Grant program seeks applicants for arts and culture projects

(L to R): Garrett Young (Storyteller), Skyler McNeely (Doggy), Ben Locke (Charlie) and Allie Haines (Storyteller) in TheatreLab Dayton's (formerly Dare to Defy Productions) Jan. 20-22, 2022, production of "Charlie and Doggy and the Song at the Edge of the World." The production was a 2021 recipient of a Special Projects Grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District and Culture Works. (PHOTO BY THEATRELAB DAYTON)

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(L to R): Garrett Young (Storyteller), Skyler McNeely (Doggy), Ben Locke (Charlie) and Allie Haines (Storyteller) in TheatreLab Dayton's (formerly Dare to Defy Productions) Jan. 20-22, 2022, production of "Charlie and Doggy and the Song at the Edge of the World." The production was a 2021 recipient of a Special Projects Grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District and Culture Works. (PHOTO BY THEATRELAB DAYTON)

The time has come for the 2022 iteration of the Special Projects Grant program, which encourages Montgomery County nonprofits, schools, universities, and government entities to produce arts and culture projects.

Funded by the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District (MCACD) and administered by Culture Works, the program, preparing to launch its third year, provides grants of up to $10,000 to the aforementioned groups. This year’s available funding is $250,000, a sizable increase. In 2020, $150,000 was committed to the program followed by $166,000 in 2021.

New in 2022, arts and cultural organizations will be able to apply for funding for capacity-building projects that enhance their ability to carry out their missions. Examples include strategic planning initiatives, professional development training opportunities for staff and board members, marketing plan and website development, and market research efforts. Even so, groups can still apply for grants supporting traditional endeavors such as performances, exhibitions, public art works, community festivals, and artist residencies in local schools.

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“It is a priority for MCACD to support the diversity and breadth of arts and cultural programming across the county,” said MCACD executive director Matt Dunn, in a release. “We are happy to provide funding, but we also recognize support can be offered in other ways, particularly for organizations with limited capacity.”

In a commitment to equity, particularly for newer and smaller organizations, Culture Works will host several virtual grant writing workshops during the application period geared toward specific application components. The organization is also offering small nonprofits a chance to have a free one-on-one consultation with a professional grant writer to receive feedback on their applications prior to submitting. Small to mid-sized groups will no longer be required to secure matching funds for repeat projects as well.

“We recognize the challenge many organizations face who do not have a professional grant writer on staff,” said Culture Works president and CEO Lisa Hanson, in a release. “We want to remove funding barriers for the many emerging organizations that are creating amazing arts experiences in our community, and we’re grateful to have such a strong and dedicated partner supporting these efforts in Montgomery County.”

Organizations interested in applying are encouraged to attend a free virtual info session at noon Wednesday, Feb. 9. Details about the session in addition to the full grant guidelines can be viewed at cultureworks.org.

To apply for a Special Projects Grant:

  • Applicants are encouraged to attend a free, virtual grant information session at noon Wednesday, Feb. 9. Details and a link to register will be posted at cultureworks.org.
  • All organizations must submit an online Intent to Apply form by Friday, March 4 indicating the proposed activities, the amount requested, and their nonprofit status. The form will be available at cultureworks.org starting Wednesday, Feb. 9. Culture Works and the MCACD will review all Intent to Apply forms for eligibility.
  • Eligible organizations will receive an invitation in March to complete the online grant application. The deadline for submission will be Wednesday, April 27.

An independent panel of arts administrators, artists and other community leaders will review applications and evaluate each proposed project’s artistic quality and community impact, as well as the administrative capability of the applicant organization. Funding decisions will be made during a virtual public panel meeting in late June.

Full eligibility requirements, guidelines and the Intent to Apply form for the Special Projects Grant program will be shared at cultureworks.org under the Apply For Funding tab.

For more information about grant opportunities available through Culture Works, visit cultureworks.org or contact grants manager Karen Maner by email at kmaner@cultureworks.org.

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Last year’s Special Projects Grant recipients were:

African American Visual Artists Guild: Black Heritage Through Visual Rhythms

Bach Society of Dayton: Renewed - A Celebration of Paul Laurence Dunbar

City of Vandalia: Vandalia Mural Project

Co-op Dayton: A New Public Artwork at the Gem City Market

Dare to Defy Productions: Charlie and Doggy and the Song at the Edge of the World

Dayton Fellowship Club Inc.: Restart the Arts: Boards of Recovery

Dayton Liederkranz-Turner: GermanFest Picnic

Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation: Dayton Literary Peace Prize Student Author Series

Dayton Metro Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society: Everyone in Harmony in Dayton

Dayton Metro Library: Undesign the Redline: Video Production

Dayton Playhouse: Virtual FutureFest 2021

Dayton Society of Artists: Dayton Society of Artists Workshop Series

Downtown Dayton Partnership: Art in the City

FilmDayton: FilmDayton Student Film Festival

Front Street Global Artists Initiative: National Artist-Run Spaces Symposium

Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra: Young Diversity Artists Concert

Musica: Encore! - A 30th Anniversary Season of Celebration

The Plaza Theatre Association: Classic Movie Series

Puerto Rican American and Caribbean Organization: 2021 Dayton Hispanic Heritage Festival

Rosewood Arts Centre, City of Kettering: Kettering Art Initiative (KAI)

Vandalia Youth Theatre: Making Community Theatre Accessible to the Community

Washington Township RecPlex Town Hall Theatre: Dorothy in Wonderland - A Multi-Generational Theatre Experience

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