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The Decentralization Grants (DEC) Program

Grants to New York Nonprofits and Artists for
Community and Educational Arts Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Chenango Arts Council (CAC)

Deadline Date:

01/10/18 5:00 PM Postmark or Receipt


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Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to New York nonprofit organizations and artists partnering with nonprofits for arts-related activities in Broome, Otsego, and Chenango Counties. Applicants must submit an intent to apply in advance of the final deadline. Funding is available for community-oriented or educational arts programming.

The NYS Council on the Arts established the Decentralization Program (DEC) in 1977 to foster the continued development of local cultural resources responsive to community need. DEC serves all of New York’s 62 counties, including areas that are geographically isolated, economically disadvantaged, and ethnically diverse. The basic principle of DEC funding is to utilize local decision-making and use a peer panel evaluation process.

The Chenango Arts Council has administered the DEC Program since 1986, promoting arts and cultural events that creatively reflect the unique qualities, resources, and needs of the communities the Council serves.

The Decentralization Grants Program (DEC) offers support for the Arts and Arts Education in the following categories:

Community Arts (CA) Grants:

Known as “traditional” or “classic” DEC grants, CA grants provide support for arts and cultural projects to community-based organizations, groups, collectives, or individual artists. Individual artists must apply for a CA grant for a community-based project in partnership with a local nonprofit organization.

CA support enables emerging artists and organizations to grow professionally and to enhance the cultural vibrancy of communities and neighborhoods where they live and work. CA grants provide support to develop, foster, promote, enhance, and increase community arts that address current cultural needs in Broome, Chenango, and Otsego counties.

Arts Education (AE) Grants:

AE grants offer two funding categories: (1) K-12 In-School Projects and (2) After- School & Community-Based Learning. Funds can support arts education projects that take place in-school during the school day and/or in after-school and community-based settings for youth and/or senior learners.

Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn about the arts. Projects must focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process. Inter-curricular collaboration for in-school projects is encouraged but not required.

Projects must provide: Sequential, skills-based study that incorporates one or more art forms and includes a minimum of three (3) sequential hands-on learning sessions; In-depth, age and skills appropriate learning opportunities; Hands-on, participatory creation and/or learning opportunities in one or more art forms that may culminate in exhibitions, productions or demonstrations; Stated learning goals, methodologies and outcomes and a means for evaluation.

Funding Priorities:
-Artist’s and teaching artist’s fees
-Activities of local arts and cultural organizations
-Marketing and publicity costs
-Direct project-related supplies, materials, and administrative costs
-K-12 AE in-school and after-school AE community-based learning programs

Review Criteria:

Review panels consist of community representatives reflecting the artistic, geographic, and demographic ranges of Broome, Chenango, and Otsego counties.

The panels will evaluate applications according to the following criteria:
-Artistic merit and quality of the proposed project
-General community/student benefit generated by project
-Clearly defined, planned objectives and the demonstrated ability to achieve those objectives through an assessment component
-Organization/artist history, including stability, record of achievement, and fiscal accountability
-Other available support, whether monetary, in-kind, or other

Greater consideration will be given to projects that:
-Support local artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations
-Indicate community collaborations and the use of community resources
-Provide interactive projects and events that involve public engagement and participation
-Have a strong outreach and marketing plan, with efforts to reach and serve diverse audiences
-Target affordable (low cost or free) and accessible family, youth, and senior-oriented live cultural experiences
-Promote historically significant projects that increase public awareness of local history
-Promote cultural activities by smaller groups with new ideas presently under-represented in Broome, Chenango, or Otsego Counties, especially in under-served areas of each county (CA)
-Encourage creativity and original thinking with hands-on learning, preferably focused on local culture (AE)
-Promote skill-building and teach students how to make a practical living in the commercial arts field through exposure to teaching/professional artists so they can engage more freely with these individuals about their work, their livelihoods, training, and other aspects that support a career in the arts (AE)
-Clearly demonstrate collaboration and planning efforts between the school/teacher(s) and artist(s) (AE)
-Projects that involve faculty/family and connect students to their own communities (AE)
-Projects that reinforce mandated curricula and trigger interest in both the arts and subject matter (AE)
-Indicate cash or in-kind support greater than 25% of the total project expenses
-Celebrate diversity in the community
-Have the potential to reach large audiences and support a sense of community belonging

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163135

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant amount eligible for support is $500, and the maximum is $5,000.

Applicants may submit up to three applications between the two funding categories (CA, AE), with the
combined total request not to exceed $5,000.

Term of Contract:

All projects must take place between January 1 and December 31, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

-Applicant organizations must be able to document proof of nonprofit status.
-Applicant organizations must have an active board of directors or similar body charged with oversight of the organization that meets regularly.
-Applicant artists must reside in Broome, Chenango, or Otsego Counties and must partner with a qualified nonprofit organization if applying for a Community Arts grant.
-Applicant artists must reside in Broome, Chenango, or Otsego Counties and must partner with a local public school if applying for an Arts Education grant for an in-school or after-school and community-based project.
-All funded activities must take place within the same county as the applicant’s legal address.

DEC does not fund:
-Past grant recipients that have failed to submit final reports
-Artists and unincorporated applicants not applying in partnership with an eligible nonprofit organization (CA) or public school (AE)
-Organizations and artists applying for or receiving funds directly from the New York State Council on the Arts in the same contract timeline cycle
-Non-incorporated chapters of organizations whose “parent” is incorporated outside of Broome, Chenango or Otsego counties
-Start-up or “seed” funding for the establishment of a new organization
-Public, private, parochial secondary and elementary, or home schools, or the creation of textbooks or non-project related classroom material
-Arts activities not open to the general public (CA)
-New York State agencies and departments, including SUNY schools and projects involving partners that apply directly to NYSCA
-Activities or projects that are not related to the Arts (including magic, balloons, clowns, etc.)
-Equipment or capital expenditures (including acquisitions of works of art)
-Projects that are recreational, rehabilitative, therapeutic, or religious in nature, or at-risk/social service programs with a focus in these areas
-General operating expenses, contingency funds, or operating expenses of privately owned facilities (homes, studios)
-Entertainment expenses or costs not directly related to the Arts (i.e. galas, receptions/food/catering, awards/prizes, scholarships, contests, fundraising benefits, balloons, clowns, etc.)
-Re-grants by applicants to fund other activities
-Activities in venues that do not comply with all safety and accessibility standards
-Fees to children or their use as professional artists
-Lobbying expenses

Requested funding is not meant to replace other local funds, or replace school funding for the arts.

Pre-Application Information:

Decentralization funds for both CA and AE projects should fund no more than 75% of a project’s total expenses. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to keep their requests to 50% of the total project cost and utilize other sources of funding to cover the other project costs. These costs may be met through planned in-kind contributions, cash income, or a combination of both.

All applicants intending to apply for 2018 funding must notify the Council with intent to apply by sending an e-mail to Chris Hoffman (see contact details below), noting “Intent to Apply” in the subject line, and indicating which category of funding is being applied for (CA or AE, or both).

A pre-submission technical review of applications is available by email through Friday, December 15. After this date, applicants may no longer request technical help.

Applications must be received or postmarked by Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at 5:00 PM.

Grant notifications will be sent mid-March.

All grant recipients will be required to sign a contract at an Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 12, 2018, 5:00 PM.

Contact Information:

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

Applications shouldbe mailed or delivered to:

Chenango Arts Council
27 West Main Street
Norwich, NY 13815

Chris Hoffman, Grants Program Manager

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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USA: New York: Broome, Chenango, and Otsego Counties

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