Introduction to Annual and Express Grants

About MAC

Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, provides funding to nonprofit organizations through grants that support quality arts programming throughout the state as well as meet our strategic goals:

  • Engage people in meaningful arts experiences
  • Grow Missouri’s economy using the arts
  • Strengthen Missouri education through the arts

Missouri Arts Council funding provided by the Missouri General Assembly through the state’s annual budget bill approved by the governor, Missouri Cultural Trust, and National Endowment for the Arts.

What Does MAC Fund

MAC funds projects with an artistic component that are open to the public. Funds may be used for artist fees, artist travel expenses, marketing the arts event, project-related educational materials, and more. A project can include the following:

 

  • Performance of dance, music, and/or theater (single performance or series)
  • Arts festival or arts component of festival or fair
  • Exhibition or exhibition series
  • Literary journal publication
  • Film festival, film series, or production of media arts
  • Artist residencies (through Arts Education)
  • Arts Education (through Arts Education; some projects don’t necessarily need to be open to the public)

 

Express and Annual 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.

Annual grants offer larger funding amounts with a more extensive application and process. This is designed for larger projects, repeating projects, or operating support in certain cases. 

Who May Apply

To be eligible to apply for Missouri Arts Council funding, an organization must conduct the proposed project in Missouri and:

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

OR

  • 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.); and
  • 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.

Additional requirements apply for organizations seeking funds for Arts Council, Established Institutions, Folk Arts, Mid-Sized Arts Organizations, Organizations of Color, and Partnership.

MAC accepts applications from the following types of organizations and/or agencies:

 

  • Arts or arts education organizations
  • Government agencies, parks, libraries
  • Colleges and universities
  • Social service organizations
  • Religious organizations
  • Youth organizations
  • Public school districts
  • Private K-12 schools
  • Community arts organizations
  • City parks departments

 

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.
  • 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.

Funding Criteria

Most projects are reviewed based on three weighted criteria: Artistic Quality, Community Involvement, and Management Ability. Arts Education criteria are different.

Application Deadlines

Missouri Arts Council’s strategic grants have monthly or annual deadlines.

  • Express applications are accepted by the first Monday of each month for projects taking place at least two months after the deadline month (i.e., first Monday in January for projects taking place in March). The Missouri Arts Council encourages early submissions to support advanced planning and ensure funding availability
  • Annual application deadlines:

Annual Discipline Draft Application          Last Monday in January

Annual Discipline Final Application          Last Monday in February

Off Year Application                                  Last Monday in February

Applications that are incomplete (missing required answers, attachments or support materials) or improperly completed will not be considered for funding.

 

FY2021 Annual Deadline Feb. 24, 2020

Arts Education

Dance

Organizations of Color (formerly Minority Arts)

Theater

Visual Arts

Partnership (by invitation only)

FY2022 Annual Deadline Feb. 22, 2021

Arts Education

Arts Council – Operating and Project Support

Electronic Media Arts

Established Institutions

Festivals

Folk Arts

Literature

Mid-Sized Arts Organizations

Multidiscipline

Music

Partnership (by invitation only)

 

Grant Request

The request amount depends on the grant program. Request amount cannot exceed 50% of the project costs. The award amount are generally smaller than the request amount. A brief description of the application deadline, maximum request, and grant program is provided on page 4.

Payment of the Missouri Arts Council grant is always made on a reimbursement basis and by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Organizations must have sufficient cash reserves or incoming revenue to pay for all of the expenses upfront and then wait for payment from MAC. In addition, organizations must be registered with the State of Missouri as a vendor with current address and banking information and signed up to receive Electronic Fund Transfer (rather than papercheck). It is difficult to estimate processing time because there are many possible reasons for delays.

Grant Writing Assistance

New applicants are encouraged to submit a draft application. Even experienced applicants have found it useful to have their application reviewed by MAC staff. A draft application should include a completed application form and all required attachments. Including support material with your draft is recommended, but optional.

Getting Started

  1. Review the guidelines, application, and other grant material. For example, Draft Review Checklist, General Application Scoring Guide, Guide to Support Material, and sample documents.
  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, using the Guide to SmartSimple Registration.
  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. For Express Grants/Rolling Deadline: 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 2019 for a January 2020 performance, then the latest the application can be submitted is Monday, October 7, 2019. MAC encourages organizations to submit their monthly applications early in order to support advance planning and ensure funding availability.
  6. For Annual Grant Deadline:
    • Optional: Email a draft proposal to the appropriate program specialist by the last Monday in January.
    • Submit the final application, including support material, by the last Monday in February.
  7. If necessary, register and update vendor record through MissouriBUYS. It is critical that grant recipients are registered with the State of Missouri as a vendor with current address and banking information. Also, all MAC grant recipients must be signed up to receive MAC payment by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) instead of paper check.

When in Doubt, Call or Email

If you read the policies in this publication, additional guidelines (if applicable), instructions, and form and still don’t know what to do, call or email your Program Specialist. To determine the appropriate program specialist, review the program and categories listed on the Missouri Arts Council website.

 

 

A brief description of the application deadline, maximum request, and grant program is provided below.

 

Maximum Request

Purpose of Grant Program

 

Express Grants: Rolling Deadline. First Monday of the month; at least 2 months before the start date.

 

Arts Council Basic

$3,000

Supports multidisciplinary arts projects for community arts agencies outside the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City.

Big Yellow School Bus

$300

Supports transportation costs for one school field trip to arts program that is supported with Missouri Arts Council grant.

Express Arts Education

$2,000

Supports artist in residence, out of school, and professional development programs in PK-12 grade schools.

Express Organizations of Color
(formerly Minority Arts)

$3,000

Supports arts projects created by and/or targeted to African-American, Asian-American, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American communities.

Express Project

$2,000

Supports arts projects with a simpler application, flexible deadline schedule, and quick turnaround.

Express Touring

60% of artist fee  ($3,000 maximum)

Supports hiring artists on MAC’s Missouri Touring Performers Directory to perform in the community or local school.

Annual Grants: Final Deadline is February 24, 2020.

 

Arts Council

$20,000 Project
$35,000 Operating

Supports project or operating funding to community arts agencies outside the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City
with multidisciplinary arts programs

 

Arts Education

$10,000

Supports artist in residence, out of school, and professional development programs in PK-12 grade schools.

 

Discipline

$30,000

Supports large budget projects in following disciplines: Dance, Electronic Media Arts, Festivals, Literature, Multidiscipline, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts.

 

Folk Arts

$30,000

Provides support for the traditional folk arts of Missouri.

 

Organizations of Color (formerly Minority Arts)

$30,000

Supports arts projects created by and/or targeted to African-American, Asian-American, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American communities.

 

By Invitation Only: Final Deadline is February 24, 2020.

 

Established Institutions

$300,000

Provides operating support for select arts institutions that meet specific criteria.

 

Mid-Sized Arts Organizations

$50,000

Provides operating support for select arts institutions that meet specific criteria.

 

Partnership

Varies

Supports programs that are aligned with MAC strategic goals.