The Economic Development Department’s Cultural Arts Funding Program supports cultural arts programs for the Austin community by contracting with arts organizations for specific services.

Current Cultural Funding programs were developed in consultation with Austin’s creative community over the past 3 years. Funding will prioritize equity through a combination of seed funding, broad sector support, and targeted investment. Read the Cultural Funding Report (PDF, 1.8 MB)El camino hacia la equidad cultural (PDF, 2.2 MB).

The Cultural Arts Division has administered various funding programs since 1981 through the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) authorized by state law.

Helpful Information 

  • Arts Commission - Find information on the Arts Commission members, upcoming meetings, and more.  
  • ATXN Video Archive - Access recordings of City Council meetings, including Budget Work Sessions. To filter for Arts Commission events, click on the “Boards and Commissions” tab, and then select “Arts Commission” from the “Filter by Subcategory” dropdown menu. 
  • Community Navigators – The Economic Development Department’s Community Navigator Program offers one-on-one coaching, virtual classes, and help applying for government and philanthropic support.

Upcoming Grant Opportunities

Thrive Grant: Cultural Growth

Deadline Extended: December 2 at 5 p.m.

The Thrive Grant offers focused investment to sustain and grow local arts nonprofit organizations deeply rooted in and reflective of Austin’s diverse cultures. Awarded grants range from $80,000 to $150,000 per year for the 2-year contract. Learn more and apply for the Thrive Grant.

 

Elevate Grant: Supporting the Journey

  • Open to cultural organizations, individual artists, and small arts businesses 
  • Grants for the creative and administrative expenses of cultural producers that amplify equity and prioritize inclusive programming 
  • Encourages applicants to continue and expand operationalized equity 
  • Review the draft guidelines for the Elevate program (PDF) - Updated draft as of November 10
  • This program will open in 2023 

Nexus Grant: Creative Collaboration 

  • Open to small organizations, individual artists, and small arts businesses  
  • Nurture new and emerging applicants by funding creative public projects developed through community activation and/or collaboration 
  • Eligible applicants must have an operating budget under $150,000 
  • Review the draft guidelines for the Nexus program (PDF) - Updated draft as of June 8
  • This program will open in 2023 

The Additional Program Details document has relevant guidelines information for all three programs. Updated draft as of June 8.

 

Application Preparation

There are currently no open grant applications. New grant opportunities will be announced in October 2022. Below is helpful information to prepare for upcoming opportunities.   

Vendor Registration 

Learn how to become a registered vendor with the City of Austin. All funded individuals and organizations must be registered vendors. Registered vendors may also receive solicitation notifications for other contract opportunities. Registrations can be update or submitted online.

How to Create a City Account 

Watch a video on How to Create a City Account.  | Cómo crear una cuenta con la Ciudad.   

Previous City Applicants 

For those that are in our database or have applied for a City of Austin Economic Development Department program within the last two years.  

  • Step 1: Visit the Economic Development Department Application home page to apply.  
  • Step 2: Once you arrive on the online portal, click the “Register” button.  
  • Step 3: Click the “Register” tab. Enter the required information then click the “Register” button.  
  • Step 4: When prompted, copy the invitation code. Then, click on the “Redeem Invitation” tab.  
  • Step 5: When prompted, paste the invitation code from the previous step. Then click the "Register" button.  
  • Step 6: After you click “Register”, it automatically takes you back to the “Sign In” page with a message in blue. Click on the “Register” tab once again to create a username and password.  
  • Step 7: From the home screen, click "Apply". Then, you will begin the application process.  

New City Applicants 

For those who have not applied for a City of Austin Economic Development Department program within the last two years.  

  • Step 1: Visit the Economic Development Department Application home page to apply. 
  • Step 2: Once you arrive on the online portal, click the “Register” button.  
  • Step 3: Click on the “Register” tab to sign up for a new account.  
  • Step 4: Enter the required information and click the “Register” button.  
  • Step 5: From the home screen, click "Apply". Then, you will begin the application process.