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Decentralized Arts Fund Program (DAF)

Grants to Louisiana Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs,
and Individuals for Arts and Cultural Activities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism (DCRT) - Louisiana Office of Cultural Development - Louisiana Division of the Arts (LDOA)

Deadline Date:

07/13/18 5:00 PM - See regional site for workshop and draft deadline schedules


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Grants to Louisiana nonprofit organizations, government agencies, libraries, universities, and individuals to support arts and cultural projects and programming. Funding is intended to make arts available throughout the State. This program supports activities in the disciplines of design arts, dance, literature, folklife, music, media, visual arts, and theater.

The Decentralized Arts Fund Program is designed to:
- Expand efforts to make the arts accessible to all parishes in Louisiana
- Award grants to eligible organizations located within the parish for which funds are designated

Currently funds are provided to each parish on a per capita basis utilizing the most recent U.S. Census figures. Decisions about cultural priorities are made locally and discussed with LDOA to ensure compatibility with current state cultural initiatives. Funding is allocated to each parish on a per capita basis utilizing the 2010 census figures. The Louisiana Division of the Arts oversees the Decentralized Arts Funding (DAF) Program and disburses the funds to nine Regional Arts Councils (RAC), which in turn regrant those dollars to parishes within their regions.

DAF Goals:
- Support arts programs and events that fulfill local community need.
- Strengthen arts organizations
- Encourage professional artists to undertake projects that have meaningful community involvement and build audiences for the arts
- Encourage a variety of public and private entities within each parish to sponsor arts and cultural activities including classical, contemporary, and traditional arts in eight artistic disciplines: dance, design arts, folklife, literature, media, music, theater, and visual arts
- Leverage additional local support for the arts
- Provide arts activities for community members who have limited arts experiences
- Provide funding for arts and cultural activities that are open to the public
- Introduce the standard grant writing practices and develop grants management skills
- Expand efforts to make the arts accessible to all parishes in Louisiana.

DAF Funding Priorities:
- Must be an art program: dance, design arts, folklife, literature, media, music, theatre, visual arts
- Demonstrate artistic merit and develop sustainable art projects and programs that will continue to enhance the region
- Reach a broad audience and deepen access to quality, interactive artistic experiences
- Promote Louisiana artists as well as artists who enhance the artistic and cultural goals of the state of Louisiana
- Currently grant funds must be used in the parish where awarded

Recognized Artistic Disciplines:

The DAF program provides funding for arts organizations and arts projects. The artistic disciplines described below are considered eligible art forms:

Dance projects can focus on ballet, modern, jazz or ethnic dance. Dance project grants assist artists and organizations to make quality dance programs accessible to the public and to encourage innovation in dance as an art form.

Design Arts projects promote excellence in the design field of architecture; landscape architecture; urban design; historic preservation and planning; interior design; industrial design; graphic design; and fashion design. This program area provides an opportunity for visual arts and design professionals to collaborate on projects involving design practice, media, theory, research, and education about design. Projects may include publications, audiovisual presentations, or conferences. Design arts do not include purchase of plantings, seeds, gardening equipment, construction equipment, or building supplies.

Folklife refers to traditions currently practiced within a community that have been passed down informally over time and not learned through workshops, classes, or magazines. Folklife includes Performing Traditions (music, dance, storytelling) and Traditional Arts & Crafts (occupational, festive and food ways traditions). See definition of folk artist in the glossary.

Folk traditions are created within specific cultural contexts that need to be understood to be appreciated. Most folklife projects are greatly enhanced with the services of a professional folklorist or other trained cultural specialists such as those with academic training in folklore, cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology or other related fields. Cultural specialists should be involved in planning and implementation phases of a project. Folklife does not include historical re-enacting or living history.

Folklife projects are evaluated for the cultural significance of the art form and the involvement of trained cultural specialists (folklorists, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists).

Literature project grants are intended to support specific projects that present the literary arts to the public and to promote works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. In addition, the category supports not-for-profit small presses and magazines that publish fiction, poetry, creative prose, or literary criticism for production and distribution projects. Such magazines must have been published at least once.

Media project grants provide financial assistance to organizations and artists involved in film, video, radio, or related media. Projects should focus on the development of film, video, and radio as art forms where experimentation, technique and, creative processes are included in the project design.

Music project grants assist artists or organizations sponsoring musical programming or the presentation and development of musicians, composers, and/or music ensembles and orchestras in all genres, including band, chamber, choral, ethnic, jazz, new, opera, orchestral, popular, solo/recital.

Theater project grants are intended to help make high quality dramatic and musical theater available to the public or support development of nonprofit professional and community theater, puppetry, mime, and storytelling.

Visual Arts and Crafts:
Visual Arts and Crafts project grants are intended to support projects or services of museums, art galleries, art centers, and other organizations concerned with visual arts. This includes drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, glass, ceramics, fiber, wood, metal, mixed media, and art in public places.

Types of DAF Grants Available:

There are two grant categories in the Decentralized Arts Funding Program: Project Assistance and Organizational Support. Only one DAF grant application is allowed per applicant. The applicant must choose to apply for either Project Assistance OR Organizational Support.

The grant categories are defined as:

Project Assistance Grants:
Project Assistance Grants provide funds for a wide variety of arts projects and programs with artistic value that meet specific community needs. Arts projects funded by DAF Project Assistance Grants must focus on one or more of the recognized arts disciplines above. See Attachment B in Funding Guidelines for the minimum and maximum grant amount that applicants may apply for depending on their parish.

Organizational Support Grants:
Organizational Support is only available to arts organizations with 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. An arts organization is defined as one whose mission statement is to develop, promote, encourage, or present the arts to the public. Arts organizations are supported within the eight recognized disciplines listed above. Organizational support provides funding for operating expenses, such as salaries, supplies, and utilities of arts organizations. Up to 25% of the previous year's annual operating revenues and no more than the maximum amount set for each parish (see Attachment B in Funding Guidelines).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181367

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Project Assistance Grants: Applicants may request grant funding within the minimum and maximum amounts allowed as set by each Regional Arts Council.

Organizational Support: Organizations may request up to 25% of the previous year's annual operating revenues and no more than the maximum amount allowed per parish as set by each Regional Arts Council.

Please see Attachment B in the Funding Guidelines for a list of regional minimum and maximum amounts.

Term of Contract:

The Grant Activity Period begins October 1, 2018 and ends September 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
All applicants must apply in the parish in which the organization is domiciled and incorporated. The official domicile is the organization’s official address registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State and located in the parish indicated on the Certificate of Incorporation. All nonprofit organizations must be in good standing with the Louisiana Secretary of State and Louisiana Legislative Auditor to be considered eligible.

- Louisiana nonprofit tax-exempt organizations registered as nonprofit with the Louisiana Secretary of State, or with 501(c)(3) status with the IRS are eligible. Nonprofit status must be current and in good standing at the time of the application deadline.
- Local, parish, or state governmental agencies such as libraries or municipalities are eligible and are not required to submit proof of nonprofit status.
- Public or private schools and school boards (each school within a school system is considered a separate entity).
- Colleges or universities sponsoring activities (each university department is considered a separate entity) intended for community participation (not academic, credit-producing, or curriculum-oriented projects). Such activities must provide significant access and the probability of significant attendance by the general public.
- Project Assistance applicants who lack the legal status to be an applicant may apply using an eligible nonprofit organization to be a fiscal agent. The fiscal agent assumes legal and financial responsibility for the project.
- Individuals may apply for a Project Assistance grant by using an eligible nonprofit organization as a fiscal agent. The project must directly benefit the community and include community participation. The fiscal agent assumes legal and financial responsibility for the project.

Project Assistance Grants:
The following types of organizations may apply for Project Assistance Grants:
- Louisiana nonprofit tax-exempt organizations
- Louisiana nonprofit organizations without a tax-exempt designation must be registered as a nonprofit organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State and must use a fiscal agent
- Government subdivisions, such as parish libraries, municipal governments, state universities, etc.
- Individuals using a fiscal agent

Fiscal Agent:
Individuals and organizations lacking a 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status must arrange for a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status to serve as a fiscal agent. Organizations serving as fiscal agents (the applicant) must be domiciled in the same parish as the other organization or individual (sub-applicant). It is recommended that individuals or groups applying with a fiscal agent draft an agreement outlining the terms of the grantee/fiscal agent relationship. An organization serving as a fiscal agent for a grant must comply with generally accepted accounting procedures. The accounting system should clearly separate these grant funds from other revenues and records should identify them as funds to be used for the sub-applicant’s activities.
- The fiscal agent assumes legal and financial responsibility for the project.
- Organizations may serve as a fiscal agent for up to two other applicants in addition to their own applications.
- Fiscal agents must be domiciled in the same parish as the sub-applicant, and the project must take place in the same parish.
- Fiscal agents may not serve as a provider of service within the same project.
- The fiscal agent’s fee may not exceed $150.

Chapter Organizations/Federal Group Tax Exemption Requirements:
Chapter organizations using the federal group tax-exempt status of the central organization, if the central organization is domiciled in Louisiana, are eligible to apply for project assistance grant funds.
- Organizations must attach IRS nonprofit tax-exempt designation letter for the central organization and documentation from the IRS indicating chapter is under the central organization.
- A letter of support from the central organization must be submitted with the application.

Organizational Support:
Organizational Support is only available to arts organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. An arts organization is generally defined as one whose mission statement makes clear that the organization’s primary purpose is to develop, promote, encourage and/or present the arts (not history) to the public, to insure community accessibility and to target diverse populations.

Ineligible Applicants:
- Organizations receiving line item support from the state legislature. These organizations are ineligible to receive grants for arts programming related to those line items.
- Regional Arts Councils are not eligible to be an applicant or a paid provider of services on a grant.
- Organizations acting as a fiscal agent on behalf of an individual or organization are ineligible to be a paid provider of services on the same grant.
- Past grant recipients who are not in compliance with the Regional Arts Council, the Decentralized Arts Funding Program, or the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
- Any organization that is not in good standing with the Louisiana Secretary of State or the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

Program Ineligibility:
There are eligibility requirements for each type of grant within the DAF program. Those requirements are described further in the Project Assistance Grant and Organizational Support Grant sections in the guidelines. Specific items and organizations that are ineligible for funding in each grant category are listed below:

Items not funded through Project Assistance grants:
- The majority of an organization’s scope of programming or regular season of productions
- Operating costs not directly associated with the proposed project
- Non-arts oriented exhibitions or production components
- Projects funded in the same year (or overlapping year) by the Louisiana Division of the Arts General Operating Support Grant Program

Organizations not funded through Organizational Support grants:
- Non-arts organizations
- Nonprofit arts organizations lacking a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS
- Governmental agencies, colleges, universities, and schools
- Organizations that received operating support from the Louisiana Division of the Arts General Operating Support Grant Program in the same year (or overlapping year)

Items Not Funded in Any DAF Grant Category:
- Activities that occur before October 1, 2018 and after September 30, 2019
- Expenses incurred prior to October 1, 2018 and after September 30, 2019
- Activities that are generally not available to the public
- Activities intended to serve only an organization’s membership
- Regrant by the applicant to other organizations
- Activities intended primarily for fundraising purposes
- Accumulated deficits or debt retirement
- Contingency funds
- Acquisition of entire collections of works of art
- Capital improvements including restoration of buildings and sites
- Conservation of non-arts related collections
- Activities used for academic degrees
- Tuition for academic study
- Creation of textbooks or costs associated with recurring curriculum
- Normal, traditional school activities
- Payment of administrative or teaching staff for any school or school system
- Artists filling teacher vacancies
- Operational costs to universities
- Food or beverages
- Scholarships, purchase awards, or cash prizes
- Exhibitions or productions by children without the involvement of professional artists
- Fees to children under the age of 18
- Fines, penalties, interest on loans, or costs of litigation
- Lobbying expenses or advocacy efforts
- Activities that take place outside of the parish where the grant is funded
- Purchase of equipment or long-term rentals of equipment
- Purchase of property or library holdings
- Capital improvements
- High school, college, or university faculty exhibitions
- Activities that primarily serve social or religious purposes
- Licensing fees of any kind
- Travel or transportation of any kind, including transporting students to arts events
- Exhibits or activities that primarily focus on historical topics
- Restoration of historic buildings and sites

Pre-proposal Conference:

Grant workshops are offered by each Regional Arts Council to help applicants develop and submit persuasive proposals. The workshops also cover grant categories, eligibility, application requirements, and tips on how to submit a competitive application. Please contact your Regional Arts Council for dates and times of workshops. Contact information for Regional Arts Councils may be found below or in Attachment A of Funding Guidelines.

The Community Development Coordinator is available to provide one-on-one assistance to help develop the application prior to the deadline. He or she will review drafts and provide comments to help strengthen the grant proposal. Please contact the Regional Arts Council for the draft deadline for the applicant's specific region.

Pre-Application Information:

All grant applications must be submitted no later than Friday, July 13, 2018 at 5 pm. Application deadlines will be strictly enforced.

Applicants will be notified of their application status within a few weeks of the grant deadline.

A cash match demonstrates community involvement and commitment to the project. For 2018-2019, applicants must show a minimum of 50% cash match. For example: If the total grant request is $3,000, the applicant must show at least $1,500 in income from other eligible sources. The cash match will be documented in the final report.

Allowable matching funds must meet the following criteria:
1. Be carefully defined
2. Used for costs allowable under the grant guidelines

Ineligible Source and use of matching funds:
1. State funds from any state source
2. Funds used for state-owned facilities or equipment purchase or use
3. State faculty salaries
4. Administrative costs from state institutions
5. Funds from the National Endowment for the Arts

The Louisiana Division of the Arts (LDOA) oversees the program, disbursing funds to each of nine Regional Development Agencies (RDA's), which in turn regrant those dollars to parishes in their region.

The Louisiana Decentralized Arts Funding Program is administered by the following Regional Arts Councils:
- Region 1: Arts Council New Orleans (
- Region 2: Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge (
- Region 3: Bayou Regional Arts Council (
- Region 4: Acadiana Center for the Arts (
- Region 5: Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana (
- Region 6: Arts Council of Central Louisiana (
- Region 7: Shreveport Regional Arts Council (
- Region 8: Northeast Louisiana Arts Council (
- Region 9: St. Tammany Parish Government Commission on Cultural Affairs (

Application Instruction Video:

Louisiana Secretary of State:

Louisiana Legislative Auditor:

Contact Information:

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

Online application:

For technical assistance pertaining to the use of the MyGovernmentOnline software, please call the support line at 1 866-957-3764, option 1 for assistance.

Region 1:

Nick Stillman, President and CEO
Arts Council of New Orleans
1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. #100
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 523-1465

Joycelyn Reynolds, CDC

Region 2:

Renee Chatelain, CEO
Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
427 Laurel Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
(225) 344-8558
(225) 344-7777 FAX

Liz Goad, CDC

Region 3:

Erica Anderson, Executive Director
Bayou Regional Arts Council
7910 Park Ave.
Houma, LA 70364

Erica Anderson, Executive Director

Region 4:

Gerd Wuestemann, Executive Director
Acadiana Center for the Arts
101 West Vermilion Street
Lafayette, LA 70501
(337) 233-7060
(337) 233-7062 FAX

Gwen Richard, CDC

Region 5:

Ashli Waldrep, Executive Director
Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana
P. O. Box 1437
Lake Charles, LA 70602
(337) 439-2787
(337) 439-8009 FAX

Robin Abshire, CDC

Region 6:

Matt Henry, Executive Director
Arts Council of Central Louisiana
1101 4th St., Ste. 201
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318) 443-4718
(318) 484-4499 FAX

Joshua Fontenot, CDC

Region 7:

Pam Atchison, Executive Director
Shreveport Regional Arts Council
801 Crockett St.
Shreveport, LA 71101
(318) 673-6500
(318) 673-6515 FAX

Haley Deshautelle, CDC

Region 8:

Barry Stevens, President and CEO
Northeast Louisiana Arts Council
2305 North 7th Street
West Monroe, LA 71291
(318) 396-9520
(318) 396-6837 FAX

Danielle Kelley Tolbird, CDC

Region 9:

Jennifer Hart Bushnell, Arts Coordinator
St. Tammany Parish Government Commission on Cultural Affairs
P. O. Box 628
Covington, LA 70434
(985) 898-5243
(985) 898-2798 FAX

Christie Eastman, CDC

Grant Coverage Areas:

Region 1 Parishes:
- Jefferson
- Orleans
- Plaquemines

Region 2 Parishes:
- Ascension
- East Baton Rouge
- East Feliciana
- Iberville
- Livingston
- Pointe Coupee
- St. Helena
- Tangipahoa
- Washington
- West Baton Rouge
- West Feliciana

Region 3 Parishes:
- Assumption
- Lafourche
- St. Charles
- St. John
- St. James
- Terrebonne

Region 4 Parishes:
- Acadia
- Evangeline
- Iberia
- Lafayette
- St. Landry
- St. Martin
- St. Mary
- Vermillion

Region 5 Parishes:
- Allen
- Beauregard
- Calcasieu
- Cameron
- Jefferson Davis

Region 6 Parishes:
- Avoyelles
- Catahoula
- Concordia
- Grant
- LaSalle
- Rapides
- Vernon
- Winn

Region 7 Parishes:
- Bienville
- Bossier
- Caddo
- Claiborne
- DeSoto
- Lincoln
- Natchitoches
- Red River
- Sabine
- Webster

Region 8 Parishes:
- Caldwell
- East Carroll
- Franklin
- Jackson
- Madison
- Morehouse
- Ouachita
- Richland
- Tensas
- Union
- West Carroll

Region 9 Parishes:
- St. Bernard
- St. Tammany

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Louisiana