The Arts Council of Hillsborough County is hoping to see organizations from across all of the county apply for the Community Arts Impact Grant and will be hosting local workshops to walk groups through the process.
The Arts Council of Hillsborough County is holding workshops to encourage local organizations to apply for the Community Arts Impact Grant, which can add up to $5,000 to a fiscal budget.
The new CAIG program was created to help “make arts and cultural opportunities more accessible for underserved populations across Hillsborough County.” Whether it’s someone’s first or 50th time applying for a grant, the Arts Council is here to help ensure the process is seamless in hopes of opening doors to new applicants.
“The council is really putting in an effort of spreading funding outside of Tampa,” Clay Hollenkamp, member of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, said. “This is a county grant, not a city of Tampa grant, so we want to make sure lesser-funded areas out of the county are served as well, areas like Plant City or Wimauma. We love Tampa, don’t get me wrong, we just want to make sure the funding is accessible for everyone.”
The CAIG program is project-specific and awarded on a competitive basis. The applications are judged on community engagement and impact, cultural and artistic merit of each project and financial and administrative oversight.
It is a reimbursement grant, so if you request the full $5,000 and are awarded it, you must have $5,000 already available to use up front and the grant will pay you back.
Eligible projects must take place between Nov. 1, 2019 and Sept. 15, 2020 and all applications must be completed by Aug. 23. A panel will review the submissions at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 17 All applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization and must be registered as an active nonprofit Florida corporation with the Florida Division of Corporations with a principal address in Hillsborough County. The applying groups must also be apolitical and nonideological.
To fit the requirements the total project cost may not exceed $50,000 and applicants can request anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000.
The grant is designed to help further any cultural projects, either dance, folk arts, media arts, music, theater, etc. and the activities have to be open to the general public. If the project is created to elevate and advance arts and culture in the community, it more than likely is eligible for the grant.
The primary focus of the event has to be a community impact though arts and cultural programming.
Hollenkamp said it’s not a terribly difficult grant to write and because the Arts Council wants first-timers to feel comfortable wading through the application process, they are hosting free workshops across the county to analyze the ins and outs of the grant.
Last year, Hollenkamp said he was on the grant panel and only remembers seeing one Plant City organization apply. Grant writing can be tricky, but he said there’s no excuse to not try and take advantage of free money, especially when there’s so much help available to guide you through the process.
The workshop held in Plant City will be at the 1914 High School Community Center, 605 N. Collins St. at 2 p.m. July 31. Registration is available online at tampaarts.org/workshop-registration and if you can’t make the Plant City date, workshops in Tampa, Riverview and Ruskin are also available.
While he said he won’t speak to the motives of local organizations, Hollenkamp said he thinks some of the reason for a lack of applications from local groups may lie simply in a lack of awareness that the program exists. It’s a big part of why the council is doing workshops in several locations throughout the county. They want everyone to know they are here and help them take that first step toward applying.
The actual act of the grant writing process may also keep some from trying to format their application. Yes, it can be intimidating, but Hollenkamp said this is one of the simpler grants available. Pair that with the step-by-step instructions offered at the workshops and everyone should be able to craft their application with ease. Hollenkamp said he frequently finds himself writing grant applications for his job and knows firsthand how painful the process, if unguided, can be. But he’s confident this is a simple first step for those wanting to get their toes wet in grant writing.
If you want to host a new event or add some support to an event your organization has been throwing for years this may be the perfect fit for your group. Having the assistance of up to $5,000 greatly expands the ability of many of the smaller organizations who work tirelessly making waves in their community.
Funding for this program is provided by the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners and managed by the Arts Council. If you have questions about the program, eligibility or application, contact Joe Federico at 813.276.8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We have some awesome organizations in Plant City and I just want to see them have every opportunity so they can enlarge and offer even more things,” Hollenkamp said. “These organizations have their mission and are great at what they do, but with this extra support they can further that goal. It’s just in all of our interest to take as much advantage of these things as possible.”
For more information
To register: tampaarts.org/workshop-registration/
Plant City workshop: 2 p.m. July 31 at the 1914 High School Community Center, 605 N. Collins St.