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Montana Cultural Trust Grants - Cultural and Aesthetic Projects

Grants to Montana Nonprofits, Agencies, and
Individuals for a Range of Arts and Culture Activities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Montana Arts Council (MAC) and Montana Cultural Trust

Deadline Date:

08/01/18 5:00 PM


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Grants starting at $2,000 to Montana nonprofits, government agencies, and individuals to support a broad range of cultural and aesthetic projects. Individual applicants must contact program staff prior to applying to discuss matters of fiscal sponsorship. Project categories include, but are not limited to the following:
-Visual Arts
-Performing Arts
-Literary Arts
-Media Arts
-Historic Preservation and Construction
-Renovation of Cultural Facilities 

Applications are encouraged for applicants serving rural communities, racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, institutionalized populations, youth and the aging.

Cultural Trust Grant Categories:

You may only apply for a grant in ONE of the four categories listed below.

If your organization has paid staff of at least one half-time position, apply under special projects or operational support EVEN if you are requesting $4,500 or less.

Special Projects Requesting $4,500 or Less: These requests may be submitted by organizations that are all-volunteer or employ no more than one half-time person and are well suited for small requests. These applications will be reviewed knowing the applicants have less grant-writing experience.

Special Projects: These grants are for specific cultural and aesthetic activities, services or events of limited duration. This category is for the expansion of ongoing programs, adding staff or increasing staff time.

Many applicants express confusion as to why they must apply under Special Projects to expand ongoing programs or operations. Section 22-2-309 states the operational support category as: “operational support for cultural institutions that have been in existence for at least two years and whose budgets reflect only the costs of continuing their current program.” Any costs above and beyond the continuation of the current programming (new or expanded staff, for example) must be in Special Projects for the first year.

Operational Support: These grants are for operational support for cultural institutions that have been formally organized for at least two years with an ongoing program and with paid professional staff and whose budgets reflect only the cost of continuing their current program. This category is not for staff or program expansion (see Special Projects). Operational support grants are not intended to reduce the applicant’s fund-raising efforts.

Capital Expenditures: These grants are for additions to a collection or for acquisition of works of art, artifacts or historical documents; historic preservation; purchase of equipment over $5,000; or the construction or renovation of cultural facilities. Applications must include renderings, working drawings or photographs of the facility to be renovated, improved or constructed or the artifacts or artwork to be acquired. No more than 25% of the total grant funds appropriated by the Legislature may be used for capital expenditure grants.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 154244

Estimated Size of Grant:

The lowest grant for this program is $2,000. The average award for the current two-year grant cycle is approximately $6,000. These amounts are the total award for the entire two-year period.

Term of Contract:

The grant period is July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2021 (two years).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any person, association, group, or a governmental agency may submit an application for funding.

Individuals may apply to special projects using a fiscal agent, which is a 501(c)3 incorporated nonprofit tax-exempt organization that is eligible to apply for Cultural Trust grants. You must contact the Montana Arts Council prior to submitting a grant application if you intend to use a fiscal agent. A copy of the IRS letter of acknowledgment that an application for tax-exempt status has been filed must be submitted to the MAC prior to receiving a grant. The fiscal agent is the recipient of the grant award. The fiscal agent becomes the legal applicant of record, redistributes the grant funds to the project coordinator and is responsible for all the requirements of the specific grant category. This includes contracts, fiscal records and final reports. Acting as a fiscal agent makes the organization ineligible to apply for Cultural Trust funding in another application. The Montana Arts Council is not able to act as a fiscal agent for an individual applying to the Cultural Trust. It would be a conflict for MAC to sponsor one individual over all others.

Although the legislature encourages applications for arts and cultural education projects, they will NOT support projects created to meet school accreditation standards or other mandated requirements or supplant other funds for current or ongoing programs operated by schools, colleges or universities.

Pre-Application Information:

Matching funds are funds other than Cultural and Aesthetic Project grants allocated or received by the grantee during the two fiscal years of the grant period and used exclusively for the application receiving Cultural and Aesthetic Project grant funds. The signed contract must be received by June 30, 2020 (the end of the first year of the grant period).

Individuals applying with a fiscal agent must contact program staff prior to submitting an application.

Hard-copy applications will not be accepted. You must apply online. Please contact the staff if you have technology challenges.

The application deadline is 5:00 PM, August 1, 2018.

Eligibility and Guidelines:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Kristin Han Burgoyne

Montana Arts Council
830 N. Warren Street
Helena, MT 59601

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Montana