CNY Arts, Inc.


Community Arts Grants

Community Arts Grants


The CNY Arts Community Arts Program provides seed grants to individual artists, collectives and community nonprofit organizations for projects and activities that enable Central New York and Mohawk Valley communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, October 16, 2019, by 11:59 PM

WHO MAY APPLY: Nonprofit organizations, individual artists with an eligible fiscal sponsor or community based partner. Also see Applicant Eligibility.

AWARD AMOUNT: $500 - $5,000 

MATCH REQUIREMENT: 50% cash and/or in-kind.
The Community Arts Grant award will not fund more than 50% of an applicants’ total expenses.

PROJECT PERIOD: January 1 – December 31, 2020

Awards are based on a competitive peer panel review process. A panel comprised of artists, arts administrators, and community leaders review each project on the basis of its own merits and against others in the application pool. Limited funds are available and priority will be given to applications that meet the specific program criteria published within these guidelines. The panel’s funding recommendations are submitted to the CNY Arts Board of Directors for approval.

Panelists evaluate and rate all applications submitted to CNY Arts and must be residents or work in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, or Oswego counties. Panelists are appointed by the CNY Arts Board of Directors. Panelists are selected June through September to serve in the fall of 2020. Panelists are paid a $50 stipend to participate. Panelists cannot serve more than three consecutive years. To nominate an individual or yourself to serve on a review panel, complete this nomination form.

Panelist Job Description pdf

Panelist Nomination Form

CNY Arts Panel Roster

  • CAG Budget Form
  • IRS Form W-9
  • Project Location Form

dates/locations for sessions to be places


Webinar Registrations

Decentralization 2020 Grantees

Decentralization 2019 Grantees

Decentralization 2018 Grantees

Decentralization 2017 Grantees

Decentralization 2016 Grantees


  • Must be located in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, or Oswego counties.
  • Must have a permanent address in the same county the project is taking place.
  • Nonprofit organizations, NYS incorporated nonprofits, agencies of local government (not New York State agencies).
  • Individual artists, groups or collectives, unincorporated entities with an eligible Fiscal Sponsor or Community Based Partner in the same county the project will take place.


  • Public, private, or parochial secondary and elementary schools and districts.
  • Departments or agencies of New York State (this includes BOCES and SUNY Schools).
  • Applicants with outstanding final reports or open contracts from CNY Arts grants.
  • Applicants outside of the county in which the grant project is taking place without a fiscal sponsor. 
  • Organizations or Individuals that have applied directly to the New York State Council on the Arts for the 2020 grant cycle, regardless of funding status. This includes NYSCA REDC and the A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (Opportunity to Create). These organizations may not serve as fiscal sponsors or community partners.


Remember this is a project support grant program, all expenses should be related to supporting a specific project:

  • Artist fees for performing, teaching, or providing services
  • Marketing/publicity costs
  • Project-related administrative expenses
  • Expendable, project-related supplies and materials
  • Project-related travel expenses (no out-of-state travel)
  • Project-related rental of space and equipment
  • Project-related technical fees


Funding will not be provided for the items listed below. By including ineligible expenses in your budget or narrative, you may disqualify your entire application from being considered. If you have questions about expenses, just ask!

  • General operating expenses
  • Any activity that takes place outside of the county where the applicant is registered
  • Operating expenses of privately owned facilities
  • Events that take place in private homes or studios
  • Purchase of permanent equipment
  • Capital improvements or building construction/development
  • Acquisition of works of art
  • Cash prizes, scholarships, fellowships, awards to students
  • Regrants by applicants to fund other activities
  • Juried shows and competitions
  • Camps, clubs or activities restricted to the general public (exception Arts Education)
  • Food/drink or hospitality-related costs
  • Galas, benefits, receptions, parties or fundraising events
  • Activities that raise funds for another organization, individual or cause
  • Entertainment such as balloons, clowns, magicians, “sip and paint”
  • Creation of textbooks or classroom materials
  • Programs in which children are used as professional artists (paid a fee)
  • Projects that are recreational, therapeutic, rehabilitative, or religious in nature including at-risk/social service programs when the purpose is primarily for rehabilitation, therapy or worship
  • Lobbying and advocacy-related expenses · Projects that involve payment(s) to direct NYSCA applicants (please see list).
  • Direct NYSCA applicants MUST NOT:
    • handle box office or ticketing
    • profit from the DEC program (ticket sales, donations, etc.)
    • include DEC funded programs as part of their season/programming