Grants

 

The Arkansas Arts Council administers both federal and state funds to provide financial aid and state arts grants for programs and services benefiting Arkansas organizations, schools and artists. Federal funds are appropriated by Congress to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which grants funds to the Arkansas Arts Council. State funds for grants and programs are appropriated by the Arkansas General Assembly. Grant money from the Arkansas Arts Council is awarded annually.


Application Information

Applications will not be accepted online unless all required pieces are submitted. Late applications will not be accepted unless the applicant demonstrates good cause for missing the deadline. Good cause generally will be limited to events or factors beyond the applicant's control - such as natural disasters - and will be determined by the Arkansas Arts Council's Executive Director. 

The format of each grant application is designed to assist the review process and to provide an analysis of the artistic and administrative structures of the applicant organizations. When submitting an online application, an eligible organization must include all application information requested and submit the complete application package by the grant program deadline. 

The budget form is available as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet that will calculate for the applicants. If a budget line item does not apply, type a zero in the space. Do not leave blank spaces in any section of the application. The Total Income for the FY25 proposed grant application budget should equal the Total Expenses.

For clarification on what each budget line item includes, refer to Standard Definitions the Process and Policies links below. Applicants should use those definitions to determine how to divide their operating resources according to the budget line items indicated on the grant application form. Explanations or additional budget information requested should be submitted on Sheet2 indicated on the bottom of the downloaded Excel budget page.

When To Apply

  • December 4, 2023 Deadline for Letter of Intent application for new or returning FY25 General Operating Support and Major Arts Partners
  • January 25, 2024 Deadline for FY25 General Operating Support and Major Arts Partners GOS Grant applications Year One only. Panel Review: March 13, 2024. FY25 General Operating Support Grant applications for Year Two and Three are dure Jan. 31, 2024. No Panel Review)
  • February 5, 2024 Deadline for FY25 Arts in Education and Major Arts Partners AIE Grant applications. Panel review: April 16, 2024
  • Opens: Dec. 1, 2023 - Deadline: February 5, 2024 For FY24 Individual Artist Fellowship applications. Panel review dates TBD. Announcement of recipients will be made in October. More information to come.


How To Apply

We recommend that applicants speak with the appropriate grant program manager before submitting any Arkansas Arts Council grant application. Complete applications must be submitted online by the date of the deadline for a specific grant program. Application forms are available through the Arkansas Arts Council's Grants Portal and the Individual Fellowship Artist Grants Portal.

Select your grant below. After you click, "Apply Now" use the grants code: aac 

This grant reimburses nonprofit organizations for up to 40 percent (or up to $2,000) of the cost to hire a professional artist. The artists must be from the Arts on Tour Artist Roster. Nonprofit organizations, including schools, libraries, festivals and churches, can apply for these grants. 

Application Deadline Ongoing.

For additional information, contact the Grants Program Manager at (501) 324-9781. 

APPLY NOW

The Collaborative Project Support grant has transitioned to the Community Arts Project Grant.

FY24 Community Arts Project (CAP) grants can assist with contracted costs of arts activities occurring between July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, that involve some form of community art project targeting one or more underserved/distinct community groups. Communities whose residents lack access to arts. Especially those located in rural areas.  

Specifically, the grant seeks to fund projects for underserved community groups and to help cover art-related costs. 

Community Arts Project applicants may request up to $10,000. The minimum award request is $1,000. The award must be matched 1:1 by cash and in-kind. The proposed Project must involve either the creation of an open community arts project or event or show an expansion of an existing project reaching an underserved community.

Organizations must apply 60 days before their event.

Funds will be awarded until they are depleted. Funding awards will be based on review scores and available funds. This grant is year-round and staff reviewed.

This is a pilot year for this grant transition; therefore, an organization can apply for only one CAP grant during a fiscal period July 1 -June 30.”

What Types of Projects Can Be Supported?
Arts-focused community and audience-based programs, including but not limited to:

  • Performing arts events such as concerts, recitals, etc.
  • Visual art exhibitions
  • Multi-disciplinary events such as literary or film festivals, musical performances, art exhibitions

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These grants are designed to help fund administrative and operational costs for established nonprofit organizations with programs involving the arts. The program is for local arts agencies or single discipline arts organizations with total incomes of $50,000 and over. GOS funding may only be spent for non-programmatic, administrative expenses, including, but are not limited to, administrative staff salaries, general marketing and fundraising costs, facility rental, utilities, maintenance of the facility and staff travel. The requested amount for these grants must be between 7 and 12 percent of the total income from the organization’s last adjusted operating income based on budget size. The grant also requires some matching funds. For additional information, contact the Grant Programs manager at (501) 324-9781. 

APPLY NOW

Fellowships are unconditional, non-matching grants made directly to individual artists. Click here to learn about Individual Artist Fellowship categories and criteria.

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The program is a General Operating Support program that funds established not-for-profit and nonprofit local arts agencies or single discipline organizations with a three-year budget average equal to or greater than $1 million. If you are considering applying for this grant, please first contact the grants manager at 501-324-9781. 

 

APPLY NOW

This grant is made in memory of Sally A. Williams, who served as the Arkansas Arts Council’s Artist Services manager for 25 years before she passed away April 20, 2010. The fund was established, in part, from private donations, including Williams’s family and friends, and from proceeds from the sale of Williams’s artwork after her death. The grant helps pay for up to $500 in professional development and career advancement costs for artists. A request must be matched by the artist with a cash amount equal to or more than the grant. Artists may receive a minimum of $100 per application. The grant covers virtual conferences and travel, for example. Contact the artist services manager at 501-324-9348.

APPLY NOW


Arts In Education (AIE) Grants 

These major-grants help fund placing professional artists from the Arts in Education Roster in residencies outside the school environment, school day or school year. The settings include after-school and summer programs and can be located in community centers, low-income housing projects, juvenile facilities, social service centers, parks/recreation programs, boys and girls clubs and other community-based or governmental organizations and institutions. The grant is for up to $10,000 and the 1:1 match can be 50% in-kind. Contact the Arts in Education Program manager for more information.

APPLY HERE

These grants are awarded to schools and nonprofit or governmental organizations and institutions to help support projects that advance the goal of arts as a basic part of education. Projects must seek to enhance current arts curricula or must assist in the goal of establishing on-going arts programming and/or curricula in schools and organizations. Artists selected for this grant must be from the Arkansas Arts Council's Arts in Education Artist Roster. The grant is for up to $10,000 and the 1:1 match can be 50% in-kind. Contact the Arts in Education Program manager for more information.

APPLY HERE

The Arts for Lifelong Learning Mini-Grants program enriches the lives of adults of all experience levels and abilities through quality arts learning experiences. This program provides funding for eligible institutions that wish to host a short-term (up to 10 days) residency program with professional artists who are listed on the Arts in Education Artist Roster. Programs should have hands-on arts activities for adult populations in community-based or governmental organizations and institutions. An in-service workshop may also be included in the mini-residency program. Grants are available up to $2,000. Contact the Arts in Education Program manager for more information.

APPLY HERE

The Arts in Education In-School Residency program places professional artists from the Arts in Education Roster during the school day or school year in residencies at specific school sites or in conjunction with other nonprofit community or governmental organizations and institutions. The program provides a way for artists to demonstrate their art form, create or perform works of art so that participants may observe the creative process and relate their art form to other K-12 curriculum areas. The program is designed to strengthen the role of the arts in education with the understanding that the development of aesthetic awareness and participation in the arts should be an integral part of life and the basic education process. These residencies may last from 10 days to the entire school year.  Grant award payments, of up to $40,000, are scheduled to accommodate the grantee program requirements to the extent possible. The 1:1 match can be 50% in-kind. Contact the Arts in Education Program manager for more information.

APPLY HERE

 

The Arts in Education Mini-Grants are short-term residencies of up to 10 days where professional artists from the Arts in Education Roster provide curriculum-based arts activities in a school environment or other location, or provide a teacher's professional development workshop. Artists must be selected from the Arts in Education Roster.

Pre K-12 schools for programs during school hours, and/or organizations that provide after school or summer programs, have an opportunity to apply for Arkansas Arts Council funding to:

  • Bring quality, professional artists into the classroom or other location to present one- to ten-day hands on, curriculum based arts activities.
  • Present a teachers' professional development workshop in curriculum based arts activities either in conjunction with, or instead of a residency.

Applications run year-round except in the month of September. Also, the grant request maximum is now $2,000 and can be a cash match and/or in-kind match.

APPLY HERE

The Arts for Lifelong Learning Mini-Grants Veteran's Project program enriches the lives of veterans through quality arts learning experiences. This program provides funding for eligible institutions that wish to host a short-term (up to 10 days) residency program with artists. The professional artists do not need to be listed on the Arts in Education Artist Roster. Programs should have hands-on arts activities for veterans in community-based or governmental organizations and institutions. An in-service workshop may also be included in the Veteran's Project program. Grant request is up to $2,000 and can be a cash match and/or in-kind match. Applications run year-round except in the month of September.

Contact the Arts in Education Program manager for more information.

APPLY HERE

 

The Arts in Education program initiates new arts programs, or enhances existing ones, in schools and local arts agencies by providing direct interaction with professional artists in residencies for pre K–12 students. All artists involved in AIE residencies must be selected from the Arts in Education Artist Roster (except Veteran's Projects).

Three Arts in Education grants are available: After-School / Summer Residency Program, Arts Curriculum Project Grants, and In-School Residency Program.

Three Arts in Education mini grants are available: Mini Grant, Lifelong Learning and Veteran's Projects.

February 5, 2024 - Deadline for FY25 Arts in Education and Major Arts Partners AIE Grant applications.
Panel review: April 16, 2024

 
Matt Boyce Headshot
Matt Boyce

Arts in Education Program Manager

Brazier Watts

Grants Programs Manager

 

The following information applies to grant applications for the General Operating Support program, Arts in Education, Major Arts Partners, and the Collaborative Support program. 

Funding Restrictions

Under these guidelines, funding for organizations is not available for:

  • Deficits or start-up costs for new organizations
  • Contingency funds
  • Contributions and donations to other organizations or individuals
  • Building renovations or capital expenditures for facilities
  • Entertainment expenses, including busses for field trips, tickets to performances, or refreshments
  • Tuition for academic study or any form of scholarship or student financial aid
  • Faulty salaries, and additionally, staff salaries in Arts in Education grants
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Interest and other financial costs

DUNS to Unique Entity ID (UEI) Transition

Beginning April 4, 2022, all Federal Systems will no longer accept DUNS numbers and will require a UEI number (ID). For all applicants with an established SAM.gov account (active or inactive) the UEI number (ID) can be found by logging into your SAM.gov account. If your organization does not have a UEI number (ID), you can receive one without having to fully register with Sam.gov. Visit https://sam.gov/content/duns-uei and select the “Get Started” green box.

UEI numbers will be required during registration on the Grant Portal and when submitting Final Report or Program Evaluation documentation.

Funding Process

Prior to the beginning of the grant cycle of each state fiscal year (July 1 - June 30), the Arkansas Arts Council approves grant categories, policies, and review procedures. The Arkansas Arts Council uses a review process at the time of application to determine grant recommendations. All AIE (except mini- grants), GOS and Project grant recommendations are presented to the Council for review and are voted on to determine final grant amounts during the May Council meeting. Grant recipients are notified following the Legislative Review held in July.  Most grant award payments are distributed in installments.

Review Panel Selection

Review panels are composed of Arkansas Arts Council members and field representatives. Arts Council panelists are chosen from members who have expressed an interest in reviewing a particular grant category. Arts Council members serve on panels as ex-officio advisors to facilitate the review process and to provide insight and historical perspective.

Field representatives are chosen from a pool of nominations consisting of former panelists, academicians, arts administrators, and discipline specialists. Staff members select panelists from the pool based on consideration of geographic proximity, artistic qualifications, racial/gender diversity and availability. The executive director of the Arkansas Arts Council approves final panel selections. Each panelist completes a conflict of interest statement prior to the application review and does not participate in any application review where a potential conflict may exist.

Processing

Applicants must submit a complete application package as outlined in the online guidelines no later than the stated application deadline for a particular grant program. Once an organization submits its online application package, the Arkansas Arts Council staff checks the submission for technical completeness. Any question of application eligibility is resolved at that time.

Questions on costs submitted for ineligible projected budget line items, or for a projected budget surplus or deficit, will be resolved before the application goes on to panel review. Each panelist is assigned of every eligible application in a specific grant category for an online preliminary analysis prior to the scheduled public review. A signed online copy of each submitted evaluation is available in the Arkansas Arts Council office for review.

Review

Arts Council grant application reviews are conducted as conference call webinars. Grant applicants are invited to listen in while outside panelists are selected Arts Council members comment on each submitted application. Procedural rules are stated prior to the beginning of the panel discussions to ensure that all panelists and applicants understand the review format. The panel chair, facilitated by staff coordinator, is responsible for maintaining the announced review schedule and enforcing procedural rules. 

The discussion for each application is limited to the amount of time agreed upon n advance of the reviews. A timekeeper will monitor the time.

The panel chair introduces each application to the panel. The staff facilitator presents comments on the technical aspects of the application based on the information submitted. The panel then discusses and evaluates the information in each application narrative relative to established criteria. Official representatives of an applicant organization will only be given the chance to answer specific questions addressed to them by the panel during its discussion of the application narrative. The relevance of information presented will be monitored by the panel chair.

Review Participation

Representatives of the applicant organizations are encouraged, but not required, to listen to the panel review to answer questions that panelists may have, and to utilize the review comments as a management tool.

Panel Recommendations

Each panel discussion is recorded through the webinar format used, and the panelists' preliminary written comments are available as a PDF if requested after the review. 

Each panelist uses a review sheet listing the criteria established by the Council to record a numerical score and provide written comments. 

After the individual discussions are completed, the staff calculates two lists of application rankings based on an average of the field panelists' scores and an average of the Council member panelists' scores. The panel then compares the two averages, with further discussion held on any application with significant score discrepancies. The average of the field panelists' scores is given precedence in determining the panel's recommendation to the Arkansas Arts Council. If panel agreement on a final score cannot be reached, the matter will be forwarded to the full Arts Council for discussion. 

All panel scores are reported to the Arkansas Arts Council. Review sheets are kept on file in the Arts Council office.

Funding Decisions

The final amount of funding awarded for each grant application is determined at the annal funding meeting of the Arkansas Arts Council.

Each year, the Council approves funding priorities for each grant category based on available funds. Arts in Education, Major Arts Partners AIE projects, and Collaborative Project Support proposals are reviewed first based on panel recommendations. General Operating Support and MAP GOS Years 2 and 3 are reviewed for funding before GOS and MAP GOS Year 1 panel reviewed applications are considered.

The applicant's request amount adjusted for ineligible terms and the panel's numerical score provides the basic grant amount eligible for each applicant. The Arkansas Arts Council staff factors the basic eligible amount by available funds to determine the final grant amount recommended to the full Council.

The recommended amount is presented to the Arkansas Arts Council along with a prepared summary on each application review.

 

Request For Reconsideration

Once the Arkansas Arts Council determines the awards at the annual funding meeting, an applicant may request reconsideration of a decision. A request for reconsideration may be made if the applicant can demonstrate any of the following:

  • The review of its application narrative and budget statistics was based on criteria other than those appearing in the Arts Council's guidelines
  • The final decision was unduly influenced by a panelist with undisclosed conflicts of interest
  • Required information submitted by the applicant was withheld from the review panel or the Arkansas Arts Council

Dissatisfaction with either the denial of an application or the amount of an award is not sufficient reason to request Arkansas Arts Council reconsideration.

Reconsideration Process

To request reconsideration, an organization should consult with the appropriate program manager to review the factors that contributed to the Arkansas Arts Council’s decision.

If an applicant believes there are grounds for reconsideration, its representative must write a formal letter to the Arkansas Arts Council executive director requesting reconsideration within ten (10) working days of funding notification. The letter should contain evidence to support one or more of the listed grounds for reconsideration.

The request will be reviewed by members of the Arkansas Arts Council staff and by the executive committee of the Arkansas Arts Council. The executive committee may deny the request, or it may recommend a review by the full Arts Council at its next scheduled meeting.

The applicant will be notified in writing of any decision made by the executive committee and by the Arkansas Arts Council within 30 days of the decision.

Each grant applicant must certify that it has on file a Section 504 Self-Evaluation for its organization in order to be eligible for funding. For more information on ADA compliance, contact Tanja Enoch, Community Development program manager, at [email protected]. Find checklists and tools here.