As a state-mandated agency whose members are appointed by the Selectmen and who represent a diverse cross-section of the community, the Belmont Cultural Council (BCC) reviews applications from artists, humanists and scientists and makes annual grants of state arts funding. The concept of a public art gallery came from the recognition that, due to a lack of exhibit space in town for the visual arts, very few artists applied for funding. The BCC formed a Gallery Committee which visited similar galleries, interviewed gallery administrators, studied guidelines, researched potential gallery locations in Belmont, and ultimately developed a gallery proposal.
In January 2003, the Board of Selectmen unanimously and enthusiastically approved the BCC's proposal for the Gallery in the Annex. From then through July 2005, when the building opened, the Gallery Committee met regularly to plan both the physical requirements and the operational/management guidelines of the gallery. The BGA committee continues to support day-to-day operations.