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Grants to New Jersey Nonprofits, Agencies, Libraries, and Schools to Support Arts Activities

State/County Partnership Local Arts Program (LAP) Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission
Funding or PIN Number: CHC-RFA-0001-24
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Geographic Focus
USA: New Jersey: Somerset County

Important Dates
Deadline: 09/15/23 4:00 PM Receipt Save

Grant Description
Grants to New Jersey nonprofit organizations, government agencies, libraries, and schools in eligible regions for arts activities. Funding is intended to support services or programs that expand upon creative placemaking, increase access to the arts, or enhance management of a local arts organization. Grant funds may be used for general operating support or to support public arts events. Eligible applicants must be Somerset County-based and provide services to Somerset County residents.

There are three types of grants available:

  1. General Operating Support (GOS): 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.
  2. Special Project Grant (SP): A special project is 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 planned activity or event MUST be presented in and benefit the general public of Somerset County. Examples of a special project include a concert, an exhibition, a festival, artist’s workshops, lectures, and demonstrations.
  3. Creative Placemaking (CP): Creative Placemaking is an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the Arts, culture, and creativity to serve a community's interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth, and transformation in a way that builds character and quality of place. Partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities or assets.

For information about eligible uses for each type of grant, see:

Arts Disciplines:

Dance, Design Arts, Interdisciplinary, Music, Crafts, Folk life/Art, Opera/Music, Theatre, Photography, Literature, Interdisciplinary, Theatre, Media Arts, Arts Education, Visual Arts,  Performing Arts  


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible Applicants:
A. Organization must be Somerset County based and provide an Arts program/project within Somerset County that benefits Somerset County residents.
B. At the time of application, an organization must be incorporated as a non-profit in the State of New Jersey and designated tax-exempt by determination of the Internal Revenue Service (in accordance with Section 501(c)3 or (c)4). A copy of this documentation must be submitted with application.
C. Somerset County based governmental agencies or commissions under a municipality or township are also eligible to apply.
D. The organization must provide a program or service that encourages public participation in the Arts and that increases public accessibility to the Arts.
E. Organizations must provide proof of stability and fiscal responsibility.
F. Afterschool programs utilizing school or faith-based facilities, broadly advertised as open to and welcoming the general public are eligible for funding.

- General Operating Support (GOS): GOS is limited to non-profit organizations whose missions are exclusively devoted to the public presentation of the Arts. The organization must present a documented history of artistic excellence and outreach efforts within Somerset County.
- Special Project Grant (SP): Open to any organization that meets the eligibility requirements.
- Creative Placemaking (CP): Open to any organization that meets the eligibility requirements.

Eligible types of organization:
- Nonprofit organization
- Municipal agency
- Library/school
- Other

Programs in educational or religious institutions that do not actively seek a wide general public audience are ineligible.

Ineligible uses of funds for General Operating Support Grant:
Capital improvements or construction costs; purchase of equipment; hospitality costs; reimbursement for deficits; out of state travel; fundraising; scholarships or awards, retroactive funding for work completed before submission of this application; projects primarily recreational, rehabilitative, or therapeutic in nature.

Ineligible uses of funds for Special Project Grant:
General administrative salaries; capital improvements; construction costs; renovations; purchase of permanent equipment; hospitality costs; previous program deficits; general operating expenses that are not related to the special project; fellowships/awards; student publications, activities which are normally the extra-curricular activities of public or private schools; projects in educational or religious institutions that do not seek a wide general public audience; scholarship funds; replacement of funds normally budgeted for the project or operation; reimbursement of deficits; retroactive funding for work completed before submission of this application; fundraising; projects primarily recreational, rehabilitative, or therapeutic in nature.

Ineligible uses of funds for Creative Placemaking Grant:
Same as Special Project Grants

Pre-Proposal Conference
Technical assistance workshops will be held on August 17, 2023, at 10:00 A.M. and August 29, 2023, at 6:00 P.M. via ZOOM.

A link will be sent out via email prior to each workshop and sign up will be posted on the County website.


Pre-Application Information
1. Release of RFA: July 26, 2023
2. Technical Assistance Workshops (Virtual): August 17, 2023, at 10:00 A.M., and August 29, 2023, at 6:00 P.M.
3. Submission of Questions Deadline: August 31, 2023, at 4:00 P.M.
4. Application Deadline: September 15, 2023, at 4:00 P.M.
5. Professional Peer Panel Review: October 2023
6. Closed Meeting of the SCC&HC For Final Funding Approval: November 2023
7. Commissioner Approval by Resolution/Notification of Awards: December 2023
8. Re-grantee Contracts Paperwork Sent: January 2024
9. Return Deadline for Re-grantee Contract: February 2024
10. Brief Interim Report Due: June 2024
11. Completion of All Grant-Funded Programming: December 31, 2024
12. Final Report Deadline: January 12, 2025

More than one application from an individual, a firm or partnership, a corporation or association, municipality or nonprofit under the same or different names shall not be considered.

There is no match requirement for any of the grant categories.

Notes on Pertinent Conditions:
1. Organizations may not receive grants from both the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts within the same funding cycle.
2. SCC&HC will not accept applications or award grant funds to organizations applying to or receiving LAP grants from other County Arts Councils or County Cultural and Heritage Commissions.
3. All applicants must include contingency plans for virtual or other alternatives to proposed programming to comply with County and State health and safety regulations. This item is addressed in Narrative question 6B of the Grant Application.

Estimated Size of Grant
- GOS applicant organizations can request up to 50% of their total budgeted income/revenue projected in their application.
- Applicants requesting Special Project grants can request 100% of the total projected eligible expenses of the special project.
- Creative Placemaking: the same as stated under Special Project Grants

Term of Contract
Grant Period January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024

Contact Information
Mail or hand-deliver the completed application to the address below:

Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission
P.O. Box 3000/20 Grove St.
Somerville, NJ 08876-1262
Attention: 2024 LAP Grant Application

Questions by prospective applicants concerning this RFA may be addressed to Kaitlin Bundy, Cultural & Heritage Commission Manager for the County of Somerset in writing via fax at 908-707-1749 or by email to

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