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:

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’s Community Grant proposals must efficiently and effectively address identified community needs or encourage new opportunities. Grant proposals must benefit the northern Chautauqua community. NCCF competitive grants range from $500 to $15,000. On a limited basis, we will consider grant support for two (2) years. In such instances, second-year funding will be contingent upon successful program outcomes from the previous year.

Deadline: Letters of Interest are due March 1 and September 1 by 4:00 pm
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The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s Community Service grants are intended to support programming, capital, and technology needs. Priority will be 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: March 1 and September 1 every year
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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: June 30, September 30, December 31, March 31
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Cullen Foundation’s responsive grant process enables them to gain a better understanding of applicant organizations and learn about the needs of and benefits to the individuals they serve. Ultimately the process results in investments in strong performing arts organizations aligned with our stated mission and focus areas. In Performing Arts, they support the disciplines of music, dance, singing, and theatre, and our priority is to fund organizations that have a primary focus on community performances.

Cullen Foundation has established the following types of support for responsive grants in the performing arts focus areas:

  • Program support
  • General operating support
  • Capital (building or equipment)
  • Capacity building support

An organization may apply for 1, 2 or 3 years of funding, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 per year (for a $300,000 total maximum).

Deadline: LOI’s due July 23, 2021 at 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

Empire State Development announced the launch of the NY Entertainment Workforce Diversity Grant Program, which will provide over $1 million annually in matching funds to support diversity and inclusivity in job creation and training programs in New York’s film and television industries. The grant program is funded through the Empire State Entertainment Diversity Job Training Development Fund which, at the suggestion of industry leaders, is financed by an allocated percentage from New York State’s film tax credit program.

Grants from $25,000 to $500,000 will be available for job creation and training programs that support efforts to: recruit, hire, promote, retain, develop, and train a diverse and inclusive workforce for New York’s motion picture and television production and post-production industries.

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Vision Grants offer up to $1,500 in support of brainstorming, researching, and professional development for organizations working collaboratively to develop new ideas and strategies for public-facing humanities projects. These grants aim to:

  • Support emerging and established partnerships between different groups on a shared project that may develop into public-facing activities.
  • Infuse program design with humanities themes and methodologies from the start.
  • Encourage experimentation in program design.
  • Build community input into program design.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and must be submitted at least two months before your planning process begins. They are reviewed at the end of each month.

Deadline: Rolling
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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 Made in Buffalo – Cheryl Stern Performing Artist Fund was created in response to the generous support connected to Cheryl Stern’s starring turn in “From Buffalo to Broadway: Waiting in the Wings”, supported by the Buffalo Jewish Federation.

Buffalo native Cheryl Stern who is now a Broadway, TV, and film star came home to host and perform in this show she created and directed, which included Broadway and local performers. The incredible dearth of local talent in this show inspired a desire to raise funds to continue to develop and promote local performing artists.

ASI is proud to support this funding opportunity and facilitate the application process. Funding of up to $600 is available for performing artists residing in Erie County including solos, duos, or groups.

Deadline: July 28, 2021
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Grants for Arts Projects is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program for organizations based in the United States. Through project-based funding, the program supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of excellent art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. These grants support arts projects that use the arts to unite and heal in response to current events; celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage; invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values; and enrich humanity. Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

Deadline: July 8, 2021
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Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. These grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.

Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systems changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into local strategies for strengthening communities. These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Cost share/matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount.

Deadline: August 17, 2021
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The Canadian Women Artists’ Award is open to emerging or early career female artists in New York State. The $5,000 award is designed to provide financial support to an emerging or early career artist working in Visual Arts, Media & Design, and Literary Arts, and can be used in any manner the recipient deems necessary to further their artistic goals. It is supported by funding granted to NYFA by the Canadian Women’s Club (CWC) of New York as a way to continue its philanthropic work when it disbanded. In 2021, two $5,000 awards will be distributed.

Deadline: Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 5:00 pm
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The JGS Fellowship for Photography is a $7,000 cash grant open to New York State photography artists living and working outside of New York City. The Fellowship will be awarded to five artists working in traditional and experimental photography or any form in which photographic techniques are pivotal.

  • Applicants must work in photography.
  • Applicants can work in traditional and experimental photography or any form in which photography or photographic techniques are pivotal, if not exclusive.
  • Applicants must be a current full-time resident of New York State and have lived full-time in one of the regions listed above for a minimum of 12 months at the time applications close.
  • Applicant must be at least 25 years of age at the time the application closes.
  • Students in bachelor’s or master’s degree programs of any kind are not eligible to apply.
  • All past recipients of any NYFA grant or Fellowship are eligible to apply.
  • NYFA employees, members of the NYFA Board of Trustees or Artists’ Advisory Committee, and/or an immediate family member of any of the above cannot apply.

Deadline: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 5:00 pm
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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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This opportunity will focus on reviving live performance and provide immediate support to performance companies and venues. This immediate support will promote near term in-person arts experiences that will fuel the reopening and recovery of performance organizations and groups. This funding will prioritize the part of our sector that was hardest hit as a result of COVID-19 closures.

Eligibility: All NYSCA direct grantees within the last 5 years with performance as their primary mission and operating budgets $10 million and under will be eligible to apply for this opportunity. Applicants must be prequalified by the application deadline.

Key Dates:

Guidelines posted: June 16, 2021

Application portal opens: June 16, 2021

Application portal closes: July 1, 2021 at 4PM

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Support will expand NYSCA’s current network of valued regrant partners to reach New York’s vast and diverse community of artists and organizations. Funding will be distributed through NYSCA Partnerships and Statewide Community Regrants. This support will focus on new applicants. Increased support at the local level will ensure more communities, organizations, and individuals will have access to NYSCA funding.

Eligibility: This funding will be distributed through existing NYSCA partnerships with an invitation from NYSCA. New partnerships will be considered at NYSCA discretion.

Key Dates:

Guidelines posted: June 16, 2021

Application portal opens: July 19, 2021

Application portal closes: August 2, 2021

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Support will broaden individual artist support and deliver extremely flexible funding for organizations through a streamlined application experience. Grants offered in this round will greatly expand eligibility and encourage new applicants across a wide spectrum of artistic and cultural practices. Priority will be given to applicants that serve historically underrepresented communities. Funding opportunities include: Support for Organizations, Support for Artists, Special Opportunities, and the NYSCA Recovery Fund. This round will include competitive applications with full panel review.

Eligibility: Any NYS not-for-profit organization with an arts program.  Applicants must be prequalified by the application deadline.

Key Dates:

Guidelines posted: June 16, 2021.

Application portal opens: July 19, 2021

Application portal closes:  September 1, 2021.

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Support in this round will assist organizations facing health and safety issues in their spaces and venues, among other needs. Facilities program and capital support will be available in this round.

Eligibility: Any New York State nonprofit arts and culture organization is encouraged to apply. Applicants must be prequalified by the application deadline.

Guidelines posted: September 2021
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The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) announced Round 11 of the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) is now accepting applications online. Regions will once again be able to apply for funding from over 30 state programs participating in the CFA, representing a combined pool of grant funds, tax credits and low-cost financing, totaling over $525 million.

In order to expedite recovery, this year the $150 million for capital grants administered by Empire State Development will be available on a rolling competitive basis, meaning projects will be reviewed throughout the round. An emphasis for this funding will be placed on project readiness and alignment with the region’s strategic plan. Regions may identify up to $20 million of ESD Grant Fund projects throughout the year. Projects will be reviewed at least once per quarter and awards will be made available to projects as they are approved until $150 million is exhausted.

Deadline: July 30, 2021 at 4:00 pm
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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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Founded in 2020, the Stenclik Family Charitable Fund promotes the advancement of Buffalo Niagara through philanthropic commitments to the area’s most promising educational, cultural, scientific, and community initiatives. The Fund seeks to strengthen the region’s existing assets while clearing new paths for innovation that promote prosperity and vitality in our neighborhoods. They want to support projects that improve the lives of people now and make a lasting difference.

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NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF) supports electronic media and film organizations, as well as individual artists, in all regions of New York State. The Fund provides unique and critical support with a focus on sustainability and public engagement.

For organizations, MAAF provides funds to support technical strategies for online development as well as to hire outside consultants to support organizational and professional development. Eligible organizations have missions specific to the media arts, and are current NYSCA grantees. Priority will be given to NYSCA EMF grantees. Organizations may request funding up to a maximum amount of $2,500 for two 2021 deadlines: May 1, 2021 and October 1, 2021.

For individual artists who reside in New York State, MAAF provides support for the completion and/or public presentation of new works in all genres of sound and moving image art, including emergent technology. Grant awards assist artists in completing new work, reaching public audiences, and advance artistic exploration and public engagement in the media arts. Individual artists may request up to a maximum amount of $7,500. Application Deadline: July 1, 2021.

For Organizations: Learn More
For Individual Artists: Learn More

The Western New York Foundation’s Impact Capacity Assessment Program (iCAP) is a competitive program for nonprofits that wish to build their ability to perform well. Efficient long-term capacity management is vital to any nonprofit entity. iCAP offers opportunity to nonprofits to engage in an 8-month process to assess its capacity needs in coordination with an organizational development consultant. If you are interested in learning more about iCAP or have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Deadline: Rolling
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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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Last updated June 22, 2021