Grants & Opps

/Grants & Opps
Grants & Opps 2019-02-28T14:43:58+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

Buffalo Place is proud to announce a New York Main Street grant opportunity available for buildings and tenants on Main Street between Edward/Goodell Streets and Seneca Street.  If interested in more information or applying, contact Angela Keppel, Project Planner at or by phone at 716-856-3150.  Meetings for interested property owners will be held on February 21st and February 25th. Applications will be due in mid-March.

Click here for details.

The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, in conjunction with the Erie County Arts and Cultural Advisory Board (“EACAB”), will be kicking off the 2020 Arts and Cultural Funding Program with an application release on Friday, February 22nd.  As in 2018 the applications are being released and will be due earlier in the year.

Two applications will again be available – a short form application for funding requests up to $7,500 and a long form application for those greater than $7,500.Short form applications are due by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, April 24th, while long form applications are due by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, May 1st.

The staggered deadline allows organizations more time to complete their applications and improves submission through the website.

Organizations meeting the stated Eligibility Requirements must submit their application online at Late or incomplete applications will negatively affect an organization’s application score. Submitted applications will be reviewed by the Erie Arts & Cultural Advisory Board.

On Wednesday, February 27th at 5:30 PM, interested organizations are encouraged to attend an applicant briefing during which time the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning will provide an overview of the online application and answer questions about it.

The voluntary briefing will take place in the Gallery Room at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site at 641 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202.

Learn more and apply HERE

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

View a listing of upcoming Grant opportunities and their deadlines on the Fractured Atlas website HERE.


Applications are due Friday, March 29th

Kenan Arts Council Scholarship applications are now available at Barker Central High School, Lockport High School, Newfane Central High School, Niagara Wheatfield High School, Royalton-Hartland Central High School, Starpoint Central High School, and Wilson Central High School guidance offices, and art, music, and theater departments.

One $1000 scholarship will be awarded this year to high school seniors who plan to attend college and major in art, dance, design, music, or theater.  Applicants must have applied to and/or been accepted by a school of higher learning.

Applicants should meet high academic standards and be actively involved in extracurricular and community activities.  Applicants must have achieved a high school average of at least 80%.

Applications must be returned to the Kenan Arts Council by Friday, March 29, 2019. (Postmarked March 29, 2019).

Applications may be downloaded here.

Please forward completed applications to:     Kenan Arts Council, Attn: Scholarship Committee, 433 Locust Street, Lockport, NY  14094

Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation- ArtsCONNECT Grant

The application deadline for ArtsCONNECT is Friday, March 8, 2019 for projects taking place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

ArtsCONNECT provides funding for mid-Atlantic-based presenters working collaboratively to engage a performing artist or ensemble. The program aims to develop and deepen relationships among the region’s presenters, helping build a more sustainable touring environment for artists and ensembles. The supported tours include performances as well as community engagement activities that enhance the performance experience, and offer meaningful exchanges between touring artists and a presenter’s community.

A competitive, peer-panel-reviewed program, ArtsCONNECT supports tours developed by consortia of at least three presenters from a minimum two different states and jurisdictions served by MAAF. Proposed artists/ensembles may be from anywhere worldwide, but may not be based in the home state or jurisdiction of any of the applicant presenters. Priority consideration will be given to commissioning projects and/or projects that tour widely within the mid-Atlantic states and jurisdictions.

Matching grants are awarded once per year ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per presenter for non-commissioning projects. Presenters with commissioning projects may request up to $15,000.

Questions regarding ArtsCONNECT should be directed to Haowen Wang, Program Officer, Performing Arts, at

Learn more on their website HERE

Deadline: April 3, 2019 by 11:59 PM Eastern
For projects taking place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Certification Sheets and letters of invitation due by April 10, 2019.

USArtists International supports performances by U.S. artists at important cultural festivals and arts marketplaces around the globe. Committed to the presence of U.S. based artists on world stages, USArtists International provides grants to ensembles and individual performers in dance, music and theatre invited to perform at significant international festivals and performing arts markets.

USAI encourages and promotes the vibrant diversity of U.S. artists and creative expression in the performing arts by expanding opportunity and exposure to international audiences, encouraging international cultural exchange and enhancing the creative and professional development of U.S. based artists by providing connections with presenters, curators and artists around the world. USAI extends the reach and impact of professional touring artists and ensembles from the United States and is committed to expanded touring opportunities for continued sustainability of U.S. artists.

USAI provides grants of up to $15,000 towards support of artist fees, travel, accommodations, per diem, shipping and visa preparation.

Learn more and Apply HERE

Category Application
ment of Grant
Award or Rejection
Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance
Literature Fellowships: Prose March 6, 2019  December 2019 January 1, 2020

Applicants are required to use See “How to Prepare and Submit an Application” for further information.

Late applications will not be accepted.

In the event of a major emergency (e.g., a hurricane or technological failure), the National Endowment for the Arts Chairman may adjust application deadlines for affected applicants. If a deadline is extended for any reason, an announcement will be posted on our website.

Please do not seek information on the status of your application before the announcement date that is listed above.

If you have questions:


Call: 202-682-5034

ART WORKS Guidelines: Media Arts

Art Works: Media Arts Deadline:

Part 1 – Submit to February 14, 2019
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 – Submit to Applicant Portal February 19-26, 2019
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2019
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2020

Apply HERE

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to supporting activities that reflect the dynamic, diverse, and evolving nature of the media arts field. Applicants may apply in this Art Works category for media arts projects that support creation, exhibition, education, and distribution of historic and contemporary artworks in all genres and forms that use electronic media, film, and technology (analog & digital; old and new) as an artistic medium or a medium to broaden arts appreciation and awareness (of any discipline). All genres are welcome to apply; all phases of project support are eligible.

We encourage applications for artistically excellent projects that address any of the activities below:

  • Honor the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States (aka the Women’s Suffrage Centennial).
  • Engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Hispanic or Latino organizations; and 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

CHALLENGE AMERICA: Grant Program Description


Part 1 – Submit to April 11, 2019
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 – Submit to Applicant Portal April 16-23, 2019
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2020

Apply HERE

The Challenge America category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Age alone (e.g., youth, seniors) does not qualify a group as underserved; at least one of the underserved characteristics noted above also must be present. Please provide details about the underserved audience you select in your application using relevant statistics and anecdotal information. Proposals should detail the efforts made to reach the identified underserved population. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development.

Challenge America grants:

  • Extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations.
  • Are limited to the specific types of projects outlined below.
  • Are for a fixed amount of $10,000 and require a minimum $10,000 match.

Partnerships can be valuable to the success of these projects. While not required, applicants are encouraged to consider partnerships among organizations, both in and outside of the arts, as an appropriate way to engage with the identified underserved audience.

To ensure that Challenge America funding reaches new organizations and communities, the National Endowment for the Arts has implemented a policy to limit consecutive-year funding.

Starting with grants that were awarded in FY 2013 (as indicated by a grant letter dated on or after October 1, 2012, and a grant number beginning with “13 – 78” or ending with “78-13”), an organization that receives Challenge America grants for three years in a row is not eligible to apply to the category for the following one-year period. Therefore, an organization that has received grants in FY 2017, 2018, and 2019 may not apply under these FY 2020 guidelines. That organization may apply for FY 2020 support under other National Endowment for the Arts funding opportunities including Art Works

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) 2020 Grant Guidelines:

Use Arts Services Initiative of WNY (ASI) as your fiscal sponsor in the Individual Artist Category! Email ASI at for more information. 

Find out more about the NYSCA Grant and apply HERE

NYSCA’s Program Guidelines contain vital information about applying for NYSCA funding, including detailed descriptions of funding categories and eligibility and application questions. Please access the guidelines in PDF format below, and visit Programs Overview for more information.


These program guidelines have been developed for FY2020 and may contain clarifications or substantive changes from the prior funding year. Applicants should carefully review ALL INSTRUCTIONS. NYSCA’s funding recommendations each year are determined by available funds, the volume of applications, and the NYSCA review process, including review by a peer panel. Past funding is neither a factor considered by the review panel nor a guarantee of future funding.

Find out more and apply HERE

Flying Bison is launching a new community giving program called “Pints for Non-Profits” (PNP). This is an opportunity to your organization to utilize our space, make money and spread the word of your services. We are offering two packages; one geared towards fundraisers, and one towards providing a rent-free space to host a workshop/training.
All PNP’s will take place on Tuesdays, and will be booked in the order they are requested. Contact me for more information.
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

Equipment Access Grant

Grant: $1000 in-kind equipment rentals
Application Deadline: rolling
Notification Date: Approximately one month after application

Have an idea for a project?  Thinking about that video you’ve been meaning to shoot?  Considering a new perspective on a familiar idea?  It’s time to make it happen!

Squeaky Wheel is offering our new Equipment Access Grant 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.

Be sure to check out our equipment prices to make your estimates based on your project timeline.

We encourage all artists/makers/people, especially Indigenous people, Black people, people of color, women, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people to apply.

Target field trip grants

Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside the classroom. We’re bringing students once-in-a-lifetime learning experiences through field trips they’ll never forget.


Check back Aug. 1, 2019 at noon CDT to apply.


It’s become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, we launched Target field trip grants in 2007. Since then, we’ve made it possible for millions of students to go on a field trip.


As part of the program, Target stores award field trip grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued at $700. We accept grant applications between noon CT Aug. 1 and 11:59 p.m. CT Oct. 1.

rules & eligibility

Who is eligible for a grant?
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.

Who is not eligible?

  • Parents
  • Volunteers
  • Childcare centers
  • After-school programs
  • Pre-K groups
  • Any other individuals who do not meet the eligibility criteria listed above

How are grant recipients selected?
The Target Field Trip Grants program is managed and administered entirely by Scholarship America. Scholarship America will evaluate applications and award grants based on the following criteria:

  • Applicant’s description of the field trip and its objectives
  • Benefits to the students, including overall student learning experience, relevance to curriculum and number of students who may benefit from the grant
  • Proposed use of funds
  • Trip to be taken between January 1, 2019 and the end of the 2018-19 academic year (May/June 2019)

If selected to receive a Target Field Trip Grant, the applicant must provide verification, by the school superintendent, principal or immediate supervisor of the proposed trip and other information listed in the application.

Application deadline
Applications must be submitted online via this website to Scholarship America between August 1, 2018 at Noon CT and October 1, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. CT. No emailed or hard copy paper applications will be accepted. SPONSOR (Target and Scholarship America) is not responsible for late, misdirected or incomplete applications or applications not received by Scholarship America. All applicant submissions become property of the SPONSOR and will not be returned. By submitting an application, applicants agree to provide other information and documentation as may be reasonably requested by judges or SPONSOR.

Applications will be judged by Scholarship America, whose decisions will be final in all respects. In the event of a tie, the applications will be re-judged based on the criteria.

Recipient notification/claiming grants
All applicants will be notified by e-mail by December 15, 2018. Potential recipients will also be notified by U.S. Mail at their home address and must follow instructions to verify their application information and sign a publicity release form. Grant checks are made payable to recipient’s school. In the event a recipient does not implement the field trip by the end of the 2018-19 school year, the grant will be forfeited and funds returned to the SPONSOR. Any tax liability is the responsibility of the school.

Additional terms
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. By participating, entrants agree: a) to the Rules and decisions of Scholarship America and Target, which shall be final in all respects; b) where legal, to the use of their names and/or likeness for advertising, promotional and publicity purposes without written consent or compensation; and c) to release, discharge and hold harmless Target Community Fund, Target Corporation and Scholarship America, Inc. from damages or claims arising out of their participation in the Field Trip Grants program or use of the grant.

All rights, title and interest, including copyrights of information submitted as part of the application, belong to Target. Target reserves the right to edit, adjust, modify, abridge, condense, publish, and/or excerpt application information.

SPONSOR is not responsible for electronic transmission errors resulting in omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission, or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions of any kind or failure to receive entry information by SPONSOR.

Grant restrictions
No substitutions or transfers permitted. Recipients may receive a grant only once in a given school year. Grants are to be used to cover field trip costs and fees. In the event the costs and fees are less than the grant amount, the balance of the grant may be utilized for other education costs such as materials, books and resources related to the curriculum. Grants may not be used to supplant expenditures that are the normal responsibility of the school district (e.g. substitute teacher salaries). SPONSOR reserves the right to interpret these rules and to make decisions concerning the grant, its acceptance and use, in situations not covered by these rules.

The Department of State and the National Endowment for the Arts are pleased to announce an open call for applications from U.S. nonprofits to organize the official U.S. presentation at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition held in Venice, Italy, from June through November 2020. The exhibition is the premier showcase for revolutionary ideas in contemporary architecture and design through national venues. Proposals should represent the most excellent and innovative work in American architecture, landscape architecture, and planning. The award amount this year is $325,000 (including $125,000 for pavilion management), with a potential additional $100,000 from the NEA.
Please contact Guiomar Ochoa or Courtney Spearman to discuss your proposal by March 15. Applications are due March 28.
Dimensions of Citizenship: Architecture and Belonging from the Body to the Cosmos, the official U.S. entry at the recently-concluded 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, will be on view for the first time in the U.S. at Wrightwood 659 in Chicago from February 15 through April 27, 2019. Devoted to exploring the notion of citizenship today and the potential role of architecture and design in creating spaces for it, Dimensions of Citizenship comprises seven unique installations created by trans-disciplinary teams of architects and designers which were commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Chicago.
Images: the U.S. Pavilion in Venice (from Architect’s Newspaper), Dimensions of Citizenship logo and installation in the pavilion (images courtesy Dimensions of Citizenship team)
Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission – Call for Applications
JUSFC, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, seeks applications for a Creative Arts Fellowship program. The program will support and select up to five collaborative projects of U.S.-Japan artists representative of diverse genres and regions of both countries, to be showcased in Tokyo during the Olympic Games in summer 2020. Applications are due March 1.
Are you a collective considering Non-Profit status? Are you a newly forming organization in need of guidance and information to help you make the decisions necessary to become a formal nonprofit, and/or 501(c)3? EMF MAAF is pleased to announce a new opportunity designed to assist and strengthen newly forming media arts organizations and activities across New York State.
  • Funding Available: Fellows will receive up to $2,000 in consultation services with the New York      Council on Nonprofits (NYCON).
  • Application Deadlines: January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1
  • Notification: Typically within 30 days
  • Period of Support: Determined by applicant and NYCON, within a 12-month period
  • Final Report Deadline: 60 days following support period end-date

Important Eligibility Notes:

  • Eligible groups are in a formative stage, and not yet a non-profit or 501(c)3
  • Nonprofit organizations no more than two years old are also eligible.

To help prepare and guide prospective applications for the upcoming 2019 Regional Council Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), the WNY Regional Economic Development Council and ESD will once again be accepting Letters of Interest (LOI) and area pleased to advise the process is now open for submissions.  Through soliciting LOIs we seek to identify prospective projects early in the year that can be developed over the next few months and, as a result, be of a higher quality.  The Letter of Interest is optional and voluntary; it is not a required step in the application process and does not guarantee funding.  As a LOI is received by the Regional Council, staff from the WNY ESD office will contact the applicants to discuss projects and provide technical assistance.

To complete and submit an online Letter of Interest form for your project, go to:

In addition, ESD will be holding information sessions (“ESD on the Road”) to hear from applicants on their prospective project ideas and issues in their community that may be developed into project applications. The WNYREDC encourages businesses, educational institutions, local governments, not-for-profit groups and other stakeholders to attend a session at one of the following dates and locations:

  • Wednesday, February 13 – Chautauqua County; 10am – 12pm

The Reg Lenna Center for The Arts- Jamestown, New York

  • Wednesday, February 20 – Erie County; 10am-12pm

Village of Springville Public Safety Complex- Springville, New York

  • Wednesday, February 27 – Allegany County; 11am-1pm

Allegany County Industrial Development Agency- Belmont, New York 

  • Wednesday, March 6 – Niagara County; 10am-12pm

Lockport Municipal Building- Lockport, New York 

  • Wednesday, March 13 – Cattaraugus County; 10am-12pm

Olean Business Development- Olean, New York 

Learn more about each stop and RSVP at

 For questions pertaining to the LOI and/or the ESD on the Road, please contact Mo Sumbundu at 716-846-8347 or




  • 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