Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC)
Grants ranging from $250 to $5,000 to Mississippi nonprofit organizations and government agencies for a broad range of arts activities. First-time applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with program staff prior to applying. Program areas include arts-based community development, arts education, arts industry, and folk and traditional arts.
Arts Based Community Development
Program Goal: Support The Development Of Mississippi Communities Through The Arts.
Arts Based Community Development looks to improve the social, economic and cultural conditions of Mississippi communities through meaningful, quality arts programming. Whether it is after-school programming targeting at-risk youth, public art refurbishing a blighted downtown area, or a music festival bringing together a diverse audience from the community, successful Arts Based Community Development programming utilizes community-driven planning and the power of the arts to create stronger communities.
Examples of Arts Based Community Development Projects:
-A Boys and Girls Clubs work with an artist to create a piece of public art
-A Main Street program, an arts council and city officials work with a planning consultant who specializes in small town development to generate and implement a public design plan that emphasizes the town’s historic downtown or other resources.
Program Goal: Strengthen Education In And Through The Arts.
Arts Education works to enable students preK-12th grade to receive a quality education that includes the arts. The program does this by fostering professional development for educators, enabling them to teach the arts more effectively and use the arts as learning tools in teaching non-arts curriculum.
Examples of Arts Education Projects:
-A school (or school district) hires a consultant to work with teachers to introduce or infuse the arts into the curriculum;
-A museum produces poster-size reproductions of items from its collection and, with arts educators, develops a lesson plan based on the works; or
-A school develops a year-long artist-in-residence program.
Program Goal: Improve The Capacity And Stability Of Mississippi’s Arts Industry.
Arts Industry organizations seek to enrich the lives of their audience through entertainment and through learning about themselves and others by expanding the role the arts plays in the broader social arenas of Mississippi communities. They involve the general public with their services and programs. They reach diverse communities to identify shared values, foster excellence in the arts and provide inspiration to generate a higher quality of life for all citizens by providing inclusive and diverse artistic experiences.
Examples of Arts Industry Projects:
-A single-discipline focused organization such as a community theatre company, symphony, dance, or opera company presents a performance or season of performances;
-An organization such as a museum association or a university hires artists to exhibit, perform, present or conduct workshops; or
-A statewide arts organization produces a convening, such as a writer’s conference, jazz festival, or theatre conference
Folk and Traditional Arts:
Program Goal: Increase The Knowledge Of And Pride In Mississippi’s Artistic And Cultural Traditions.
Folk and Traditional Arts works to increase the awareness of and foster the continuation of the state’s folk and traditional art forms. This is done through the Project Grant Program by encouraging and supporting projects that document or promote Mississippi traditional arts.
Examples of Folk and Traditional Arts Projects:
-A community organization sponsors a blues festival that presents several musicians with strong ties to the area;
-A public library develops an exhibit that showcases the work of a local split oak basketmaker; or
-An arts collective presents a workshop for shape-note singers
GrantWatch ID#: 179376
Project Grants range from $250 to $5,000.
Activities supported by the grant must take place between July 1 of the current year and June 30 of the following year.
Organizations who apply for a Project Grant must:
-Be based in Mississippi
-Have IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status OR
-Be a unit of local government, such as a school, library, or another county or municipal agency. These entities may be required to provide documentation of their status as a governmental agency
Eligible organizations are limited to applying for either a MAC Project or Operating Grant each year.
Individuals are not eligible to apply for a Project Grant.
Grant funds to organizations may not be used for the following expenditures:
-Activities already funded in the state’s budget (for example, an organization receiving unrestricted funds from the state of Mississippi through another agency or line item may not receive general operating support from MAC. In addition, an organization receiving funds for a partial project cannot apply to MAC for funding of the same project)
-Interest on loans, fines or litigation costs
-Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions
-Projects primarily planned for fundraising purposes
-Lobbying expenses or other activities that are primarily political in nature;
-Tuition or scholarships for academic study
-Monetary awards for competitions
-College and university events that are considered a part of regular or extracurricular programs
-Purchase or long-term rentals of equipment, property or collections
-Out-of-state tours or travel to competitions
-School-sponsored trips, including transportation, admission fees, and other related travel expenses
-Capital improvements, facility construction, or renovation work (except through the BFA grant program.)
-Activities where the primary focus is for therapy
-Programs for a religious purpose, including for the promotion of any sect, church, creed, or sectarian organization, nor to conduct any religious service or ceremony. Funds can be granted to religious organizations as long as the funds are not used for a religious purpose. This allows faith-based organizations to apply on behalf of its community for arts activities or programming where artistic expression is the primary focus.
-Grants to artists for paper, computers, office supplies or postage
If grant funds are limited in any fiscal year, priority will be given to new and underserved applicants and in support of accessible programming.
Applications from colleges, universities and other state-level schools are only eligible if they include and benefit the general public. College and university events that are considered a part of regular or extracurricular programs, or whose primary purpose is to offer academic credit, are not eligible for grants. Grants to these types of entities are not a top priority of MAC.
Grant awards to organizations, unless otherwise specified in the program guidelines, must be matched dollar-for-dollar. For example, if an organization requests $1,000 from MAC, they must have at least $1,000 in cash income from another source (other than state funds) towards the expenses of that same project. Sources of matching funds may include revenue from the project activities, contributions from foundations or corporations, government support from federal or local sources, or cash from the organization’s own accounts.
Grantees cannot match MAC funding with other state funds.
In-kind contributions cannot be counted as part of a cash match. In-kind contributions are the dollar value of materials and services that are provided to a project at no cash cost from sources other than the applicant, i.e., volunteer hours or donated space. However, it is important to document and include information on in-kind contributions as part of the application budget. In-kind donations help to demonstrate a community’s support of a project.
All organizations applying to MAC (including schools) must provide their Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number on the application.
First-time applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with MAC Program Staff about the viability of their proposal before submitting an application.
Organizations or individuals who are applying to MAC for the first time are encouraged to submit a draft version of their application to be reviewed by a MAC staff member. The deadline for draft applications is January 15. If the draft is received by January 15, MAC staff will review it and provide feedback to the applicant. The staff will contact the applicant with feedback no later than 10 days prior to the deadline. Applicants must request a review by contacting MAC staff in advance.
Please submit Project Grant applications no earlier than 30 days prior to the deadline. Applications received prior to this date will be returned.
-January 15, 2018 – Draft Application Deadline (if submitting a draft)
-March 1, 2018 – Project Grant application deadline
-April 2018 – Review of applications by the grant panel (the specific panel date will be available by late March. Applicants are allowed to attend panels.)
-June 2018 – MAC Board meets and makes final funding decisions on all applications
-July 1, 2018 – Applicants are notified whether their application was funded or not. No information on the grants (including whether or not an applicant will be receiving an award or the amount of the award) will be available from MAC prior to this date.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Tips for Writing Grant Applications:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
For more information on applying for a Project Grant, contact the MAC Program Director who oversees the area most closely tied to your organization’s main goals:
Arts-Based Community Development:
Diane Williams, Grants Director
Folk & Traditional Arts:
Mississippi Arts Commission:
501 North West Street
Suite 1101A Woolfolk Building
Jackson, Mississippi 39201