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Create Cambridge Grant Opportunity

Collage of images depicting organizations in cultural programming

Arts and cultural organizations have suffered a loss of over $30 million in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of all the cities in Massachusetts, Cambridge is second only to Boston in total lost revenue (source: Mass Cultural Council COVID impact survey by city.)  The City of Cambridge, in partnership with the Create Cambridge coalition, is offering grants of up to $30,000 for nonprofits that offer public cultural programming in Cambridge every year and maintain year-round operations in Cambridge.

To learn more about the Create Cambridge coalition, visit www.wecreatecambridge.org.

Grant applications are available from March 1,2024 to April 26, 2024, at 12 p.m. EST. EXTENDED DEADLINE!

We're happy to help you work through any questions and concerns you may have as you're preparing your application. If you're having trouble figuring things out, we'd like to help. Please contact artsrecovery@cambridgema.gov.

Never applied before and need help understanding the application? We want to help. We are happy to provide one-on-one grant consultations. If you’d like to set up an appointment for a consultation or have any questions about the Create Cambridge Grant Program, please contact artsrecovery@cambridgema.gov.




  • Organizations must:

  • Offer public cultural programming as the primary mission/service and maintain year-round operations in Cambridge.

  • Have a 501(c)3 designation with the Internal Revenue Service that is currently active.

  • Be a fully cultural organization or a Cultural Affiliate.

  • Fully cultural organizations must be a Massachusetts-recognized 501(c)3 organization, and their primary mission must be to promote access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or sciences.

  • Cultural Affiliates are semi-independent programs that operate under a noncultural parent organization. Their primary mission must be to promote access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or sciences.

  • If your organization received funding from the 2023 Nonprofit Recovery Fund, you must provide proof of loss for a different period or different expenses. 

Apply here


  • Application and attachments must be submitted by April 26, 2024, at 12 p.m. EST. EXTENDED DEADLINE

  • Applicants will be notified of awards after the application deadline.

  • A copy of the application can be downloaded here.
Questions? Email us

Tips and FAQs

I tried to apply online, but I got an error message when I completed my application.

If you’re applying with a phone or a device like an iPad, please use Chrome or Firefox instead of Safari.  

If the web browser is not the issue, please make sure you have answered all the questions, including those that use drop-down and radio button menus.  

Am I still eligible for an Arts Recovery grant if I received a Cambridge Nonprofit Recovery Grant?

You are eligible for this grant only if you have not received previous funds for the same specific expense. For example, you cannot apply for this grant and use it to cover June 2022 rent if you used the Nonprofit Recovery Grant to pay for June 2022 rent. You can apply for this grant to cover a different month’s rent expense. 

I’m an individual artist living in Cambridge. Can I apply for this grant?

This ARPA grant is only available to organizations. Individual artists are encouraged to apply to the local cultural council grants, which begin accepting applications in the fall. Keep an eye on our website for further details.  

Can I use these funds to pay for any business expenses?

Grant recipients can only use these funds approved expenses incurred between March 3, 2021 and April 30, 2024. 

Can this grant be used for future expenses?

No, this grant is only for reimbursement of eligible expenses purchased or paid for before or by April 30, 2024.

Can this grant be used for personal expenses?

No, this grant is only for expenses from your nonprofit organization. 

Can you confirm that you received my grant application?

Applicants can email artsrecovery@cambridgema.gov with any questions about their grant or application. Staff members may email applicants before the grant deadline if we are missing anything we need to review their application.

I would like to apply for a grant, but my 501(c)(3) is through a fiscal sponsor. Am I still eligible for the grant?

Yes, you can apply with a fiscal agent. Please use the SAM number associated with the fiscal agent for your application and include the proof of your working relationship with your fiscal agent. Your fiscal agent can be outside the city of Cambridge. 

How can arts & culture organizations use the money?

Organizations could receive a grant up to $30,000 to reimburse for the following expenses between March 3, 2021 and April 30, 2024:

  • Rent/mortgage 
  • Employee wages/payroll
  • New equipment
  • Inventory expenses
  • Marketing expenses
  • Delivery expenses
  • Other organizational expenses 



I am a Cambridge resident, but my organization is in another city. Can I apply?

You must have a nonprofit arts organization located in Cambridge, MA to be eligible.

I forgot to attach documents to my application. How can I send them to you?

You can provide us this documentation in three ways:

Email the missing paperwork to artsrecovery@cambridge.gov. Provide clear scans or photos of your invoices and other paperwork. Make sure your Cambridge address is visible. 

You can drop copies of your paperwork to the white mailbox outside Cambridge City Hall Annex (344 Broadway) in an envelope addressed to Claudia Zarazua. You can also send copies of the documents to:

Cambridge Community Development Department

Attention: Arts Recovery ARPA Grant

344 Broadway, Floor 3

Cambridge, MA 02139

I need help applying. Can someone help me?

Please contact staff at  artsrecovery@cambridgema.gov or leave a message at 617-349-7205 and a staff member will schedule an appointment with you. Interpretation and translation services are also available.


I received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Relief Grant. Am I still eligible for this one?

You are only eligible for this grant if the funds are being used for approved expenses and you have not used previous funds received for the same specific expense. For example, if you received the MCC Relief Grant and used it to pay for June 2022 rent, you cannot apply for this grant and use it to cover June 2022 rent again. You can apply for a grant to cover a different month’s rent expense.

Please confirm that you have completed all the requirements of the Restaurant-Nightlife Relief Grant and the Small Business Relief Grant prior to applying for this new grant. 

Is this grant taxable?

Yes. You will receive a 1099-G Form from the city.

My organization began after the pandemic started. Am I eligible?

Organizations that began after June of 2021 could be eligible for an ARPA grant with proof that lockdowns or other pandemic-related setbacks delayed or negatively impacted the opening of your business.

When will I get my funds?

The City of Cambridge will award and distribute reward money after the April 26, 2024 deadline. Organizations should receive their checks up to 4-6 weeks after receiving their awards notification. 

Funds may be delayed if program staff do not receive the correct required documents and contract documentation from the business owner.

Who is not eligible for this program?

Cambridge residents with organizations located outside the City of Cambridge.

Cambridge organizations that started after April 2021. 

Cambridge organizations that have outstanding invoices/fees/taxes to the City of Cambridge or the federal government.

Cambridge organizations that are not prepared to provide 2019 and 2021 sales or tax data. (Organizations that opened in 2020 or later must provide a statement detailing how COVID-19 impacted the opening of their business.)

Applicants who are not in compliance with any federal, state or local laws or regulations, including those pertaining to zoning and licensing.

Cambridge organizations who have not completed the requirements of other previous grants. 

Will an application be reviewed if it is missing documents or information?

All documents must be provided before the final deadline of April 26, 2024 at12 pm to be considered for a grant. A staff member will contact you before the deadline if your application is missing documents. 

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