CNY Arts, Inc.


Arts Education Grants

The CNY Arts Arts Education Grant program (AEG) provides project-specific grant funding to teaching artists and arts educators to engage students in rich and meaningful artistic experience in dedicated learning environments. AEG values the depth and quality of the teaching artist's creative process. AEG projects must be experiential and focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process. AEG strives to build the capacity of local teaching artists and nonprofit organizations while providing students with high-quality artistic learning experiences. AEG projects may fall under two distinct funding strands: K-12 In-School Projects and Community Based Learning Projects.

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  • Application Deadline: December 16, 2022, at 11:59 pm
  • Who may apply: Nonprofit organizations or individual artists with an eligible public school or Community Based Partner
  • Award Amount: $500.00 to $5,000.00
  • Match Requirement: There is no longer a match requirement for this program. The grant will fund up to 100% of cash expenses.
  • Project Period: July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023
  • Project Location: Must occur in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, or Oswego counties.
  • Further Eligibility Requirements:
    • K-12 In-School Projects: Must occur in a partnering public school (Kindergarten through 12th grade). Applicants may not be current employees of the school district.
    • Community Based Learning Projects: Must occur in a partnering community-based learning setting for a discrete group of learners. Projects must be open and accessible for public participation or sign-up.

Program Priorities

  • K-12 In-School Projects
  • Projects that employ artists from historically excluded communities, especially those marginalized on race, geographic location, and ethnicity
  • Projects that engage historically excluded or otherwise underserved communities

Review the Program Guidelines

Funding is made possible through the Statewide Community Regrants Program (SCR, formerly known as Decentralization or DEC), a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts.


Program Requirements

Requirements for both K-12 In-School projects and Community Based Learning projects:

  • Projects must include a drafted lesson plan with clearly stated learning goals, methodologies, intended outcomes, and means for pedagogic evaluation.
  • Projects must consist of a minimum of three contact sessions with the same teaching artist(s) and a core group of students. These contact sessions must occur on separate days.
  • Projects must consist of in-depth, sequential, and participatory learning opportunities incorporating one or more art forms and must be age and skill appropriate.

Additional Requirements for K-12 In-School Projects:

  • A Letter of Commitment or Support from the partnering public school principal. This letter must detail the partnering school's support of the project and outline the anticipated roles and responsibilities of all partners.
  • Applicants and/or teaching artists must not be current employees or on the payroll of the school district.

Additional Requirements for Community-Based Learning Projects:

  • A Letter of Commitment or Support from the nonprofit organization. This letter must outline the partnering organization's support of the project and outline the anticipated roles and responsibilities of all partners.
  • Activities must be open and accessible for public participation or sign-up.

If applying as a nonprofit organization, you must provide the following:

  • Proof of Nonprofit Status
  • Board Member Affiliation List
  • Organizational financial statement for the most recent fiscal year.

If applying with an eligible Fiscal Sponsor, you must provide the following:

Eligible Applicants

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.

There are three types of applications who are eligible for the Arts Education Grant.

  • Individual artists partnering with a public school or Community Based Partner:
    • Individual artists, collectives, or unincorporated entities may apply.
    • The applicant artist must reside in the same county as the partnering public school or Community Based Partner.
    • If awarded, funds will be disbursed to the individual directly.
  • Nonprofit Organizations:
    • An eligible nonprofit organization with a permanent address in the same county as the public school may apply.
    • Applicant must provide proof of nonprofit status (including 501(c)(3) status, NYS nonprofit status, and governmental or tribal organization status)
  • Individual artists with Fiscal Sponsors
    • Individual artists or unincorporated entities residing outside the county of the partnering school may apply with an eligible Fiscal Sponsor located in that county.
    • A Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement is required in the application.
    • If awarded, funds will be disbursed to the Fiscal Sponsor to be passed onto the individual artist.
    • Community Based Partners may act as Fiscal Sponsors if they meet all eligibility requirements.

Ineligible Applicants

  • New York State agencies and departments (including BOCES and SUNY).
  • Current employees or those on the payroll of the partnering public school district or Community Based Partner.
  • Students enrolled in a two-year or four-year degree program.
  • Applicants with open contracts or outstanding Final Reports from previous grant cycles with CNY Arts.
  • Applicants who have applied directly to the New York State Council on the Arts for the 2022 grant cycle, regardless of funding status. This includes A.R.T./New York's Creative Opportunity Fund.
  • Ineligible organizations may not serve as Fiscal Sponsors or Community Based Partners for other applicants.

All grant applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility before they enter the Peer Review Panel Process. All applications will be evaluated and scored according to the three criteria listed below for a maximum total of 15 points.

Creativity (5 points)

  • Quality of submitted samples of past works
  • Proposed artists and personnel should have experience and/or credentials that are well-matched to the project's goals.
  • High level of originality, innovation, and relevance.
  • Quality if project concept and design.

Access & Inclusion (5 points)

  • Engagement with learners from historically excluded communities.
  • Consideration of community needs and interests (non-duplication of comparable existing programs or services).
  • Outreach and marketing plans for core audience should be appropriate and effective.
  • High level of cultural depth in learner experience.

Feasibility (5 points)

  • Overall clarity of project proposal with defined objectives.
  • A reasonable plan for implementation and evaluation.
  • Previously demonstrated ability to implement projects.
  • A realistic and achievable budget and timeline.


Eligible Expenses

All SCR grants are designed to provide project support. As such, all expenses must be related to supporting the proposed project. Applications with ineligible expenses included in the Budget Form or otherwise described in the project proposal may be disqualified.

  • Artist fees for performing, teaching, or providing services.
  • Project-specific administrative fees.
  • Space and equipment rental fees and other technical fees.
  • Equipment purchases of up to $1,000.00 of the total budget
  • Project-specific supplies and materials (not including food or drink).
  • Printing, advertising, promotion, and postage.
  • Travel and other necessary transportation (not including out-of-state travel).

Ineligible Expenses

  • General operating support.
  • Entertainment, such as balloons, clowns, magicians, or "sip and paint".
  • Individual equipment purchases exceeding the $1,000.00 maximum.
  • Cash prizes, scholarships, fellowships, regrants, or other monetary awards.
  • Juried shows and competitions.
  • Social activities, such as galas, benefits, receptions, parties, or any fundraising events.
  • Food, drink, or any other expenses related to hospitality.
  • Expenses related to any activity that takes place outside the same county as the project location.
  • Expenses related to events that take place in a private home or studio.
  • Expenses related to events that are restricted to the general public, such as camps or clubs (exception may be given for AEG).
  • Expenses for projects that are primarily recreational, therapeutic, religious, or rehabilitative in nature (including worship, health, and social service projects).
  • Building construction or development, capital improvements, or acquisitions of art.
  • Creation of textbooks and other classroom materials.
  • Expenses related to lobbying or any other advocacy.
  • Fees paid to children.
  • Any fee, payment, or financial benefit to direct NYSCA applicants, regardless of funding status.

Direct NYSCA applicants are prohibited from handling box offices or ticketing for any project funded by SCR. Direct NYSCA applicants may not profit from SCR through donations or ticket sales, and they may not include projects funded by SCR in their season or programming.

Applicants must have a permanent address in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, or Oswego counties.

The following documentation may be accepted as proof of residency:

  • NYS driver’s license.
  • 2020 tax return.
  • Utility or any other bill containing the individual's name and address, dated no earlier than 2019.

The following documentation may be accepted as proof of nonprofit status:

  • Letter of Determination from the IRS indicating tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3).
  • Documentation of charter by the NYS Board of Regents under section 216 of the NYS Education Law.
  • Documentation of incorporation under Section 402 of the NYS Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.
  • Current NYS Bureau of Charities (Office of the Attorney General) filing receipt.
  • Official authorization as an arm of local government (i.e., a formal letter on official stationary signed by the appropriate county, city, town, or village executive).
  • Sign and adhere to the terms laid out in the project contract (funding agreement).
  • Conduct all funded activities as described in the project narratives in the application.
  • Provide CNY Arts with copies of promotional materials and an advance schedule of all funded events.
  • Provide CNY Arts with complimentary tickets for all funded events.
  • Submit a Final Report within 30 days after the completion of a project.
  • Attend the CNY Arts Awards Ceremony (anticipated March or April, 2022).
  • Immediately and in writing notify CNY Arts of any changes to the project, including dates, locations, admission fees, artists hired, or activities conducted. All changes to funded projects are subject to approval.
  • Prominently and correctly include credit language for the grant award:

This project was made possible with the funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor's Office and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.

  • Credit language must be accompanied by the CNY Arts logo. The language may not be accompanied by the NYSCA logo.

Statewide Community Regrants 2022 Grantees

Decentralization 2021 Grantees

Decentralization 2020 Grantees

Decentralization 2019 Grantees

Decentralization 2018 Grantees

Decentralization 2017 Grantees

Decentralization 2016 Grantees

All questions that are asked to the Program Director are posted below with answers.