Arts Access Grant
2020 Arts Access 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. Organizations that apply as a grantee cannot also fiscally sponsor a different applicant in the same year.
Applications for 2020 are NOW OPEN!
Application Deadline: October 29th
Panel Meetings: January 2020
Grantee Notification: February 2020
The Arts Access Grant supports Community-based organizations and collectives in Queens, providing access to arts and cultural projects or activities that enhance the cultural vibrancy in Queens communities and neighborhoods where they live and operate to 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 Arts Access grant supports:
Queens community-based nonprofit organizations offering cultural activities
Queens community-based organizations that do not have nonprofit status, but apply through a NYC-based fiscal sponsor
Project Funding is available for:
Performing, literary, media and visual arts projects that enhance quality of life Queens and increase overall cultural awareness in the community
Projects and programs by 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 2020 calendar year
Grant funds can be used for:
Direct administration costs
Marketing and publicity costs
Supplies and materials needed for the execution of the project
Venue rental for the project (general home/office rent is not eligible)
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.
WHO CAN APPLY
1. Nonprofit Organizations
Queens-based nonprofit organizations producing arts and cultural programming that directly serves the communities of Queens
Organizations that have limited access to existing funding sources to provide public arts events to the Queens community
Organizations that represent all disciplines of art programming
Nonprofit Organization Eligibility
Applicant organizations must:
Have existed for at least one year
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
Have an operating budget 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 outlining the scope of the fiscal sponsor’s partnership with the partnering applicant organization is required.
FISCAL SPONSORSHIP Eligibility
Fiscal sponsors must meet the same organization eligibility requirements as outlined above for nonprofit organizations
However the sponsor does NOT need to be a Queens-based nonprofit, but the funded project must take place in Queens
Fiscal sponsors can 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)
Applying with a Fiscal Sponsor
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.
The proposed cultural project must be a collaborative partnership between the applicant and the fiscally sponsoring organization. This can include, but is not limited to, assistance with volunteers, outreach, venue, or general project support.
Applicants that receive direct NYC DCLA support cannot serve as fiscal sponsors
Who Cannot Apply:
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 FY19 grant cycle (projects occurring between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019)
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
Applicants who are out of compliance with any Queens Council on the Arts funding contract.
WHAT Projects Arts Access Grant CANNOT FUND
Establishment of new organizations
Projects that exclude the general public, including members-only access or in private residences
Equipment or capital expenditures
General operating expenses (including rent)
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 (Afterschool activities that are open to the general public are eligible)
Programs in which children (under 18) are paid as professional artists
Non- arts related activity including:
Entertainment costs including receptions, catering, or fundraising events
Recreational, rehabilitative or therapeutic art programs
Activities that are commercial art or entertainment, including balloons, clowns, magic, culinary arts
Fellowships, scholarships, or endowments
Cash awards for juried exhibitions
Acquisitions of works of art
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
Applications are reviewed each year in the context of:
Available funding and funding priorities
Competitive evaluation against other applicants
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.
Attend an Information Session
First time applicants must attend a QAF Information Session
Applicants that have not applied in the last 2 years 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.
REGISTER For an information Session
To stay up to date on the Queens Arts Fund, please sign up for our mailing list here
Contact Dan Bamba, Grants and Residencies Manager at email@example.com / 347.505.3017, or Jenna London, Grants and Residencies Assistant at GrantsAssistant@queenscouncilarts.org / 347.505.3015
Access Grant Guidelines in Mandarin:
Access Grant Guidelines in Spanish:
Ver debajo para las pautas en español:
Denied applicants will have 10 days from the date of notification to make an administrative appeal of the funding decision
To begin the appeals process, the applicant must first speak with QCA staff to receive application feedback and panel notes
Once the applicant has received application feedback and grounds for appeal are valid, a formal letter to the Executive Director of QCA must be submitted. The formal letter must specifically cite the ground(s) for the appeal, and must request that the decision be appealed
The three grounds for appeal are:
Non-presentation of information
Mis-representation of information
Improper procedure: Contention by the applicant that: 1) the review of the funding request by the appropriate panel was biased; 2) the decision by selection panel was arbitrary and capricious.
NOTE: Dissatisfaction with a denial of an award or with the grant amount is not eligible grounds for appeal.