Sustainability Grants for Film and Literary Organizations

Overview

A limited number of grants of up to $10,000 supporting film and literary organizations to help sustain operations during or after the pandemic; made possible through the American Rescue Plan.

Detailed Program Description

As a Regional Arts Organization, South Arts is committed to the sustainability of arts organizations and recognizes the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having in the Southern arts community. South Arts, with one-time only funds made available through the American Rescue Plan and the National Endowment for the Arts, will offer a limited number of grants up to $10,000 to film and literary organizations based in our nine-state region to help sustain operations during or after the pandemic. The goal of this grant is sustainability – helping organizations to maintain their staff and keep their doors open. Our hope is to ensure the viability of arts and cultural organizations when leverage and impact are most critical to the larger arts community. For this new effort, we are supporting film and literary arts organizations and notably the creative workers of these sectors. These grants will help us expand our reach and demonstrate our commitment to increase our support of all artistic disciplines in the South. 

For this program, eligible applicants include

  • Film organizations whose primary mission is related to supporting the creation of film and/or supporting filmmakers in the South
  • Literary organizations whose primary mission is related to supporting the creation of literary works and/or supporting writers/poets in the South

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, LGBTQIA+ led organizations, and organizations representing persons with disabilities are represented as both applicants and grantees. We encourage applications from organizations that engage a broad spectrum of diversity. Priority will be given to organizations in rural, small, or isolated communities. Our goal is to support a diverse group of organizations that are located throughout our nine-state region. 

This grant program supports South Arts’ mission of advancing Southern vitality through the arts and aligns with the following goal from South Arts’ strategic plan:

  • Connect artists and arts professionals in the South to resources that will increase opportunities for success within and outside the region

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Applications must be submitted on or before January 10, 2022.
  • Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by email within seven weeks of application deadline.
  • Funded expenses must occur between April 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Be a tax-exempt nonprofit film or literary arts organization based within South Arts' nine-state service area (AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN).
  • Eligible organizations’ primary purpose (at least 60% of the organization’s work) must be related to supporting the creation of film or literary works and/or supporting filmmakers, writers or poets based in the South.

Eligible operating expenses supported by this grant include:

  • Salary support (full or partial) for one or more positions that are critical to the organization’s mission
  • Fees for contractual personnel that are critical to the organization’s mission
  • Facilities costs such as mortgage, rent, and utilities
  • Costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff, visitors, and audiences such as personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer
  • Marketing and promotion costs

While any of the above expenses can be supported by this grant, we strongly encourage applications that support salaries and contractor fees for creative workers.

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

Guidelines

While preparing your Sustainability Grant for Film and Literary Arts Organizations application, please refer to the following guidelines.

Eligibility Requirements

Only nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) or governmental film and literary arts organizations in South Arts’ nine-state region are eligible to apply. South Arts’ nine-state region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Applications will not be accepted from fiscal agents.

Eligible organizations’ primary purpose (at least 60% of the organization’s work) must be related to supporting the creation of film or literary works and/or supporting filmmakers, writers or poets based in the South. 

Applicants must have a three-year operating history of film or literary arts programming as a primary purpose.

All applicants must have a DUNS number. Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not have a DUNS number. Visit the Dun & Bradstreet website for additional information about DUNS numbers as well as instruction on how to receive one.

Eligible operating expenses supported by this grant include:

  • Salary support (full or partial) for one or more positions that are critical to the organization’s mission (i.e., specific activities in support of the organization’s day to day operations)
  • Fees for contractual personnel that are critical to the organization’s mission (i.e., specific activities in support of the organization’s day to day operations)
  • Facilities costs such as mortgage, rent, and utilities
  • Costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff, visitors, and audiences such as personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer
  • Marketing and promotion costs

While any of the above expenses can be supported by this grant, we strongly encourage applications that support salaries and contractor fees for creative workers. For the purposes of these guidelines, creative workers are individuals who earn income from arts and cultural work (this includes independent artists and employees/contractors of arts and cultural organizations).

Please note, this grant does not support programming costs.

Guidelines and Policies

Applications must be submitted by Monday, January 10, 2022 by 11:59 PM ET.

Funded expenses must occur between April 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

Film and literary arts organizations are limited to one application.

The minimum grant request is $5,000. The maximum request is $10,000. Grant awards do not require a cash match. 

Grantees may not claim more than 100% of a salary, fee, or other operating expenses when combined with other federal relief funding including funds distributed by a State Arts Agency. Organizations that receive American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding directly from the National Endowment for the Arts are eligible to receive Sustainability Grant funding from South Arts. However, there can be no overlapping costs. Federal grant funds from various agencies cannot support the same costs during the same period of time.

Grants are NOT transferable to other expenses. All changes must be submitted in writing to South Arts for review and approval. Awards may be revised or revoked in light of such changes.

Organizations who have failed to submit final reports for any previous South Arts grant by the application deadline for this program will not be considered for this grant.

Organizations who fail to properly acknowledge South Arts’ AND the National Endowment for the Arts’ support in programs and press materials may not be considered for future funding.

Narrative Instructions

South Arts will convene a panel of arts professionals to evaluate applications and anticipates selecting approximately 24 grantees. Applications are reviewed and funding adjudications are made using the following criteria to evaluate each application:

  • Mission, services, and programming – 60%
  • Use and impact of grant funds – 40%

In addition to organizational information, you will need to provide a brief narrative addressing the following:

  1. Provide a one-sentence description of the operating expenses being supported by this grant which South Arts will use in publicity if a grant is awarded (e.g., Funding will support one part-time position for six months.).
  2. Describe your organization’s mission, services, and programming history. (Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page)
  3. Describe your financial needs related to salaries, contractor fees, facilities costs, health/safety supplies, and/or marketing/promotion costs. (Maximum 1,250 characters including spaces, approximately ¼ page)
  4. Provide an itemized budget for the financial needs described above. Indicate the expenses this grant will support. (Maximum 1,250 characters including spaces, approximately ¼ page)
  5. Describe how this grant will support creative workers in the film or literary arts field. Include details on how your organization supports filmmakers or writers/poets based in the South. (Maximum 1,250 characters including spaces, approximately ¼ page)

Application Requirements

  • Application
  • IRS Form 990 (without schedules) for your last completed fiscal year
  • Support documents and materials (up to three, optional)

All grant applications must be submitted online using the eGrant system. If your organization is new to our eGrant system, we recommend that you visit the site early to create your account and become familiar with the system. Complete your application in eGrant and upload the required materials (if applicable). Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by email within seven weeks of application deadline. For assistance, contact Nikki Estes at 404-874-7244.

South Arts strictly adheres to deadlines and will NOT accept applications that are late or incomplete. Deadlines are not extended due to inclement weather. Applicants must agree to the applicable Contract Terms of Agreement, Assurance of Compliance, and Federal Suspension and Debarment Requirements prior to submission. Please visit Manage Your Grant to review the grantee responsibilities.

This grant program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan (ARP). ARP funds are intended to help support organizations and jobs in the arts sector that have been impacted by the pandemic.

Application Portal

After reviewing program guidelines, log in to eGrant to apply for a Sustainability Grant, 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

Questions?

For questions about Sustainability Grants, contact program director Nikki Estes.

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