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Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits and Agencies for Community-Based Arts Projects

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Geographic Focus

USA: Pennsylvania

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Creative Communities Initiative

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #205757

Grant Description

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Grants of up to $25,000 per year to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations and agencies for arts projects that engage and unify the community. Funding is intended for activities that promote economic development and community connectedness. Frequently referred to as creative placemaking, the projects should have a demonstrated, positive impact on their respective communities. Eligible projects engage artists, culture bearers, designers, and community members through conversation, cultivation, and creation activities to address community needs, challenges, and opportunities.

Creative Communities Program Goals:

  • Strengthen Pennsylvania communities through the arts.
  • Ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Advance community recovery and resilience.
  • Cultivate deep community engagement for innovative, community-driven projects.
  • Promote the unique identities of PA’s communities as places people want to live, visit, work, and play.
  • Promote PA’s communities as places people want to live, visit, work, and play.
  • Support authentic, inclusive, and strong community partnerships.
  • Promote inclusion of artists and culture bearers in community projects
  • Support local leadership and develop future leaders.
  • Foster development and implementation of sustainable programs and projects.
  • Invest in creative industries projects.
  • Leverage additional sources of funding (local government, private sector, foundation).
  • Create and implement best practices for project evaluations.

Successful projects can utilize any artistic discipline to create change by addressing a wide variety of community issues, including economic development, the environment, safety, transportation, housing, health, beautification, social justice, and social cohesion.

Key elements of successful CCI projects:

  • Projects are of, by, and for the community.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
  • Projects that include, amplify, and support diverse populations that have been historically marginalized, misrepresented, and ignored.
  • Projects are community-driven employing deep and inclusive community engagement practices throughout the project.
  • Authentically engage artists, designers, and culture bearers in the planning and implementation of projects.
  • Strength of the partnering organizations. Partners have shared values and can demonstrate a history of successful collaborations to execute impactful community work.
  • Projects have a beneficial impact on the community.
  • Projects engage existing community assets (people and places).
  • Partners leverage additional sources of funding (government, private sector, foundation).

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

• Project must be place-based.
• Required partnership of at least two organizations, one of which will serve as the lead applicant.
• Lead applicant must be a unit of government or nonprofit (501(c)3 or 501(c)6) organization.
• Lead applicant organization must be located in the community.

In general, the PCA does not fund the following:
• Activities for which academic credit is given.
• Activities that have already been completed.
• Activities that have a religious purpose.
• Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public.
• Performances and exhibitions outside Pennsylvania.
• Cash prizes and awards.
• Benefit activities.
• Payments to lobbyists.
• Competitions.

Pre-Application Information:

LOIs must be submitted via email no later than Wednesday, December 2, 2022,
at 5 p.m.

PCA staff and panelists will review virtual site visit findings and select communities for an invitation to complete an application.

Projects must be supported by the community's local government via an adopted resolution and pledge of at least 10% of matching funds (in-kind or cash).

Application information:


Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $25,000 per year

Term of Contract:

Up to four years

Contact Information:

Submit LOIs to

Direct questions to Sarah Merrit at

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