About the Council
The Rochester Cultural Council (RCC) is a part of a network of local cultural councils that serve every city and town in the state, and are guided by a central agency, the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The mission of the MCC and its local cultural council partners is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.
The Rochester Council funds local programs with grant money awarded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Special priority is given to non-profit applicants from the town of Rochester, and to surrounding community projects that would achieve the most benefit to Rochester. The MCC is funded by appropriations from the state legislature and from the National Endowment for the Arts. The amount of money allocated to each community is determined by using one of the state's local aid formulas established by the legislature. In 2017, Rochester received $4,400 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Who We Are
The RCC is comprised of a group of volunteers appointed by the Rochester Board of Selectmen for 3 year terms. All members of the Rochester Cultural Council are appointed due to their belief that the arts are a source of joy, growth, and fun for our community. Cultural Council members:
Melissa Bessey, Recording Secretary
Lisa Fuller, Chairperson
Deb Smith, Correspondence Secretary
Nancy Sparklin, Treasurer
The Rochester Cultural Council Funding Priorities include:
• Emphasis on local artists and programs in the tri-town area (Rochester, Marion and Mattapoisett) to ensure Rochester residents can participate/attend.
• Local schools and community organizations given first preference.
• Evidence of community support for the proposed project (i.e. local contact willing to endorse proposed project).
• Established/exact date and venue.
• Financial need.
Apply for Grant/Deadlines
The RCC reviews each grant application very diligently.
• The RCC will accept online applications only, which are available at:
• Applications for the next funding cycle are due October 16, 2017.
The RCC has been able to fund the majority of grants requested in the past several years. In Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017, the council approved 28 grants. The complete Funding List for Fiscal Year 2017 can be viewed at: mass-culture.org/Rochester. Grantees for 2017 include: Friends of Old Rochester Drama, SouthCoast Children's Chorus, and Mayflower Camerata presenting two performances of Handel's "Messiah."
A small sampling of completed 2016 grant funded programs can be seen in the photos at the top of this page. In order of photos, they are:
• Rochester Memorial School: Author Marty Kelly presents a fun, interactive, fast-paced explanation of how he creates his books. Marty shares actual artwork from his books and ends the presentation with a drawing demonstration.
• New Bedford Symphony Orchestra (NBSO) Learning in Concert: Three-phase curriculum project between NBSO and local elementary schools. Finale concert at the Zeiterion Theater.
• Soule Homestead: Harvest Fair/Joe Davies Folk Festival - Two days of non-stop folk music and activities for families.
• Pine Barrens Alliance: A multicultural event meant to illuminate the cultural diversity, natural beauty and historical significance of the local pine barrens of southeastern Massachusetts.
Rochester Town Hall
Constitution Way, Rochester, MA 02770
Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30