General Laws

Section 58. Any city or town may establish a local cultural council and any consortium of cities and towns, with the approval of the council, may establish a regional cultural council. Local cultural councils shall consist of at least five and not more than twenty-two members to be appointed by the mayor of a city, the city manager in a city having a Plan D or E form of government, the board of selectmen of a town or the executive officer in a town having a town council form of government.

Regional cultural councils shall consist of an equal number of members to be appointed from each city or town within the consortium in the manner herein described. The regional cultural council may adopt, at its option, a proportional membership consistent with the population of each municipality; provided, however, that each municipality shall have at least one member; and provided, further, that the adoption of such option shall be by a two-thirds vote of the regional cultural council. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary, if the council deems it necessary or desirable in order to carry out the purposes of this section and sections fifty-six and fifty-seven, the council may certify for payment in accordance with the provisions of section fifty-six those applications for funds received from any local or regional cultural councils whose composition is determined by the council as not complying with the provisions of this section, provided that upon notice of such noncompliance, such local or regional cultural council, or its appointing authority, as the case may be, either cures such noncompliance or provides certification satisfactory to the council of how and by when such compliance will be achieved.

Members of the local and regional cultural council shall be appointed for staggered terms of three years and any such member shall not be appointed to more than two consecutive terms. Members shall have demonstrated scholarship or creativity in, or distinguished service to, the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.

Upon a vacancy, for any reason, the member’s successor, if any, shall be appointed for a term of three years, and shall serve until the qualification of such member’s successor. Members shall not be elected public officials. Members shall be considered to be special municipal employees for the purposes of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A. For purposes of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A, any local or regional cultural council member who is authorized thereby to make disclosure to such member’s city or town clerk or appointing authority, or to request a determination from such member’s appointing authority, or to seek approval from the local legislative body may in lieu thereof, disclose to, or seek such approval from the council, and the council is authorized to receive such disclosure and approve such exemptions. Local and regional cultural council members shall be classified as officers for purposes of section thirteen of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight. Members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for their expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the discharge of their duties. Local and regional cultural councils shall annually elect a chairman, secretary and treasurer.

Local and regional cultural councils may establish administrative units, but no such cultural council shall utilize more than five percent of the monies received from the State Arts Lottery Fund for administrative purposes, including member expenses.

Subject to rules, regulations, rulings or guidelines of the council, such local or regional cultural councils may decide the distribution of arts lottery funds or other funds that may be allocable to them, may also conduct other activities to promote and encourage the arts, may enter into contracts, subject to approval of town counsel or city solicitor as to form, and may do and perform any and all acts which may be necessary or desirable to carry out such powers and the purposes of sections fifty-six to fifty-eight, inclusive. Nothing in the provisions of section twenty-seven of chapter ten shall prevent a local or regional cultural council or an arts organization, or their agents or employees, from encouraging the sale of lottery tickets for the arts nor from being licensed as agents to sell lottery tickets for the arts. Notwithstanding the provisions of section fifty-three A of chapter forty-four, local and regional cultural councils may accept grants, contributions, gifts, bequests, devises, and other donations from all sources, including governmental bodies and shall deposit such monies and any other revenues, including revenues derived from local or regional cultural councils activities, in the revolving fund established under the provisions of this section. Funds received from sources other than the arts lottery fund may be disbursed at the discretion of the local or regional cultural council for the same purposes as arts lottery funds, including administrative expenses, provided, however, that the council may by rule, regulation, ruling or guideline establish further clarification of such purposes as well as procedures to assure that such funds are so used.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section fifty-three of chapter forty-four, any city, town or consortium of cities and towns otherwise pursuant to the provisions of section four A of chapter forty, shall establish in the city or town treasury, or in one of the cities or towns in the consortium a revolving account which shall be kept separate and apart from all other monies by the treasurer and in which shall be deposited all receipts from the state arts lottery fund, distributed under the provisions of section fifty-six, and any other receipts or donations to the local or regional cultural council authorized by law. A treasurer of a city, town or regional consortium as custodian may invest such portion of cash as deemed not required until such funds are to be expended and in such investments as are authorized under the provisions of section fifty-five of chapter forty-four. All such funds, including interest earned thereon, may be expended at the direction of the local or regional cultural council, without further appropriation, and such council may establish a subcommittee of no less than two members and may delegate thereto its authority to approve all payrolls, bills, requests for payment, or accounts prior to submission to the accountant, auditor or official performing similar functions; provided, however, that such subcommittee shall make available to such council at its next meeting, a record of such actions of such subcommittee; and provided further, however, that such funds as shall not have been expended twelve months after receipt shall be segregated and subject to further appropriation by the mayor, city council, city manager, board of selectmen or town manager for the purposes provided in sections fifty-six to fifty-eight inclusive. The city auditor, town accountant, or officer having similar duties, shall submit annually a report of said, revolving fund to the mayor, city council, city manager, board of selectmen, or town manager for their review and a copy of said report shall be submitted to the director of the bureau of accounts and the council.