Eligibility Requirements

​​​Applicant Eligibility Requirements

The following conditions must apply for an organization to be eligible to apply to the Creative Communities grant program:

  • The applicant must have been doing mission-related work for three years prior to application.

  • The applicant (and its fiscal receiver when relevant) must be incorporated in and conduct business in Wisconsin.

  • The applicant must not be a for-profit organization, including LLCs.

In addition to the above, organizations must meet one of the following conditions:

  • The applicant must hold tax-exempt status from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Intern​al Revenue Code.

  • The applicant must be part of a larger nonprofit, 501(c)(3) institution, or a unit of state or local government including public K-12 schools; or

  • If none of the above are applicable, applicants that are incorporated in WI as nonstock corporations may apply using a separate nonprofit 501(c)(3) ​ organization or unit of local government as a fiscal receiver.

For Colleges, Universities, and Units of Tribal or Local Government including Public Schools: The Arts Board does support projects that fall under the auspices of these organizations, provided those projects involve the local community in planning, execution, and participation. These applicants must demonstrate that the project reaches the general public in addition to an academic audience. This can be shown through financial support from sources beyond the school such as local corporations, businesses, individuals and foundations; through its audience/participant evaluation statistics; through board, advisory or steering committee composition that includes community members; etc. No administrative fee for this grant may be charged to the grant or to the program’s budget by the university/college/school.​

What is a Project?

​An eligible Creative Communities project is a collaborative endeavor that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim within an identified community. It is either:

  • less than three years old at the time of application (this means that the project itself must have been in existence for less than three years, not that the project has received WAB funding for less than three years), or

  • a newly expanded dimension of an existing project (this means that the grant application must request support for costs related only to the new elements).

A project must be distinct from the organization's regular, ongoing programs/services.​​

The following conditions must apply for a Creative Communities grant program application to be eligible for funding:

  • The applicant must match each dollar of Arts Board support.

  • The project or activities must benefit the general interested public and demonstrate community participation in the program planning.

  • The applicant is the most appropriate sponsor for the proposed activities.

Examples of Eligible Projects

  • A community center presents a series of participatory arts activities for adults and/or youth.

  • A neighborhood organization organizes a summer arts festival.

  • A school plans a three week artist residency wherein the artist (a potter) works with students in their chemistry class, their world history class, and their literature class, as well as in the art studio.

  • A local museum or historic society programs performances and workshops on and with local folk and ethnic heritage arts and artists.

  • A heritage organization develops a focus on foodways as a new theme for their annual festival.

Types of Activities Not Funded

In general, the Arts Board does not fund the following nor can the match for Arts Board funds be used for these expenses:

  • Capital equipment (items costing more than $5,000 with a useful life of more than one year) or capital expenditures, e.g., renovation of existing facilities;

  • Benefit/fundraiser activities;

  • Prizes or awards;

  • Competitions;

  • Deficits incurred from past activities;

  • Individual tuition;

  • Activities for which higher ed academic credit is given (Grades 13+) and/or continuing education hours for teachers are given;

  • Out-of-state travel;

  • Hospitality expenses, i.e. entertainment, refreshments or food at receptions, parties, gallery openings;

  • Activities that have already been completed by the beginning of the grant period;

  • Activities that have a religious purpose;

  • General operating expenses;

  • Curriculum expansion;

  • Activities not open to the general public (Activities conducted in public schools are considered to be public).

Note: Applicants may apply to only one component within Creative Communities per year (Arts Education, Folk Arts or Local Arts).  In addition, applicants may receive a grant from either the Creative Communities program or the Creation and Presentation program per year - not both.