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Community Arts and Arts Education DEC Grants

Grants to Western New York Nonprofits, Artists, and
Agencies for Community and K-12 Arts Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) - Arts Services Initiative of Western New York (ASI)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/28/18 12:00 PM


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Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to Western New York nonprofits, artists, and government agencies for community and educational arts projects in Erie and Niagara counties. Attendance at an information session is mandatory for new applicants.

Grants are made in two categories:

1) Community Arts DEC Category:

The COMMUNITY ARTS DEC GRANT is a competitive grant that provides financial and technical assistance for community-based arts activities offered by eligible nonprofit organizations and/or individual artists with community partners in Erie or Niagara County.

The goals of the Community Arts DEC program include:
- Providing quality arts/cultural programming to Erie or Niagara County.
- Assisting emerging artists and arts/cultural organizations.
- Supporting cultural expression of our diverse ethnic groups.
- Making arts and cultural programming accessible to underserved or minority audiences, and economically disadvantaged communities.

Arts activities MUST be the primary driving force of project requests. ALL requests must have a public component – one that is available to the entire community. Applicants are required to make their projects accessible to all individuals and hold their events at accessible sites. This program is intended to expand, promote, and increase arts and cultural programming at the local level including, but not limited to, projects in the following areas: Dance, Design Arts, Folk Arts, Humanities, Literature/Poetry, Media (film, video, radio), Multi-Disciplinary, Music, Opera/Musical Theater, Photography, Skilled Crafts, Textile Arts, Theater, and Visual Arts.

2) Arts Education DEC Category:

The ARTS EDUCATION DEC GRANT is a competitive grant that provides financial and technical assistance to eligible organizations and/or individual artists to support arts education projects in K-12 public school and publicly funded charter school settings and afterschool programs. Funds can support arts education projects that take place in-school during the school day and/or in after-school settings for youth.

The goals of the Arts Education DEC program include:
- Expanding the rich artistic learning experiences of K-12 students.
- Developing inter-curricular collaboration.
- Providing quality arts education to Erie or Niagara County.
- Assisting emerging artists and arts/cultural organizations.
- Making arts education accessible to underserved or minority audiences, and economically disadvantaged communities.

- Projects from first time applicants or new initiatives from past applicants.
- Projects that request funds for the payment of artist fees, teaching artist fees, and technical production services.
- Projects that request funds for the payment of marketing and/or publicity costs.
- Projects which employ high quality artists.
- Projects serving traditionally underserved communities and/or include these communities as participants or artists in their projects.
- Projects that reflect cultural traditions or contemporary creative expression of a0 particular ethnic group.
- Collaborative projects that support ongoing arts and cultural development.
- Projects that provide free participation or admission to individuals who are economically in need.
- Organizations developing new projects specifically geared towards reaching new and under served audiences.

Additionally, the following are LOW funding priorities:
- Travel, space and equipment rental costs associated with the project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175320

Estimated Size of Grant:

$500 - $5,000

Term of Contract:

Projects have, as their core, an arts based or cultural activity that takes place between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Applicants must be an established nonprofit organization, a local government municipality, an individual representing a collective group, or an individual artist legally located in Erie or Niagara County. ALL applicants must provide proof of general liability insurance.
- All programs must take place in Erie or Niagara County (NOTE: Your program must take place in the same county in which you are an applicant).
- An individual artist or collective may apply if working in partnership with a community-based nonprofit organization that meets the above eligibility.
- NOTE: A letter of commitment from the partner organization, confirming the partnership with the applicant is required.
- NOTE: The applicant and the partner organization must both be based in Erie or Niagara County.

The following are NOT eligible to apply:
- Organizations or projects involving partners that have applied to the New York State Council on the Arts for funding for the 2019 fiscal year, regardless of funding status.
- Public universities and colleges; and public school districts, private or parochialschools, and their components (PTAs, etc.).
- New York State agencies and departments, including SUNY colleges and universities.
- Individuals or collectives that do not have a partner organization.
- Individual artists who are under the age of eighteen (18).
- Previously funded DEC recipients that have failed to provide final reports, use proper acknowledgement or have failed to comply with previous contract terms.
- Non-incorporated chapters of organizations whose “parent” organization is not located in Erie or Niagara County.
- Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Inc., its employees or board members, and groups for whom ASI serves as a fiscal sponsor/pass through.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Information sessions are mandatory for NEW applicants; optional but HIGHLY encouraged for everyone due to the new online application process.

Erie County Information Sessions:

Weds, August 22 at 2 pm
Springville Center for the Arts (37 N Buffalo Street, Springville)

Tuesday, August 28 at 1 PM
Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library (1324 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo)

Thurs, August 30 at 5:30 pm
Niagara Arts & Cultural Center (1201 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls)

RSVP for an Information Session by calling 362.8389 x512 or emailing

Can't attend an info session? Watch the informational video below which covers the application process and online grant portal. Watch this video first before attending an informational session or scheduling a meeting with the DEC grant coordinator: v=CzoG2Mld3I0

Pre-Application Information:

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, September 28, 2018 by 11:59 pm
A draft application can be submitted by Wednesday, September 5 (12:00 pm) for review and feedback before submitting a final application. Applications WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED late or incomplete.

Grants are not intended to cover the complete cost of the proposed project. DEC grant requests should not exceed more than 50% of the proposed project budget or program’s expenses. This match can consist of a combination of cash and in-kind revenue.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Start an application:

Jen Swan, DEC Grant Coordinator
(716) 362-8389

Arts Services Initiative of Western New York
95 Perry Street, Suite 402
Buffalo, New York 14203

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Erie and Niagara County