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Artists in Communities and Schools Projects

Grants to Ontario Arts Nonprofits, Individual Artists, Artist Groups,
and Eligible Schools for Community-Engaged Arts Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Deadline Date:

11/28/19 1:00 PM ET


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Grants to Ontario nonprofit arts organizations, individual artists, artist groups and collectives, school boards, and First Nation or Indigenous schools to support arts projects that engage the local community. Funding is intended to promote the collaboration between local professional artists and community members to develop and design a creative experience. These experiences may include co-creation.

The program supports the research, development, and realization of community-engaged arts projects. Skill building is a core component of projects. There are three categories:

- Planning: to help cover the costs of co-planning and co-design of the project between artists and communities
- Project: to help cover the costs of realizing a community-engaged arts project
- Two-year project: to help cover the costs of continuous multi-phased community-engaged arts project for two years.

The program is committed to developing the field of community-engaged arts. Additional funds are available to any category to help cover the cost of mentorship of artists from OAC priority groups looking to build skills and experience in project planning and/or facilitation as part of a community-engaged arts project.
Mentorship: Additional funds are available in any category to help cover the costs of mentors and mentees in the development of project planning and/or facilitation skills.
- Applicants can be either mentors or mentees.
- Mentees must be professional artists and members of at least one OAC priority group.

The program’s priorities are to support projects that:
- Work with sectors beyond the arts, such as health, education, justice and the environment
- Provide a sense of community, social connection, civic engagement and contribute to building a more just society
- Reduce barriers to arts participation
- Increase access to the arts for underserved or marginalized communities
- Employ Ontario artists in Ontario communities

This program funds:
- Artists’ fees
- Support specialist fees (including translators, Elders, therapists, etc.)
- Honoraria for project participants
- Snack and beverage expenses for participants
- Travel expenses
- Venue or studio rental
- Purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
- Materials costs
- Administrative costs associated with the artists or arts ad hoc group/collective/organization only
- Marketing, outreach and promotion expenses

Important: There is specific funding in the program for artists and health care collaborations. To be eligible for this funding, there must be a partnership between an arts partner and a health care facility (e.g. hospital, community health center, long-term care facility, mental health, and addictions services) funded through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153155

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant amount(s):
- Planning: maximum $7,500
- Project: maximum $12,500
- Two-year project: maximum $20,000

Up to $3,000 in additional funds are available in any category for mentorship costs of both mentees and mentors.

Term of Contract:

Eligible activities:
- Cannot start before the deadline
- Cannot finish before receiving grant results
- Must be completed no more than two years after receiving the grant results

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Individuals and co-applicants who are Ontario residents with a permanent physical address in Ontario
- Ad hoc groups/collectives, based in Ontario, made up of at least 50 percent of professional artists
- Ontario-based not-for-profit arts organizations and non-arts organizations
- School boards not partnered in OAC’s Artists in Residence (education) program (for artist fees and travel expenses only)
- Schools run by First Nations or Indigenous education authorities

Important: Non-arts organizations, schools run by First Nations or Indigenous education authorities, and school boards must have an arts partner. The arts partner can be an artist, art collective, ad hoc arts group, or arts organization.

Ineligible applicants:
- Municipalities, colleges and/or universities
- If you will be employed by a school involved in this project on a full- or part-time basis during the project, you are not eligible
- School boards who are partnered with the ontario arts council in the artists in residence (education) program
- Organizations that receive a grant in the arts organizations in communities and schools – operating program
- Organizations that receive an operating grant in other oac programs, with the exception of organizations mandated to serve one or more of a oac’s priority groups

Important: organizations applying as new applicants in the arts organizations in communities and schools: operating program may apply only for projects taking place in their current fiscal year

Two-Year Project category:
This category is available to community-engaged arts collectives and organizations that have received two or more OAC project grants through Community-Engaged Arts or Arts Education grant programs within the last five years. The following are not eligible to apply to the Two-Year Project category:
- Organizations receiving OAC operating funding
- Seasonal camps, festivals or events
Note: If granted a two-year project, organizations cannot re-apply to this program until the final report is approved.

This program does not fund:
- Events or activities that take place outside of Ontario
- Tours
- Professional productions for young audiences (see discipline-specific project programs)
- Major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
- Art therapy
- Faculty or student projects associated with their research, course work or studies
- Non-arts partner administrative activities
- School board costs beyond artists’ fees and travel

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline dates: March 14, July 30 and November 28, 2019, 1 p.m. ET.

Applications are available in Nova (The Ontario Arts Council's online grant application system) approximately two months before the deadline.

Grant notification will be available approximately four months after each deadline.

Guide to OAC Project Programs:

Priority groups:

Guide to OAC Assessment:

Nova User Guide:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online (the application will be available approximately two months before the deadline):

Terry Gitersos
Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058 ext. 7401

Ontario Arts Council
121 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3M5

Phone: 416-961-1660 | 1-800-387-0058 (toll-free in Ontario)
Fax: 416-961-7796

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario