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.
Cross-Sector Impact GrantsSee All Grants & Opportunities
Closed on August 01, 2023
Letters of Interest are now closed; however, the application is open through 11:59 p.m. ET on October 2, 2023 for those invited to apply. Join our mailing list to be notified about new opportunities.
How to Apply
After reviewing program guidelines, log in to our grants management system to submit your Letter of Interest, edit an application in process, and submit any required reports.
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: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET
- Letter of Interest deadline: Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET
- Invitation to Apply notifications: Monday, August 28, 2023
- Full Application deadline (by invitation only, following Letter of Interest): Monday, October 2, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET
- Projects dates: January 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025
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.
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.
- Two partners are required – 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 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 that has 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.
The following webinar was recorded on June 13, 2023, and discusses best practices when preparing a Letter of Interest for a Cross-Sector Impact Grant.
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:
- 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, 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.
- 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
Updates for 2023-24 Applicants
Please be aware of the following major updates to the 2023-24 Cross-Sector Impact Grants cycle:
- We have a new grants management system. Please visit our new portal to create an account and begin your application.
- Applicants must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Read more about How to Obtain a UEI.
Letter of Interest (LOI) Requirements
Please plan plenty of time to organize your LOI and application in our grants management system (Salesforce).
South Arts encourages applicants to contact us with questions more than 48 hours before the application deadline; due to the volume of requests, South Arts team members may not be able to respond to inquiries submitted after that time.
Applicants must complete and submit an online LOI form that describes their proposed project and a draft budget, along with basic information about each of the partners. These materials must be submitted online using our grants management system no later than Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Late or incomplete LOIs will not be accepted. Applicants should contact Nikki Estes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-874-7244 ext. 816 with any questions.
In addition to general partner and project information and a draft budget that outlines expected expenses and sources of income, LOI applicants will need to provide responses addressing the following:
- What is the specific challenge or opportunity facing the community? (maximum 400 characters)
- Describe the project you are planning. (maximum 1,500 characters)
- Describe why the art form/artistic discipline was chosen for the project and how utilizing this art form/artistic discipline will be effective in addressing the community impact area. (maximum 500 characters)
- Describe Partner 1, including their specific role in the project’s implementation, and the strengths, capacities, or other significant benefits they bring to the project. (maximum 750 characters)
- Describe Partner 2, including their specific role in the project’s implementation, and the strengths, capacities, or other significant benefits they bring to the project. (maximum 750 characters)
- Describe the relationship between the partners and how it supports a cross-sector partnership. (maximum 500 characters)
- Provide a timeline for the main activities of the project, including when and where the minimum of two public-facing events will take place. (maximum 1,000 characters)
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 Monday, August 28, 2023 and will be provided with complete instructions for how to submit the full application. Applications will be 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.
After reviewing program guidelines, log in to our grants management system to submit your Letter of Interest, edit an application in process, and submit any required reports.Log In to Salesforce
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