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Community Arts and Arts Education Decentralization Grant Program (DEC) Grants

Grants to New York Nonprofits, Artists, and Municipalities in Erie
and Niagara Counties for Community and K-12 Arts Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Arts Services Initiative of Western New York (ASI)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/27/19 11:59 PM


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Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to New York nonprofit organizations, municipalities, individuals representing collective groups, and individual artists in Erie and Niagara Counties for community and educational arts projects. First-time applicants are required to attend an information session prior to submitting an application.

The DEC Grant program provides funding to develop new or to expand existing arts and cultural programming. Programming should enhance standard offerings, while at the same time provide artistic programming to underserved constituencies.

Grants are made in two categories:

1. The Community Arts DEC Grant provides financial and technical assistance for community-based arts activities. Arts must be the primary driving force of project requests. All requests must have a public component – one that is available to the entire community. Applicants are required to make their projects accessible to all individuals and hold their events at accessible sites. This program is intended to expand, promote, and increase arts and cultural programming at the local level including, but not limited to, projects in the following areas: Dance, Design Arts, Folk Arts, Humanities, Literature/Poetry, Media (film, video, radio), Multi-Disciplinary, Music, Opera/Musical Theater, Photography, Skilled Crafts, Textile Arts, Theater, and Visual Arts.

2. The Arts Education DEC Grant provides financial and technical assistance to support arts education projects in K-12 public schools, publicly funded charter school settings, and after-school programs. Funds may support arts education projects that take place in-school during the school day and/or in after-school settings for youth. Projects do not have to be open to the public; the audience can be a private group such as a group of students, camps, jails, etc.

For Arts Education DEC project requirements, see

For goals of the Community Arts DEC Grants and of the Arts Education DEC Grants, see

For funding priorities, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175320

Estimated Size of Grant:

Requests can be made between $500 and $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The grants are awarded for specific projects occurring between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:


- All programs must take place in Erie or Niagara County (Your program must take place in the same county in which you are an applicant).
- Applicants must be an established nonprofit organization, a local government municipality, an individual representing a collective group, or an individual artist legally located in Erie or Niagara County.
- An individual artist or collective may apply if working in partnership with a community based non-profit organization that meets the above eligibility.
(1) A letter of commitment from the partner organization, confirming the partnership with the applicant is required.
(2) The applicant and the partner organization must both be based in Erie or Niagara County.
- Eligible projects have, as their core, an arts based or cultural activity.

Note: 2020 NYSCA Direct Applicants and those who have applied for a 2020 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) grant are not eligible to apply.

The following are not eligible to apply:

- Organizations or projects involving partners that have applied to the New York State Council on the Arts for funding for the 2020 fiscal year, regardless of funding status.
- Public universities and colleges; and public school districts, private or parochial schools, and their components (PTAs, etc.).
- New York State agencies and departments, including SUNY colleges and universities.
- Individuals or collectives that do not have a partner organization.
- Individual artists who are under the age of eighteen (18).
- Previously funded DEC recipients that have failed to provide final reports, use proper acknowledgement or have failed to comply with previous contract terms.
- Non-incorporated chapters of organizations whose “parent” organization is not located in Erie or Niagara County.
- Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Inc., its employees or board members, and groups for whom ASI serves as a fiscal sponsor/pass through.

For ineligible expenses, see

Pre-proposal Conference:

Information Sessions and Workshops:

Attendance at an information session is mandatory for new applicants and highly encouraged for past applicants.

At the grant information sessions and workshops provided, ASI’s Grants and Programming Director Natalie Brown offers grant-writing tips and best practices to help you or your organization prepare and apply for a DEC grant. ASI also offers technical assistance and professional development opportunities on a year-round basis that often cover a variety of grants-related topics.

RSVP at Eventbrite or call 833-3004 x512.

- Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Niagara Arts & Cultural Center
1201 Pine Ave. (Niagara Falls)
5:30-7:00 PM

For more information:

- Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Springville Center for the Arts
37 N Buffalo St. (Springville)
2:00-4:00 PM RSVP

For further information:

- Thursday, August 15, 2019
Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library
1324 Jefferson Ave. (Buffalo)
1:00-3:00 PM RSVP

For additional information:

- Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Carnegie Art Center
240 Goundry St. (North Tonawanda)
6:00-7:30 PM RSVP

For more information:

Pre-Application Information:

Important Deadlines:

- Information Sessions: August 2019
- Draft of Application Due: September 4, 2019
- Final Application Due: September 27, 2019, 11:59PM
- Funding Announcements: November 2019

A draft application can be submitted by Wednesday, September 4, 2019 (12:00pm) for review and feedback before submitting a final application.

Applicants may submit up to three (3) project requests in any combination of categories (Community Arts and/or Arts Education), as long as the total requested is no more than $5,000. Fiscally sponsored requests are exempt from the three (3) request limit. Submit a separate, completed application for each project.

With repeat applicants, priority will be given to those applicants that submit project requests demonstrating growth, artistic expansion, and community support if requested projects are similar to those of previous years.

Grants are not intended to cover the complete cost of the proposed project. DEC grant requests should not exceed more than 50% of the proposed project budget or program’s expenses.

Matching funds from the applicant are required. This match can consist of a combination of cash and in-kind revenue.

To watch a video for information on the application process and online grant portal:

Contact Information:

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

To apply online:

For assistance and questions, please contact:

Natalie Brown, Grants & Programming Director
716.833.3004 x512

Arts Services Initiative of Western New York
2495 Main Street, Suite 422
Buffalo, NY 14214

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Erie and Niagara Counties