Art Access Grant

2019 Art Access Grant - Organization Support

Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000

The Art Access Grant supports Queens-based organizations and collectives, that enhance the cultural vibrancy in Queens communities and neighborhoods where they live and operate and makes the arts accessible to all.

These are project-based grants, so even non-arts organizations can apply, as long as projects provide cultural or arts programming.

Access the application here:

SUBMISSION DEADLINE Thursday, October 25th by 11:59 PM


Project Funding is available for:

  • Performamce, literary media and visual arts projects that enhance quality of life Queens
  • Projects that increase overall cultural awareness in the community
  • Queens-based nonprofit organizations of various ethnic, social, and geographic areas providing arts and cultural programming
  • Arts and cultural activities taking place within Queens in the 2019 calendar year
  • Grant funds can be used for:
    • Artists' fees
    • Direct administration costs
    • Marketing and publicity costs
    • Supplies and materials needed for the execution of the project

Applications must show how the requested funds will:

  • Strengthen community bonds
  • Increase overall awareness and greater access to cultural activities in Queens
  • Advance the applicant organization’s mission

This program is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Greater New York Arts Development Fund, in partnership with the City Council.



1. Nonprofit Organizations

  • Queens-based nonprofit organizations producing arts and cultural programming that directly serves the citizens of Queens
  • Organizations that have limited access to existing funding sources with a grant to provide public arts events to the Queens community
  • Organizations that represent all disciplines of art programming

     Organization Eligibility

  • Applicant organizations who have existed for at least one year
  • Applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization and must provide proof of nonprofit status with a 501(c)3 determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Organizations that have operating budgets of less than $100,000 in at least two of the last three years

2. Organizations without a Nonprofit Status

  • Queens-based organizations without nonprofit status, including artist collectives may apply with a nonprofit organization acting as a fiscal sponsor.
  • A letter of commitment for the partnering applicant organization outlining the scope of the partnership is required. (See FAQs for more information on letters of commitment)


  • Meets the same organization eligibility requirements as outlined above for nonprofit organizations
  • Does NOT need to be a Queens-based nonprofit however, the funded project must take place in Queens
  • May NOT be both a fiscal sponsor and a direct applicant to the QAF Arts Access grant.

      There are other funding opportunities through the QAF program.

  • The proposed cultural project must be a collaborative partnership between the applicant and the fiscally sponsoring organization
  • A letter of commitment on the sponsor's letterhead is required; the letter of commitment must outline the scope of the partnership, including both the partner and applicant’s investment or contribution (in-kind and/or cash) towards the proposed project.
  • Funds, if awarded, will be dispersed to the fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor will allocate the funds according to the letter of commitment

Applicants that receive direct NYC DCLA support cannot serve as fiscal sponsors


WHAT Arts Access Grant CAN NOT FUND

  • Individual artist projects
  • Applicants who cannot demonstrate at least 25% of the total project cash income coming from sources other than Queens Council on the Arts
  • Organizations that received direct support from NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in any amount for DCA’s FY18 grant cycle (projects occurring between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018)
  • Organizations funded previously who failed to submit final reports, or who failed to credit NYC DCA and the Queens Council on the Arts as stipulated in their cultural contract
  • Establishment of new organizations
  • Projects that exclude the general public, including members-only access
  • Equipment or capital expenditures
  • General operating expenses
  • New York City public school districts, private or parochial schools, and/or public colleges or universities (However, PTA's with nonprofit status independent of the school and providing activities to the community at-large are eligible)
  • New York City agencies
  • In-school arts in education programs
  • Recreational, rehabilitative, or therapeutic art programs
  • Fellowships, scholarships, or endowments
  • Cash awards for juried exhibitions
  • Acquisitions
  • Entertainment costs including openings, receptions, catering, or fundraising


Priority will be given to nonprofit arts organizations and artists whose primary mission is to provide arts and cultural programs at the community level in Queens as well as:

  • First time applicants
  • Artist-driven projects that are collaborative between artists and/or organizations.
  • Cultural activities that benefit under-served communities
  • Cultural traditions and/or contemporary creative expression of cultural ethnicity


A diverse panel of artists, arts professionals, educators and local civic, business and community leaders reviews applications. The panel recommends a level of funding according to the following important criteria:

  • Quality and clarity of project description
  • Artistic merit of organization’s past work and activities; artistic merit of artists involved in project
  • Demonstration of community benefit and level of community engagement
  • Clearly defined ability to successfully complete the project
  • Accurate and clear project budget.
    • Appropriate budget must demonstrate at least 25% of total income coming from diverse sources of outside support.
    • The 25% match can include in-kind contributions and monetary contributions.
    • The panel will evaluate more favorably project budgets that display a diverse mix of outside support, with a greater emphasis on monetary contributions.
    • QCA will NOT fund 100% of your project.
  • Non-duplication of comparable existing program in the same geographical area

Attend an Information Session

First time applicants must attend a QAF Information Session

Applicants that have not applied in the last 2 year are strongly encouraged to attend.

QCA encourages all applicants to attend an information session and to contact the QAF Staff to discuss your project before submitting your application.

Panel recommendations are presented to the Queens Council on the Arts Board of Trustees for review and has final approval. The QCA staff facilitates the panel process and does not state opinions or make recommendations during panel deliberations.

 Support of organization in the past does not guarantee funding.

More Questions?

Contact Dan Bamba, Grants and Residencies Manager via email or call 347.505.3017