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Special assistance and accommodations are available upon request. Please contact Connie Isbell, ADA Coordinator, at connie@monmoutharts.org. 

In partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Monmouth Arts offers ArtHelps Local Arts Program Grants through a competitive application process. The grants are intended to support organizations and programs that serve the public and provide access to a diverse array of quality arts experiences throughout Monmouth County.

Types of grants include General Operating Support (GOS) for arts organizations, Special Project Support (SPS) for all types of nonprofit organizations, and Mini Grants (MG) for small and emerging organizations. Applicants that do not have IRS tax exempt status but meet all other criteria and have a fiscal sponsor may apply for a Mini Grant only.

Eligible recipients include Monmouth County nonprofit arts organizations and community groups with arts programs that provide excellent arts events that are accessible and beneficial to the public. Organizations must be able to complete all reporting necessary by the deadlines in order to accept public funds, including the application, a contract, an interim report, and a final report.

​Grant workshops are held each spring to provide step-by-step assistance with the application process and ADA requirements. These virtual workshops are a valuable resource for those considering applying for any type of grant. Monmouth Arts launched a new online application portal in early 2021 and has made changes to the application process, so it is highly recommended that organizations applying for the 2023 grant cycle attend one of these workshops or view the presentation.

Important Dates: Grant Period January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023 *

  • 2023 Applications available: April 5, 2022
  • Online Workshops: April 6th at 12:00pm and April 7th at 5:00pm
  • Applications due Monday June 13, 2022 by 4:00pm
  • Notification of Successful Award: September 2022
  • Initial payment of 80% sent February 2023 (pending signed digital contract)
  • Interim Survey completed July 2023
  • Final Reports Due January 2024
  • Final payment of 20% sent once funds are received from NJSCA

* Dates are subject to change

Applicant Eligibility
All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a municipal agency or a nonprofit entity based in Monmouth County and recognized by the State of New Jersey, with IRS tax exemption as a 501c3 or a 501c4 organization.
  • Incorporated in New Jersey as a nonprofit organization or a unit of local government. Organizations that have not yet achieved nonprofit status but meet all other criteria and have a fiscal sponsor may apply for a Mini Grant.
  • Grant-funded activities must take place in Monmouth County.
  • Have a history of providing an active program in the arts for at least two years prior to application. Those with fewer than two years’ history will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may apply for a Mini Grant.
  • Previous grantees must be in compliance with all contractual requirements of previous contract(s).
  • In compliance with all pertinent state and federal regulations including, but not limited to, the following:    
    • Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disability
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires all providers of public programs and services to ensure that those programs and services can be enjoyed by all citizens, including those with disabilities 
  • Applicants may not apply to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Monmouth Arts in the same fiscal year. Applicants may not be funded by any other County Arts Agency.
  • Educational and religious institutions may apply for Special Project Support or Mini Grant only. Higher educational institutions, such as a community college or university, may submit one application per department; all other applicants may only submit one application per year.  Applicants may apply in only one category per fiscal year.

Funding Priorities
As part of our efforts to respond to the changing needs of those we serve, Monmouth Arts is continuing to evolve our programming, operations, and grantmaking. Please note that our funding priorities were updated in 2021. Applicants should show strong initiative in one or more of the following areas:

  • Serving the needs of local artists with exemplary programs, opportunities, services, or presentation of their work.
  • Promoting cultural equity, diversity, and inclusion through projects that elevate the voices and experiences of historically marginalized groups, including those that create opportunities for artists and community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) or individuals living with a disability.
  • Forging partnerships and collaborations among individuals or organizations, especially those that include different perspectives within the community and connect the arts to other sectors such as economic development, social services, public safety, and health and healing.
  • Broadening public participation by attracting more people to the arts, bringing in audiences different from those the organization is already attracting, or deepening experiences by increasing current participants' levels of involvement.
  • Advancing and advocating for arts education in schools and life-long learning through the arts.
  • Preserving and conserving art forms and cultural heritage through public presentation.

Types of Grants
Please be sure to read the complete guidelines for the grant to which you are applying. Applicants may only apply for one type of grant per year.

  • General Operating Support (GOS): General Operating Support grants are available to support the overall operations of nonprofit organizations that are exclusively devoted to the arts. Applicants must have an arts-related primary mission and a current strategic plan. Requests may not exceed 20% of the organization’s annual operating budget, with a minimum request of $1,000 and a maximum of $10,000. In previous cycles, GOS grants had to be matched one dollar for every dollar awarded (1:1); however, there is no match requirement for FY 2023.
  • Special Project Support (SPS): Special Project Grants are for an arts project or event that will occur either once or periodically for a short duration of time. Requests can be for up to 50% of project or event expenses, with a minimum request of $1,000 and a maximum of $5,000. In previous cycles, SPS grants had to be matched one dollar for every dollar awarded (1:1), except for non-arts organizations, which required a match of two dollars for every dollar awarded (2:1); however, there is no match requirement for FY 2023.
  • Mini Grant (MG): Mini Grants ($500) are available for arts projects to new and emerging organizations, and organizations requiring a small amount of funding. Mini Grants have a simplified application process and a short time frame from application to award. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed every two months. Mini Grants are intended as an introduction to the ArtHelps grant program. In previous cycles, Mini Grants had to be matched one dollar for every dollar awarded (1:1); however, the match requirement is currently suspended.

Note: Municipal agencies and educational and religious institutions may apply for Special Project Support or Mini Grant only.

Eligible and Ineligible Costs
Grant requests may include funds for personnel, artistic fees, space or other rental costs, materials and supplies, volunteer stipends, intern stipends, marketing and promotion, consultant fees, legal fees for rights to production, and insurance.

Grant requests may not include funds for capital improvements, acquisitions, renovations, hospitality costs, foreign travel, deficit reduction, scholarship funds or fellowships, programs in educational or religious institutions not open to the public at large, sub-granting to another organization, fundraising events, and sponsorships. Colleges, universities, other educational and religious organizations may not include funds to pay salaries of faculty or members of the clergy unless it can be clearly demonstrated that such salaries, or a prorated share of them, expressly underwrite the project.

ADA Compliance
Ensuring that the programming supported by Monmouth Arts is available to the widest possible audience is a high priority.  This includes access for people with disabilities.  Accessibility includes the physical performance/exhibition space (whether owned, rented, or borrowed), programming, audience marketing, personnel sensitivity training, audience development, and printed materials. All grant applications will include an Accessibility Survey and related narrative for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additional resources, including a more comprehensive ADA Self-Assessment Tool, can be found on The New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Cultural Access Network Project website at https://njtheatrealliance.org/ada-planning. It is helpful to use the Self-Assessment tool before doing the Survey.

Evaluation Criteria
Awards are highly competitive, based on

  • Public Benefit: Meet community needs/interests; demonstrate outreach; reach diverse audiences; utilize effective marketing; serve appropriate number of people.
  • Artistic Merit: Provide innovative, creative, and high-quality programming; expand artistic impact on the community; utilize a system to engage artists and evaluate programming.
  • Funding Priorities: Show strong initiative in one or more areas of funding priority, including serving the needs of artists as well as the promotion of cultural equity, diversity, and inclusion (see complete list in guidelines).
  • Accessibility Efforts: Demonstrate understanding of Americans with Disabilities Act; provide accessible programming; engage audiences and artists of all abilities; offer programming accommodations if requested.
  • Administrative Ability: Quality of application; qualified organization and staff capable of carrying out projects; evidence of long-range planning (collaborations, diverse funding, sustainability).
  • Budget: Provide a clear, well-developed, and accurate budget; demonstrate realistic income and expense projections.
  • Compliance: Show past compliance with reporting requirements and deadlines from previous grants from Monmouth Arts.

Review Process
Monmouth Arts appoints a highly qualified panel of artists, arts administrators and nonprofit experts to evaluate applications with the Board of Trustees making the final approvals. Applications are evaluated on artistic excellence and organizational capacity including public benefit, accessibility of the organization, program, project, or event as well as the applicant’s overall accountability. All decisions are final and may not be appealed.

Steps of the Grant Application Process

  1. Organization submits application (see list of application materials below)
  2. Monmouth Arts staff review application
  3. Independent panel review
  4. Grant committee review
  5. Board of Trustees approval
  6. Monmouth Arts and Regrantee sign contract
  7. Regrantee completes Interim Survey
  8. Monmouth Arts evaluates programming/conducts site visits
  9. Regrantee submits Final Report

Regrantee Obligations

  • A Revised Budget based on the actual grant award will be required with the signed digital contract in October 2022.
  • A Final Report will be due in January 2024 at the conclusion of the grant period. Final Reports will include a final budget, a description of how the funds were expended as well as demographic and statistical data on the population served. Regrantees that do not comply with the deadline may be denied future funding.
  • A Publicity Agreement requires that regrantees credit Monmouth Arts on publicity materials, including brochures, programs, websites, electronic communications, and posters. Additionally, regrantees are required to submit photographs of programming that may be used in Monmouth Arts materials.
  • Grant payments may be delayed or cancelled due to the delay or cancellation of funding to Monmouth Arts from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
  • Unexpended funds must be returned to Monmouth Arts. If an organization is unable to expend the grant money awarded or make the required financial match, regrantees must contact Monmouth Arts immediately. Staff will work with you to find a positive solution.
  • As part of the Monmouth Arts regrantee evaluation, organizations must make available two complimentary tickets for at least one grant-funded program during the grant cycle.
  • Notify Monmouth Arts of any personnel changes in Board or staff that directly affect the administration of the grant during the funding year.

A Completed Application Includes the Following:

  1. Finance Chart for GOS; Project Budget for SPS and MG (attachment)
  2. Copy of organization’s most current IRS 990 Form (attachment).
  3. Audited financial statements for organizations with gross receipts over $500,000 or Internal Financial Statement for smaller organizations (attachment)
  4. One example of a brochure or program with required funding statement/logos if the organization received funding between 2019 and 2022 (attachment).
  5. Work samples by discipline (attachments):
  • Music – a recording representing the best performance over the past 18 months that includes a variety of tempos and styles in musical performance. Limit five minutes.
  • Dance, theater, film, and interdisciplinary organizations – a recording of a performance or piece during the past 18 months. Limit five minutes.
  • Visual arts, crafts, media arts, and photography organizations – one catalog of an exhibit from the past 18 months and/or five to ten images; up to four can be images of the space and/or installation of an exhibit and the rest of the images should be exhibited work in JPEG format, sized at 300 dpi.

Note: Good quality recording or video are critical to evaluating the artistic quality of the applicant’s organization or project. Files must be clearly labeled with the following information: name of organization, title and date of performance, event, or exhibition.

6. Support Materials (limit of three attachments): media coverage, advertisements, press releases, promotional materials, critical reviews, awards /recognition received, newsletters, annual report, social media/website analysis, etc (pdf format).

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.