. If you’d like to join us, please email Donna Schenkel, Reading Cultural Council Chair [] or contact the Reading Town Clerk.

The Reading Cultural Council is one of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCC) serving all cities and towns in the Commonwealth. Reading Cultural Council members are volunteers appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The Massachusetts state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to Local Cultural Councils to make awards based on community needs. Learn more about the Reading Cultural Council on the Town of Reading website (

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