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Community Initiatives Program

Grants to Texas Nonprofits, Groups, and
Artists for Arts and Cultural Programming

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Austin Economic Development Department (EDD) Cultural Arts Division

Deadline Date:

04/26/21 - for events occurring in April, May, June, 2021.


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Grants of up to $3,000 to Texas nonprofit organizations, groups, and artists for arts programming in eligible locations. Funding is intended to support activities and events for local residents as well as for tourists and visitors. The program supports activities and projects in all disciplines that provide quality arts and cultural programming to the Austin community and its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).

Community Initiatives is a quarterly funding program that provides funding for community-based arts events that celebrate Austin’s culture of creativity, and encourage collaboration, innovation, accessibility, and cultural tourism. 

The purpose of the program is to reinforce the artistic and cultural industry representing an important component of the economy of Austin and to celebrate and promote Austin as an exciting, vibrant and diverse cultural destination for visitors and tourists throughout the world. To that end, direct support of events and activities related to the improvement, application and broad accessibility and marketing of the arts are the guiding principles for the investment of these funds.

Goals for Allocation of Funds :

  1. Support arts, culture and creativity as an integral component of a vibrant community and a thriving economy.
  2. Preserve the unique character of Austin while encouraging artistic and cultural excellence and innovation.
  3. Support artists and arts organizations of all disciplines as they engage in meaningful work.

For FY 21, the Arts Commission has set aside funds to support Community Initiatives applicants seeking to broaden access or accommodate audiences with disabilities. The four top-scoring applicants who indicate that they will provide expanded ADA access during their proposed event will be provided additional support for expenses related to expanding accessibility at their proposed events. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164662

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum request of $3,000.

Applicants who wish to provide access to all audiences by providing sign language interpretation, assisted listening devices, closed captioning or other services may be eligible for up to $500 of unmatched funding to cover the costs of providing accessibility services for their audiences.

Term of Contract:

- For applications submitted by January 25, 2021, proposed events will occur in April, May, and June 2021.
- For applications submitted by April 26, 2021, proposed events will occur in July, August, and September 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Community Initiatives funding is available to arts groups, non-arts groups, and individual artists that produce or present arts activities and are not already receiving funding through the Cultural Arts Division’s Core Funding or Cultural Heritage Festivals programs.

Applicant type:
- 501(c) arts or non-arts organization (as evidenced by a current IRS determination letter or copy of the most recent Form 990 filed with the IRS)
- Groups without 501(c) designation but have State of Texas Non-Profit Status, or also known as Incorporated Groups (may apply with or without a fiscal sponsor)
- Unincorporated Groups without 501(c) designation (may apply with or without a fiscal sponsor)
- Individual Artists who are at least 18 years old (may apply with or without a fiscal sponsor)

An applicant must
- Be a resident, or be based in Austin or its ETJ for at least a one (1) year prior to the date the application is submitted, and
- Propose and advertise events open to the general public and occur within and for the benefit of the residents, visitors and tourists of Austin and/or its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), and
- Have produced artistic work in Austin, within your artistic expertise, and with a budget history of for a minimum of one (1) year prior to the application deadline, and
- Not have received Community Initiatives funding more than five consecutive or non-consecutive years, and
- Not currently be receiving funding from the Cultural Arts Division Core Funding or Cultural Heritage Festivals programs.

Funding awards allocated from this program may not be used toward activities funded by any other City of Austin departments/contracts or other cultural funding programs within the fiscal year.

Ineligible organizations and activities:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis.

Application Deadlines:
- Events occurring in April, May, June, 2021: Application deadline: January 25, 2021
- Events occurring in July, August, or September 2021: Application deadline: April 26, 2021

Only one application per organization/individual may be funded per fiscal year. Applicants may not receive Community Initiative Funding for more than five (5) consecutive or non-consecutive years.

All contractors must be registered with the City as a vendor. Sponsored Projects will use their Fiscal Sponsor’s Vendor Information. W9’s are required for new vendors.

All applicants are encouraged to watch the application training video. You can find training links on the Cultural Arts Division website at

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

To change your mailing address or organization name in vendor registration log into your Vendor Registration Account at

For more information email Anne-Marie McKaskle-Davis, Cultural Funding Specialist Senior at, or call 512.974.7854.

Virtual Open Office Hours – no appointment necessary!
Meeting ID 912 1807 0093
Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month
10 am to 12 pm

For general inquires or assistance, please contact the Cultural Arts Funding Program staff:
- Jesús Pantel, Cultural Funding Supervisor:, (512) 974-9315
- Sarah Corpron, Cultural Funding Specialist:, (512) 974-7989
- Peggy Ellithorpe, Cultural Funding Specialist:, (512) 974-7978
- Kameko Branchaud, Cultural Funding Specialist:, (512) 974-9312

City of Austin
Cultural Arts Funding Program
5202 East Ben White Blvd Suite 400
Austin TX 78741

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Texas: Austin and its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction

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