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Festival Grants

Grants to Arizona Nonprofits, Agencies,
and IHEs for Arts and Cultural Festivals

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA)

Deadline Date:

03/15/18 11:59 PM


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Grants to Arizona nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs that provide arts programming to support festival events. Funding may be requested in support of festivals of all sizes. Grants are intended to assist with costs associated with connecting artists and their works to Arizona communities.

For the purposes of this grant program, a Festival is defined as an event that is a periodic—often annual—gathering or celebration that happens in a condensed period of time, featuring a varied and curated program of events, having an easily identifiable and unifying theme or specified focus.

The majority of the event content and programming must be experienced live and in person and must be dynamic in nature. For the purposes of this grant program, festival activities can include juried processes, but scholarships, pageants or standalone award ceremonies are ineligible.

Festivals allow communities to share artistic and cultural traditions which can create vibrant opportunities and experiences for citizens and visitors. A festival is often a person’s first experience and point of entry with the arts and can serve as a bridge to new kinds of arts attendance. Festivals may be multidisciplinary in scope and often feature arts education opportunities. Festival activities can include various performing, visual and literary arts, food, and traditional demonstrations, but also may be specific to an artistic discipline.

Festival Grant applications will be reviewed in two levels, based on the project’s proposed total expense budget.

Festival Level I:

Funds awarded in this category provide support to small-sized to mid-sized festivals. Program requirements at time of application:
-A maximum total expense budget of $19,999.
-A minimum of $2,000 in eligible fees.

Festival Level II:

Funds awarded in this category provide support to mid-sized to large-sized festivals. Program requirements at time of application:
-A minimum total expense budget of $20,000.
-A minimum of $3,000 in eligible fees.

Eligible fees include Contracted Artistic Services & Artists Fees (including travel/per diem), Production Expenses, Space Rental, and Marketing/Promotion expenses.

Eligible Fees:
-Contracted Artistic Services & Artists Fees: Guest artist contractual fees including travel, lodging, and per diem expenses.
-Production Expenses: Includes insurance, sound, lighting, and equipment rental and operation for the artistic project only.
-Space Rental: Includes stage, space, or venue rental for the artistic project only.
-Marketing/Promotion: Includes contracted graphic design services, the purchase of advertising space, and creation of digital and printed promotional materials for the entire event.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179342

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Level I: Award amount is $2,000
-Level II: Award amount is $3,000

Term of Contract:

The funding period is July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

Festival activities must last a minimum of one six-hour day and may only span the duration of two consecutive weekends.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An applicant must be incorporated as an Arizona nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status or be a unit of government.

Eligible organizations include Arizona local arts agencies, tribal cultural organizations, government departments or agencies, university/college departments, and other nonprofit cultural and social service organizations.

Unincorporated organizations may apply through a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.

Applicants must have a minimum of 1 year of arts-related programming.

This program does not fund the following:
-Organizations and colleges/universities that received Arts Commission funding in Fiscal Year 2017, but failed to file a final report by Monday, September 11, 2017.
-An organization’s season or seasonal series of presented or produced work.
-Events that span the duration of more than two consecutive weekends.
-Events not lasting at least one full day (6 hours minimum).
-Applications submitted by for-profit organizations.
-Virtual events.
-Static exhibitions.
-Projects involving construction of facilities.
-Debt reduction.
-Food and beverages for receptions and hospitality functions.
-Fundraising projects.
-Scholarships, pageants or standalone award ceremonies.
-Producing organizations to tour or present themselves.
-Conferences, symposiums and the like.
-Religious institution-led or religious group-sponsored projects not open to participation by non-congregants.
-Religious institution-led or religious group-sponsored projects whose primary purpose is the religious socialization of individuals, or which exist as parts of religious sermons or services.
-Equipment/capital expenditures.
-Indirect costs.
-Grant administration, overhead or processing fees taken by an umbrella/parent organization as a percentage of the total award, with the exception of fiscal sponsors.
-Lobbying expenses.
-College or university-sponsored projects not open to participation by the community outside the university setting.
-Staff or board member salaries of the applicant organization.
-Any costs other than those delineated in the Festival Project Budget Form and Eligible Fees Chart.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Fiscal Year 2019 Online Information Sessions: Online information sessions will be offered in January and February 2018. Dates and times will be posted online.

Fiscal Year 2019 In-Person Information Sessions: In-person information sessions will be offered in January and February 2018. Dates and times will be posted online.

Pre-Application Information:

All grant awards must be matched by the organization’s contribution of cash on a 1:1 basis.

While in-kind contributions are useful in demonstrating support for a project, they may not be used to match grants. The fair market value of volunteer services cannot be recognized as eligible in-kind revenue in the context of the required grant match as volunteer services do not meet fiscal auditing criteria under generally accepted accounting principles.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM, Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Eligible applications are evaluated through a panel review process.

Panel meetings are open to the public and applicants are encouraged to attend. In addition, a live audio stream of each meeting will be available for remote listening online.

Panel dates and locations will be available online in April 2018.

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 Submittable:

Submittable Technical Support:
Phone: (855) 467-8264, ext. 2

Kristen Pierce, Organizational Grants and Services Manager
(602) 771-6517

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arizona