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Cultural Grant Program

Grants to Leon County, Florida Nonprofits and
IHEs for Arts and Cultural Programming

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Council on Culture and Arts (COCA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/06/18 5:00 PM Receipt; or 07/05/18 11:59 PM Postmarked


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Grants to Florida nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, including IHE departments, for programs to benefit the City of Tallahassee and Leon County. Courtesy reviews will be available through June 29, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this service.

COCA's Cultural Grant Program is designed to support and fund arts and cultural programs that create broader public access, benefit, and participation in arts and cultural activities in the community and which enhance the community's quality of life, local economy and tourism impact. Volunteer citizen panelists are recruited each year to review and score grant applications and make recommendations for funding.

Recipients of City funds, from general fund revenue, will have demonstrated dedication to creating broader public access, benefit and participation in arts and cultural activities in the community, enhancing both quality of life and the local economy.

Recipients of County funds, from tourist development tax revenue, will have demonstrated efforts to enhance Leon County's tourism impact.

There are two categories of State Partners who are also eligible to apply:

State Partner – General or Educational
General or Educational Partners can apply for programs which demonstrate efforts to enhance Leon County tourism or which create broader public access, benefit, and participation in arts and cultural events in the community. Educational programs will be designed for and presented to general public, K-12, or lifelong learning but not be primarily for university-enrolled students.

State Partner - Destination
A Destination is a permanent facility and/or site that is open to the public at least 180 days per year that has regular programming directed to the general public and tourists and has a documented impact on tourist visitation.

In order to be eligible for funding, a submitted program must meet one of the following goals:

- Produce arts, history and/or cultural programming with exemplary standards: Programs that enrich the community with attention to the highest standards within a cultural discipline.

- Provide educational opportunities in arts, culture, and history for young people or adults: Programs that feature learning opportunities for young and/or life-long learners.

- Provide a special population, meet a unique need, or fill a unique niche. Programs that offer a unique service in arts, culture and history not otherwise provided in the community; Programs that provide distinctive arts, history and cultural offerings; Programs that highlight cultural diversity and/or access for persons with disabilities; Programs that bring arts, cultural and historic exhibits or events to underserved areas.

- Contribute to the tourism development of the area: Programs will be funded that have the potential to attract and retain tourists in Leon County.

All events and activities funded by this grant must be for the public and not be intended for an exclusive target group only. Any fees charged to participate should be reasonable and not so high as to effectively exclude a large group of people.

Examples of allowable expenses include:
- Marketing and promotion
- Royalties
- Exhibit rentals
- Guest artists, technicians or teachers
- A percentage of salaries as they directly relate to programs
- Printing and graphic design
- Exhibit costs
- Sets and costumes
- Lumber, supplies, and equipment
- Postage and freight
- A percentage of facility costs as they directly relate to programs
- Any other expenses directly attributable to programs

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172017

Estimated Size of Grant:

Group 1 (annual income is $1.5 million or more) applicants may request up to 18% of the organization’s cash operating budget with a cap of $325,000 in grant funds.

Group 2 (annual cash operating budget of $500,000 or more and less than $1.5 million) applicants may request up to 10% of their organization’s budget for the most recently completed fiscal year for which they have submitted a 990/990N. There is no cap for this group.

Group 3 (annual cash operating budget of less than $500,000) applicants may request up to 20% of the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year for which they have submitted a 990/990N with a cap of $50,000.

State Partner – General or Educational: Applicants may request up to a maximum of $15,000 in grant funding.

State Partner -- Destination: If the applicant has less than 60% of its annual operating cash budget originating from earned income, applicants may request up to $15,000. An eligible State Partner Destination that has more than 60% of its operating cash budget originating from earned income may qualify for the appropriate GROUP category level of funding at the total level of that private cash funding, not the total operating budget.

Term of Contract:

All funds must be spent within the grant activity period of October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be eligible for the COCA Cultural Grant, your organization must:

1. Be a not-for-profit Florida corporation with at least 60% of your operating cash budget originating from earned income and classified by the IRS as a 501(c) 3, sub-class “public charity”; or
1A. Be a department, museum, or other organization working under the FEID number of a part of the State of Florida, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, or Tallahassee Community College.
2. Have arts and/or history activity as its primary purpose.
3. Have been providing programming in your discipline for at least 3 complete fiscal years.
4. Have the majority of your activities take place in Tallahassee/Leon County.
5. Have a professional staff.
6. Have a governing Board of Directors that meets regularly and operates under a set of by-laws.
7. Demonstrate the receipt of community support through subscriptions, memberships, earned income, foundation grants and/or other private fundraising (including in-kind support).
8. Show evidence of institutional/organizational planning (long range plans, visioning, etc.).
9. Produce arts or cultural programs that are regularly available to the public throughout the year.
10. Have documented statistics on attendance and participation for your programs and/or facility (paid or free) that represent a broad community impact.
11. Be committed to and have a plan in place to provide for accessibility for people with disabilities, including compliance with the ADA.

Grant funds may not be used for capital expenses. For the purposes of this grant, capital expenses include building projects, acquisitions, renovations, land acquisition, and other permanent improvements to physical plant (i.e. new roof, air conditioning systems, security fence, lighting grid). Capital expenses also include the purchase of equipment that is not directly related to the production of events or exhibits.

For example, a projector for closed captioning, stage lights, film projector, artwork for a permanent collection, or interpretive items for an exhibit are allowable. A copy machine or a delivery van is not.

Grant funds may not be used for general overhead that is unrelated to programming and/or promotion (i.e. financial audit, board retreats, decorating the facility, etc.) Keep in mind that some grant funds may be used on a portion of administrative costs that directly relate to programming and/or promotion (payroll, insurance, rent, office supplies, postage, etc.).

Leon County discourages line item requests if you are eligible to apply to this grant fund or others.

If your program is receiving a grant from Visit Tallahassee or CHSP (Community Human Services Partnership), that same program WILL NOT be eligible to receive County support through COCA’s Cultural Grant Program during the same grant year.

Grant funds may also not be used for:
- Private or exclusive entertainment (i.e. parties, receptions or benefits that are not open and accessible to the general public)
- Bad debts, contingencies, fines and penalties, interest, and other financial costs
- Re-granting
- Contributions and donations
- Religious programs
- Operation of privately owned facilities (i.e. studios, homes)
- Third-party grant administration (indirect costs)
- Lobbying or attempting to influence federal, state or local legislation
- Or any other expenditure not authorized by Chapter 112 of the Florida Statutes.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Each year, COCA offers free grant workshops. All workshops are held at the COCA offices, 816 South Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Grant Workshops:

May 25, and June 1 (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM) - COCA will host three lunchtime grant workshops for anyone needing assistance during the grant writing process. Sessions will focus on the narrative, budget and administrative requirements of the Cultural Grant application.

Pre-Application Information:

FY19 Cultural Grant Program timeline:
- Applications available: May 1, 2018
- Courtesy consultations: May 1, 2018 - June 29, 2018
- Grant workshops: May 25, 2018 (12:00 - 1:00 PM), and June 1, 2018 (12:00 - 1:00 PM)
- Courtesy review deadline: Friday, June 29, 2018
- Application deadline: Friday, July 6, 2018 (5:00 PM)
- Panel review meeting: August 24, 2018 (9:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
- City and county budgets finalized: September 30, 2018
- Disbursement of grant funds: November 2018, February 2019, and may 2019

For the FY19 cycle, applications are due at COCA Offices by 5:00 PM on July 6, 2018. If mailed, applications must be postmarked by 11:59 PM on July 5, 2018.

Submit the online Economic Impact Survey by 5:00 PM on July 6, 2018 in order for your application to be complete.

To avoid technical errors, applicants are urged to take advantage of COCA’s Courtesy Review Process. Make an appointment to bring a hard copy draft of your application to COCA for a complimentary technical review on or before June 29, 2018. If you request a second or third review, COCA staff don’t mind a bit. The goal is to help you to write the most competitive grant possible.

Even if this is not your first time applying for a grant, you are urged to take advantage of these consultations.

No award is final until the City and County Commissions approve their annual budgets.

Contact Information:

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

Online economic impact survey:

Please see the guidelines for instructions on how to submit an electronic copy of the application materials.

Submit paper copies of the application to:
816 South ML King Jr Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Kevin Carr, Grants Program Manager
Phone: (850) 224-2500
Fax: (850) 224-2515

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Florida