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$80K in grants available for Kresge Arts in Baltimore

For the second year, the Kresge Foundation is offering some $80,000 in grant money for community art programs. The Foundation believes that a thriving arts and cultural community enriches the quality of life for residents, and in doing so, encourages civic dialogue, inspires new thinking, spurs innovation, and promotes neighborhood transformation.

The monies are part of the $200,000 the Foundation will invest in Baltimore In 2009 and 2010 in order to test its premise that community arts projects can effectively address community challenges. The Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) is the local intermediary and administrator of this program.

According to the BCF, projects must be creative, well-conceived and compelling to be competitive. In 2009, over 130 applications were received; but only 12 grants were awarded with an average grant amount of $7,375.

Grants typically range from $2,500 to as much as $10,000.


  • Kresge Arts in Baltimore is open to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations and municipal agencies or individuals and organizations with a tax-exempt fiscal sponsor.
  • Projects must take place in Baltimore City.
  • Grant awards are for projects only-- no operating or capital requests will be considered.
  • Applicants must include a letter of community or neighborhood support specific to the proposed project.
  • Projects must occur between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011.
  • No applicant can receive more than one grant per year.

Current Kresge grantees are not eligible to apply unless their project is complete and their final report received by the Baltimore Community Foundation before March 31, 2010.

Priority will be given to proposals with the following components:

  • Engaging arts and cultural activities, especially those that are designed and implemented with (not for) participants.
  • Projects that connect participants to specific and recognizable community issues, for example high school graduation rate, truancy, youth violence, literacy, parenting skills, recycling, litter, obesity, hypertension, job training, neighborhood safety, negative stereotypes, etc. (Lack of exposure to the arts, art as therapy, or in-school art experiences are not eligible for consideration.)
  • Projects that provide arts experiences in non-traditional spaces such as in after-school programs, low-income housing developments, juvenile detention facilities, women's shelters, community health centers, and empty storefronts, the temporary use or re-purposing of a space to facilitate arts activities occurring within communities.
  • New or expanded projects, rather than on-going initiatives.
  • Reasonable and appropriate costs to execute the project—keeping costs for equipment, materials and food to a minimum. Note: Total project budget may exceed Kresge grant range of $2,500 – $10,000 but other cash or in-kind revenue equal to the extra expense must be identified in the application.
  • Appropriate oversight and management to ensure a well designed and implemented project.
  • Collaborative projects that include other service providers.

A tax exempt IRS determination letter from the applicant organization or fiscal sponsor is required.

A letter of support from a community organization acknowledging the proposed project and its value to the supporting organization and the proposed target audience is required.

Applications will be declined based on the following criteria: not following application guidelines; incomplete application materials; no arts and cultural component; no connection to community issues; no planned resident participation.

Source: Baltimore Community Foundation
Writer: Walaika Haskins

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