Arts Funding Eligibility

Guidelines and Forms


Download summary of changes for FY19 Annual Arts Funding process. The recommended changes were approved by the Commission on Cultural Affairs at its Jan. 8, 2018 meeting.

 Eligibility Information

  • Applicants must be either, (1) a single, 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts & culture agency; (2) a collaboration of arts & culture agencies; or (3) a collaboration of an arts & culture agency and one or more nonprofit agencies (schools, social service agencies, public entities).  
  • An arts and culture agency is defined as an organization whose primary mission and/or more than 75% of its annual operating expenses are dedicated to cultural activities: the performing arts (music, dance, theatre), visual arts, literature, film, or whose primary mission is the promotion of their culture through educational and/or artistic activities.
  • Proposed projects must occur within the Columbia city limits.
  • Organizations may request up to 25% of last fiscal year’s total revenue*, with a minimum request of $1,000 and a maximum request of $7,500. If an organization’s last year’s total revenue is less than $4,000, up to 50% may be requested, not to exceed $1,000.
  • Proposed projects must be matched dollar-for-dollar with cash, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both.
  • Collaborative proposals are encouraged.  In collaborations, a nonprofit arts organization must serve as the lead agency.  Letters of support must be obtained from collaborators.  This shows that you have contacted them and that they are supportive and involved. Two organizations cannot request funds for the same project (there must be one lead agency applying for funds for project). 
  • Organizations may submit one application only.
  • Funded projects may not discriminate against any segment of the community on the basis of sex, race, color, age, religion, creed, national origin, veteran, disability, economic status, familial status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  • Receipt of city funding is conditional upon the arts agency signing an arts services contract with the city and returning the contract to the Office of Cultural Affairs with required revisions.  The executed contract must be returned by November 15 (or the following Monday if the 15th falls on a weekend) in order for the agency to receive city funding.
  • If city funding is received, a final report of the project is due within 45 days after its end date; 10% of each contract will be held until the report is submitted.  If the report is not received after 90 days, the 10% is forfeited.
  • City funding is conditional on meeting these guidelines.  If an agency is approved for funding by the City Council, but does not meet these guidelines, the Commission on Cultural Affairs may recommend to City Council that the funding award be withdrawn.

*Last fiscal year’s total revenue are defined as the actual (not budgeted) amount of money (cash or in-kind) that the organization received in exchange for goods and/or services that it provided. Total revenue includes support: revenue that consists of contributions or grants to the organization


City funds may not be used for any of the following…

  • Capital improvements or the purchase of permanent equipment
  • Political, legislative and lobbying activities
  • Projects completed or in process before October 1, 2018
  • Replacement of funds normally budgeted by the applicant for similar projects, including staff salaries
  • Projects which by their design or operation discriminate against any segment of the community whether on the basis of sex, race, color, age, religion, creed, national origin, veteran, disability, economic status, familial status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.