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Arts Business Incubator (ABI) Program

Grants to New York City Arts-Based Startup
Companies for Business Development Support

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New York Foundation for the Arts, with support by Scherman Foundation's Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund

Deadline Date:



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Grants to New York City for-profit or non-profit arts-based startup companies for custom-tailored, formalized support for business growth and sustainability. Applications are invited from arts companies within their first 18 months of operations who lack access to the necessary channels to successfully realize their entrepreneurial goals.

Support will include:

-Intensive professional development training providing the fundamental principles for starting and running an arts business.

-Group learning with a small community of other arts start-ups, as well as one-on-one mentorship and coaching with NYFA staff and experts in appropriate fields.

-Subsidized legal and accounting services for the duration of the program.

-Strategic and business planning assistance.

-Free, customized consultations in fundraising, marketing, real estate, insurance, technology, and any other area relevant to the needs of each individual enterprise, by experts in those fields.

-Fiscal sponsorship for non-profit start-ups.

Program Schedule:

April-May 2015: Group Training Program covering business and strategic planning, financial principles, legal issues, fundraising, and marketing and communications. ABI staff will work with participants to confirm dates and participants are required to attend all sessions (5 days of training).

May-June 2015: Participants will develop a customized plan outlining the support they need to move forward and a timeline for the launch of their business.

June 2015: Individual consultations begin.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150322

Number of Grants:

Up to 10.

Term of Contract:

Three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

-Applicants must be in the “start-up” phase of the enterprise (brand new or within the first 18 months of operation). If an enterprise consists of multiple people, one person must be designated as the main applicant for the purposes of this program.

-Must be an arts-based business, and can be either a for-profit or a not-for-profit.

-Must be a New York City-based enterprise.

-Must be able to attend all sessions of the Group Training Program.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must submit a 2-3 page Letter of Interest (LOI), and two recommendation letters through Submittable (note: you will be prompted to create a free account):

The LOI must be in narrative form, and will describe the enterprise, anticipated structure, how it will achieve profitability (or sustainability), communities served and impacted, needs filled, and an assessment of the competition in the field.

Those applicants who are accepted into the next round may be asked to submit further documentation of their business/enterprise activities, including budgets and tax records if the enterprise is already in existence. Applicants may also be asked to come in for an in-person interview.

The application period will close on January 23, 2015.

Applicants will be notified in late February if they have been selected for the second round, and interviews, as well as the submission of additional documentation, will be scheduled accordingly. Final decisions will be announced in April.

Contact Information:

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

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)
20 Jay Street, 7th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York