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 FY24, 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 or applicants that did not receive a Cross-Sector Impact Grant in the past, 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 previously received a Cross-Sector Impact Grant, 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 Cross-Sector Impact funding for three years are not eligible for FY24 funding.
South Arts’ mission is advancing Southern vitality through the arts. This program addresses two of South Arts’ strategic goals:
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, 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.
Want to know more about the arts and community impact areas? Americans for the Arts has a resource tool that we encourage you to use.
- Partnership Eligibility
For the 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 Cross-Sector Impact funding for three years are not eligible for FY24 funding. Partnerships who received a Cross-Sector Impact Grant in the past may apply for a FY24 Cross-Sector Impact Grant to continue or further their funded project, as outlined in these guidelines. However, neither partner from a previously funded grant may apply for a new project in FY24, either in their existing partnership or in a new partnership. Previously funded projects must be completed prior to January 1, 2024.
- Applicant Eligibility
All applicants/partners must:
- Be located/reside in South Arts’ nine-state region (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/partners must:
- Be a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, an official unit of local, county, or state government (including an institution of higher education), or a federally recognized tribal community; 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, county, 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 educational pre-school or K-12 schools/institutions as long as no funds are disbursed to additional partners.
Applicants may only be part of one LOI.
- Project Activity 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, or 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 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 installations and presentations
- Film/media installations, 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. Permanent public art creation and/or installation is not eligible for this grant program.
Ineligible expenses include:
- Fundraising activities
- Alcoholic beverages
- 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 and the maximum request is $15,000. For applicants/projects that received funding in the past, the minimum grant request for this program is $5,000 and 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.
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
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
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
- 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 our online grants system. LOIs are due Tuesday, August 1, 2023 by 11:59 p.m. ET. By Monday, August 28, 2023, a limited number of LOI applicants and previous grantees will then be invited to submit a full application. Applications are due Monday, October 2, 2023 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 new projects, up to $15,000 and 4-5 continuing projects, up to $10,000 through this competitive process.
- Readiness to Apply
Before beginning a Letter of Interest for a new Cross-Sector Impact Grant, 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, returning grantees 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 previous phase of the project provide justification for continuation or expansion of the project?
- Final Report
All grantees will be required to complete and submit the Final Report Form at the end of their project period in our grants management system. 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:
- The project activities outlined in the application were performed; and
- The contract terms and conditions were followed and fulfilled.
To appeal a funding decision, first contact the Program Director, Nikki Estes, to request a review of the considerations affecting South Arts' decision. Subsequently, if you believe there are 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 written notice from South Arts. The submission should contain evidence to support one or more of the allowable grounds for appeal. The President & CEO will make and render a final decision within 30 days of the appeal.
Mail your appeal to:
ATTN: President & CEO
1800 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309