The Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council, which serves the six Island towns, is calling for funding proposals from organizations, schools and individuals. Council grants support a variety of arts, science and humanities projects; awards in 2007 ran the gamut, from the Native Americans Artisans Festival at the Aquinnah Cultural Center to the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s off-season concerts, from teaching and performances in the schools by The Yard to the Osprey Festival at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary.

This year’s grant applications are due Oct. 15.

Applicants in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences can find instructions, program guidelines and forms at The Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council gives priority to projects originating on, and for the benefit of, the Island community.

To help applicants prepare an effective funding proposal, the Council will hold a grant-writing workshop on Friday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Howes House (Up-Island Council on Aging), 1042 State Road, just opposite Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury.

The session is open to nonprofit cultural organization, artists, schools and residents interested in applying for funding from the council. Please keep in mind that you don’t have to be a professional artist or scientist to apply. For instance, if properly conceived, a neighborhood project that promoted education about local ecology could qualify. The question to ask yourself is this: Does the project promote or enhance excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences for the purpose of improving the quality of life for all of the Island’s residents?

The council is always eager to hear from new applicants, and in fact, the Commonwealth’s umbrella organization encourages local cultural councils to support new voices and new visions. The grant-writing workshop will be the ideal place to learn how to shape a successful grant application. Go to the Web site beforehand to get some sense of whether your project can meet the criteria of the program. Then come to the workshop with all your ideas and questions.

If you can’t be there, you can e-mail MVCC Secretary Pia Webster at