Community Arts Grant Guidelines


Grant Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
Applications Open: October 2021
Deadline to Submit: Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 11:59PM


Click HERE for Application

PLEASE NOTE: In order to be eligible for a grant, all applicants must attend an information session. Any one member of an organization or artist group may attend an info session on behalf of their group.

Click HERE for Info Sessions

Guidelines in Spanish: Beca 2022 para Arte Comunitario (Apoyo a organizaciones): Pautas
Guidelines in Chinese: 法拉盛文藝中心 2022 社區藝術補助金 (針對組織機構的支持) 申請說明 >>點擊這裡


 

Overview

The Community Arts Grant provides support to Queens-based community organizations, groups and collectives to hold arts and cultural projects or activities for the public in Queens to enhance the cultural climate in communities and neighborhoods where they live and operate - to make the arts accessible to all.

Applicants may make only one project request that is at least $1,000 and does not exceed $5,000. This one request limit does not apply to applicants acting as fiscal sponsors or community partners for the Community Arts Grant. Successful applications will show how the requested funds will:

  • Strengthen community bonds
  • Increase overall awareness and greater access to cultural activities in Queens
  • Advance the applicant organization’s mission


This program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Statewide Community Regrants Program (formerly the Decentralization program) with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
 



Applicant Eligibility

Community Arts Grants are open to Queens-based nonprofit organizations that propose an arts or cultural program that directly serves the people of Queens. Queens-based organizations without nonprofit status, unincorporated groups and artist collectives may apply with a proposed arts or cultural program, only if partnering with a Queens-based nonprofit acting as their fiscal sponsor. Anyone applying with a fiscal sponsor must also submit a letter of commitment.

 

Nonprofit Organization Eligibility

Nonprofit organizations can apply if:

  • The applicant has an active and legal street address in Queens (PO boxes are not accepted)
  • They have been active and in existence for at least one year
  • They have an active board of directors that meets to determine and review organization policy and procedure
  • They can provide in their application one of following proofs of nonprofit status:
    • A 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS
    • Documentation of charter by the NY State Board of Regents under section 216 of the State Education Law
    • A current NY State Bureau of Charities filing receipt
    • Documentation of incorporation under section 402 of the NY State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law


Eligibility for Organizations, Unincorporated Groups and Artist Collectives

Queens-based organizations, unincorporated groups and artist collectives may apply if partnering with a Queens-based nonprofit organization acting as a fiscal sponsor. 

Eligible fiscal sponsors must:

  • Meet the same eligibility requirements as outlined above for nonprofit organizations
  • Be based in Queens. However, the sponsored applicant is not required to be based in Queens.

Eligible non-profit organizations may both be a fiscal sponsor and a direct applicant to the Community Arts grant.

  • Organizations may fiscally sponsor no more than 2 other organizations per grant cycle, so long as it for different projects.
  • The sponsored request does not count towards the $5,000 limit for the Community Arts grant application.

Letter of commitment: A letter of commitment is required on the fiscal sponsor’s letterhead. The letter must outline the scope of the fiscal sponsor’s partnership with the partnering applicant organization, including but not limited to: assistance with volunteers, outreach, venue, or general project support; as well as any investment or contribution (whether in-kind and/or financial) towards the proposed project.


Fiscal Sponsors are responsible for:

  • Knowledge and understanding of grant opportunity criteria and relevant guidelines.
  • Ensure work for which funding is sought will occur within the appropriate contract period and required service area.
  • Consulting with the artist or collective regarding project eligibility and conveying all relevant grant application information, including deadlines and online access details. 
  • Registering requests and submitting applications with all required supporting information, including an Organizational Budget and Events Schedule (where applicable). 
  • Execute a letter of commitment with the sponsored group/artist that clearly outlines the administration of the grant and defines mutual responsibilities. 
  • Informing sponsored group/artist of funding decisions in a timely manner (prior to the expiration of the appeals period).
  • Receiving and disbursing granted funds and ensuring that all relevant tax filings and reporting are executed as appropriate. Fiscal sponsors must issue W-9s to grantees that are individuals, or unincorporated groups of individuals, with grants greater than $600 prior to issuing the grant award check and a 1099 tax form must be issued for the grantees' tax purposes.
  • Submitting a final report on the expenditure of the grant funds after the end of the contract period. 


Organizations that applied for direct NYSCA support in FY22 cannot serve as fiscal sponsors or partner organization regardless of the status of their NYSCA application. 

The following are NOT eligible to apply to the Community Arts Grant:

  • Applicants that applied directly for NYSCA support in FY22, regardless of the status of their NYSCA application.
  • Applicants that received a Community Arts Grant consecutively for the past three years.
  • Flushing Town Hall staff (including FTH Teaching Artists) or board members.
  • Applicants who have previously failed to submit final reports, or have breached a past cultural contract or any other contract with Flushing Town Hall.

Individual artists are eligible to apply to the Artists In Queens Grant without a fiscal sponsor.

 

Project Eligibility

Community Arts Grant projects may include, but are not limited to: exhibitions, workshop series, performances (all disciplines), festivals, screenings or readings.


Eligible Projects must

  • Include a public component: an opportunity to access and engage with the arts that is promoted and available to the general public.
    • In the case of workshops and participatory programs, participant recruitment must be open to the general public and reflected accordingly in outreach and promotional plans.
    • The public component may be a single or series of in-person presentations, activities designed to be experienced live online, or a combination of in-person presentations with complementary online engagements.
  • Be held in Queens during the 2022 calendar year.
    • Extensions for project date may be granted on a case-by-case basis with written approval from Flushing Town Hall staff.
  • Projects may charge admission to participants.

 

Allowable Expenses

Community Arts Grant funds can fund the following expenses:

  • Activities/Projects of local arts organizations including both live and virtual
  • Artist fees
  • Administration costs
  • Venue rental for the project (general home/office/studio rent is not eligible)
  • Marketing/publicity costs
  • Direct administrative expenses and/or planning and preparation expenses for a proposed event
  • Supplies and materials needed to execute the proposed project. Individual items may not exceed $1,000. Examples: art supplies, sheet music, hardware, memory cards, and other consumable equipment.
  • Equipment, software, subscriptions, and training needed to execute the proposed project. Individual items may not exceed $1,000. Examples: cameras, lighting equipment, subscriptions associated with virtual programming, and training to utilize these tools.

 

Ineligible Expenses

Community Arts Grant funds are unable to fund the following expenses:

  • Requests greater than an applicant's project expenses minus total project income.
  • Operating expenses of privately-owned facilities (e.g. homes and studios).
  • General operating support for applicant organizations.
  • Funds to establish a new organization.
  • Projects that take place in private homes, membership-only organizations and/or exclude the general public.
  • Proposals that primarily benefit financial gain of an individual or organization.
  • Historical societies, unless the proposed project has a significant arts programming component.
  • Social service programs when the focus is primarily for rehabilitative or therapeutic or worship.
  • Non- arts related activity including:
    • Entertainment costs including receptions, catering, or fundraising events.
    • Recreational art programs.
    • Activities that are commercial art or entertainment, including balloons, makeup, magic, culinary arts.
  • In-school arts education activities and programs exclusively serving a school’s student body. 
    • After school activities that are open to the general public are eligible.
  • Public school districts, private or parochial schools, and/or public colleges or universities.
  • New York State agencies.
  • Acquisition of works of art.
  • Contingency funds.
  • The purchase of permanent equipment that exceeds $1,000 or capital improvements.
  • Creation of textbooks or classroom material.
  • Lobbying expenses.
  • Regrants by applicants to fund other activities.
  • Cash prizes, juried shows, fellowships, educational scholarships or other awards to students.
  • Programs in which children (under 18) are paid as professional artists.
  • Out-of-state travel costs.

 

Project Budget

Applicants are required to submit a project budget in their application which shows income, expenses and the request amount. The budget provides crucial information on how the applicant proposed to spend grant funds, which is central to the decision making of the peer review panel.

  • Applicants are not required to have a minimum income match.
  • An applicants' remaining project costs may be met through planned in-kind contributions, cash income, or a combination of both as demonstrated in the project budget. 

 

Evaluation Process and Criteria

Project proposals should accurately describe the project, public activities, target audience, and the project’s anticipated impact. Project budgets should be precise, accurately reflect costs, and demonstrate the ability to raise funds from additional sources if needed.

A diverse panel of artists, arts professionals, community stakeholders and educators will review applications and recommend a level funding according to the following criteria:

  • Artistic Merit - as shown through work samples and past activities to display artistic vision and an ability to provide a positive audience experience.
  • Clarity of Project Proposal - as demonstrated by the cohesiveness and quality of the application in presenting the details of the project.  
  • Project Feasibility - the production plan, budget, and organization capacity must show an ability to achieve the stated goals and impact of the proposal, including past experience and/or planned collaboration. 
  • Appropriateness of Outreach and Marketing Plans - demonstrated by an explicit understanding of the intended audience, and a purposeful plan to use relevant networks and strategies to reach them.
  • Demonstration of Community Benefit and Level of Community Engagement - to show that the project will strengthen community bonds and increase the overall cultural awareness in the community.

Applications are reviewed each year in the context of:

  • Evaluation criteria
  • Available funding and funding priorities
  • Competitive evaluation against other applicants

Panel recommendations are presented to the Flushing Town Hall Board of Trustees for review and final approval. FTH staff facilitates the panel process and does not state opinions or make recommendations during panel deliberations.

 

Appeals Process

Denied applicants may appeal decisions in writing within (10) days from the date of notification, should they believe an error in the review of their application has taken place, effectively arguing the case for appeal based on the criteria below. Dissatisfaction with either a denial of an award or the recommended level of support is not eligible grounds for an appeal.

Grounds for appeal are limited to the following: 

  • Misrepresentation of information: an applicant’s information was improperly presented by FTH staff in a way that may have adversely affected the review process. 
  • Non-presentation of information: any part of the applicant’s information was not presented by the FTH staff as part of the panel’s decision-making process.
  • Improper procedure: the panel’s review of the funding request was biased or a conflict of interest.

To begin the appeals process, the applicant must first speak with FTH staff and go over application feedback and panel notes. Once the applicant has received panel notes and should they believe they have grounds for appeal, they must submit a formal letter to the Executive Director of FTH. The formal letter must specifically cite the grounds for the appeal and request that the decision be appealed. 

 

Grant Requirements

As recipients of public funds, applicants that are selected for a Community Arts Grant are required to do the following during the grant period: 

  • Sign and return grant contract to FTH
  • Include funding credit and FTH logo on all marketing and event materials, print and electronic. Proper crediting language will be provided in the grant contract.
  • If applicable, submit a Change of Scope revising project plan and budget should grantees receive less than 50% of their grant request.
  • Submit an event notification form five weeks before funded public events take place to allow FTH to promote the event and arrange for a representative to attend.
  • Notify FTH of any significant changes to the proposed project activities, including scheduling, venue, key participants or project scope before these changes are finalized.
  • Complete and submit a Final Report, no later than 30 days after completion of all project activities.


Return to your Submittable application HERE