Arts & Culture Grants, Deadline October 1

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) coordinates grants to arts and culture organizations, cities and municipalities, and other nonprofit organizations to encourage, develop and facilitate an enriched environment of artistic, creative and cultural activity in Michigan.

All applicants must participate in the Cultural Data Project (CDP) and use the MCACA on-line application process. CDP can be accessed at, two years of data must be submitted. The on-line application can be found at
Operational Support Grants
The focus of the Operational Support Category is to provide specific operational support to arts and cultural organizations only. Municipalities, schools and non-arts nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply in the Projects Support category. MCACA defines arts and cultural organizations as those organizations who’s primary mission is to provide an experience, including a learning experience, that is based in a specific arts or cultural discipline. These organization types are: Arts Education Organizations, Arts Services Organizations, Collecting or Material Organizations, Public Broadcasting Organizations, Literary Arts Organizations, Performing Arts Organizations and Visual Arts/Film/Video Organizations.

Deadline to Apply:  October 1, 2012
Final Reports Due: October 30, 2012

Project Support Grants
The focus of the Projects Support Category is to provide quality arts and cultural, as well as educational, projects to citizens across the state. This category funds specific arts projects conducted by non-profit organizations, municipalities and educational institutions and other organizations that utilize the talents and creativity of professional artists or arts educators in all arts disciplines to advance the creative, cultural and economic environment of the state. Funding may only be used for artist fees directly related to the project, salaries or wages directly related to the project, space rental, marketing or promotional expenses directly related to the project, project supplies and materials including performance or other production costs, project-related curriculum materials.

Deadline to Apply: October 1, 2012
Final Reports Due: October 30, 2012

Capital Improvement Program
The Capital Improvement grant category provides funding assistance to Michigan nonprofit organizations and municipalities for the expansion, renovation or construction of cultural facilities; upgrade of equipment and furnishing to provide a competitive and up-to-date environment; equipment and instrument acquisitions that are integral to the implementation of events and services. The improvements resulting from these grants enable citizens of all ages and abilities to enjoy more cultural events while increasing their participation within their communities.

Deadline to Apply: October 1, 2012

Retention and Engagement Grant Program
Through the New Leaders Arts Council of Michigan advisory group, grants are offered to support projects or collaborations focusing on the retention and community engagement of young people, approximately 14 – 30 years old, in Michigan through arts and culture. Funding is available for projects that involve the creative mentorship of young people, creative ideas or projects young people are already working on, ideas young people have about how to make their community a better place, and projects that use arts and culture to empower young people in Michigan; support an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and creativity; and encourage the retention of young people in their communities.

Deadline to Apply: March 1, 2013
Final Reports Due: October 30, 2012

Regional Regranting Program
The Council’s Regional Regranting Program utilizes a network of nonprofit organizations to distribute small arts and cultural project grants called Minigrants. Each Regional Regranting agency operates within its own identified service area composed of one or more counties. Applicants to this program are by invitation only.

Minigrant Program
The Minigrant program is a partnership between the MCACA and 19 regional regranting agencies throughout the state. There are two components of the Minigrant program, Arts Projects and Professional Development grants.  These are special opportunities to address local arts and cultural needs as well as increasing public access to arts and culture. Arts Projects Minigrants provide up to $4,000 for locally developed, high quality arts and cultural projects. Professional Development Minigrants provide up to $1,500 to assist nonprofit organizations and arts professional acquire services or skills to strengthen the administrative infrastructure of the organization.

Deadline to Apply: October 1, 2012

Services to the Field Program
With an understanding that there are services we want offered to the field that we do not have the capacity to offer directly, the MCACA recognizes the need to partner with other organizations to accomplish our goals which provide the opportunity to experience, participate in or learn about high quality arts and cultural projects. The Services to the Field Program is integral to accomplishing that. In partnership with organizations around the state we are able to extend the reach of the MCACA as well as each partner through goal-based programs and initiatives.

This program is by invitation only.

The funding process for MCACA arts and cultural projects begins with the development of guidelines for all the Council’s programs. MCACA staff shape the guidelines based upon MCACA priorities and industry needs. They work with stakeholders to update and/or revise guidelines. The Council reviews the guidelines, and provides expertise. Focus group meetings are conducted for public input on the programs and subsequent guidelines.
Conducting public grant assistance workshops is the next step in providing information and guidance to those interested in applying to the Council for grant funds. Workshop notices are broadly disseminated and press releases are issued. Workshops are conducted throughout the entire state. MCACA often partners with other service organizations to provide additional information on grants writing, grants making and improved project management. Staff continues providing technical assistance, consultation to applicant organizations until the grant application deadline.

Improved guidelines, successful grants assistance workshops, a fair and independent application review process, and the Council’s support of statewide distribution of arts and cultural resources to organizations and communities have resulted in applications for outstanding projects.
Applicants are required to use our online E-grant system and adhere to specific program guidelines.
In order to provide an open environment in which to review applications for funding, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs utilizes a panel application review process. The peer panel process places great importance on the review of applications by professionals in the arts, arts and cultural management and related fields. Peer professionals from the state and nation evaluate, score and rank the grant applications based upon published program criteria found in the guidelines. They provide the Council with the depth of experience and expertise that is the foundation of their informed funding decisions.

Recommendations for panelists come from the Council, clients, colleagues from other state arts councils, the public and staff. Recommendations are reviewed and approved by the Council Chairman with the advice of the full Council. A Panelist Nomination Form is available on this website and mailed by request.

The Council convenes peer review panels in each discipline area and for each grants program. Panelists are selected based on the following criteria:

professional qualifications;
broad-based knowledge of arts and /or cultural field(s);
ability to work well in a group situation;
geographic representation;
minority representation;
representation of various arts and cultural disciplines (visual arts, music, dance, theatre, history, education, etc.) and genres within each discipline (symphonic, chamber, jazz, etc.);
representation of a cross-section of the arts and cultural organizations, groups, and structures including board members, administrative managers, artistic directors, education specialists, etc.; and/or
representation from large and small, developing and established, as well as urban and rural organizations.

Panelists review each application. Further, each application receives a primary and secondary review. Primary reviewers conduct in-depth reviews, report their findings to the panel and lead panel discussion. Panelists objectively apply their knowledge and expertise to the review. Panelists use a score sheet to individually record their comments and score for each application. The application score is the average of all panelists’ scores.

Council members are invited to facilitate or audit the peer review meetings. Council staff facilitate process, provide information and adhere to policy and procedures to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all grant applicants. Only the peer panel reviewers participate in the application discussion and scoring.
The Council reviews applicant requests, panel scores and recommendations and determine fiscal year funding parameters (i.e., grant program allocations, geographic distribution, maximum number of grant awards per applicant and program issues and priorities). The parameters include: merit scores and funding benchmarks; awarding one grant per applicant organization in the Program for Operational & Projects Support. For organizations with two or more applications typically the highest qualifying score receives the award.
From these parameters, staff develops a range of possible formula-based funding scenarios, which are subsequently reviewed in depth by all Council committees. By consensus, committees provide final recommendations for presentation of the tentative funding plan that is considered for approval by the full Council.
The funding plan represents a proportionate distribution of funds to each program based merit scores, Council priorities, geographic, cultural and disciplinary distribution, technical support and the available funding. All MCACA grants require matching funds.

Contact us for more details!

Arts & Culture Grants, Deadline October 1

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