Guide to Express Grants

Express Grants have a rolling deadline, quicker turnaround, and simpler application for smaller award amounts. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Missouri Arts Council encourages early submissions to ensure funding availability and support advanced planning.

Applications are accepted on a rolling deadline, by the first Monday of the month which is at least two months before the project event date (or project incurs expenses, whichever occurs first). If the first Monday falls on a holiday, the deadline will be Tuesday. For example, if the project occurs in June, the latest deadline is the first Monday of April.

Payment of the Missouri Arts Council grant is always made on a reimbursement basis. Organizations must have sufficient cash reserves or incoming revenue to pay for all of the expenses upfront and then wait for payment from MAC. It is difficult to estimate processing time because there are many possible reasons for delays.

New This Year: To receive payment of MAC award, all Missouri Arts Council grant recipients must be signed up to receive Electronic Funds Transfer. In addition, grantees must be registered with the State of Missouri as a vendor with current address and banking information. For more information, consult State Vendor System for Payment of Grants.

What Does MAC Fund?

  • Arts Council Basic – Supports multidisciplinary arts projects presented by non-metropolitan community arts agencies. See Express Project below for eligible arts projects. For eligibility details, consult the Guide to Arts Council Grants. The basic requirements are that the organization must:
    • Offer programs in more than one arts discipline; and
    • Be located outside the city limits of Kansas City and St. Louis.
  • Big Yellow School Bus – Supports transportation costs for one or multiple school field trip to arts program that is supported by the Missouri Arts Council grant. The grant does not pay for other costs including teacher or administrative costs or admission fees. For details, consult the Guide to Big Yellow School Bus Grant.
  • Express Arts Education – Supports artist in residence, out of school, and professional development programs in PK-12 grade schools. For details, consult the Guide to Arts Education Grants.
  • Express Minority Arts (also called Organizations of Color) – See Express Project for fundable arts projects. To be eligible to apply in this category, projects must meet one of the following criteria:
  • Organizations where a majority of the board and staff are African American, Asian American, Latinx, or Native American (as reflected in the application’s Demographic section).
  • The majority of the audience/participants are African American, Asian American, Latinx, or Native American (this must be demonstrated in the project description of the application).
  • Express Project – Supports art projects in most artistic disciplines. Funds may be used for artist fees, marketing, travel expenses, and more. An eligible project may include the following:


  • Performance of dance, music, opera, and/or theater (single performance or series)
  • Arts festival or arts component at a festival or county fair
  • Exhibition or exhibition series
  • Literary journal publication
  • Film festival, film series, or production of a media arts project


Some artistic disciplines have additional requirements (See pages 11-12 for details). Read funding policies and restrictions for details of eligible projects and expenses.

  • Express Touring – For details, consult the Guide to Express Touring Grants.
    • Community Touring provides funding to eligible nonprofit organizations that hire performing artists listed in MAC’s Missouri Touring Performers Directory for public performance(s). The grant will pay a portion of the fee paid to the artist that travels at least 50 miles from their Missouri home base to the performance venue within Missouri.
    • School Touring provides funding to PK-12 grade schools who hire performing artists listed as School Touring Qualified in MAC’s Missouri Touring Performers Directory. The grant pays a portion of the artistic fee charged for schools and organizations to present performing artist(s) during school assemblies. There is no travel requirement for this grant.

Who May Apply?

To be eligible to apply for Missouri Arts Council funding, an organization must:

  • Conduct the proposed project in Missouri.


  • Be a unit of federal or local government, such as a library, university, county, or municipal agency.



Be tax-exempt as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

(Organizations must maintain this status with the annual filing of Form 990 with the IRS.)


Be incorporated in Missouri as a

“domestic” not-for-profit corporation.

(Organizations must maintain the
not-for-profit status with the annual or biennial registration report with the Corporations Division of the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.)


This may include organizations like the following:


  • Arts or arts education organizations
  • Community arts organizations
  • Social service organizations
  • Religious organizations
  • Youth organizations
  • Government agencies
  • City parks departments
  • Public school districts
  • Private PK-12 schools
  • Colleges and universities (see page 13 for additional eligibility and requirements)



Ineligible to Apply

The following entities are not eligible to apply for Missouri Arts Council funding.

  • New organizations (in operation less than a year). New and emerging arts organizations must consult with the Missouri Arts Council before applying. Emerging groups need time and assistance to develop their mission and create effective events and programs. See page 8 for details.
  • Nonprofit organizations with foreign incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office.
    Exception: Organizations that were previously funded may continue to be funded if they maintain a Missouri based location and majority-Missouri board.
  • For-profit organizations (including B Corporations).
  • Nonexempt nonprofit organizations.

Maintaining Non-Profit Eligibility

An organization must maintain its eligibility throughout the grant period. The Missouri Arts Council will confirm the Missouri-based nonprofit eligibility when processing the application and double-check eligibility before paying invoice for reimbursement.

Missouri Arts Council funding will be jeopardized if any of the following occurs. The ineligibility issue(s) must be rectified before proceeding with the grant cycle (like issue grant agreement or process invoice for reimbursement).

  • Organization doesn’t file annual form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Organization doesn’t file timely registration reports with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office (SOS) or its nonprofit status is administratively dissolved.
  • IRS revokes the organization’s tax-exempt status.
  • Organization changes to a non-Missouri address as indicated with the IRS records and Form 990 returns, SOS nonprofit registration records (registered agent and organization’s principal place of business or corporate headquarters), and/or other public records, including but not limited to the organization’s website and Facebook page.

Additional Eligibility Requirement: DUNS Number

All Missouri Arts Council applicants must have a DUNS number. For details, consult the Guide to SmartSimple Registration.

Grant Request

The request amount depends on the grant program. The award amount are generally smaller than the request amount.

  • Arts Council Basic – Request up to 50% of total project expenses. $3,000 maximum.
  • Big Yellow School Bus – No match is required for this grant which will pay up to $300 for one or multiple field trips (as indicated on the transportation company’s invoice or bill).
  • Express Arts Education – Request up to 50% of total project expenses. $2,000 maximum.
  • Express Minority Arts – Request up to 50% of total project expenses. $3,000 maximum.
  • Express Project – Request up to 50% of total project expenses. $2,000 maximum.
  • Express Touring – Request up to 60% of the artistic fee(s) which may include performance as well as related travel, lodging, and per diem. (40% cash match requirement to MAC’s 60% grant.)
    • Community – $3,000 maximum.
    • School – The maximum is $1,000 per school and $3,000 for the school district.

Payment of the Missouri Arts Council grant is always made on a reimbursement basis. Organizations must have sufficient cash reserves or incoming revenue to pay for all of the expenses upfront and then wait for payment from MAC. It is difficult to estimate processing time because there are many possible reasons for delays. Starting September 2019, all grant recipients must be signed up to receive Electronic Fund Transfer as well as registered as a state vendor with current address and banking information. For more information, consult the State Vendor System for Payment of Grants.

Match Requirement

Missouri Arts Council grants must be matched on a one-to-one basis. The matching funds must come from cash revenue sources—earned (ticket sales), private, or federal or local government, etc. Please note that state funding cannot be used to match MAC grant. Exception: Big Yellow School Bus and Touring’s have different match requirements which are indicated above.

Application Limit

Generally organizations are limited to one Missouri Arts Council application/grant per fiscal year (July – June). To support artists on the Missouri Touring Performers Directory and Arts Education, some organizations might eligible to apply for a second grant. For more information, see page 14.

Application Review Process

Missouri Arts Council aims to distribute funds fairly and equitably among art forms and across the geographic and ethnic diversity of Missouri. Staff verifies that applications are eligible and complete before sending to the advisory panel (Arts Education) or MAC program specialists (Arts Council Basic / Express Minority Arts / Express Project) for their evaluation. Using the Evaluation Criteria each reviewer scores and prepares written comments. Missouri Arts Council staff averages the weighted score for each of the criteria and returns this information to the panel for final review.

  • For Arts Council Basic, Express Minority, and Express Project, the evaluation criteria and scoring guide are available in the Instructions for Express Project Application. The grant amount is determined by a funding formula which will be based on the average score and request amount. Example: If the request was $2,000 request and score 8.65 (out of 10), then $2,000 would be multiplied by 0.865 resulting in $1,730 as the award amount.
  • For Express Arts Education, the evaluation criteria are available in the Guide to Arts Education Grants. Applications that receive a score of 7.5 or higher are recommended for full funding of the request amount. Applications receiving scores below 7.5 will not be funded.
  • Big Yellow School Bus and Express Touring grants are not competitive. Complete and eligible applications are recommended for full funding of the request amount.

The combined evaluation, average score, and funding recommendation are forwarded to the Executive Committee for approval. Notification is emailed approximately 45 days after submission. This may include an average score, panel comments, recommendations, and/or stipulations. This feedback can be helpful for organizations to improve their projects and future applications. For the May deadline, notification is delayed by MAC board approval of FY2020 budget.

The Missouri Arts Council strives to support quality arts programming throughout the state. In some circumstances, the program specialist may give organizations an opportunity to revise the application to ensure that the proposal is clearly requesting support for an eligible project. Applicants may be eligible for reconsideration by the Missouri Arts Council board if they are zero-funded. For details, see page 14.

Managing Your Award

Organizations must submit grant paperwork in a timely fashion and fulfill all the grant requirements (see pages 6-13 for details). The Final Report must be submitted no later than 30 days after the project’s completion. For projects ending in June, the final report is due July 13, 2020.

All grantees must submit copies of letters sent to their state representative and senator notifying them of their Missouri Arts Council award. Also, all grantees must submit an example of public recognition of Missouri Arts Council support. This includes using the Missouri Arts Council logo and byline in printed materials, announcing MAC support during project related activities or events, and acknowledging MAC support during interviews with the media.

Grants are paid as reimbursement after completion of the project and submission of MAC Invoice form. For more information, consult the Grant Orientation here.

Getting Started

  1. Review the appropriate guidelines and online application.
    • Arts Council Basic – Consult the Guide to Arts Council Grants and Instructions to Express Project Application.
    • Big Yellow School Bus – Consult the Guide to Big Yellow School Bus and application.
    • Express Arts Education – Consult the Guide to Arts Education Grants and application.
    • Express Minority Arts – Consult the Instructions to Express Project Application.
    • Express Project – Consult the Instructions to Express Project Application.
    • Express Touring – Consult the Guide to Express Touring and application.
  2. New applicants should contact the appropriate program specialist to ensure that their project is eligible for Missouri Arts Council funding and determine the suitable grant program.
  3. If applicable, register in the new grant system.
  4. Prepare the online application form, attachments, and support material. The Missouri Arts Council has prepared a Guide to Navigating the Grant System to assist you with the relatively new system.
  5. Submit the application, including support material, by the first Monday of the month which is at least two months before the project event date (or project incurs expenses, whichever occurs first). For example, if the project expenses will start December 2018 for a January 2019 performance, then the latest application can be submitted is Monday, October 1, 2018.

When in Doubt, Call or Email

If you read the policies in this Guide to Express Grants, additional guidelines (if applicable), instructions, and online form and still don’t know what to do, call or email. We’re here to help you.
To determine the appropriate program specialist, review the program and categories listed on the Missouri Arts Council website.



Requirements for MAC-Funded Projects

Projects that receive Missouri Arts Council funding must meet the requirements below:

  • Be open to the General Public

Projects that receive Missouri Arts Council funding must have a public presentation, in which the general public may participate or attend, within the fiscal year of the award. Examples of public presentations are exhibitions, publications, screenings, lectures, or performances. All public presentations must be open and accessible to the general public. Exception: Projects supported through Arts Education programs, including Artist in Residence, Out of School, School Touring, and Big Yellow School Bus, are exempt from public presentation requirement.

  • Be Accessible to All Persons with Disabilities

MAC-funded programs must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Adequate accessibility includes timely notice of the event, space for disabled persons, proper scheduling to allow for the greatest number of persons to attend, adequate parking, and signage.

  • Fulfill Contractual Obligations

Grant recipients of Missouri Arts Council funding will sign a contract obligating the organization to responsibilities that accompany these funds. Missouri Arts Council will take the necessary action to rescind the awards of grant recipients that fail to comply with the contractual requirements:

  • Recognizing Funding

Projects that receive Missouri Arts Council funding must prominently recognize MAC’s contribution on their organization’s website as well as all project-related news releases, brochures, flyers, banners, etc., using the MAC logo and required credit line: “Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.” Verbal acknowledgment should be given for events where there are no printed materials and during communications with the media.

In addition, organizations receiving operating support through Established Institutions must recognize the Missouri Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts using the NEA logo. Missouri Arts Council uses a portion of its NEA grant to support the Established Institutions.

  • Be Nondiscriminatory

The Missouri Arts Council complies with all local, state and federal laws and regulations concerning civil and human rights and must ensure that its programs, employment practices, and grants are free of any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age. Any project receiving MAC funding must comply with the following federal laws and the applicant must sign a Grant Agreement attesting to its compliance:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on: race, sex, religion, national origin, color or pregnancy, and related medical conditions.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides for nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs on the basis of disability.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (Public Law 101-336) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits the exclusion of persons on the basis of sex from any educational program receiving federal assistance.
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 provides for nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs on the basis of age.
  • Meet Fair Labor Standards

All professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel employed on projects or productions that are financed in whole or part under the MAC award will be paid, without subsequent deduction or rebate on any account, not less than the minimum compensation as determined by the Secretary of Labor to be the prevailing minimum compensation for persons employed in a similar activity.

No part of any project or production that is financed in whole or in part with the award will be performed or engaged in working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to the health and safety of the employees engaged in such project or production.  Compliance with the safety and sanitary laws of the State in which the performance or part thereof is to take place shall be prima facie evidence of compliance.

  • Fulfill Audit Requirements

Applicants are required to submit unqualified audited financial statements without adverse opinion with their application (or by June 1) if they meet the criteria listed below.

  • Organizations with operating budgets of $500,000 and over (if the applicant organization’s operating budget is below $500,000, but its parent organization is over $500,000, then the applicant organization must submit a copy of the parent organization’s audit with its application);
  • Organizations receiving federal funds of $300,000 or more in the form of one grant or the aggregate amount of multiple grants as part of MAC award(s)

Exempt: Government agencies, public schools, and colleges/universities are not required to submit an audit.

Audited financial statements must conform to the following standards:

  • Performed by an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA);
  • Presented on an accrual basis of accounting;
  • The audit must cover the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year.

Organizations that do not submit an audit by June 1 will jeopardize their eligibility for funding. In extraordinary circumstances, the Executive Director of the Missouri Arts Council may extend the deadline for meeting the audit requirement; however, no Grant Agreement will be issued until the audit has been submitted and approved by the Missouri Arts Council staff.

  • Maintain Records for Review

Grant recipients of Missouri Arts Council funding are responsible for the safekeeping and identification of financial records maintained in order to account for funds awarded to them. Financial records shall be subject to audit or review by MAC, the state of Missouri, and/or federal government and shall include all receipts, obligations, and disbursements of grant and matching monies. Records must be kept in the grant recipient’s files for a period of three years after the completion of the Missouri Arts Council-funded project.

  • Maintain Eligibility

Organizations receiving Missouri Arts Council funding must maintain their eligibility throughout the funded period.

  • Changes to Your Grant

You must inform the Missouri Arts Council in advance if there are changes to your grant after you receive your award notification. For changes to programs, schedules, or contact information, you may simply send an email from the authorizing agent to your program specialist. If you are releasing funds or changing the authorizing agent, this should be requested on your organizational letterhead to the program specialist. All changes must be approved by Missouri Arts Council.

Funding Policies

These policies are adopted by the Missouri Arts Council board and subject to change without advance notice. Please contact your Program Specialist or Michael Donovan, Executive Director, if you have any questions about these policies.

  • Incomplete Application
    Applications that are late or incomplete (missing required answers, attachments or support material) will not be considered for funding. We reserve the right to remove materials that do not comply with application requirements.
  • NEW: Funding Priorities Policy

The Missouri Arts Council uses public funds to effect strategic goals as part of our mission to support the state with the arts. As such, we will prioritize funding organizations and projects that advance these strategies and goals:

  • The primary purpose of the project must be artistic or related to the arts ability to strengthen individuals and communities.
  • The project must be inclusive of Missouri citizens.
  • MAC’s intention is to support creative expression of art and performance without endorsing or supporting a particular faith, creed, or political ideology.
  • NEW: Emerging Arts Organizations

New and emerging arts organizations need time and assistance to develop their mission and create effective events and programs. We encourage emerging groups to consult with MAC before requesting funds. Organizations may seek funding a minimum a year after nonprofit status, or until they have demonstrated programs to evaluate. Nothing in this policy would preclude MAC from funding a strategic initiative with a Partnership, chair, or executive committee grant. 

  • Art Courses

MAC does not fund art courses unless they are predominately serving a population that lacks access to arts programs due to geography, economics, ethnicity, or disability. Organizations requesting support for art courses must demonstrate that the majority of the target audience qualify as an underserved population according to the Missouri Arts Council’s definition.

Missouri Arts Council funds may be used for Master classes and workshops as an ancillary activity of a funded project. Missouri Arts Council supports projects that provide in-depth knowledge and skills in the arts in PK-12 schools and community settings through Missouri Arts Council’s Arts Education Artists-in-Residence and Out-of-School grant programs.

  • Duplicate Funding

Missouri Arts Council will not approve more than one grant toward a particular project during a funding year. If more than one organization is collaborating on a MAC-funded project, only one organization may include it in their grant application, interim report, and final report.

  • Fiscal Agent

Missouri Arts Council does not fund projects using fiscal agents.

  • Grant Match Purpose

MAC funding leverages local public and private arts funding. This creates additional impact with state funds and helps incentivize local investment in the arts. Most MAC grants require at least a one-to-one cash match.

  • Grant Writer Compensation

Grantees may not pay a grant writer or fundraiser (or someone acting in that capacity) compensation based on a percentage of a grant award or contingent upon award of a grant.

  • Funding Fluctuations

Funding is not guaranteed from year to year. Organizations must submit project proposals for panel review/recommendation and Missouri Arts Council board approval every year. Funding is based on the strength of the grant proposal (in terms of the evaluation criteria) as well as the organization’s past performance. Missouri Arts Council will not approve more than one grant award to a particular project during any funding year.

  • Quality

While it is Missouri Arts Council’s goal to fund programs that are of high quality, MAC believes that applicants cannot be measured by a single standard of quality. A high-quality performance in one area of the state may not be considered to be of high quality in another area. Missouri Arts Council encourages and rewards the achievement of quality.

  • Cultural Diversity/Programs Targeting Minority Groups

Missouri Arts Council recognizes that there are a great variety of cultural traditions in the state. MAC encourages the presentation and expansion of art forms to include these cultures. In addition, applicants seeking Missouri Arts Council funds for programs targeting minorities must demonstrate minority involvement in their planning process and execution.

  • Compensation to Artists

Missouri Arts Council believes that artists should be compensated for their artistic expertise and services rendered. MAC staff and panelists will advise the Council regarding appropriate compensation.

  • Employment of Missouri Artists

Missouri Arts Council encourages the employment of artists who are Missouri residents. However, MAC strives toward a balance in funding the development of Missouri artists and providing Missouri residents with the opportunity to experience artists from outside the state.

  • Community-Based Mural Projects

Missouri Arts Council supports the creation of community-based murals that engages members of the community through visual art. In order to qualify the mural project must be developed through a collaborative process substantially driven by local people often with the guidance and assistance of professional artists.

A fundable mural project will have broad involvement of the public in both the design and mural execution. Design collaboration may include community meetings, outreach presentations, and hands-on activities to gather ideas for content and design. Execution includes the public in the actual creation of the mural.

Funding for these projects may be obtained in an annual or express Arts Education Artist-in-Residence grant, Express Project Grant, or annual Visual Arts Discipline grant. If an organization is an eligible Arts Council applicant, the project may be included as part of an Arts Council grant Matching funds are required and all Missouri Arts Council funding policies apply.



What MAC Cannot Fund

Missouri Arts Council assistance cannot be used to fund the following items. However, these expenses may be included as matching funds (except for those marked with an asterisk (*).

  • Programs occurring before or after the fiscal year in which it was funded*
  • Direct aid to individuals, including scholarships or fellowships
  • Projects that have already occurred*
  • Projects outside the state of Missouri*
  • Basic operating expenses such as rent and utilities, unless directly related to the arts project the organization is presenting
  • Youth productions, however, MAC will consider funding the adult artistic professionals (including tech) that support the public performance
  • Projects that are not primarily arts activities but are essentially recreational, rehabilitative or therapeutic
  • Costs of parties, receptions, fundraising benefits and other social activities
  • Cash prizes and awards
  • Transportation of audiences to projects except in projects supported by Big Yellow School Bus
  • Tickets to arts events
  • Projects in which school, college or university course credit is the primary purpose
  • Projects of faculty members of college or university applicants
  • Non-expendable supplies and equipment (for example, copy machines, building supplies, and musical instruments) (Props, costumes, rented equipment, etc. are considered expendable items). Exception for non-expendable supplies and equipment: Accelerate
  • Organizations receiving line-item funding from the state of Missouri
  • State funds cannot be matched with state funds. This includes programs receiving funding through Mid-America Arts Alliance that use state funds from the Missouri Arts Council.
  • Exhibitions in which only associates of the organization — students, faculty, and/or members — are eligible to exhibit.
  • Submissions that do not meet the minimum viewing hours. Exhibition projects must meet the minimum exhibition viewing hours of 16 hours during the week and 6 hours during weekends or evenings (after 5:00 p.m.). The exhibition viewing hours must be published in promotional materials.
  • Commissions and acquisitions of permanent works in the visual arts
  • Historic re-enactments
  • Research projects on historical folk arts no longer practiced in Missouri
  • Archival or restoration projects
  • Publications whose sole purpose is to market commercial enterprises
  • Permanent acquisitions (for example, buildings or land)
  • Capital improvements, new construction, renovation, or restoration. Exception for capital improvements for accessibility projects supported by the Capacity Building grant and for supplies and equipment supported by the Capacity Building grant.
  • Investment or contingency funding (for example, accounts earning interest)
  • Deficits
  • Projects using a fiscal agent

Additional Requirements for Artistic Disciplines

Some artistic disciplines have additional requirements which are applicable in all of Missouri Arts Council’s grant programs unless stated otherwise.


Applicants requesting support for dance productions that include students should address the following:

  • Number of professional performers vs. the number of student performers in the production
  • Qualifications of the teacher.
  • Quality of the work being produced by the dance company/school.
  • Budget Detail should include ticket prices.

Electronic Media Arts

Missouri Arts Council accepts for consideration projects of a primarily artistic nature in the following mediums: film, video, digital (for example, web-based), radio, and audio. MAC considers both the intent and content of the proposed projects. If the primary intent is to exhibit or promote another art form (for example, visual arts, literature), MAC will refer the project to the appropriate discipline.

Missouri Arts Council supports projects that propose to exhibit or create works of art in electronic media. MAC encourages Missouri-based works and non-commercial short film and video for exhibition.

Missouri Arts Council will consider projects involving the creation of works at any stage in development. Higher priority is given to projects with smaller budgets (up to $150,000), noncommercial projects (for example, experimental, or video works), and projects requesting funds to assist with their completion.


Missouri Arts Council funds arts festivals and festivals or fairs with a significant arts component. For MAC grant purposes, a festival occurs in a condensed time period. It may be longer than a day, for example, a weekend or an entire week.

An arts festival has a significant emphasis on the arts, often with a variety of media, even if it is focused on one artistic area. An arts festival revolves around a theme that is easily identified. An arts festival has a concentration of many arts activities and provides a showcase for local, regional, or national artistic talent.

Not Eligible:

  • Event that has one activity scheduled over several days
  • Series of events (for example, a single performance that occurs every Friday night for a month)
  • Special event (for example, a single evening performance of cowboy poetry)
  • Carnival/fairway

Additional Application Requirements for Festivals

  • Financial Statement: Festivals applicants are required to submit an additional financial statement for the previous year’s festival (first-year festivals are exempt from this requirement). This should be uploaded with the Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Fund Balance.
  • If applying for support of multiple festivals, the Festivals applicant must clearly indicate/label which festival the expenses and income are for. For example, Fall Fest-Insurance $500 and Jazz Fest-Stage Rental $1,000. Previously, applicants submitted separate Budget Details, but the new grant system format requires a different approach.
  • Festivals applicants are required to submit the festival schedule of events and activities from the previous year’s festival. This could be printed materials distributed to participants or an image of the schedule of activities posted at the event. This should be uploaded with the Support Materials.
  • Only one organization may apply for funding for a particular festival. Additional participants may not request funds for the same event.


Missouri Arts Council focuses on literary projects, including public readings as well as print and/or digital journals and independent and university presses that publish poetry, fiction, drama, and/or creative nonfiction by contemporary writers and translators.


Missouri Arts Council has supported the following theater projects in Annual Discipline, Off Year, and Express Project.

  • Production and presentation of existing contemporary and classical work.
  • Development and production of new work, translations, and adaptations.
  • Community-based projects that involve the creation and/or production of theater with community members.
  • Development, production, and presentation of theater work for young audiences.


Applicants requesting support for music projects should include a proposed repertoire for the project in the project description.

Organizations applying for Annual Discipline support must choose Music Instrumental or Music Vocal/Presenters. For guidance, contact the music program specialist.

Visual Arts

  • Applicants requesting exhibit support (in any grant program or category) must provide the viewing hours. The minimum requirement is 16 hours during the week and 6 hours during weekends or evenings (after 5:00 p.m.).
  • Missouri Arts Council funds cannot be used for exhibitions in which only associates of the organization—students, faculty, and/or members—are eligible to exhibit.
  • Exhibitions displaying original works of art receive priority over exhibits of reproductions.
  • Exhibitions of the applicant’s permanent collection must demonstrate the following:
  • The “newness” or original nature of the materials or information presented;
  • The reasonableness of the conservation/preservation expenses related to the program; and
  • The program’s educational value and/or cultural enrichment for the public.



Policies for Colleges and Universities

Colleges and Universities may apply for Missouri Arts Council funding. Their programs must be marketed and accessible to the general public in addition to students, faculty, and staff. MAC requires that at least 30% of the audience for college/university-affiliated programs come from the general public.

  • Accessibility for programs occurring on the college/university campus includes, but is not limited to, providing adequate signage directing the general public to the venue and providing parking for off-campus visitors during the performance, exhibition hours, or arts activity.
  • MAC will not accept applications for projects in which course credit is the primary purpose.
  • MAC will not accept proposals for projects of faculty members of college/university applicants.

College Application Limit

Each academic department may receive one application per fiscal year. However, when the department includes more than one artistic discipline, MAC will accept one application for each artistic discipline per fiscal year. For example, the Theater and Dance department may submit two applications—one for Dance and another for Theater. However, the University cannot submit two applications on behalf of Theater. For administration departments (like student affairs), MAC will accept one application per fiscal year.

College Budgets

Please contact your Program Specialist for assistance with your budget.

  • F&A Costs: Missouri Arts Council does NOT allow colleges/universities to charge an F&A cost recovery fee. While MAC won’t pay standard F&A charges, the budget may include basic operating costs that are directly related to the arts project.
  • In Kind Contributions: MAC’s definition of in kind is different than a university definition. MAC defines in kind donation as a donation of products or services from an individual or company outside of the university. MAC considers contributions from different university departments as applicant cash, not in kind.
  • State funds cannot be matched with state funds.

College Applications vs. Interim/Final Report:

  • In the application, the college/university should provide all of the project expenses and income for the proposed arts project.
  • MAC prefers to see the relevant project expenses/income in the Interim and Final Reports. However, MAC understands that this might not be possible due to some policies about matching funds. In such cases, the college/university applicant must clearly state that the Interim/Final Report reflects the minimum budget to satisfy MAC’s matching fund requirement. Sample text: XYZ College has decreased the Project Budget to the minimum needed to match the MAC Since MAC requires a one-to-one match, the college is matching the $5,000 MAC award with $5,000 in applicant cash. Although the Project Budget has been decreased to the minimum match amount, the college acknowledges that the MAC award is supporting the entire Arts Project.

College Contact Person

  • MAC encourages all applicants to coordinate with the university’s grants/sponsored research office.
  • Only one person can be the official contact person with one email address, phone number, fax, and mailing address. This is used for all correspondence. Colleges/universities may provide additional/back up contacts for the grant file.

Authorizing Official

For college/university, the authorizing official is the President or Board Officer.

You May Apply For More Than One Grant

If you received

You may apply for one additional grant in:

Annual or Express Project Grant

Express Touring (Community) or Arts Education

Arts Council Grant

§ Express Touring (Community) or Arts Education (express or annual)

§ Also, Arts Council grant recipients may apply on behalf of local
   schools for Arts Education and School Touring.

Mid-Sized Arts Institutions

Arts Education (Artist in Residence or Out of School only)

Established Institutions

No other grant.

Schools may also apply for School Touring or Big Yellow School Bus as part of their two grants. Participating in Accelerate does not count against your grant limit.

Reconsideration Policy

Applicants may be eligible for reconsideration by the Missouri Arts Council board if they are zero-funded or significantly reduced award amount. In order to qualify for reconsideration of a funding decision, the applicant must be able to demonstrate one of the following occurred:

  • Panel’s review of the applicant’s request was based on criteria other than those stated in Missouri Arts Council’s guidelines.
  • Panel funding recommendation was based on the influence of an advisory panel member with undisclosed conflicts of interest.
  • Required information, which the applicant submitted with the application by the posted deadline, was withheld from the panel or Missouri Arts Council board.
  • If the applicant believes there are grounds for reconsideration, the applicant must submit a formal letter requesting reconsideration of the funding decision to the Assistant Director at the MAC office within 30 days of the funding notification. The steps for reconsideration are as follows:
    • Assistant Director will review the appeal and grant proposal based on the Evaluation Criteria and discuss the appeal with the following, as needed: appropriate Program Specialist, panel Chair/ Missouri Arts Council board member, or panel members.
    • Both the Assistant Director and Executive Director will review the appeal and, if necessary, make a recommendation to the Missouri Arts Council board.
    • At the subsequent meeting, the full Missouri Arts Council board will review the appeal and staff recommendation and render a decision, based on available resources. Applicant will receive notification of the decision within 30 days of the MAC board meeting.