Cross-Sector Impact Grants


These grants of up to $15,000 support "arts and..." projects developed by partners—one arts organization or artist, and one non-arts organization—harnessing the power of collaboration.

View Full Guidelines

New Application Cycle Opens June 2023

The next application cycle for Cross-Sector Impact Grants will open in early June 2023. The guidelines below are from our previous cycle and are for reference only.

Detailed Program Description

As our communities continue to change, the arts play an incomparable role in addressing many of our communal and individual challenges and strengths. The value of partnership—and working together across sectors—brings new opportunity, increased effectiveness, and greater depth to our collective work. We aim to facilitate partnerships between the art community and other sectors through this grant program. 

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Informational Webinar: Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Letter of Interest deadline: Monday, August 1, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Full Application deadline (by invitation only, following Letter of Interest): Monday, October 3, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Projects must take place between January 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. 

NOTE: Unlike other South Arts grant programs, Cross-Sector Impact Grants utilize a two-step application process for new applicants. South Arts will accept an online Letter of Interest from any eligible and interested partnership of an artist or arts organization and a non-arts partner. Following a staff review, those projects that most closely align with the evaluation criteria and program goals will be invited to submit a full application.  

Eligibility Requirements

The following is a top-level list of the main eligibility requirements necessary to be considered for a Cross-Sector Impact Grant. Please refer to the full list of eligibility requirements in the program's Guidelines.

  • Both partners must be located/reside in South Arts’ nine-state region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee)
  • A minimum of one of the two applicants must be a non-profit, tax-exempt organization or official unit of local, county or state government, including an institution of higher education and have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number
  • Provide a 1:2 match

Educational pre-school and K-12 schools or institutions are not eligible for this program.

A full list of eligibility criteria and other project requirements is provided in the guidelines below.

Informational Webinar

The following informational webinar was recorded on June 8, 2022.


    South Arts recognizes that as our communities continue to change, the arts play an incomparable role in addressing many of our communal and individual challenges and strengths. Further, the value of partnership and working together across sectors brings new opportunities, increased effectiveness, and greater depth to our collective work. Through this program, South Arts seeks to provide significant support to projects developed by partners that harness the power of “Arts & …”.

    South Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We have prioritized this commitment to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) led organizations, LGBTQIA+ led organizations, and organizations representing persons with disabilities are represented as both applicants and grantees. We encourage applications for projects that engage a broad spectrum of diversity. Priority will be given to projects taking place in rural, small, or isolated communities.

    Cross-Sector Impact Grants are open to all art forms, for partnership projects taking place in South Arts’ nine-state region. For FY23, eligible projects will continue to feature “Arts & …”, for example, arts and the military, arts and equity, arts and aging, arts and community revitalization. Applicants may be organizations, units of government, higher educational institutions, or artists.

    For applicants new to this program that did not receive a Cross-Sector Impact Grant in  FY20, FY21 or FY22, matching grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded. For these projects, South Arts encourages applications for new projects. However, projects that deepen and expand existing partnerships may also apply. For applicants/projects that did receive funding through this program in FY20, FY21, or FY22 matching grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded in order to continue or advance the project. South Arts anticipates that this grant program will be highly competitive and that successful applications will be fully funded. Applicants/projects that have received funding for three consecutive years are not eligible for FY23 funding.

    South Arts’ mission is advancing Southern vitality through the arts. This program addresses two of South Arts’ strategic goals:

    • Connect artists and arts professionals in the South to resources that will increase opportunities for success within and outside the region
    • Advance impactful arts-based programs that recognize and address trends and evolving needs of a wide range of communities in the South

    While preparing your Cross-Sector Impact Grant Letter of Interest and application, please refer to the following guidelines.

    Project Requirements

    South Arts welcomes proposals from partnering entities working together on a project that addresses arts and community impact through cross-sector partnership. Projects must utilize the arts as a tool in creative approaches to address and advance an issue that is of importance in their community. Projects should also establish or advance relationships across at least two different sectors, one being in the arts. 

    Arts disciplines may include, but are not limited to:

    • Performing arts, including dance, music, theater, musical theater, and opera; 
    • Literary arts, including fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry;
    • Visual arts, including craft, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media; 
    • Film or media;
    • Traditional and folk arts, including music, craft, storytelling, dance; or
    • Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary artforms.

    Community impact areas may include, but are not limited to:

    • Education, including literacy, youth development;
    • Environment, including sustainability, weather impact;
    • Health and human services, including aging, prisons and rehabilitation, military;
    • Infrastructure, including housing, community revitalization, food and nutrition; or
    • Social justice, including immigration, community activation, equity and accessibility.
    Partnership Eligibility

    For purposes of this program, partnering entities are defined as a total of two parties working together for purposes of the proposed project. One entity must represent one or more artistic disciplines listed above and may be an individual artist or organization. One entity must represent an area of community impact listed above and must be an organization. These must be the only two official project partners in the grant application, although additional individuals and/or organizations may be involved in the project’s implementation. 

    Examples of eligible partnerships include:

    • A non-profit arts organization or unit of government and a non-profit organization or unit of government from a non-arts sector
    • An individual artist or ensemble and a non-profit organization or unit of government from a non-arts sector  
    • A non-profit arts organization or unit of government and an organization from a non-arts sector
    • A university arts department and an organization from a non-arts sector

    Ineligible partnerships include:

    • An artist and/or arts organization without a non-arts partner
    • A university department partnering with another university department

    Partnerships who received funding for three consecutive years are not eligible for FY23 funding. Partnerships who received a grant in FY20, FY21 and/or FY22 may apply for a FY23 Cross-Sector Impact Grant to continue or further their funded project, as outlined in these guidelines. However, neither partner from a funded FY20, FY21 or FY22 grant may apply for a new project in FY23, either in their existing partnership or in a new partnership.

    Applicant Eligibility

    All applicants must:

    • Be located/reside in South Arts’ nine-state region. South Arts region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and  Tennessee
    • Be in good standing with South Arts, having submitted all past final reports; and
    • Agree to acknowledge South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts in all programs and press materials related to the funded project.

    A minimum of one of the two applicants must:

    • Be a non-profit, tax-exempt organization or official unit of local, county, or state government, including an institution of higher education; and
    • Have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number.  Visit our website for additional information about UEI numbers as well as instruction on how to receive one.

    Local or state governmental organizations must provide proof of government status. If applicable, non-profit status and UEI numbers will be verified by an independent third-party entity.

    Ineligible applicants include:

    • Federal agencies or local departments of federal agencies 
    • Educational pre-school and K-12 schools or institutions 

    However, additional individuals and/or organizations may be involved in the project’s implementation, in addition to the two principal partners. These may include local departments of federal agencies or education pre-school or K-12 schools/institutions as long as no funds are disbursed to additional partners.

    Applicants may only be part of a maximum of one LOI.

    Additional Project Requirements

    All projects must include a minimum of two public-facing activities. Activities, as described below, may be virtual or in-person. 

    • One public-facing activity must be a public event, meaning that the activity is open to and marketed to anyone who wishes to come. This could be an in-person or virtual concert, exhibit, workshop, screening, or other event. It can be free or have an admission charge.
    • The second activity may also be public or may be for a targeted group/non-public audience such as a business group, university students/faculty, nursing homes, K-12 school students, patients/care providers, etc. 
    • At least one of these activities must be an educational or community engagement event that provides context or deeper understanding of the arts experience or project. Examples that would meet this requirement include a virtual or in-person master class or workshop, live Q&A and interview with artist or other persons facilitating the project, a demonstration, or a post-event conversation.
    • All grant activities must follow local, state, and federal COVID-safety protocols, as applicable.

    Accessibility for constituents with disabilities must be provided at grant-funded activities. For the purpose of these guidelines, accessibility relates to your overall facility and project being accessible to all. In addition to physical access (ramps, accessible parking/box office/restrooms/seating, etc.), communications and programmatic accessibility is not only required but can help your organization build audiences and strengthen engagement. Grant applications should show evidence of thoughtful accessibility planning and implementation efforts. The National Endowment for the Arts has resources to assist arts organizations in making accommodations. Please visit the their website for more information. Applicants must commit to the Endowment’s Assurance of Compliance and Federal Suspension and Disbarment Policy.

    Project Budget

    Examples of eligible expenses for grant support include:

    • Artist fees
    • Facilitated community meetings/charrettes
    • Asset mapping
    • Consultant fees
    • Travel expenses
    • Purchase of materials
    • Facility and equipment rental
    • Marketing and promotional materials
    • Public events and performances
    • Temporary* public art creation and/or installation
    • Book design/printing expenses
    • Exhibit installation and presentation
    • Film/media installation/screenings and presentations

    *For purposes of this grant program, South Arts defines temporary as designed to be exhibited or shown for not more than one year.

    Ineligible expenses include:

    • Fundraising activities
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Lobbying
    • Costs not directly related to carrying out the funded project
    • Capital expenses or purchases
    • Construction, purchase or renovation of facilities
    • International travel

    These grants are not intended for the creation of new work as a central element of the project. However, work that is created as a secondary outcome or in which community participants are integrally involved in the creative process is allowable.

    Matching Requirements & Budget

    For applicants/projects that are new to this program, the minimum grant request for this program is $5,000; the maximum request is $15,000. For applicants/projects that did receive funding in FY20, FY21 and/or FY22, the minimum grant request for this program is $5,000; the maximum request is $10,000.

    A match of at least 1:2 is required, meaning for each grant-funded dollar, the grantee must provide $.50 towards the project.

    Up to half of the match may be comprised of in-kind contributions such as donated materials, donated services, or other contributed non-cash assets or staff time diverted to this project. At least half of the match must be cash and cannot include salaried staff time allocated to this project. However, contracted services specifically for this project may be included in the cash match. 

    Review Criteria

    All applications will be evaluated using these review criteria.

    Artistic Quality (25%)

    • Project demonstrates artistic excellence as evidenced by artist(s) record of achievement and work samples
    • Artistic component of project is appropriate and well-suited to meeting project goals 

    Project Design (25%)

    • Project description includes a clear description of the who, what, where, and when 
    • Partnership is clearly described with roles and parameters clearly defined, and how the partnership is necessary for the success of the project
    • Project establishes and/or advances relationships across sectors 

    Community Impact (25%)

    • Participants and/or community served, including geographic and demographic characteristics, and accessibility for individuals with disabilities is clearly described
    • A clear description of the intended impact or change to be influenced through this project is provided
    • Anticipated project impact is substantive and provides potential for lasting change

    Capacity (25%)

    • Administrative capacity to complete the proposed project, including appropriate paid and volunteer staff, and leadership is demonstrated
    • Financial planning, which includes an appropriate budget and appropriate and realistic plans for matching funds is provided
    • Applicants have developed an appropriate evaluation plan to measure the success of the project

    In addition to the above criteria, priority will be given to projects:

    • Taking place in small communities; rural areas (areas that are geographically isolated and generally under 50,000 population); and isolated communities (communities that are geographically isolated or isolated due to socioeconomic factors, outmigration, education gaps, and/or lack of infrastructure).
    Application Process

    New applicants or applicants whose projects were not previously funded through Cross-Sector Impact Grants must first submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) through the online eGrant system. LOIs are due Monday, August 1, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. ET. By August 29, 2022, a limited number of applicants will then be invited to submit a full application. Applications will be due Monday, October 3, 2022, by 11:59 p.m. ET. Preceding this deadline, all invited applicants will be required to schedule a virtual meeting with South Arts to discuss their project. South Arts anticipates supporting 7-10 projects at up to $15,000 through this competitive process.

    Applicants whose projects were previously funded through a Cross-Sector Impact Grant do not need to submit a Letter of Interest on the August 1 deadline. These applicants should only submit a full application on the October 3 deadline. South Arts anticipates supporting 4-5 projects at up to $10,000 through this competitive process.

    Readiness to Apply

    Before beginning a Letter of Interest for a new Cross-Sector Impact Grant request, potential partners are encouraged to think about the following factors:

    • Do the partners have a history of successfully working with others? Have the two partners worked together in the past or are they working together now? 
    • Is the separation of responsibilities and authority between the two partners established and agreed upon, including financial responsibilities?
    • Do the partners have complementary strengths and/or resources, such that this partnership is necessary for success?

    Before beginning an application for a continuing project, partners are encouraged to think about the following factors:

    • Is there a next phase for the project, or will it be continued in its current form?
    • Do the partners have a clear plan for the next phase of this project?
    • Does the evaluation of the first phase of the project provide justification for continuation or expansion of the project?
    Final Report

    All grantees will be required to submit a final report at the end of their project period. South Arts will provide the report form and instructions for completing the report, which will include information about the funded activities, results/outcomes, participants, and actual expenses. Grantees are required to document all activities and maintain appropriate records for expenses and must agree to share requested information to enable South Arts to evaluate this program.

    Grant Payment

    Payment will be made to one of the two partners as designated in the grant application. Payment must be made to a non-profit organization or unit of government with a UEI number

    Final payments are processed after the completion of the project and receipt of the Final Report Form. You are allowed to request an advance payment, up to 75% of your total grant amount. To do so, you must submit a written request at least 30 days prior to the project start date. The request should be on your organization’s letterhead with a signature and state the reason an advance payment is needed. Please allow 30 – 60 days for all grant payments.

    Appeals Process

    You can request a review of the method for South Arts’ decisions concerning grant applications through the Appeals Process. If you did not receive funding or if your grant award was rescinded or reduced, you may submit an appeal. Incomplete applications are not eligible for the appeals process. Dissatisfaction with the denial or amount of an award is not sufficient reason for an appeal.

    An applicant not funded may appeal South Arts’ decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the application was rejected for any of the following reasons:

    • Application was reviewed using criteria other than those published;
    • Funding decision was influenced by panelist/staff/committee member who failed to disclose conflict of interest; and/or
    • Application materials (submitted by the deadline) were not provided to reviewers.

    If an applicant’s funds were rescinded or reduced, the applicant may appeal South Arts’ decision if the applicant can demonstrate that (a) the project activities outlined in the application were performed, and (b) the contract terms and conditions were followed and fulfilled.

    If you believe that you have grounds for an appeal, you must submit your appeal, in writing, to South Arts’ President & CEO, no later than 15 calendar days following the receipt of the electronic notice from South Arts. The submission should contain evidence to support one or more of the allowable grounds for appeal. The decision on an appeal will be made by the President & CEO, who will render a decision within 30 days of the appeal. Mail your appeal to:

    South Arts
    ATTN: President & CEO
    1800 Peachtree Street, NW
    Suite 808
    Atlanta, GA 30309

    Letter of Interest (LOI) Requirements

    Applicants must submit a narrative in an online application form that describes their proposed project and a draft budget, along with basic information about each of the partners. These materials must be submitted through eGrant no later than Monday, August 1, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Late or incomplete LOIs will not be accepted. Applicants should contact Nikki Estes at or 404-874-7244 ext. 816 with any questions.

    In the LOI narrative, applicants will be asked to include a description of:

    • The area of social or community impact that you are trying to influence in your community and why or how the artistic component of this project will be effective in addressing it.
    • The two partners, the nature of their relationship, and why these partners are working together. 
    • The main activities of this project, including where and when the project will take place.

    In addition, the LOI must include a draft budget that outlines expected expenses and sources of income.

    The format for these materials is provided in the eGrant form. 

    It is understood that the information provided in the LOI is preliminary in nature and will be further refined for those applicants invited to submit a full application. 

    All LOIs will be evaluated for their potential to most closely meet the evaluation criteria listed in these guidelines and the overall goals of this program. Applicants who are invited to submit a full application will be notified on or by August 29, 2022 and will be provided with complete instructions for how to submit the full application.


    Have a question about the guidelines or priorities above? It may be addressed in our Cross-Sector Impact Grant FAQ.

    Read the FAQ

    Application Portal

    After reviewing program guidelines, log in to eGrant to submit your Letter of Interest, edit an application in process, and submit any required reports.

    Log in to eGrant

    Manage Your Award

    Review recipient terms and conditions, download the appropriate logos, access final reporting requirements, and more.

    Manage Your Grant


    For questions about Cross-Sector Impact Grants, contact program director Nikki Estes.

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