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Local Arts Program (LAP) Grant

Grants to New Jersey Nonprofits, Agencies, Libraries,
and IHEs to Promote Community Arts Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission (MCC and HC) and New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA)

Deadline Date:

09/25/20 4:30 PM - for email; 11:59 PM - postmark for mail


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Grants up to $6,000 and grant of up to $7,000 to New Jersey nonprofit organizations, local agencies, libraries, and IHEs in eligible locations to promote the growth of community arts programs. Funding is intended to support the expansion of arts programs and to ensure that the public has access to high-quality, diverse community arts organizations and projects. Applicants must serve Mercer County.

Eligible organizations may apply for:

  • General Operating Support grants are available only to nonprofit organizations whose missions are exclusively devoted to the public presentation of, and/or education in, the arts. GOS funds provide support for the overall operations of these organizations for the calendar year. Although there are specific uses for GOS funds that are considered ineligible, GOS funds may be used for most activities that support the organization’s arts mission.
  • Special Project Support grants are for a public arts activity or event that occurs during the grant year with specific start and completion dates. The project may contain multiple events or activities, but these must be clearly related by discipline or theme. The special project must be separate from the regular programming of the applicant organization and should have its own mission and goals. It may be considered a permanent “additional project” within the sponsoring institution or it may be a one-time occurrence. The project should be wholly dedicated to the arts and the sponsoring organization should clearly demonstrate a commitment to support of the arts project through the allocation of resources and funds raised in the community.

Examples of a special project include a concert, an exhibition, a reading, a mixed media presentation, a “one-off” run of a theatrical production, a festival, or workshops, lectures and demonstrations in one of the arts disciplines. All events funded through Special Project grants must take place within Mercer County and be open to the general public.

Arts programs and projects should fall under any of the following disciplines:

  • Dance
  • Instrumental or vocal music
  • Theater or musical theater
  • Visual and media arts
  • Folk arts and crafts if they reflect authentic traditions practice by master artists
  • Literary arts
  • Compositio
  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Multi-media projects

For a list of funding priorities, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 124619

Estimated Size of Grant:

For General Operating Support the maximum amount of grant funds an organization may request is 25% of the average of last year and the current year total operating income, not to exceed $7,000.

For Special Project support, the maximum allowable request would be 50% or less of the total estimated expense budget for that specific project. Project costs would be separate from the estimated expense budget for the applicant organization. The total amount requested for a Special Projects grant may not exceed $6,000.

Term of Contract:

The Grant Period for all FY21 grants under this program runs January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Mercer County-based nonprofit organizations, units of local government, libraries, and/or institutes of higher education that have been offering or presenting arts programming for at least the past two years are eligible to apply for Mercer County’s LAP grant support. K-12 schools and school districts are not eligible, but may partner or collaborate with an eligible applicant group on a project.

At the time of application, an organization must be incorporated as a non-profit in the State of NJ and designated tax-exempt by determination of the Internal Revenue Service (in accordance with Sections 501(c) 3 or (c) 4). Organizations whose filings with the IRS for tax-exempt status are in process and on schedule to be determined by September 2020, may be considered for a LAP grant if they identify a current 501(c)(3 or 4) New Jersey non-profit to serve as a fiscal agent. In such a case, a letter of agreement from that fiscal agent must be included with this application, along with a copy of that agency’s IRS determination letter.

Applicants cannot receive funds from both the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts during the same funding year, nor may they receive funding from a Culture & Heritage office in another county during the same funding year.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds:
- Capital improvements and acquisitions (including artwork)
- Hospitality costs
- Foreign travel
- Deficits or replacement of funds normally budgeted for the activity
- Fundraising events
- Student-produced publications, scholarships or awards
- Support for “The Nutcracker” or any organization whose sole activity/season is based on “The Nutcracker”

Pre-Application Information:

Grants must either be EMAILED to the office at by the close of business day (4:30 p.m.) or sent by mail, postmarked before midnight September 25, 2020. No Hand-delivered grants will be accepted.

In response to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, the Division will waive grant match requirements upon request from the organization.

Contact Information:

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

Grant applications may be emailed to

Or mailed to:
Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission
PO Box 8068
Trenton, NJ 08650-0068

For overnight delivery service:
Mercer County Cultural and Heritage
640 Broad Street, 4th Floor, Rooms 417 or 419
Trenton, NJ 08611

For more information or questions, call (609) 989-6418 or (609) 278-2712.

For more information or questions:
Tricia Fagan, Senior Program Analyst

Lisa Tramo, Administrative Secretary/OFS SVS MGR

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey: Mercer County

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