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Annual Grant Program: Level 1 Operating Support Program

Grants to Indiana Arts Nonprofits in Eligible Regions
to Strengthen Operations and Programming

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Arts Council of Indianapolis

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/12/21 4:30 PM EST


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Grants of up to $10,000 to Indiana nonprofit arts and culture organizations in eligible regions to address operational and administrative needs and support programming. First-time applicants must contact program staff prior to applying. Funding is intended to significantly advance the mission of the Funding Source by promoting a creative life for the residents of Indianapolis and Marion County. Programs and projects must be available to the general public.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 131930

Estimated Size of Grant:

Currently, awards in this category are up to $10,000, with a minimum of $2,000, however the final award is conditional upon availability of funds appropriated and allotted to the Arts Council of Indianapolis from the City of Indianapolis.

Term of Contract:

Support Period: Calendar year 2021 (January - December)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Only one application per 501(c)(3) organization is eligible for support. Level 1 organizations must meet the following eligibility requirements:
1. Organizations must have a minimum annual operating budget of $20,000.
2. Organizations must be dedicated principally to the performance, exhibition, and/or presentation of arts and/or cultural programming. This focus on arts and cultural programming must be reflected in the organization’s mission statement.
3. Organizations must be a nonprofit entity with a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring the organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. (No Fiscal Agents)
4. Organizations must be Indiana-based and physically headquartered in Indianapolis/Marion County.
5. Organizations must provide programs accessible to the general public, demonstrate consideration of the diversity of the county, and articulate strategies for diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the organization’s operations and arts programming.
6. Organizations’ funded arts activities and a majority of organizations’ overall activities must occur in Marion County.
7. Organizations must demonstrate financial responsibility and use the majority of its budget for performing, presenting, or exhibiting the arts.
8. Organizations must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and ordinances, including but not limited to those that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

For information about funding restrictions, see:

Pre-proposal Conference:

All organizations applying for funding through the 2021 Level 1 Operating Support Program are encouraged, but not required, to attend a grant workshop offered by the Arts Council (dates listed below). In addition to reviewing the application materials at the workshop, Arts Council staff will walk through the online application process. Currently, all workshops are being offered via Zoom, and advance registration is required:

- Wed., December 16, 2020, 3:00 PM:
- Wed., January 13, 2021, 5:30 PM:
- Wed., January 27, 2021, 3:00 PM:
- Wed., February 3, 2021, 5:30 PM:

Pre-Application Information:


- Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 Optional Draft Review Deadline* (4:30 PM)
- Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 Full Proposal Deadline (4:30 PM) – application submitted via GoSmart
- April 6-9, 2021 Grant Review Panel (Follow on Twitter @acigrants)
- May/June 2021 Announcement of Grant Awards and delivery of agreements
- First Payment (pending submission of required materials and ACI’s receipt of funds – will be communicated)
- Friday, March 25, 2022 Final Report Due

New applicants are only eligible to apply for the Level 1 Operating Support program. To make the application process easier for new applicants, a representative from your organization must contact the Grant Services team to confirm eligibility and receive the invitational password prior to beginning an application.

All applicants must provide a one-to-one cash match of all grant funds awarded. In-kind contributions to the funded programs or projects are recommended and encouraged but not eligible for the match requirement. The cash match can constitute funds from any source in the applicant organization’s budget: other grant income, cash reserves, earned income, contributions, etc. Evidence of the match will be required in the final report documents.

Tech Tips for GoSmart:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Grant Services Department
Arts Council of Indianapolis
924 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-1021
Phone: 317-631-3301

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Indiana: Indianapolis/Marion County

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