CNY Arts, Inc.


Onondaga County Restart Grants

The deadline for the Restart Program has passed. We are no longer accepting applications for this program.

CNY Arts has made available a limited pot of funding restricted to arts and cultural nonprofits in Onondaga County affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Onondaga County. These grants are made possible through Economic Development Arts Funds from the County of Onondaga. The focus is on venues that are reopening to the public. 

Application Deadline: Passed / Application Closed.

Who May Apply: Nonprofit Arts Organizations in Onondaga County by invitation only.

Eligible Counties: Currently only accepting applications from Onondaga County

Award Amount: $1,000 - $10,000 (*see grant request tab)

Project Period: March 1, 2020 – February 27, 2021

How to Apply: All applications, in their entirety must be submitted online through Submittable (

Application Forms

  • Organizational Budget Template
  • Project Budget Form
  • IRS Form W-9

Informational Sessions & Webinars

CNY Arts Resiliency Grants Webinar via Zoom
Sep 24, 2020, at 1:00 PM (45 minutes)
Please Register

CNY Arts Resiliency Grants Meeting via Zoom
Sep 28, 2020 06:00 PM (60 minutes) 
Please Register

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Applicant Eligibility*

Eligible applications to the Resiliency Fund must meet ALL of the criteria below:

  • Nonprofit arts organizations (501(c)(3) or NYS Charity based in Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, or Oswego counties.
  • Has received funding through CNY Arts in the past three years (FY2018, 2019, or 2020) OR is a New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) grantee (FY2018-2020) deeming them ineligible for CNY Arts’ Decentralization Grants. Those who have not received funding through either entity must complete an eligibility application to determine whether the organization may complete the Arts Resiliency Fund Application.
  • Must have at least a three-year history of artistic programming.
  • Must have an operating budget of at least $15,000 based on expenses from the most-recently completed fiscal year (via Form 990).

*If you do not meet all of these criteria, please contact CNY Arts staff immediately.

Evaluation Criteria

Funding is limited; all applications must be in compliance with these published grant guidelines and will be evaluated and scored competitively based on the criteria listed below:

  • Qualitative and quantitative impact of COVID-19 on the organization’s operation and ability to deliver services and programs,
  • Organizations that demonstrate history of artistic programming, thoughtful community impact, and a track record of success in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley,
  • Commitment to the meaningful and ongoing engagement with CNY and MV communities, connecting audiences to accessible arts, culture, history, and heritage opportunities, and
  • A plan to use the funds that will have a positive impact on an organization’s ability to survive COVID and look to a long-term future (i.e. skeletal staff on board, virtual arts programming, fundraiser, etc.).

Program Priorities:

All organizations that have received support from CNY Arts OR the New York State Council on the Arts in the past three years (2018, 2019, 2020) are eligible to apply. Priority points will be given to:

  • Organizations that have not received foundation or private support around COVID-19 related loss.
  • Organizations and artists that demonstrate highest risk during this crisis, including historically under-resourced organizations, as well as those who serve under-resourced populations, communities, and artistic disciplines.
  • Organizations articulating action steps towards advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as part of the internal and external practices.

Eligible Expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Salary support
  • Consultant fees for training, evaluation, or planning
  • Contractor fees for legal, bookkeeping, human resources for reopening, health and safety, virtual artistic content, and remote work
  • Software/Hardware for online and virtual programming or remote work
  • Purchase and/or installation fees related to protective gear or equipment for employees and patrons
  • Strategic alignment funds for expenses related to mergers
  • Utilities (rent/facility fees, internet, phone, electricity, insurance, etc.)
  • Other expenses to fulfill the goal of resiliency as defined by the applicant. However, this fund cannot be used to pay off long-term debt accumulated prior to January 1, 2020.

Grant Request**

Grants cannot exceed 25% of an organization’s annual operating budget. Award amounts will range as follows per an agency’s prior year Annual Budget (Form 990):

  • >$100,000 may request up to $2,000
  • Between $100,001 - $250,000 may request up to $5,000
  • Between $250,000 - $500,000 may request up to $7,500
  • Between >$500,000 may request up to $10,000

**Accepted applicants may reapply to this fund after completing their project and submitting a Final Report that is approved by CNY Arts staff.

Application Check List

All applicants should submit their materials through Submittable. A complete application must contain the following materials:

  1. Applicant Profile: includes basic questions such as organizational information, contact information, eligibility questions (funding history, organizational projected budget).
    • Organizational Projected Budget
  2. Project Narrative should include a narrative qualifying and quantifying the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the agency and operations. Include amount requested and its expected impact on the organization and its clients/constituency. The proposal should specifically address the panel criteria above.
  3. Project Budget include a breakdown of how you will spend the grant. If applicable, please include invoices or bills if requesting funds for retroactive expenses.
  4. Audited Financial Statement for most recently completed fiscal year. One of the following forms must be uploaded.
    • Form 990
    • Financial Review
    • Audit
  5. IRS Form W-9

*You may address all application letters to the Members of the CNY Arts Resiliency Fund Panel.

Frequently Asked Questions

All questions that are submitted to the Program Director are posted below with answers.