2019 Community Arts Grant - Organization Support

Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000

For this category, applicants can make only one project request not to exceed $5,000. This limit does not apply to applicants acting as fiscal sponsors or community partners for the Community Arts Grant. 

Access the application here:

SUBMISSION DEADLINE Thursday, October 25, 2018 by 11:59 PM

 The Community Arts Grant supports community-based organizations providing access to artist-driven cultural projects or activities that enhance the cultural vibrancy in Queens communities and neighborhoods where they live and operate and make 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.


The Community Arts Grant supports:

  • Queens community-based nonprofit organizations offering cultural activities
  • Artist collectives working in partnership with Queens-based organizations
  • Individual artists working in partnership with nonprofit Queens-based community organizations

Project Funding is available for: 

  • Performance, literary, media and visual arts projects that include a public component that benefit the Queens communities
  • 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 by New York State Council on the Arts, Decentralization Community Arts Program with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.



1. Nonprofit Organizations

  • Queens-based nonprofit organizations producing arts and cultural programming that directly serves the citizens of Queens
  • Applicants must have an active and legal street address in Queens (PO boxes not accepted)
  • All funded activity must take place in Queens within the 2019 calendar year.
  • Applicants must have existed for at least one year
  • Applicants must provide one of the following proof of nonprofit status:
    • A 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS
    • Documentation of charter by the NY State Board of Regents under section 216 of the State Education Law
    • A current NY State Bureau of Charities filing receipt
    • Documentation of incorporation under section 402 of the NY State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law
  • Applicant organizations must have an active board of directors that meets to determine and review policy

 2. Organizations without Nonprofit Status

  • Queens-based community organizations without nonprofit status, including artist collectives may apply if partnering with a Queens-based nonprofit 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)

3. Artist Collectives and Individual Artists

  • Queens-based artist collectives and individual artists can apply when working in partnership with a Queens-based nonprofit organization that meets the criteria above.
  • 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)

Fiscal Sponsorship Eligibility

  • Meets the same organization eligibility requirements as outlined above for nonprofit organizations

  • Must be based in Queens, however, the sponsored applicant is not required to reside in Queens

  • Eligible non-profit organizations may both be a fiscal sponsor and a direct applicant to the QAF NYSCA Community Arts grant.
    • The sponsored request does not count towards the  $5000 limit for the direct QAF Community Arts application.
  • 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 NYSCA support cannot serve as fiscal sponsors or partner organization regardless of the status of their NYSCA application


 WHO Community Arts Grant CAN NOT FUND:

  • Applicants that applied directly to New York State Council on the Arts in current calendar year
  • Applicants that received QAF NYSCA Community Arts Program support, consecutively, for the past three years
  • Applicants funded previously who failed to submit final reports, or who failed to credit NYSCA DEC and QCA as stipulated in their cultural contract
  • QCA Staff or QCA Board

 WHAT Community Arts Grant CAN NOT FUND:

  • Projects that serve membership-only organizations and/or exclude the general public
  • Start up or seed funding for the establishment of a new organization
  • General operating expenses
  • Operating expenses of privately owned facilities (e.g. homes and studios)
  • Equipment or capital improvements
  • Events that take place in private homes
  • Proposals that primarily benefit financial gain of an individual or organization
  • Historical societies, unless proposed project has a significant arts programming component
  • Social service programs when the focus is primarily for rehabilitative or therapeutic or worship
  • Non- arts related activity including: 
    • Entertainment costs including receptions, catering, or fundraising events
    • Recreational art programs
    • Activities that are commercial art or entertainment, including balloons, clowns, magic, culinary arts
    • Arts in education in-school activities and programs
    • Public school districts, private or parochial schools, and/or public colleges or universities
    • New York State agencies
    • Acquisitions of works of art
    • Fellowships, scholarships, or endowments
    • Cash awards for juried exhibitions or students
    • Regrants by applicants to fund other activities
    • Programs in which children are paid as professional artists
    • Out-of-state travel costs
    • Contingency funds


Priority will be given to nonprofit arts organizations and individual 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 provide cultural access for 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 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

 Applications are reviewed each year in the context of:

  • Evaluation criteria
  • Available funding and funding priorities
  • Competitive evaluation against other applicants

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