will continue to serve the nonprofit and small business community during the COVID-19 global crisis.  In addition to posting new COVID-19 Coronavirus funding opportunities, we will continue to update active grants with new extended grant deadlines.  While we are carefully monitoring funding opportunities and updating throughout each day, the situation is dynamic. We ask that all GrantWatch members review the URL listed in the grant posting and all material provided by the funding source prior to submitting applications.

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Community Initiatives Program

Grants to Austin, Texas Nonprofits for
Public Arts and Cultural Programming

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Austin Economic Development Department (EDD) Cultural Arts Division

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/27/20 11:59 PM - Deadline for Proposed events occurring January, February or March 2020.


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Grants of up to $3,000 to Austin, Texas nonprofit organizations for public art exhibitions and performances for the benefit of residents and tourists. Funding is intended for activities and projects in all disciplines that provide quality cultural and arts programming in the City of Austin and the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction. Priority is given to artists from historically underrepresented communities.

The purpose of this program is to reinforce the artistic and cultural industry representing an important component of the economy of Austin and to celebrate and promote Austin as an exciting, vibrant, and diverse cultural destination for visitors and tourists throughout the world. The Community Initiatives Program provides support for smaller community arts projects and activities that may develop throughout the year. The purpose of the Community Initiatives Program is to support public arts and cultural programming that celebrates Austin’s culture of creativity and to encourage collaboration, innovation, accessibility, and cultural tourism.

Proposed project activities must be a public event that is open and advertised to Austin residents, visitors, and tourists, and consistent with the promotion and enhancement of the City of Austin as a cultural destination. Proposed activities are not required to be free. Admission may be charged.

Goals for Allocation of Funds  (for details on each of these goals, see: 

1. Support arts, culture, and creativity as an integral component of a vibrant community and a thriving economy
2. Preserve the unique character of Austin while encouraging artistic and cultural excellence and innovation
3. Support artists and arts organizations of all disciplines as they engage in meaningful work

The Community Initiatives Funding Program actively seeks to provide members of historically underrepresented communities, which can include identities such as Black or African-American, Arab-American, Asian-American, Hispanic or LatinX, Pacific Islander, Indigenous Nations, LGBTQIA, or a person with a disability, with equitable access to funding opportunities. Applicants who are members of historically underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.) 

For FY20, the Arts Commission has set aside $10,000 to support Community Initiatives applicants seeking to broaden access or accommodate audiences with disabilities by providing up to $500 in additional support for expenses related to expanding accessibility at their proposed events. Applicants will not request these funds, as they will be awarded based on the ADA Accessibility expenses listed in their budget and their response to Question 18 in Section III Application Questions. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164662

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum request of $3,000; up to $500 in additional support for expanding accessibility.

Term of Contract:

Contracted services supported the Cultural Arts Funding Programs take place within the City of Austin’s fiscal year, October 1st through September 30th annually.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Community Initiatives funding is available to arts groups, non-arts groups and individual artists that produce or present arts activities and are not already receiving funding through the Cultural Arts Division’s Core Funding or Cultural Heritage Festivals programs.

Applicant type:

- 501(c) arts or non-arts organization (as evidenced by a current IRS determination letter or copy of the most recent Form 990 filed with the IRS)
- Groups without 501(c) designation but have State of Texas Non-Profit Status, or also known as Incorporated Groups (may apply with or without a fiscal sponsor)
- Unincorporated Groups without 501(c) designation (may apply with or without a fiscal sponsor)
- Individual Artists who are at least 18 years old (may apply with or without a fiscal sponsor)

An applicant must:

- Be a resident, or be based in Austin or its ETJ for at least a one (1) year prior to the date the application is submitted, and
- Propose and advertise events open to the general public and occur within and for the benefit of the residents, visitors and tourists of Austin and/or its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), and
- Have produced artistic work in Austin, within your artistic expertise, and with a budget history of for a minimum of one (1) year prior to the application deadline, and
- Not have received Community Initiatives funding more than five consecutive or nonconsecutive years, and
- Not currently be receiving funding from the Cultural Arts Division Core Funding or Cultural Heritage Festivals programs.

For a list of ineligible organizations and activities, see:

Pre-proposal Conference:

FY20 Community Initiatives Applicant Workshop - March 5, 2020 @ Noon

This workshop is for individual artists, unincorporated arts groups and arts 501 (c) 3 organizations who are interested in applying. The workshop will cover in detail how to complete each section of the online application including: the Application Form, Proposed Budget, and Narrative. Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptop or tablet.

Cultural Arts Division - Bluebonnet Training Room
5202 E. Ben White Blvd
Suite 400
Austin, TX 78741

RSVP Link:

Pre-Application Information:

Deadlines for Proposed events occurring:

- October, November or December 2019: The deadline is Monday, August 26, 2019 at 11:59 PM
- January, February or March 2020: The deadline is Monday, October 28, 2019 at 11:59 PM
- April, May, or June 2020: The deadline is Monday, January 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM
- July, August, or September 2020: The deadline is Monday, April 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM

A 1:2 (half) match is required for all Community Initiatives awards. At least 50% of the required match must be in cash expenses; the remaining 50% match may be in-kind support at true market value (with signed receipts). Cash match requirements cannot be met by other City funding sources, however City sources may contribute to your in-kind match.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Community Initiatives Program Administrator
Anne-Marie McKaskle-Davis
Cultural Funding Specialist Senior
(512) 974-7854

For general inquires or assistance, please contact the Cultural Arts Funding Program staff:

Jesús Pantel, Contract Compliance Specialist, Sr.

Laura Odegaard, Cultural Funding Program Associate

Peggy Ellithorpe, Cultural Funding Program Associate

Barbara J Horowitz, Cultural Funding Program Associate

Cultural Arts Division Office
201 East 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78701

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Texas: Austin or its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction

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