Grants & Opps

/Grants & Opps
Grants & Opps 2019-01-09T11:22:18+00:00

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Use this section as a tool to search for upcoming grant deadlines for funding and to find out more about regional foundations and funding agencies.  We regularly hear from individual artists and non-profit organizations inquiring about alternate funding opportunities.  This is a collection of those opportunities.

NOTE:  If you have specific questions regarding funding sources outside of Arts Services Initiative, please directly contact that funder or provider.

Artwork Archive sent their team on a mission to find the best art opportunities, artist grants, and calls-for-entry for you in 2019. From that, they present you a list of the top international open calls, residencies, fellowships, and awards that we believe will benefit artists during the upcoming year!

View the listing HERE

The Community Foundation competitive grant process has two stages. The first step is completion of an online Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI requests basic information to determine fit with the Foundation’s Community Goals. The LOI that align best with the goals are invited to submit a full application.

LOI will be accepted until 4 p.m. on February 4, 2019
Selected organizations invited to submit full applications April 8, 2019
Grant briefing for those applicants invited to submit a full application is scheduled for April 12, 2019 at 10 a.m.
Full proposals will be due May 3, 2019
Grant outcome notification will be sent to applicants in mid-July 2019

For more information, or to apply for a competitive grant, click on this link to go to our website:

LOI proposals must address at least one of the Solutions listed under the Community Foundation’s four Community Goals: 

  • 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

Please click on the link above for more information on the Solutions listed under the Community Goals.

Applicants must be 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations located in or serving one of the eight counties of Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.

If you have questions, please contact Community Foundation Senior Program Officer Darren Penoyer at (716) 852-2857, ext. 206.

Cullen Foundation is an independent, private foundation dedicated to enhancing education for students in grades pre-K through 12 and advancing theatre and performing arts to positively impact residents of Erie County, New York. The Foundation was created by the late John S. “Jack” Cullen. His estate provided the funding for the foundation.

Grant Cycles

Cullen Foundation runs two open grant cycles each year. The winter grant cycle begins in January and the summer grant cycle begins in July.

Learn more about their grants and apply HERE


January 1, 2019: Letter of Intent (LOI) stage opens. LOI’s are accepted on a rolling basis between January 1st and January 25th. Once an LOI is approved, the applicant may proceed to the Full Application phase. Cullen Foundation strongly encourages early submissions so that each request may receive adequate time for review.

January 25, 2019: LOI phase closes at 5:00pm Eastern Time*. Applicants will be notified within 1 week whether they advance to the Full Application phase.

February 22, 2019: Deadline for full applications at 5:00pm Eastern Time*. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

April 2019: Cullen Foundation will notify applicants of grant decisions.

June 2019: Payment will be distributed to grantees.

Complete guidelines and application forms, can be found HERE.
Deadline for applications is Feb 19th, 2019. 
The New York State DanceForce, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, announces the second year of the Western New York Choreographers’ Initiative (WNYCI). The 2019 cycle will expand from ten counties to seventeen, supporting choreographers living in New York’s westernmost counties: Chautauqua, Niagara, Erie, Cattaraugus, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Allegany, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, and Seneca
The New York State DanceForce is a consortium of 19 dance activists committed to increasing the quantity and quality of dance activity throughout New York State. Each of our members receives an annual allocation to create projects that bring dance artists to upstate NY communities in customized residencies. Since its founding in 1994, the DanceForce, through the work of its members, has funded over 350 projects, raising more than $2.8 million in support of these endeavors.
For further information, please contact Dance Force directly. Thank you! 

This Erie County loan/grant program is for businesses in certain communities where the household income of the business owner is below the thresholds identified (see grid on page 2 of flyer). Applicants need to be for-profit businesses.

Learn more about this loan grant program with this flyer:

Microenterprise Loan Flyer – June 2018

You may use Arts Services Initiative of WNY as your fiscal sponsor for this grant!

Deadline to contact ASI if you would like to use us as a fiscal sponsor: Feb. 1, 2019
Deadline to apply for the MAP Fund: Feb. 15, 2019

MAP Fund’s FY19 Application for Fiscally Sponsored Projects

Attention all presenting artists and arts organizations: If you’re fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas and interested in applying for the MAP Fund, keep reading to find out important grant review deadlines, and how to apply.

About MAP Fund

The MAP Fund invests in artistic production as the critical foundation of imagining — and ultimately co-creating — a more equitable and vibrant society. MAP awards $1 million annually to up to 40 projects in the range of $10,000 — $45,000 per grant.

MAP supports 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 inter sectional anti-racism, and does not support cultural appropriation or oppressive project language, structures, or content.

MAP has provided this excellent 2019 Application Guide for your reference. Please review it thoroughly before and during the preparation of your application.

National Endowment for the Arts FY 2020 Funding Guidelines Posted
Guidelines and application materials for three National Endowment for the Arts funding categories- Art Works, Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships-have posted on the Arts Endowment’s website. The National Endowment for the Arts supports projects in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. 
The FY 2020 Art Works and Challenge America programs support projects taking place beginning in 2020. Guidelines and application materials are in the Apply for a Grant section of the website. Please note that in the Art Works category the National Endowment for the Arts is encouraging artistically excellent projects that address any of the following activities below:

  • Honor the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States.
  • Engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Hispanic or Latino organizations; or the Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts.
  • Celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.

In addition, guidelines for FY 2020 Creative Writing Fellowships: Prose are posted for application by published creative writers. Guidelines and application materials for the fellowships are also in the Apply for a Grant section of the website.

Questions about these guidelines or your application? Please use the list on the NEA’s website to determine your appropriate staff contact.


Art Works
Application Deadlines: February 14 & July 11, 2019
A guidelines workshop webinar is scheduled for January 9, 2019 at 3:00pm ET. Click here to register.

Challenge America
Application Deadline: April 11, 2019
A guidelines workshop webinar is scheduled for February 27, 2019 at 3:00pm ET. Click here to register.
An additional webinar will be offered on January 10, 2019 at 3:00pm ET for previous Challenge America applicants interested in applying for Art Works. Click here to register. NOTE: An organization may not apply to both the Art Works AND the Challenge America categories.

Visit the NEA’s recent grant search for examples of past NEA grants.

Creative Writing Fellowships: Prose
Application Deadline: March 6, 2019

Visit the Arts Endowment’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past Creative Writing Fellows.

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of New York State are pleased to offer the Preserve New York grant program. Launched in 1993, Preserve New York makes grants for historic structure reports, building condition reports, cultural landscape reports, and cultural resource surveys.

Deadline: Applications must be electronically submitted no later than Monday, March 25, 2019. 

Applicants must be a unit of local government or a not-for-profit group with tax-exempt status. State agencies and religious institutions are not eligible to apply. The program provides support up to 80% of the project cost. Applicants must provide 20% of the total project cost as a cash match. Grants are likely to range between $3,000 and $10,000.

The Preserve New York grant program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has provided additional support for projects in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Technical Services staff completed a report in 2016 titled Preserve New York: A Catalyst for Community Preservation. This report charts the impact of the Preserve New York grant program during the years 2005-2012 and assesses preservation activities that occurred after these reports were completed. To read more about the study or download the report, visit our publications page.

To receive or discuss an application, please contact:
Frances Gubler
Manager of Technical & Grant Programs
(518) 462-5658 x 10
Visit their website for more information HERE




  • Baird Foundation
  • Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation
  • Davis Family Foundation
  • Josephine Goodyear Foundation
  • Joy Family Foundation
  • Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation
  • Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
  • Patrick P. Lee Foundation
  • Robert & Patricia Colby Foundation
  • Simple Gifts Fund

Additional information about the above listed foundations can be found at


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

Health Insurance for the WNY Arts & Cultural Sector

For plan details or other health or dental insurance assistance, please contact one of the Licensed Brokers at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce:

Penny LaPlaca

Olivia Dann

Christine Langenfeld

Phone: (716) 632.6905


Arts Services Initiative and the Amherst Chamber of Commerce have partnered to bring the arts and cultural sector of Western New York access to group rate health insurance. Arts organizations are eligible for a Small Group plan by providing a NYS-45 to show that there is one or more employees at the business, that takes the insurance (other than the business owner and/or spouse).  If you are a small company with only 1099 employees, you may also be eligible for Small Group plans.

Individuals who own and operate their own business can also access Individual Market insurance through the Amherst Chamber.  Individual artists include musicians, sculptors, tech crew, arts administrators and professionals, etc.

If you are a small business struggling to understand all the changes in health insurance or wondering how to contain costs, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce can be your solution. They have three licensed brokers on staff who are available five days a week throughout the year to offer assistance.

The following are just some of the ways the Amherst Chamber can offer guidance:

  • If you are a sole proprietor or a working individual, they can help you identify the product that aligns with your budget and medical requirements
  • If you have a small company with 1099 employees, they can create a group insurance plan that lowers the individual premium costs
  • If you are a small firm and don’t have the benefit expertise to select plans for your employees, they will meet with you or the individual employees and create a plan
  • If you want to lower premium costs, they can assist you in understanding Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s)and the long and short term value to you and your employees at no additional cost

Dental Insurance

Your dental health is as important as your medical health.  The Amherst Chamber offers dental coverage.

Most dental insurance policies emphasize prevention and diagnostics, typically covering two annual exams and cleanings, plus X-rays, and for children, fluoride treatments. But the real benefit is being covered for bigger ticket procedures such as fillings, root canals and crowns.  Pediatric Dental coverage, an essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act for dependents under the age of 19, is embedded in some but not all dental plans and differs in coverage.

To learn more contact the Amherst Chamber at 716-632-6905 or email


Small Group Plan
Individual Independent Health Plan
Individual Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan
Dental BCBS
Dental Plan
Support ASI