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:

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) recognizes that performing arts organizations and the artists that work with them have been especially impacted by COVID-19. Restart NY Regrants are offered as part of NYSCA’s Recovery Fund Initiative meant to help support New York’s return to live performance and in-person events. These grants are designed to support live performance projects, as well as projects that feature a public program or presentation and are distributed by the Statewide Community Regrant (SCR) sites (formerly known as DEC sites). The RESTART NY REGRANT FUNDS are administered by Arts Services Inc. (ASI) in Erie and Niagara counties and funded by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). 

This funding opportunity will focus on reviving in-person performance on a local level through regrant support provided to current Statewide Community Regrant (SCR) partners, formerly known as DEC or Decentralization sites.

In-person performing arts events and activities will take priority for this fund. Performing arts activities include – but are not limited to – music, dance, and theatre. If funding is still available once all qualified performing arts proposals have been funded, other in-person public arts-based activities and events will be considered for funding.

These grants are awarded for in-person public performances and events occurring between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 in Erie and Niagara counties.

Requests between the amounts of $500 and $5,000 can be submitted. Due to the limited amount of funding available, we will only accept one proposal per applicant.

Deadline: September 30, 2021
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ASI’s SCR grants provide support for public arts projects presented by any nonprofit organization, government entity/municipality, tribal organization, or individual in Erie, Niagara, or Chautauqua counties.  Direct applicants of New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), including NYSCA’s Regional Economic Development Council (RED-C) grants, are ineligible to apply for SCR grants regardless of funding status.

All applications must be completed through our online grant portal. If you have applied for a grant through ASI in the past, please do not create a new account in the grants portal. If you’ve forgotten your login information or need access to past applications, please email Holly Grant at [email protected] If you require assistance or access to a computer or internet to complete your application, please contact Holly at 716-833-3004 x512 or [email protected] to set up an appointment. Our online grant portal allows you to:

-Preview the online application, where you can review the application without creating an account or signing in.

-Begin the application process, where you can save drafts and complete an application.

Deadline: November 18, 2021
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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

Apply: awesomefoundation.org

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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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: September 30, December 31, March 31, June 30

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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

Apply: erie.gov

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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Foundation 214 serves children, veterans of the various branches of the US military, and the elderly. Funding is used to aid programs involved with the healthcare or education of the aforementioned beneficiaries. Capital Grants are for projects which involve raising money to pay for the purchase and proper installation and training of physical assets to assist your organization’s ability to service its clients and constituents. Innovative Program Grants are made to assist a charitable organization in its delivery of its mission on a day-to-day basis. Typically, these are multi-year commitments whereby the committed dollars help to offset the associated expenses and costs in delivering your institution’s services and/or products.

Deadline: September 22, 2021
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Humanities New York is offering a partnership grant opportunity for New York State-based non-profit organizations that currently serve 1) individuals who are going through the process of societal reentry after a period of incarceration, or 2) the families of those individuals, or 3) both populations. HNY will also entertain applications from organizations that are working with issues of prison reform and/or abolition. All aspects of this initiative will strive to support storytelling about the incredible scope and dimension of carceral effects on individuals, families, and communities.

Requests for grant support will be considered following a two-stage application process. Prospective grantees should first share a brief (one page or less) project summary explaining the scope of their project and the ways that HNY financial and programmatic support will benefit the project. Applicants with a suitable summary will be invited to submit a formal application through HNY’s grants portal.

Grant awards will range from $10,000—$20,000 for the implementation and/or the enhancement of an already established project.

Deadline: October 22, 2021 by 5:00 pm
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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 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship is the highest honor that our nation bestows upon jazz musicians. Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.

The Arts Endowment will honor musicians who represent a range of styles and instruments. In addition, one fellowship – the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy – will be given to an individual who has made major contributions to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the American jazz art form. In 2006, this award was designated in honor of A.B. Spellman, a jazz writer, accomplished poet, innovative arts administrator, and former Arts Endowment Deputy Chairman, who has dedicated much of his life to bringing the joy and artistry of jazz to all Americans.

The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are awarded to living individuals on the basis of nominations from the public including members of the jazz community. The Arts Endowment encourages nominations of a broad range of men and women who have been significant to the field of jazz through vocal and instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. Successful nominees will demonstrate significant contributions to the art form through their body of work in the field of jazz.

Deadline: October 29, 2021
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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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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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Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) are available to eligible NYS 501(c)3 nonprofits and municipalities. This program provides support for consulting projects that preserve New York State’s cultural and historic resources. The grants will support professional services of architects, engineers, and other design and preservation professionals working with nonprofit groups and municipalities to preserve their buildings, structures, and other resources that serve an arts and/or cultural function. 

Pre-application is required to determine eligibility. Please review the TAG grant guidelines before completing the pre-application. 

Pre-application deadline: October 11, 2021
Grant application deadline: October 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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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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Theatre Development Fund’s (TDF) TAP Plus program, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of the New York State Legislature, makes available grants of up to $5,000 for open captioning services in order to increase attendance by people who are hard of hearing or deaf at cultural events that are open to the public in New York State. TAP Plus strongly encourages applications from all regions of the state.

Information on open captioning and a service fee guide are available on our website at www.tdf.org/tap. TDF also can assist in planning an accessible project for people with hearing disabilities.

TAP Plus is an extension of TDF’s award-winning TDF Accessibility Programs (TAP) which offer services for theatregoers with physical disabilities, as well as individuals on the autism spectrum or with other developmental/cognitive disabilities. After more than a year of virtual programming, TAP is beginning its 24th season of in-person open captioned performances of Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre.

Deadline: October 10, 2021
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Mid Atlantic Arts is pleased to announce that USArtists International (USAI) 2021 – 2022 guidelines are now available and the application is open. The first deadline to submit applications is September 9, 2021, at 11:59 PM ET for projects taking place between December 15, 2021 and December 14, 2022.

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.

Please note that the USAI guidelines have undergone some changes, including an increased maximum request amount (now $18,000) and the return of three application deadlines. Both travel and virtual international engagements remain eligible. Those who wish to apply should read through the guidelines carefully—this program has three areas of eligibility, and applicants should be sure they, their festival/performing arts market, and engagement are all eligible for this program.

2021 – 2022 USAI Application Deadlines
  • September 9, 2021 by 11:59 PM ET for projects taking place between December 15, 2021 and December 14, 2022.
  • December 1, 2021 by 11:59 PM ET for projects taking place between March 15, 2022 and March 14, 2023.
  • March 30, 2022 by 11:59 PM ET for projects taking place between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

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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.

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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The Ora Schneider Regional Grant is a month-long residency for artists residing in Greene, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, and Orange counties. Gail Schneider Matlin—a gifted artist, former WSW board member, and daughter of Ora Schneider—funds these residencies to honor her mother’s long-time commitment to our community’s cultural life.

WSW awards this residency to two artists, who may choose to work in any of our studio disciplines. Priority will be given to artists with experience and a working knowledge of etching, intaglio, or monoprint; letterpress; papermaking; screenprinting; photography; or ceramics.

This grant includes a $1500 stipend and 24/7 studio access. We understand that applicants may not be close enough for a daily commute, so free onsite housing can also be arranged.

Deadline: October 15, 2021
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The Studio Grant is a six- to eight-week residency for artists to create new work in any of our studio disciplines: intaglio, letterpress, papermaking, screenprinting, photography, or ceramics. WSW invites applications from artists at any stage in their careers.

This grant includes a stipend of $350/week, up to $500 for materials used during the residency, up to $250 for travel within the Continental US, free onsite housing, and 24/7 studio access. WSW can also provide technical advice and production assistance.

This residency has a two-step jury process: a rotating, impartial jury selects the finalists and then WSW applies for NEA funding for the chosen projects.

Deadline: November 15, 2021
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The Art-in-Education Artist’s Book Grant is a residency awarded to two artists to create a new artist’s book and teach young people in WSW’s studios.

Our Art-in-Education program (AIE) is a model for arts education and operates in conjunction with the Kingston City School District. AIE provides a high quality arts experience by bringing students to a professional artist’s workspace and giving them concentrated time to learn printmaking, papermaking, and book arts.

Generally, the resident dedicates their first month to producing a limited edition artist’s book, which is hand-printed and bound in the studio. WSW can provide technical advice; training on new equipment, techniques, and materials; and production assistance. (You can read more about the artist’s book aspect here.)

During the second half of the residency, the artist works with young people in WSW’s studios, teaching one to two days/week for three to four weeks, and visiting the students twice in school. Studio space and equipment is reserved for students during program hours, but artists may work at any time outside of AIE.

This grant includes a stipend of $350/week for up to ten weeks, up to $750 for materials, up to $250 for travel within the Continental US, free onsite housing, and 24/7 studio access during non-AIE sessions.

This residency has a two-step jury process: artists submit their materials, then WSW applies to the appropriate funders.

Deadline: November 15, 2021
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The Artist’s Book Grant is a six- to eight-week residency for artists to produce a limited edition book work. Working intensively in our studios, artists print and bind their own books, and are encouraged to create an edition size no larger than 100 and no smaller than 50.

The grant includes a stipend of $350/week, up to $750 for materials, up to $250 for travel within the Continental US, free onsite housing, and 24/7 studio access. WSW can provide technical advice; training on new equipment, techniques, and materials; and production assistance.

The contract stipulates that 20% of the edition goes to WSW’s archive, exhibition, and display copies; 20% of the edition goes to the artist; and 60% of the edition goes to general sales. WSW has developed a series of archive and exhibition opportunities for our artists’ books, and artists can collaborate with WSW on marketing for a 50% commission fee.

WSW’s artists’ books are held in over 200 collections world-wide, and in nine repositories that have the majority of our collection: Indiana University (Bloomington), Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Delaware, Vassar College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Yale University, University of Michigan, The Library of Congress, and Bucknell University.

An outside jury of artists and curators choose the grant recipients.

Deadline: November 15, 2021
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that the Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) is now accepting applications for Round 2 of funding awards. In this round, $48 million will be available for strategic regional projects that will help New Yorkers find quality, well-paid jobs, meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, expand apprenticeships and address the long-term needs of growing industries.

Revised program guidelines, webinars and the application are available on the WDI website at workforcedevelopment.ny.gov. Project applications will be accepted on a continual basis with awards being made throughout the duration of the program.

Awards will fall into one of three categories:

Public-Private Partnerships to Advance 21st Century Skills: Expand the infrastructure and capacity of SUNY and CUNY to produce skilled talent that meets the needs of regional employers by providing funding for classroom space, technology and equipment, industry-engaged curriculum development. Funds available in this category are provided through SUNY and CUNY and include capital, apprenticeship, customized curriculum and new job linkage opportunities.
Employer-Driven Skills so Training Leads to Quality Jobs: These programs expand employer investment in a skilled workforce pipeline. Resources will provide direct funding or tax credits to train incumbent workers and to recruit and train entry-level workers. Applications will tend to come directly from employers. Funds available in this category are provided by DOL, NYSERDA and ESD for employer-driven employee training and internships.
Workforce Solutions that Match Business Needs: The Workforce Solutions programs provide flexible funding for innovative workforce development projects. Funds will support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ near-term workforce needs, address long-term industry needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, and expand apprenticeships. Sources of funding from participating agencies and authorities will be matched to proposals, based on the details of the project.

Deadline: October 1, 2021

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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 September 15, 2021

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