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Visual Arts Grants for Organizations

Grants to Alabama Nonprofits, Schools, IHEs, and
Agencies for Visual Arts Projects and Programs

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Alabama State Council on the Arts

Deadline Date:

09/01/18 5:00 PM - Deadline for Operating Support, Project Grants, and Presenting Grants


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Grants to Alabama nonprofit organizations, schools, government agencies, and IHEs to support a range of activities in the visual arts. Applicants requesting operating support must submit an LOI at least one year prior to applying. Applicants requesting technical assistance must contact program staff prior to applying.

The program promotes professionalism, excellence, audience access, educational impact, and multiculturalism. The visual arts include sculpture, painting, printmaking, crafts, photography, design, media, and filmmaking. All projects must impact or have origins in Alabama.

The following types of Visual Arts grants are available to organizations:

Operating Support:

Operating Support grants are available to major presenters, museums, art centers, local art councils, and professional arts producing institutions. These grants provide support and stability to large arts organizations with far-reaching cultural impact. Funding is provided for general program development and to stimulate private and additional public funding. Eligible groups are expected to be well established with ongoing fundraising efforts. They must show a high level of professionalism, both artistically and administratively, and must engage in strong community service and educational outreach.

Project Support:

General Projects:

This component supports a wide range of activities undertaken by museums, art galleries, art centers, and other organizations with visual arts and crafts programming. Project grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar in cash or a combination of cash and in-kind support. Preference is given to activities emphasizing the creation, display, interpretation, and preservation of artwork by professional Alabama visual artists and crafts people. The quality of work to be presented is an important consideration in reviewing proposals. Examples of appropriate visual arts projects include:

-Projects that make programming accessible to special constituencies.
-Conservation of art works.
-Planning, preparation, promotion, and mounting of exhibitions by professional artists.
-Residencies or workshops conducted by recognized artists who do not work with the organization on a regular basis.
-Educational activities or services undertaken by a gallery or museum.
-Commissioning new works by Alabama artists or offering purchase awards to artists in juried exhibitions.
-Commissioning or purchasing works for art for public places.
-Activities enhancing the professional growth of visual arts and crafts organizations. This may include bringing in a consultant to implement an administrative or artist development project.
-Conferences and workshops designed to enhance communication, planning, programming, and artist skills.
-Publications promoting exhibitions, artists, and activities within the state, special documentary pieces for public use and non-commercial purposes; art criticism and discussion featuring Alabama artists and art work; and resource directories.
-Visual arts and crafts festivals where professional artists are featured and presented as the main purpose of the festival.
-Touring of special exhibitions.

Appropriate media/photography projects include:
-Creative works about a broad range of topics and/or journalistic documentation of an artist or art form.
-Supplementing funds for producing, processing, editing, and distributing films, video tapes, audio tapes or other media presentations for public use.
-Residencies or workshops conducted by recognized film/video makers and photographers to discuss their art and interact with local artists and the public.
-Commissioning of a film or video by a recognized Alabama film or video artist(s) to be presented to the public as an expressive art form.
-Conferences and workshops designed to enhance communication, understanding, artistic and programming skills, planning, and cooperation relative to the media arts.
-Noncommercial publications promoting media arts and providing information on media arts for the general public.
-Film and/or video festival showcasing the work of independent media artists working in the state.

Administrative Projects:

Administrative support may be requested if a case is made in the application that directly connects administrative support to organizational growth and to enhancing the quality of programs. Salaries for full and part-time staff may be included as a prominent part of the request.

Consolidated Projects:

A single application that consolidates several related projects put on by the requesting organization. A series of exhibitions, screenings or workshops may be considered as a consolidated project. The amount requested and the number of project components will affect the limit of applications each organization is permitted to submit per deadline and per year. If a Consolidated Project application is submitted, only one additional application may be submitted in the same fiscal year.

Presenting Grants:

These grants provide support to art museums and other organizations for presenting touring or packaged exhibitions. To be eligible, the exhibition must originate outside the county where it will be shown. Priority is given to exhibitions that are educational, serve to increase the local audience for visual arts, and seek to incorporate the visual arts as an essential element in the educational experience of all Alabamians.

Technical Assistance Grants:

Organizations and individual artists receive funding for special, one-time needs such as purchasing materials for a small-scale project, attending a conference, or bringing in a consultant. It allows them to take advantage of unique opportunities, such as the availability of an exhibition on short notice. Individuals may request funds to study with another artist, or participate in a variety of special activities for artists. Requests must not relate to any program or project already funded or applied for in another component, and must not be eligible and appropriate for funding under any other component.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 171902

Number of Grants:

No more than four (4) Presenting Grant applications per fiscal year will be funded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

-General Projects: $1,000 - $10,000
-Administrative Projects: $1,000 - $10,000
-Consolidated Projects: $1,000 - $20,000
-Presenting Grants: $1,000 - $10,000
-Technical Assistance Grants: $250 - $1,000

Term of Contract:

Projects may occur between October 1 and September 30 (June 1 deadline); or between January 1 and September 30 (September 1 deadline).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An organization is eligible to apply for funding support of arts activities taking place in Alabama if the organization is legally domiciled in Alabama and meets either of the following qualifications:

-The organization is nonprofit with a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring the organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

-The organization is a public or private educational institution (such as an elementary or secondary school), a school board, a local or county government agency or a college or university. Private educational institutions must be nonprofit and meet the tax-exempt requirements described above.

To be eligible for Operating Support, an organization must have a three-year average cash income of at least $800,000 for fiscal year 2015.


Colleges and universities are eligible only for activities that clearly serve the needs of the general public and communities. Indirect costs involving the administration of the institution cannot be included. Activities producing academic credit (except internships) or those oriented primarily to students and the academic community are not eligible.

Private nonprofit organizations which are requesting funds directly from the legislature for arts programing for the coming year are not eligible to apply under any program in these guidelines.

In instances where an organization receives other state money for any purpose covered by the support programs in these guidelines - whether directly from the legislature or through another fiscal agent - the Council will consider such state support when evaluating applications and awarding grants.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts does not fund:
-Projects not available to the general public
-Activities and performances planned solely for fundraising purposes
-Food, beverages or other refreshments
-Interest on loans, fines, penalties, and/or litigation costs
-Expenses incurred prior to October 1 or after September 30 of the current grant year
-Investments of any kind
-Church projects which have sectarian or faith-based objectives; however, nonprofit religious groups may apply for community arts activities and programming where artistic expressions are the primary focus
-Indirect costs

Pre-Application Information:

Grant requests to the Council must be matched dollar-for-dollar in cash or a combination of cash and in-kind support. Presenting grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar in cash. In order to count as matching funds, cash or in-kind contributions must be used to accomplish the programming objectives outlined in the application during the specified grant period. In-kind contributions may include donated services, space, or materials essential to the completion of the arts project.

Presenting grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar in cash. When costs are offset through grants from other public funding sources, such as South Arts, the total combined funding from the State Arts Council and the other grants may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the presentation, including marketing, space rental and other miscellaneous costs.

New organizations seeking Operating Support funding must submit a one-year notification in writing of their intent to seek Operating Support funding.

Operating Support requests may only be submitted for the June 1 deadline.
Project Grants and Presenting Grants may be submitted for the June 1 or September 1 deadline.
If requesting Technical Assistance Grants, call for avaialability.

Technical Assistance Grants do not require a match, although a match will strengthen the application request. Contact Elliot Knight to check on funding availability and to request an application form.

Organizations or individuals who are applying to the Council for the first time are encouraged to submit a draft version of their application to be reviewed by a program manager. Draft applications should be submitted for review no later than three to four weeks prior to the deadline date.

A Public Hearing session is held for each deadline. Approximately two weeks before the hearing, letters are mailed to applicants inviting them to the Public Hearing. There are a limited number of slots available so applicants are scheduled on a first response/first come basis. Each applicant is allocated five (5) minutes to speak to the Grants Review Committee of the Council concerning their project request.

-June 1: For projects which will occur between October 1 & September 30
-September 1: For projects which will occur between January 1 & September 30

All applications are due by 5:00 PM on the deadline date. If the deadline date falls on a weekend or state holiday, the application is due by 5:00 PM the next business day.

It is recommended that you do not delay in preparing or submitting your application. The eGrant system will be open two months prior to the deadline date. You may enter the system, set up your application file and work on it as needed during that two-month period. Please remember that the eGrant system will close promptly at 5:00 PM on the deadline date. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an application by 4:45 PM on the deadline date to be sure it is transmitted before 5:00 PM.

More information about Operating Support may be found here:

More information about Project Grants may be found here:

More information about Presenting Grants may be found here:

More information about Technical Assistance Grants may be found here:

Grant Application Process:

Instructions for applying through eGRANT:


Contact Information:

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

Apply online through eGRANT:

Elliot A. Knight, PhD
334-242-4076 Ext. 250

Alabama State Council on the Arts
201 Monroe Street, Suite 110
Montgomery, AL 36104

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama