Cultural centers

Mayor Mitchell announces capital improvement support program for private cultural facilities

Mayor Jon Mitchell today announced a funding opportunity for facilities in the city’s arts and culture sector that need capital investment and support to revitalize their buildings, equipment and outdoor spaces.

Arts and culture is a vital segment of New Bedford’s economy and community that has enormous impacts on quality of life and job creation, with significant opportunities for growth and development for existing and emerging cultural enterprises.

The City therefore invites Expressions of Interest from owners and operators of private cultural facilities – for-profit or not-for-profit – who are seeking financial support for capital investments such as building stabilization; roof repair; improved outdoor spaces; audio-visual equipment enabling “hybrid” events, such as remote participation in live events; renovations that increase or improve occupancy; and more.

“The city’s cultural facilities support small businesses and are themselves economic anchors in their neighborhoods,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “We want to accelerate their recovery from the pandemic by helping them upgrade their buildings and grounds.”

Cultural facilities and organizations allow the public to access and participate in the arts, history and humanities, while helping to preserve and promote the customs and cultural heritage of a group or groups of people.

Expressions of Interest are informal, abbreviated applications that allow feedback on eligibility before a full application begins. An evaluation team will review the proposals and selected applicants will receive financial support funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The disbursement of funding to selected applicants will be subject to meeting a minimum matching requirement, which will not be less than 25% of total project costs. Applicant operating costs and funding from other ARPA-funded programs cannot be used as matching funds.

Currently, the minimum grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant is $400,000. This means that the total cost of the project must be at least $125,000, including matching funds.

Because ARPA represents a one-time injection of federal funds, financial support will be directed toward one-time items, rather than creating new programs or expanding existing services that would involve future spending obligations. Requests for funding to cover general operating expenses will not be considered.

The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is Friday, June 10.

E-mail your Expression of Interest questions to: [email protected]

All responses should be submitted electronically in an editable Word or OpenDocument format document to: [email protected], with the name of your organization and “Expression of Interest in Cultural Facilities” in the line of object.

Eligible owners and operators of private cultural facilities can download an Expression of Interest plan from the city’s ARPA website:

– May 10, 2022