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Festival Grant

Grants to Texas Nonprofits and Individuals in Eligible
Areas for Local Arts and Culture Festivals

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Houston Arts Alliance (HAA)

Deadline Date:

09/10/21 5:00 PM CDT


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Grants of up to $10,000 to Texas nonprofit organizations and individuals in eligible areas for local arts and culture festivals. Funding is intended for festivals that promote the area as a creative location and as a unique destination for arts and culture. Festivals must be open to the public and take place in Houston.

Festivals allow communities to share artistic and cultural traditions which can create vibrant opportunities and  experiences for residents and visitors. This grant provides funds to organizations for arts festivals or arts components of cultural festivals.

A festival is defined as:

  • An annual or twice a year celebration
  • An immersion around a unifying theme or programmatic focus
  • Featuring a varied and curated program of events
  • Occurring within a specific, condensed time, such as one day or over a week
  • Open to the public 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184753

Number of Grants:

It is important to note that given the pandemic’s ongoing impact on funds, the number of grants awarded will be fewer than in years past. This means that the grants cycle will be quite competitive

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Festival grant program provides support of up to $10,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- All applicants must provide official documentation demonstrating a physical address in the City of Houston limits, which is verified by HAA staff through the online Council Member verify mapping tool. P.O. Boxes are not accepted.
- Organizations or fiscal sponsors must be tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), with fiscal year ending 2020 filed with the IRS (990/990N), as verified by the IRS Tax Exemption Organization Search.
- An individual applicant must be at least 18 years old, which will be verified by applicant submission of an official state-issued identification card, passport, or other official document.
- Organizations must have a current SMU DataArts profile. (Individuals applying for SACI funding do not need this.)
- Applicants’ scopes of work must have a clear public presentation component, as verified by staff review of the application.
- Applicants may only submit one application per grant program, per deadline, per year.

Program funds may not support the following:
- Any activities taking place outside of the City of Houston limits, including any activities taking place in extrajudicial territories (e.g., Katy, Stafford, Bellaire)
- Activities must take place within the respective grant term. Grants cannot be applied to programs outside of the grant term.
- Any activities funded by Miller Outdoor Theatre, which is also supported by the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT), as applicants may not duplicate funding support from HOT for the same program
- City of Houston employees, elected officials, Mayor’s Office staff, and their immediate family
- Houston Arts Alliance employees, Board members, Advisory Board members, and their immediate family
- Grants to K–12 public, private, or charter schools
- Events with exclusive audiences that do not allow participation of the general public, including visitors
- Competitions, award ceremonies, scholarships, cash prizes, fundraising activities and events, sports and recreation activities, or parties and private celebrations
- Trade fairs, events of primarily commercial nature, or consumer shows. For-profit entities may not apply directly. For-profit applicants may apply through fiscal sponsorship with a 501(c)(3) organization. The fiscal sponsor must identify a clear charitable purpose and public benefit with the proposed programming.
- Faith-based organizations using funds for any activities that have a primarily religious purpose or any activities that exist as part of religious sermons or services
- Any activities receiving funds from other HAA grant programs, including collaborators applying to work on different components of the same project
- Organizations and/or individual applicants collaborating on the same program or project cannot separately apply for support to fund this collaborative program.

Specific expenses not permitted include:
- Travel outside of the City of Houston
- Deficits, loans, interest on loans, fines, penalties, or cost of litigation
- Training, including, but not limited to, classes, conferences, or workshops
- Purchase of equipment exceeding $250, except rental costs directly affiliated with the funded project
- Capital expenses
- Meals, refreshments, and catering expenses

For Fiscal Sponsor requirements, see:

Pre-Application Information:

- Festival grant opens: Aug. 6, 2021.
- Festival grant closes: Sept. 10, 2021 at 5 pm CDT
- HAA verifies application eligibility. Ineligible applicants will be notified during this phase: Sept. 13 - 30, 2021
- Panelists review and score applications independently: October 1-22, 2021
- Panelists convene to review and finalize award recommendations: Oct. 28-29, 2021
- Award recommendations packet is prepared for subsequent approvals: Nov 4-12, 2021.
- HAA grants committee and board reviews award recommendations: Nov 18 - Dec 6, 2021
- Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) reviews and approves award recommendations: Dec. 8 - 29, 2021
- Grants are awarded and grantees are notified via email: Dec 30, 2021

You may schedule a 15-minute meeting with the HAA Grants Team if you still have questions about your eligibility prior to applying. Meetings are available during the following times:
- Monday 10-11 AM
- Tuesday 2-3 PM
- Wednesday 2-3 PM
- Thursday 10-11 AM

To schedule a meeting:

A recording of the August 10 webinar can be found on the HAA YouTube Channel:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Texas: Houston

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