Funding Opportunities

NOTE: For funding specifically related to COVID-19 relief for individuals and organizations, please refer to the Emergency Grants page of our website.

Search here for local, regional, and national funding opportunities.

If you notice any funding agencies or opportunities that are missing, please submit your information to [email protected] and we would be glad to add it to our page.

Please note that listings without deadlines indicate applications that are accepted on a rolling basis. For more information on any of these opportunities, please contact the foundation or funding agency directly.

Additional resources:

Arts Services Inc (ASI) is seeking proposals from qualified individuals in Western New York to create artistic projects related to the dangers of global warming and climate change. We are seeking strong proposals for creative projects that have the potential to impact the community in a meaningful way.

Deadlines: May 1 and October 1 (every year)
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Awesome Buffalo awards no-strings-attached cash to projects that make Buffalo more awesome. This isn’t a grant, and Awesome Buffalo is not a foundation or nonprofit; cash comes straight from the pockets of the organization’s trustees. They give money to ideas deemed too outrageous, to projects that make people laugh, or something that makes people think in a new way. If you’ve got an unconventional idea that needs some support, they’d love to hear about it.

Deadline: Awards given way the second Tuesday of every odd month (e.g., January, March, etc.)
Amount: $1000
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Launched in April 2017, Awesome Disability is an independent chapter of the Awesome Foundation, a global community that provides micro-grants with no strings attached. The trustees of Awesome Disability are people with disabilities that want to support ideas and projects in our community.

Deadline: Application periods are from the 1st to the 15th of every month
Amount: $1,000

The BICA Microgrant is a $300 good-faith grant for artists and curators who are realizing a project in the greater Buffalo area. This is no-strings-attached money that an artist or curator can use toward exhibitions, performances, or other projects that contribute to the visual arts in Buffalo.

Deadlines: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1; midnight
Amount: $300
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Buffalo Seminary is excited to once again offer their SEM-Steinway scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional ability in music (instrumental and vocal). Interested students are required to submit an audition video or MP3 that demonstrates their ability. For more information, contact Director of Day Admission Alexandra Tramposch at [email protected]

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The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation annually awards over $1million through its competitive grant processes to charitable organizations working to make a difference across the region. General grants are offered bi-monthly and are intended to assist with emerging needs or one-time costs. Requests can be made up to $4,000. Organizations can only submit two requests per year.

Deadline: Last Wednesday of even months (bi-monthly) by noon
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The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation hosts two cycles per year, intending to fund larger initiatives with wide-reaching and longer term community impact. The process occurs in two stages for each cycle, beginning with submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) and followed by an invitation to submit a full application. Priority given to requests that indicate support from multiple funding sources, demonstrate plans for sustainability, indicate collaborative partnerships and employ evidence-based approaches with measurable outcomes (where applicable).

Deadline: Letter of Intent due June 1 or December 1
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Through the instrument matching grants program, grants will be awarded to schools or nonprofit organizations to support the incorporation of string instruments into music education programs. All instruments in the string family are supported (including guitars and ukuleles). Programs must serve children from kindergarten through grade twelve. To be eligible, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and be based in the United States.

Deadline: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31
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Buffalo’s Love Your Block initiative is a program that seeks to encourage and support community driven neighborhood revitalization projects that address blight and provide measurable visual and physical improvements. The Mayor’s Division of Citizen Services coordinates the Love Your Block program, with the goal of bringing city staff and residents together to revitalize their neighborhoods one block at a time through small-scale neighborhood grants of up to $1,500 and technical assistance to community groups to advance beautification projects in their neighborhood.

Amount: $1,500
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The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is now accepting Letters of Intent for its 2021 competitive grant process. Interested organizations should read the detailed guidelines/additional information on their website before submitting a Letter of Intent.

LOI proposals must address at least one of the Solutions listed under the Community Foundation’s four Community Goals. The Solutions are listed on the webpage and the goals are below:

  • Improve educational achievement for students living in low-income households
  • Increase racial/ethnic equity
  • Protect and restore significant environmental resources and promote equitable access
  • Strengthen the region as a center for architecture, arts and culture

Additionally, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located within the eight counties of Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming).

Deadline: February 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
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The Creative Capital Awards are designed to assist artists who are working at the vanguard of their fields, or who have ideas to propel their artistic practices forward. Each selected project receives up to $100,000 in total support: $50,000 in direct funding allocated at key intervals in project development, combined with $50,000 of deep mentorship and advisory services. The application opens on an annual basis every February.

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Critical Minded is a granting and learning initiative to support cultural critics of color in the United States, where they are underrepresented in the coverage of all artistic disciplines. Founded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation, and fiscally sponsored by Allied Media Projects, it launched with a national convening of 50 critics in 2017. Its purpose is to build the resources and visibility of cultural critics of color in the US through: direct support to publications and individuals, research, advocacy and convening.

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The Cullen Foundation’s performing arts responsive grants support the disciplines of music, dance, singing, and theatre, and our priority is to fund organizations that have a primary focus on community performances. Applicants must be a 501c3 and must either be located in or primarily serve Erie County. Each applicant/organization that plans to submit an LOI must complete a phone call discussion with Cullen staff before submitting its LOI. Cullen Foundation’s responsive grant process is competitive, not all applications are funded. They screen and make declinations through the Letter of Intent (LOI). The fiscal health, sustainability, and impact of the applicant organization are important factors in their decision-making.

Deadline: LOI due Friday, January 29, 2021 by 5:00 pm
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Would you like to start or grow your small business? Have your been unable to get a loan from a bank or credit union? The Erie County Microenterprise Loan Fund is a 60/40 loan/grant program benefiting local microenterprises, or businesses with five or fewer employees, one of whom owns the business.

Amount: $5,000 – $35,000

Flying Bison is launching a new community giving program called Pints for Nonprofits (PNP). This is an opportunity for organizations to utilize the Flying Bison space to host fundraisers, workshops, and trainings. All PNPs take place on Tuesdays, and are booked in the order they are requested.

Apply: Flyer

Vision Grants offer funding in support of brainstorming, researching, and professional development for organizations working collaboratively to develop new ideas and strategies for public-facing humanities projects. Humanities New York is currently accepting Vision Grant applications for the development of programming related to the U.S. Women’s Suffrage Centennial in 2020. Partnerships, innovative project formats, and community involvement is highly encouraged.

Amount: up to $1,500
Deadline: Rolling until funds are depleted

Designed for emerging and mid-career artists around the entire country, Jazz Road Tours supports small, three- to six-site tours at an array of venue types, often in rural communities and other areas traditionally underserved by the genre. Grant amounts generally range from $5,000 to $15,000. Only individual artists (as an individual, an artist-led nonprofit organization, or an artist-led corporation) may apply to this program.

Deadline: Rolling; applications can be submitted at least 60 days, or far out as 18 months, prior to the project start date.
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The MAP Fund grant program awards $1 million annually in support of original live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry, particularly works created by artists who question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the United States. Funded projects address these concerns through the processes of creating and distributing live performance to the public, and/or through the content and themes of the work itself. MAP is committed to intersectional anti-racism, and strives to only fund anti-oppressive project language, structures, or content. 50 artists (individuals and ensembles) will be selected for funding in a lottery in February 2021. Each grantee will receive a total grant of $25,000.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted between January 4-28, 2021
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Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) is pleased to partner with the Western Arts Alliance’s Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP) Touring Fund, a new grant opportunity for presenters of Indigenous performing artists. Eligible applicants are nonprofit presenters in the mid-Atlantic region who receive funding through MAAF’s touring programs — including ArtsConnect, Special Presenters Initiatives, or through network programs such as the Folk and Traditional Arts Touring Network or Jazz Touring Network — for a project featuring Indigenous artists. They can receive up to a dollar-to-dollar matching grant from the AIP Touring Fund.

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The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s (MAAF) US Artists International program (USAI) supports performances by U.S. artists at impactful international festivals and performing arts marketplaces outside the United States and its territories. USAI funds the engagements of exemplary solo artists and ensembles across all performing arts disciplines including dance, music, theater, multidisciplinary work, and folk/traditional arts. The USAI guidelines and deadlines have undergone changes to offer flexibility to artists and ensembles as they navigate COVID-19. MAAF continues to accept applications for funding to support eligible in-person international engagements, and has expanded to include virtual performances at international festivals in its eligible engagements.

Deadlines: March 31, 2021 for projects taking place July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022
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Governor Cuomo’s new Workforce Development Initiative will invest $175 million to support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs and long-term industry needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, and/or expand workplace learning opportunities.

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The NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (a statewide theatre regrant program) provides general operating grants of $2000 to theatres throughout New York state with annual budgets of under $500,000. Applicants do NOT need to be members of A.R.T./New York in order to apply. The Creative Opportunity Fund will not be open to individual artists; however, artist-led companies are eligible. Applicants should be theatre companies and/or collectives, though they can have a wide range of organizational structure including – but not limited to – 501(c)3, fiscally sponsored, or unincorporated artist collectives. Organizations that applied directly to NYSCA’s theatre programming for 2021 funding, regardless of whether or not the application was funded, are not eligible.

Deadline: Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm
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ASI is excited to co-host a live virtual info session for the 2021 Creative Opportunity Fund on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. The info sessions are led by A.R.T./New York staff and will review the grant, eligibility criteria, and application process. Attendees will also be able to ask any questions they may have about the application. Attendees are encouraged to review the grant website and application prior to attending the info session. Click here to register.

If your organization has received funding from NYSCA for at least three consecutive years and owns its facility or has a long-term lease (with at least six years to go at the time of application submission), you may be eligible to seek support in one of the following three categories:

  • Design Studies: working with an architect on the design of an expansion, renovation, or rehabilitation; conceptual and/or schematic design phases
  • Capital Projects: construction of an expansion, renovation, or rehabilitation project
  • Capital Equipment: the purchase of major equipment that is essential to the production and/or presentation of an art form

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The visual creator industry needs diverse voices to thrive and reach new heights. Sony is on a mission to support the growth of underrepresented voices in photography, videography, and filmmaking, and provide a platform for creators across the artistic spectrum furthering this mission with their work. You have a photo or video project idea that you believe in, and this grant will help you bring it to life. Besides funding, Sony provide the Sony gear to shoot on, Adobe software to edit with, and the opportunity to have your project seen worldwide by countless creators who will be inspired to create alongside you.

Deadline: There are 12 deadlines with the last one on February 15, 2021
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Have an idea for a project? Thinking about that video you’ve been meaning to shoot? Considering a new perspective on a familiar idea? Squeaky Wheel is offering Equipment Access Grants to those looking to create specific projects that require the tools and time sometimes difficult or unavailable in daily life. Recipients will receive up to $1000 worth of equipment usage and facilities time.

Amount: $1000 in-kind equipment rentals
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The Sustainable Arts Foundation supports artists and writers with children. The organization makes annual unrestricted cash awards to individuals; at least half of these awards are made to applicants of color. It also supports artist residencies in their efforts to make their programs more family friendly.

Deadline for 2021 Individual Awards: February 26, 2021
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It’s become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, Target launched field trip grants in 2007, and since then, has made it possible for millions of students to go on a field trip. Education professionals who are at least 18 years old and employed by an accredited K-12 public, private, or charter school in the United States that maintains a 501(c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status are eligible to apply. Educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff of these institutions must be willing to plan and execute a field trip that will provide a demonstrable learning experience for students.

Amount: $700

Arts Partners for Learning is an initiative managed by Young Audiences of Western New York that seeks to expand access to arts education for children in Western New York and improve the capacity of cultural organizations to provide creative learning programs. Schools are eligible for funding if they are a public or charter school, have a student population where at least 30% of students qualify for a free or reduced lunch, or lack regular visual arts, music instruction, or arts enrichment opportunities. Programs must occur during the school day. There must be a dedicated, private work space available for students.

Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but previous applicants and early applicants are given priority.
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