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Arts, Cultural Heritage (ACH) Sponsorship Program

Grants to Florida Arts Nonprofits, IHEs, Agencies, and
Schools in Eligible Regions For Events that Increase Tourism

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing (PCTSM), Central Florida's Polk County Tourist Development Council (TDC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/17/20 Noon Receipt


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Grants to Florida nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, IHEs, public schools, and agencies in eligible regions for publicly accessible events that increase tourism and promote economic development in the area. Applicants must attend an informational workshop prior to applying. Funding is intended for arts and cultural events that attract visitors to Polk County.

The goal of the program is to encourage the development of programs and special events that will showcase Polk County's unique arts, culture and heritage through various means of expression, interpretation and engagement that will attract visitors, enhance the visitor experience and support the brand ”Visit Central Florida" through authentic, high-quality presentations. Culture and heritage can be expressed through local customs, crafts, cuisine, visual and performing arts, history, literature and oral traditions. 

The objectives of the program are to create a portfolio of activities which:

  • Attract Visitors During Periods With Moderate to High Growth Capacity
  • Reinforce Existing Positive Images
  • Encourage Increased Visitor Spending
  • Provide Added Value To A Polk County Visit

For additional information regarding program objectives, see:

To assist in achieving these goals, proposals will be evaluated in the following categories: 

  • Economic Benefits 
  • Sustainability
  • Appropriateness
  • Image Enhancement
  • Growth Potential
  • Event Quality
  • Community Support

Program Categories:

  1. Regional Events: multiple consecutive day recurring events
  2.  ACH Ongoing Cultural Program Development and Presentation; and extraordinary presentations that are not part of an organization’s usual presentations. l
  3. Enhancement Events that have little or no income potential
  4. Fundraising Events that are Arts Culture and Heritage focused
  5. Fundraising Events that are Arts Culture and heritage-focused but support projects or programs of non-ACH related applicants

For additional information about program categories, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 143831

Estimated Size of Grant:

A) Regional Events - multiple consecutive day recurring events:
Maximum Request of up to $75,000
B) ACH Ongoing Cultural Program Development and Presentation: Maximum request up to $40,000
C) Enhancement Events that have little or no income potential: Maximum Request up to $10,000
D) Fundraising Events that are Arts Culture and Heritage focused: Maximum request up to $10,000
E) Fundraising Events that are Arts Culture and heritage-focused but support projects or programs of non-ACH related applicants: Maximum request up to $10,000

Term of Contract:

October 1, 2020-September 30, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility For Funding Consideration:
1. All events, performances, or programs funded by the Tourist Development Council must be open and accessible to the general public. Events, performances or programs must be promoted to the public and cannot be unreasonably restrictive through admittance fees, public access or crowd capacity, which limits participation by visitors. One of the main purposes of the events must be to attract overnight visitors to Polk County. Events which require a visitor to purchase a ticket to a third-party venue will not be considered for funding.
2. Impact Benefits Polk County. Events, performances or programs must take place in Polk County. If these events, performances or programs are to be used for fundraising purposes, profits must go wholly to programs that benefit Polk County residents or charities.
3. Must be a not-for-profit organization qualified to do business in Florida.
a. Applicant organization must be legally incorporated in Florida or must qualify with the Florida Department of State to be authorized to do business in Florida. b. Applicant organization must be recognized as a tax-exempt organization by the IRS under the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501c, subsections 3,4,5,6 or 7. c. A copy of the most recent IRS determination letter must be provided to confirm your organization’s federal tax-exempt status.
4. Public schools or other government organizations are also eligible. K-12 Public schools support organizations such as PTA’s, Education Foundations are eligible to apply. Individual Schools are ineligible. Units of Higher Education or Government or other municipal/county government organizations within Polk County are eligible to apply, but the program, event, or activity must fall within the definition of Arts/Culture/Heritage.

Eligibility for Extraordinary Presentations:
Extraordinary presentations are not part of your organization’s usual presentations. There must be a clear line between your organization’s special program and normal programming. Cannot be used for operational expenses not related directly to special programs or exhibits. TDC will not consider normal staffing or “rent” paid to institutions for staging special exhibit or programming as part of the organization’s matching amount or for reimbursement.

Funding cannot be provided for any of the following:
1. Capital improvements, including expenditures for the acquisition, construction or alteration of a facility, unless allowed by Florida Statutes, Chapter 125.0104, Paragraph 5 Authorized Uses of Revenue.
2. Mortgage payments.
3. Purchase of equipment, which has a useful life of one year or more and a unit cost of $100 or more.
4. Payment of past deficits.
5. Administrative costs, which includes salaries.
6. Activities and events intended only for the applicant’s membership or local community.
7. Activities and events, which do not promote and advertise tourism in Polk County.
8. Food, lodging, and personal transportation for traveling out-of-county.
9. Rent paid to a sponsoring organization for hosting a special event.
10. Scholarships, plaques or awards
11. Food or beverages for the event or activity

Pre-proposal Conference:

All applicants are required to attend one of the informational workshops. Attendance is mandatory and applications will not be accepted if your organization does not have either the person writing OR signing the application attend one of the sessions. Attendee must be the person filling out the application and/or the person signing the application.

Thursday, February 13: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tourism & Sports Marketing Office in Auburndale

Wednesday, February 26: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Tourism & Sports Marketing Office in Auburndale

Pre-Application Information:

All completed applications are due to PCTSM office by Noon on Friday, April 17, 2020 (applications must be in hand and not just postmarked by that date).

- January 31, 2020: Applications available on Visit Central Florida (VCF) Website
- February 13, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.: 2 hour application workshop at VCF Office (Morning Session)
- February 26, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.: 2 hour application workshop at VCF Office (Evening Session)
- April 17, 2020: Application Deadline (Due by Noon)
- May 7, 2020: Applications distributed to ACH Committee
- July 1, 2020, 4:00 PM: ACH Committee scoring deadline
- July 23, 2020: ACH workshop to finalize sponsorship amounts

All TDC funding under ACC programs require matching funds. The ratio of matching funds varies by program categories. Most of the programs allow for a percentage of your matching funds to be in-kind services provided by local businesses.

Contact Information:

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

Send or deliver applications to:
Kris Keprios
Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing office
2701 Lake Myrtle Park Rd.
Auburndale, FL, 33823

If you have any questions, contact:
Kris Keprios

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Florida: Polk County

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