Funding Philosophy

The Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) believes that providing the local arts community with financial assistance is an investment in the continued cultural growth of the city of Atlanta. At the same time, the Office recognizes that government resources are limited while demands for services are high. For this reason, the Office views its financial assistance role as that of a catalyst, helping to augment and strengthen a grantee’s overall base of support. All funded activities must take place within the city of Atlanta and result in presentations available to the general public.

Funding Categories

  • Grants to Major Arts Organizations are available for project support (for outreach activities only) and general operating support for the city‘s established large-budget arts organizations with expenses totaling at least $500K. The grant fosters the stability, development and vitality of the city‘s major cultural institutions by stimulating growth and professional development, and by increasing the organization‘s accessibility to the general public. These contracts enable major arts institutions to promote Atlanta as a cultural destination and to share the organization‘s programs and services with a broad cross-section of the city‘s population.
  • Grants to Arts Organizations are available to provide general operating or special project support for the city‘s established mid-size and small arts organizations with expenses between $500K and $100K or less than $100K respectively.
  • Grants to Community Cultural Development are available to provide project support for non-arts organizations to encourage arts programming initiatives that develop partnerships with local professional artists and meet specific needs in a targeted community. 
  • Grants to Artist Projects are available to provide support for arts and cultural activities initiated by individual practicing professional artists who live and work in the city. It provides project support to artists working in the areas of dance, literary arts, media arts, visual arts, music, theater, and multidisciplinary genres.
  • Awards to Emerging Artist are available in recognition for artistic vision and achievement of new, upcoming, professional artists who live and create in Atlanta.
  • Grants to Neighborhood Arts are available to provide support for artistic development, engage neighborhood art-making and reimagine places. The OCA piloted this funding program in early 2015 to help neighborhood associations and neighborhood planning units (NPU) enrich the quality of life in the City of Atlanta.

Who We Fund

  • Tax-exempt, non-profit arts organizations (1) incorporated in the State of Georgia, (2) headquartered in Atlanta, within the corporate limits, for at least one year prior to the application deadline, and (3) have 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt status.
  • Tax-exempt, non-profit community organizations that are not involve in arts programming on a regular basis, but initiate arts programming as part of their service to the community (1) incorporated in the State of Georgia, (2) headquartered in Atlanta, within the corporate city limits, for at least a year prior to the application deadline, and (3) have 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt status.
  • Practicing professional artists (1) who reside in Atlanta, within the corporate city limits, and (2) who have been residents for at least one year prior to the application deadline.

*Refer to the Application Guidelines for Eligibility Requirements for a specific funding category.

Who We Do Not Fund

  • Private, for-profit organizations.
  • Artists who reside outside the city of Atlanta, including areas classified as metropolitan Atlanta.
  • Artists whose projects were funded during the most recent grant cycle.
  • Contractors who have not successfully completed other OCA contracts within the last five years.
  • Employees of the City of Atlanta.

What We Fund

  • Publicly accessible arts programs in all arts disciplines that take place in the city of Atlanta.
  • Administrative and marketing support to arts organizations related to audience development and community outreach.
  • Community arts programs that provide arts opportunities to the public.
  • Artistic components of festivals.
  • Percentage of staff salaries related to funded projects and activities.

What We Do Not Fund

  • Projects occurring outside the city of Atlanta.
  • Private events that are closed to the general public; or exhibitions at commercial, privately owned galleries; or activities restricted to an organization’s membership.
  • College/university or school projects that are a required part of the curriculum and/or which do not involve and serve a significant non-student population.
  • Deficit or debt reduction, fund-raising, lobbying, building construction or renovation, purchase of equipment and real property.
  • Hospitality and food costs.
  • Projects of a religious nature that are designed to promote or inhibit religious belief and/or practice and which have no basis underlying secular theme or topic.

Virtual Workshops

Each year, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs conducts application workshops for the Municipal Support for the Arts applicants. First-time applicants interested in submitting a proposal must attend a virtual workshop covering the submission process. Workshops will provide an overview of the program, application tips, and the review process.