CNY Arts, Inc.

Onondaga County Microgrants Program

Onondaga County Microgrants Program

Applications for the 2024 Micogrants Program are now OPEN!


The purpose of the Onondaga County Microgrants Program is to provide grant funding for arts and cultural projects, programs, and services offered by nonprofit organizations and grassroots entities that contribute to the cultural development of Onondaga County.

Application Deadline: Tueday, April 16, 2024 by 12:00 PM (noon) -- please note revised deadline

How to apply: All applications must be submitted online through Submittable.*

We highly recommend accessing Submittable through Google Chrome to ensure the easiest application process

Who may apply: Nonprofit organizations in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga or Oswego counties or federally-recognized Indian tribal governments.

Award Amount: Up to $1,000.00

Project Period: January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024**

*If you are new to Submittable, and would like assistance with the platform, we are available to help – see information about Support Webinars below, or contact us at the information above.
** If you have held or plan to hold an arts event taking place within 2024 but prior to the application deadline, you are eligible to apply.


Eligible Applicants

To apply for the MicroGrant, applicants must:

  • Have an operational budget of less than $25,000
  • Have a permanent address located in Onondaga County.

Unincorporated entities are eligible to apply but must have a short consultation call with CNY Arts Program Staff prior to submitting an application. The time and date of the consultation will be a required field in the application to complete for a submission. 

Ineligible Applicants

  • An organization with an operational budget of more than $25,000 
  • An agency of the County (includes libraries)
  • An educational institution, school or educational foundation
  • A radio or television broadcasting network or station, a cable communications system, or a newspaper or magazine.
  • An organization that is engaged solely in the acquisition or physical restoration of property
  • An organization that has received direct funding from Onondaga County for 2024
  • Individual artists
  • A CNY Arts Grantee with an outstanding final report from a prior year grant


Eligible Expenses

Grant dollars could cover expenses related to: 

  • Artist and talent fees; 
  • Space rental for arts and culture programming;
  • Marketing and communication costs;
  • General operating support directly related to arts and cultural programming, including: administrative and personnel fees; contractual fees and equipment, dues and subscriptions;

Program Timeline

Below are key dates for the MicoGrant Program. Please note we do not accept applications or corrections after the deadline.



Application Opens

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Optional Applicant Support Webinars

Friday, March 22, 2024 at 10:00 AM

Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 5:00 PM

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 3:00 PM

Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 12:00 PM (noon)

Application Closes 

Wednesday, April 15, 2024 by 12:00 PM (noon)

Award Announcement

On or before Friday May 10, 2024

Final Report Deadline

No later than January 30, 2025


The application deadline is Wednesday, April 15, 2024 by 12:00 pm (noon).


All applications must be completed and submitted through the Submittable application portal. Applicants are strongly recommended to review the online application form in advance.

You may save your progress on Submittable as you complete your application. Please note that once the application has been submitted, it cannot be edited any further without approval from the Regrants Program staff.

Upon completing and successfully submitting an application through Submittable, you will receive an automated email confirmation to the registered email address. If you do not receive an email confirmation, the application has not been correctly submitted and cannot be considered for funding.

For further assistance, please refer to the Submittable Help Forum or contact the CNY Arts Regrants Program Staff.

Accommodations & Application Support

CNY Arts provides extensive support and free technical assistance to all interested applicants. Additional accommodations to facilitate the participation of all applicants in this program include, but are not limited to, interpretation or translation services, computer or technical support, budgeting support, grant-writing support, or project development support. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the CNY Arts Regrants Program Staff.

CNY Arts continues to deliberately address systemic barriers to opportunity and is committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and access for all Central New York and Mohawk Valley residents. We believe that impact is enhanced when people from different backgrounds with unique perspectives are engaged in our grantmaking activities and decision-making processes. We strive to increase equitable opportunities and outcomes by building a board, staff, panel, and grantee pool that reflects the communities we serve. We are committed to taking the actions required to eliminate disparities in access to the arts and arts funding and advancing equity in our organization and in our community.

Applicant Information

  • CNY Arts funding history
    • New applicant? Y/N;
  • Contact information of applicant;
  • Organization Summary

Basic Project Information

  • Grant request amount;
  • Brief project summary, including dates & locations

Project Narratives

You will be asked to provide detailed project descriptions in response to the project narrative questions, such as:

  • Descriptions of planned public activities;
  • Audience engagement and promotion plan;
  • Community involvement and support; and
  • Use of grant funds, project timelines, and evaluation.

Uploaded Documents

  • Project Budget Form (you must use this template);
  • Biographies or Resumes of Key Artists (optional);
  • Proof of nonprofit status and list of staff and Board of Directors*;
  • Letters of support (optional); and
  • Additional artistic samples and support materials (optional).
*If registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit

Grant awards and funding recommendations will be determined by a competitive peer review process conducted by a panel of business leaders, academics, and arts professionals. Because funds are limited, project proposals must meet specific criteria as published within these guidelines. The panel’s funding recommendations will then be submitted to the CNY Arts Board of Directors for approval.


Panelists for the MicroGrant program are nominated by residents and community members of Onondaga County and are subsequently appointed by the CNY Arts Board of Directors. Panelists must be nominated and must be residents of or work in Onondaga County to serve. Panelists are paid a nominal honorarium to participate and may not serve for more than three consecutive years. To nominate yourself or another individual to serve as a peer review panelist, please complete this nomination form. New panelists will be selected on a rolling basis.

All applications are reviewed by CNY Arts staff for completeness and eligibility before they enter the Peer Review Panel Process. The Peer Review Panel will then use the following criteria to evaluate and score each application:

Creativity (40%)

  • clarity of arts and culture program being proposed, its intended audience, and benefit to the community;
  • Experience, credentials, and work samples proposed artists and personnel;
  • Originality, innovation, relevance within the community

Community Engagement (40%)

  • Thoughtful engagement with audiences from historically excluded communities (those communities might be: cultural, racial, ethnic, religious; related to age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, income level, education, limited access to transportation or rural locations, etc.) ;
  • Availability of free or low-cost attendance options

Capacity & Feasibility (20%)

  • Overall clarity of project proposal with defined objectives;
  • Previously demonstrated ability to implement projects;
  • Budget is clear and aligns with project scope


Panel Scoring Rubric

If you have an eligible project or organization but these criteria and rubric seem daunting, we encourage you to apply anyway, or to reach out to us to talk. We share this scoring information to support you in crafting a strong application – not to make the process feel overwhelming.



3 (makes a strong case for public funding)

2 (makes a moderate case for public funding)

1 (does not make a case for public funding)


  • Application clearly describes the proposed arts and culture programming.
  • Project has notable artistic and/or community significance.
  • Project offers something unique and/or innovative to CNY audiences.
  • Application includes list of proposed artists and work samples that seem well-suited to the project.
  • Application adequately describes the proposed arts and culture programming.
  • Project has some artistic and/or community significance. 
  • Application includes minimal information about engaging artistic collaborators who would be suited to the project.
  • The proposed arts and culture programming is not clear, or there is an insufficient arts and culture component.
  • Project does not demonstrate sufficient artistic and/or community significance.
  • Application suggests no consideration given to engaging suitable artistic collaborators.


  • Applicant displays an ongoing, intentional approach for engaging with audiences from at least one historically excluded community.
  • Pricing is affordable or free tickets for the general public.
  • It is clear how many people the project will reach, and in what capacities.
  • Applicant demonstrates a plan for engaging with audiences from at least one historically excluded communities
  • Pricing includes access to free or affordable tickets.
  • Some evidence that the project will have reach and capacity corresponding to its scale. 
  • No clear or feasible approach to engaging with audiences from historically excluded communities.
  • Free or affordable tickets are not available.
  • No indication of project’s intended audience, or that it can reach them.


  • Timeline is clear and reasonable.
  • The budget is clear and relates to the proposed project.
  • Organization demonstrates the capacity to produce successful programming this size and scope (through prior experience or otherwise)
  • Applicant offers some detail about how they will go about organizing and managing the project.
  • Budget could be more detailed, but doesn’t raise significant questions or concerns about project’s viability.
  • Insufficient explanation of how applicant will organize and manage the project.
  • Budget is incomplete or incorrect in a manner which raises significant questions or concerns about project’s viability.


CNY Arts provides extensive, free technical assistance and support to all interested applicants. Application guides and panel feedback summaries will be available to all applicants. 

CNY Arts also provides optional webinars and office hours with members of the Regrants team to review the guidelines, eligibility requirements, and the application. Additional accommodations to facilitate your participation in this program include but are not limited to interpretation or translation services, computer or technical support, budgeting, grant writing, or project development. For more information on any of these services, please contact the CNY Arts Regrants Program Staff.

Organizations that receive a Onondaga County Microgrants Program Support award must meet the following requirements. 

  • Sign and follow to the terms laid out in the contract (funding agreement);
  • Produce all funded activities as described in the application;
  • Send CNY Arts copies of promotional materials and an advance schedule of all funded events;
  • Provide CNY Arts with complimentary tickets for all funded events for auditing purposes, as applicable;
  • Attend the CNY Arts Awards Ceremony (anticipated Spring of 2024);
  • Immediately and in writing notify CNY Arts of any changes to the project, including dates, locations, admission fees, artists hired, or activities conducted (all changes to funded projects are subject to approval)

Crediting Requirements

  • Prominently and correctly include the following credit language in all printed and published materials:

This project was made possible with funds from the County of Onondaga through the MicroGrant administered by CNY Arts.

  • Credit language should be accompanied by the CNY Arts logo (found here) and the Onondaga County seal (found here).
  • Language should be used in all printed, broadcast, or online publicity related to the services supported by Onondaga County and CNY Arts, or in any program, publication, catalog, film, or comparable product.

Notification of Programs/ Events and Utilizing Arts & Entertainment Calendar

Optional Information Session

Webinars are being offered at the following times:


Friday, March 22, 2024 at 10:00 AM


Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 5:00 PM


Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 3:00 PM


Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 12:00 PM (noon)


You can sign up here for an information session. You may also view this recorded webinar.

MicroGrants webinar - recorded March 28, 2024