Innovation Grant Program
Call for applications has now closed
The Southeast Michigan arts and culture sector is experiencing unprecedented challenges and yet unknown impacts from the spread of the novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 Arts and Creative Community Assistance Fund is a partnership between CultureSource and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. With support from generous contributors, the fund aims to offer financial relief and hope to our community given the negative pressures of the current crisis environment. The fund includes two grant programs: one for relief and resiliency (closed) and one for innovation (open soon). Though this fund is not able to meet 100% of the financial need existing in the regional cultural sector, its strategic use with nonprofit arts and culture organizations aspires to broadly benefit the creative ecosystem.
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Peck Foundation, Leinweber Foundation, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Ford Foundation, and William Davidson Foundation.
COVID-19 Arts and Creative Community Assistance Fund
Apply for an Innovation Grant
The ACCA innovation grant program funds the extraordinary ways that nonprofit arts and culture organizations are evolving in response to—or in spite of—the COVID-19 crisis environment.
Proposed projects should represent bold moves, novel experiments, or big risks undertaken given opportunity or crisis specifically generated by COVID-19. They should aspire to produce long-term benefits for the organization and be the result of discussion, consultation, and buy-in across functional areas of the organization.
Proposed projects should not represent incremental change or improvements to current equipment, software, or systems; rather, projects should implement innovation activity rarely or not previously seen as possible by the organization. Funding may be used for projects already in progress or for new activity and may fund the whole project or a single meaningful stage of a bigger project.
For additional insights about what innovation is as a process and product, read the article “Entering Upon Novelty” by Richard Evans and watch the educational video series Leading Innovation by the U-M College of Engineering.
Eligible applicants to the innovation grant program are 501c3 nonprofit organizations in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe, and St. Clair counties whose primary mission is grounded in the arts and culture sector. Other organizations, such as social service agencies, that use arts and culture in programming, but whose 501c3 status is based on a non-arts and culture mission, are not eligible for this grant.
The innovation grant program is open for receiving applications. Grant amounts are $55,000 each and five (5) grants will be awarded. Funds should be used to pay for expenses including staff payroll costs (including healthcare), artist or contractor fees, operating expenses, and project costs relating to innovation sparked by COVID-19. Innovation grant program applications are due by November 19, 2020, 5:00 pm.
Organizations receiving an award, will be expected to participate in an approximately 90-minute reflection session six months after receiving funding to share their progress and learnings with peers. Salient ideas from this session will be shared as helpful learnings from the field with the broader cultural sector in Southeast Michigan.
We know and respect that in this crisis environment you are making difficult choices each day about allocating your time and energy. As you decide whether to invest in applying to this grant program, please consider the following:
- If this grant program receives at least the same number of applications as the relief and resiliency grant program did, innovation applicants will have a 2% chance of getting funded. Again, this program is offering five (5) grants of $55,000 each.
- Organizations’ innovation ideas in applications may be viewed by any of the fund contributors, and in addition to being funding assessment tools for the funding committee, application will display to individual fund contributors the depth and range of need and innovation happening in specific organizations and across our whole sector.
- Please take good care to ensure your application is complete and correct. Reviewers will not have the ability to ask for clarification in the case that applications have missing or incorrect information.
- The brand of innovation characterizing this program involves paradigm shifts, exploration of hunches about solving big problems, and radical departures from norms of administrative and artistic operations, and is not limited to the use, development, or acquisition of digital.
- October 19, 2020 – The application portal is open!
- November 12 – Organization must register in online portal to apply by this date.
- November 19 at 5 p.m. – Deadline to apply.
- December 28 – Notifications of grant decisions will be sent via email.
- January 8, 2021 – Grant payments will be mailed to awardees.
Decisions will be made by a committee of fund contributors.
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