CNY Arts, Inc.


Tier Three Project Support

Monday, March 13, 2023 by 12:00 PM (noon) *

Application Deadline: Monday, April 3, 2023 by 12:00 PM (noon)
How to apply
: All applications must be submitted online through 
Who May Apply: Tier Three Agencies in Onondaga County 
Award Amount$1,000.00 to $10,000.00
Project PeriodJanuary 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023



* The original application deadline for the Tier Three Support Program was April 3rd. We have moved the deadline forward to allow for an earlier award decision and more time for grantees to plan and budget for programming in the spring and summer of 2023.

Tier Three Qualifications

Tier Three Agencies are typically new or smaller nonprofit organizations that must have:

  • An annual budget between $25,000.00 and $249,999.99;
  • Been established for at least three (3) years;
  • A Board of Directors; and
  • A public, cultural component of work, including, but not limited to, performance, exhibition, arts education, or public discourse.

Alternatively, organizations may qualify as a Tier Three Agency if they meet Tier Two criteria but have not historically been funded by Onondaga County.

Tier Two Qualifications

Tier Two Agencies are typically mid-sized nonprofit organizations that must have:

  • An annual budget between $250,000.00 and $799,999.99;
  • Been established for at least five (5) years;
  • A Board of Directors;
  • A CPA Review Report (for organizations under $750,000.00); or
  • An annual audit (for organizations over $750,000);
  • Year-round operation; and
  • Been historically funded by Onondaga County.

Additional Considerations

In addition to meeting the Tier Three criteria, applicant organizations must:

  • Hold 501(c)(3) nonprofit or NYS incorporated nonprofit status, or be an arm of local government;
  • Not currently be eligible for General Operating Support (GOS);
  • Have a permanent address located in Onondaga County;
  • Have a non-discrimination policy in effect; and
  • Demonstrate the capacity to execute intended projects, provide status updates, and report on results in a timely fashion.

Ineligible Applicants

Organizations are not eligible for Tier Three Project Support if they are:

  • Currently eligible for General Operating Support;
  • Agencies of New York State or Onondaga County (including libraries);
  • Agencies from outside of Onondaga County;
  • Educational institutions, schools, or educational foundations;
  • Radio or television broadcasting networks or stations;
  • Cable communication companies;
  • Newspapers and magazines;
  • Engaged solely in the acquisition or restoration of physical property;
  • Agencies that receive Onondaga County funds from any source (not including the Marketing for Economic Development Grant); or
  • Grantees with outstanding final reports from prior year CNY Arts grants.

Eligible Expenses

  • Artist fees for performing, teaching, and providing services;
  • Direct administrative expenses related to the proposed project;
  • Marketing/publicity costs;
  • Expendable, project-related supplies and materials; and
  • Project-related travel expenses (not including out-of-state travel), rental of space and equipment, and technical fees.

Ineligible Expenses

Ineligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Any activity that takes place outside of Onondaga County;
  • Operating expenses or events that take place in privately owned facilities;
  • Purchase of permanent equipment, works of art, or capital improvements;
  • Further regranting, including cash prizes, scholarships, or fellowships;
  • Juried shows or competitions;
  • Camps, clubs, or activities restricted to the general public;
  • Food, drink, or other costs related to hospitality;
  • Galas, benefits, receptions, parties, or fundraising events;
  • Activities that raise funds for another organization, individual, or cause;
  • Entertainment such as balloons, clowns, or magicians;
  • Creation of textbooks or classroom materials;
  • Programs in which children are used as professional artists (paid a fee);
  • Projects that are recreational, therapeutic, rehabilitative, or religious in nature including at-risk or social service programs in which the purpose is primarily for rehabilitation, therapy, or worship;
  • Lobbying or advocacy-related expenses; or
  • Debt servicing or contingency funds.


The application deadline is Monday, March 13, 2023 by 12:00 pm (noon).


Applications must be completed and submitted through the Submittable application portal.

You may save your progress on Submittable as you complete your application. Please note that once the application has been submitted, it cannot be edited any further.

Upon completing and successfully submitting an application through Submittable, you will receive an automated email confirmation to the registered email address. If you do not receive an email confirmation, the application has not been correctly submitted and cannot be considered for funding.

For further assistance, please refer to the Submittable Help Forum or contact the CNY Arts Regrants Program Staff.

Accommodations & Application Support

CNY Arts will provide optional webinars and office hours with the Regrants Program Manager to review the guidelines, eligibility requirements, and the application. For hours and more information, please visit click on the "Office Hours & Webinars" section below.

CNY Arts provides extensive, free technical assistance and support to all interested applicants. Application guides, video tutorials, and panel feedback summaries will be available to all applicants. Additional accommodations to facilitate your participation in this program include but are not limited to interpretation or translation services, computer or technical support, budgeting, grant writing, or project development. For more information, please contact the CNY Arts Regrants Program Staff.

Applicant Information

  • CNY Arts funding history;
  • Contact information of applicant;
  • Organization mission statement;
  • Annual operating budget; and
  • Electoral district numbers.

Basic Project Information

  • Grant request amount;
  • Project summary, including dates & locations;
  • Artistic discipline and type of activity; and
  • Estimates of artists, audience, and other beneficiaries.

Project Narratives

You will be asked to provide detailed project descriptions in response to the project narrative questions, such as:

  • Public activities;
  • Audience engagement and promotion plan;
  • Community involvement and support; and
  • Use of grant funds, project timelines, and evaluation.
  • Project Budget Form;
  • Biographies or Resumes of Key Artists;
  • Proof of nonprofit status and list of staff and Board of Directors;
  • Organizational financial statement for most recent fiscal year;
  • Organizational projected budget for current fiscal year;
  • Letters of support; and
  • Additional artistic samples and support materials.

Grant awards and funding recommendations will be determined by a competitive peer review process conducted by a panel of business leaders, academics, and arts professionals. Because funds are limited, project proposals must meet specific criteria as published within these guidelines. The panel’s funding recommendations will then be submitted to the CNY Arts Board of Directors for approval.


Peer review panelists for the Tier Three Project Support Grant program are nominated by residents and community members of Onondaga County and are subsequently appointed by the CNY Arts Board of Directors. Panelists must be nominated and must be residents of or work in Onondaga County to serve. Panelists are paid a nominal honorarium to participate and may not serve for more than three (3) consecutive years. To nominate yourself or another individual to serve as a peer review panelist, please complete this nomination form. New panelists will be selected on a rolling basis.

All applications are reviewed by CNY Arts staff for completeness and eligibility before they enter the Peer Review Panel Process. The Peer Review Panel will then use the following criteria to evaluate and score each application:

Creativity (5 points)

  • Quality of submitted samples of past works;
  • Experience or credentials of proposed artists and personnel; and
  • Originality, innovation, relevance, and quality of project concept and design.

Access & Inclusion (5 points)

  • Engagement with audiences from historically excluded communities;
  • Consideration of community needs and interests (non-duplication of comparable existing programs or services);
  • Appropriateness and effectiveness of outreach and marketing plans for core audiences; and
  • Cultural depth in audience or learner experience.

Feasibility (5 points)

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

Additional Considerations

Priority may be given to the following applicant organizations:

  • Organizations outside of Downtown Syracuse;
  • Organizations whose grant project occurs outside of Downtown Syracuse; and
  • Organizations whose arts and culture-related programs comprise more than 50% of their operations.

All grant recipients of the Tier Three Project Support program are contractually obligated to the following terms as per the recipient's funding agreement. Failure to fulfill grantee responsibilities may result in the grantee's ineligibility for future consideration.

  • Sign and adhere to the terms laid out in the contract (funding agreement);
  • Conduct all funded activities as described in the application;
  • Submit all public activities to the Central New York Arts & Entertainment Calendar, as applicable;
  • 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 for auditing purposes, as applicable;
  • Attend the CNY Arts Awards Ceremony (anticipated Spring of 2023);
  • 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); and
  • Prominently and correctly include the following credit language in all printed and published materials:
This project was made possible with funds from the County of Onondaga through the Tier Three Project Support Program administered by CNY Arts.
  • Credit language must be accompanied by the CNY Arts logo and the County of Onondaga Seal.

CNY Arts will host bi-weekly online office hours to provide application-related technical assistance beginning Tuesday, February 7, 2023. The full schedule is below:

Office Hour Date & Time Zoom Meeting Link
Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 11:00 AM Join the Zoom meeting here.
Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at 2:00 PM Join the Zoom meeting here.
Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 3:00 PM Join the Zoom meeting here.

Can an individual artist apply for a Tier Three Project Support grant?

  • No. The only eligible applicants for this program are nonprofit organizations in Onondaga County designated "Tier Three". Individual artists may not apply, even with an eligible fiscal sponsor.

Can a nonprofit organization that does not meet Tier Three requirements apply for a Tier Three Project Support Grant?

  • Yes. Nonprofit organizations that do not meet Tier Three requirements can apply for a Tier Three Project Support Grant only if they apply with an eligible Tier Three organization as their fiscal sponsor. The sponsoring agency may take an administrative fee of up to 10% but would not be eligible to apply for a separate Tier Three Grant.

Can a nonprofit organization that applied for direct NYSCA funding or Statewide Community Regrants (SCR) apply for Tier Three?

  • Yes. Direct NYSCA applicants and SCR applicants are eligible for Tier Three support because this program is funded by Onondaga County--not the state.

Can an organization apply more than once?

  • No. Tier Three will only support one project from any organization.

Will there be a mandatory application seminar or webinar?

  • No. There will not be any mandatory application seminars or webinars. However, CNY Arts will host bi-weekly Zoom office hours to answer any questions.

Will there be a separate Tier Three Festival Fund in 2023?

  • No. All organizations, including festivals, will have their applications considered together. There will be no separate round for festivals this year.