BAC Community Arts Grants

BAC Community Arts Grants* support Brooklyn-based cultural projects by individual artists, collectives, artist-nonprofit partnerships and small nonprofits that enrich the cultural life of the borough. 

*Community Arts Grants include Brooklyn Arts Fund, Local Arts Support, and the Charlene Victor & Ella J. Weiss Cultural Entrepreneur Fund. Destination>Brooklyn is a separate fund.

Below are some frequently asked questions about our funding process. Content categories are in this order:



Q: What is your funding timeline?
BAC Community Arts Grants (Brooklyn Arts Fund, Local Arts Support, Charlene Victor & Ella J. Weiss Cultural Entrepreneur Fund) are awarded on an annual basis. The upcoming application cycle is for projects taking place in 2020, and this timeline is similar year to year:

  • July-August 2019: Info Sessions (Required)
  • September 19, 2019: Application Deadline
  • October-November 2019: BAC Grants Staff Review Applications
  • November-December 2019: Panelists Review Applications
  • January 2020: Funding Decisions Announced
  • January-December 2020: Projects Take Place
  • March 2020: Grants Celebration, Checks Dispersed

Q: When will we find out if we got funded?
All applicants will receive notifications early January.

Q: If we’re funded when will we get the check?
Funds are released in March, at our annual BAC Grant Ceremony.


Q: How can I find out if I'm eligible?
Review the Eligibility Guidelines posted within the specific grant opportunity that you're applying for, and attend an info session.

Q: Do I have to be a nonprofit organization or have a fiscal sponsor to apply?

There are some opportunities that you can apply to as an individual.

Q: What sort of projects do you fund?
We fund arts and culture projects with a public, community engagement component in all disciplines and styles, in all genres, all across the borough.

Q: What do you mean by "Public"?
The project needs to be open and accessible to a Brooklyn audience and/or community. Projects intended solely for a membership or club are not eligible.

Q: Does the public component of my project have to be free?
No. Events can be free, ticketed, or donation-based. Fundraisers, however, are ineligible.

Q: Can I apply to multiple arts councils? 
No. Every NYC borough has an arts council that grants city and state funds through programs similar to ours. You should choose one council to apply to, since the funding source for the arts council grants is the same. Applying to more than one will result in your application being considered a duplicate, and rendered ineligible.

Location (Brooklyn)

Q: Does my project have to take place in Brooklyn?
Yes. The funds we allocate are public, from the city (Department of Cultural Affairs) and state (New York State Council on the Arts), and very specifically intended to benefit the Brooklyn public.

Q: What if my project takes place across boroughs?
We are only able to support the aspects of the project that take place in Brooklyn, for a Brooklyn public. Please cater all aspects of your application to Brooklyn.

Q: What if I work in, but don't live in Brooklyn?
You may be eligible to apply to our Local Arts Support program with an eligible Brooklyn-based fiscal sponsor.

Q: Where should I apply if my project isn't in Brooklyn?
Every NYC borough has an arts council that grants city and state funds through programs similar to ours. The NYC local arts councils are:

Most local arts council grant programs require residency in the borough you are applying in and require you to do your project in that borough.


Q: How do I apply?
Application materials (narrative questions and budget form) are on the programs' webpages. Applicants must review all materials before beginning an application.

Q: I started an application. Where did it go?
BAC application forms are hosted by Submittable. Your drafts are saved in your account there for 21 days.
Q: I've never applied for a grant before. A little help?
Attend a required info session! Most people find them super helpful. You can also check out our Applicant resources page for additional help.

Q: What discipline should I apply under?
We've prepared a panel discipline and project type guide here. It is important that you select the appropriate discipline for your work, since this will decide the expertise of the panelists who will review your application.

For example, if your work is primarily a dance piece, but there is a visual element in the set design, you may be best served by applying in dance rather than inter-disciplinary.

Q: Which grant should I apply for?
If after reviewing the eilgibility guidelines and attending an info session, you're not sure which grant to apply to, email us at grants@brooklynartscouncil.org.

Application Assistance

Q: Do I have to attend an info session?
Yes. New applicants and those that have not received funding for 2 years are required to attend. All applicants are strongly encouraged. Keep in mind that most unsuccessful applicants did not attend an info session, whether or not they are past grantees.

Q: I've unsuccessfully applied in the past; can I get my panel notes?
Due to limited staff capacity, we are only able to offer panel notes from January - March.

Program Questions

Q: How do you make the funding decisions?
BAC makes its funding decisions via a process of peer panel review. Last year’s panel list is here. You can read more about our panel process and nominate a colleague for service on the How We Fund section of the website.

Each application for Brooklyn Arts Fund and Local Arts Support are reviewed against the following equally weighted review criteria:

  • Artistic merit of the proposed project.
  • Quality and clarity of the application narrative and budget.
  • Demonstrated community support for and interest in the project.
  • Audience benefit to be derived from the project.
  • Non-duplication of similar project in type of programming, geographic area, and/or community served.
  • Clearly defined ability to successfully complete the project.

Charlene & Ella Applications are reviewed against the following equally weighted criteria:

  • Clarity of the professional development activities and budget.
  • Demonstrated community interest and passionate advocacy for the cultural life of the borough; proven track record in their community.
  • Realisic planning; clearly defined ability to execute the professional development activities.
  • Ability to set and accomplish specific, attainable goals and to define success for the proposed activities.

Q: Who are your grantees?
A full list of 2019 grantees broken down by program and discipline is here.

Q: What are my responsibilities if I get funded?
Grantee responsibilities are outlined in the For Current Grantees section of the website.

Contact BAC Grants

Q: How do I get program updates?
Sign up for our mailing list or follow us on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

I still have so many questions.
That's cool. That's what we're here for. Email us at grants@brooklynartscouncil.org.