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New Program to Strengthen NY Small Arts Non-Profits


Applications are now open for a new program to strengthen small arts organizations based across New York State, led by the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. (NYCON) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Small arts nonprofits provide key resources in their communities, yet often struggle to survive and grow. The new “NYSCA Stabilization Program for Small Arts Organizations” is designed to help participants identify and become more capable of addressing significant operational issues that are impeding their growth or development. The program will serve eligible nonprofits through a combination of tailored advisory services and financial support.

Applicants for the new NYSCA program must hold 501(c)3 nonprofit status or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 organization. They must also have an annual operating budget of less than $1 million, and be based outside of New York City. Rural and BIPOC-led (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) community-based organizations are strongly encouraged to apply.

The first round of applications for the NYSCA Stabilization Program for Small Arts Organizations program must be received by Nov. 16 of this year, and a second-round application deadline will be Feb. 1, 2024. Click here for further information, including a link to the application.

This no-cost opportunity for the participants will initially help arts and culture organizations assess their standing and capacity in areas including operations, finances, planning, and leadership. Based upon their assessment, each participating organization will work with a program administrator to determine and undertake a series of targeted learning and consulting activities that will better prepare the arts groups for longer-term viability.

At the conclusion of the program, each organization may also be awarded a grant of up to $10,000 to help them purchase equipment and/or further services that reinforce their newly increased capacities.

Nonprofits are eligible to apply for the program whether or not they have received past grant support from NYSCA. Both NYFA and NYCON are themselves nonprofits and bring to this program decades of experience in advising and supporting arts organizations. Each organization will work with applicants and participants from different parts of the state (see below a list of designated counties):

  • NYCON: Central, Western, Southern Tier, and Finger Lakes regions
  • NYFA: Capital, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk, and North Country regions


Applications open: Monday, October 16, 2023

Round 1 Application Deadline: Thursday, November 16, 2023, 5 pm ET

Round 2 Application Deadline: Thursday, February 1, 2024, 5 pm ET

Eligibility Definitions, Regional Assignments:

  • Rural communities are defined as having populations of less than 30,000 and not being part of an urban or suburban cluster.
  • BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
  • Community-based arts and cultural organizations represent community needs and work to help them. They may be associated with a particular area of interest or segment of their community.
  • NYCON program regions and counties: Central, Western, Southern Tier, and Finger Lakes regions (including Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Orleans, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties).

NYCON will host an informational webinar for prospective applicants:

For more information see the NYCON or NYFA website.

“We now know the arts are outpacing manufacturing, retail, healthcare and construction for creating jobs in upstate communities,” said Katherine Nicholls, Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts.  “This training and funding for arts groups will help them flourish as they continue to provide economic security and community health all across the State.  We are proud to support NYCON and NYFA in this essential work.”

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