Applications for New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Decentralization (DEC) grants for Erie and Niagara Counties are now open. This year’s funding categories include Community Arts, Arts Education, and Individual Artist grants, and are intended for smaller cultural organizations, non-cultural organizations with arts programming or events, arts and cultural coalitions and networks, and individual artists and teaching artists. Up to $122,500 in total is available.


  • Deadline: September 27, 2019
  • Categories: Community Arts, Arts Education, and Individual Artist
  • Counties: Niagara and Erie
  • Funded projects and programs must occur in 2020
  • Applications must be submitted online
  • Guidelines, application, information sessions, and more available at the DEC page of our website

“DEC grants are a great opportunity for individuals and organizations because funding is often all that stands in the way of creating new art or artistic programming,” ASI Grants and Programming Director Natalie Brown said. “In addition to administering the funding, ASI tries to make the application process as painless as possible by providing information sessions and workshops, as well as feedback on early drafts of applications.”

In August, Natalie will lead four free DEC grant workshops in Niagara Falls, Springville, Buffalo, and North Tonawanda, where she will cover grant-writing tips and best practices for preparing applications. More information and links to RSVP are available at the DEC page of our website.

“A significant part of ASI’s mission is to help artists and arts organizations achieve financial sustainability,” ASI Executive Director Jen Swan said. “Through offering DEC information sessions and grant application feedback, our hope is to not only assist creative communities in reaching the funds they need to realize their projects, but also to teach a skillset that will demystify the grant application process and enable them to seek out other funding sources in the future.”

About the Grants

The Community Arts DEC Grant provides financial and technical assistance for community-based arts activities that are offered by eligible nonprofit organizations and/or individual artists with community partners in Erie and Niagara Counties. Requests for funding can be made between $500 and $5000.

The Arts Education DEC Grant provides financial and technical assistance to eligible organizations and/or individual artists to support arts education projects in K-12 public schools, publicly funded charter schools, and after-school programs. Requests can be made between $500 and $5,000.

The Individual Artist DEC Grant is intended to support the creation of new work that engages the community through an artist’s creative process. Artists of all disciplines residing in Erie and Niagara Counties are eligible to apply for this grant for community-based projects. The goal of this grant is to support the creative work of individual artists, encourage interaction between artists and county residents, and highlight the role of the artist as a community resource. Requests are a flat commission of $2,500.

(Photo: Tiffany Rohrback. This image is from “Art Moves Me,” a DEC-funded dance program in which people with Parkinson’s disease learn dances throughout the year, culminating every September in a public performance on the lawn at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.)