Creative Learning is a grant program designed to support and develop the capacity of Manhattan’s teaching artists and small arts organizations to provide in-depth, community-based arts education and enrichment projects and programming to participants of all ages including youth, adults, and/or seniors.

The program aims to support effective and innovative approaches to artist-led, age- and skills-appropriate instruction outside of the school setting, as well as education-based approaches to participatory arts projects. Emphasis is placed on quality and depth of the creative process through which participants learn through and about the arts. Creative Learning strongly supports the payment of artist fees.

The program is comprised of two funds: City funds, provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Greater New York Arts Development Fund, and State funds, provided by the New York State Council on the Arts’ (NYSCA) Decentralization program. Funding is intended for artists and organizations that are not able to apply directly to the City and/or State for arts funding. Creative Learning often provides the first grant that an applicant receives, which can help leverage additional support.

The program is accompanied by technical assistance to applicants, and networking and promotional opportunities for funded projects.

Past applicants to LMCC’s Creative Curricula or Creative Engagement program should consider these important factors when deciding whether to apply to Creative Learning:

  • Creative Learning supports arts learning projects for youth, adults, and/or senior participants
  • Activities supported by Creative Learning can be dedicated to a discrete group of participants. Registration must be accessible to the target participants and reflected accordingly in promotional plans
  • Creative Learning projects must provide sequential, skills-based study that incorporates one or more art forms and includes a minimum of 3 hands-on contact sessions between the same teaching artist and group of participants
  • In-school, K-12 arts education activities are no longer supported

 

2018 GUIDELINES AND APPLICATION NOW LIVE!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 AT 5PM.

Map Container

Ann deVere, Artist/Educator, past SPARC and SU-CASA artist
Hawley Hussey, Founder, HH:ArtLAB
Theseus Roche, Director of Programs, Manhattan Youth

Download a printable pdf of these guidelines HERE.

Creative Learning is a grant program designed to support and develop the capacity of Manhattan’s teaching artists and small arts organizations to provide in-depth, community-based arts education and enrichment projects and programming for youth, adults, and/or seniors.

The program aims to support effective and innovative approaches to artist-led, age- and skills-appropriate instruction outside of the school setting, as well as education-based approaches to participatory arts projects. Emphasis is placed on quality and depth of the creative process through which participants learn through and about the arts. Creative Learning strongly supports the payment of artist fees

The program is comprised of two funds: City funds, provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Greater New York Arts Development Fund, and State funds, provided by the New York State Council on the Arts’ (NYSCA) Decentralization program. Funding is intended for artists and organizations that are not able to apply directly to the City and/or State for arts funding. Creative Learning often provides the first grant that an applicant receives, which can help leverage additional support.

The program is accompanied by technical assistance to applicants, and networking and promotional opportunities for funded projects.

Creative Learning supports projects that draw on arts education practices to engage participants in the creation and interpretation of artistic works. Funding is provided for sequential, skill-based arts study and participatory arts projects that take place in accessible community-based settings such as afterschool programs, senior centers and community centers, in neighborhoods from Inwood to the Battery.

Competitive projects will demonstrate an in-depth artistic learning experience, thoughtful project planning, and appropriate learning goals and activities for the age ranges served.

The program encourages individual teaching artists to collaborate with community-based partners to develop arts programming to reach shared goals. Partnership projects should be conceived, planned, and implemented by teaching artists and administrators working together to utilize resources. Competitive projects will demonstrate the Partner Organization’s strong commitment to the arts through cash and other means of project support.

Projects may, but are not required to, culminate in a public event or finished product such as an exhibition, performance, or presentation. LMCC encourages projects that feature opportunities for familial and community involvement.

Creative Learning offers the opportunity to access City, State, or both sources of funds by completing a single application. Please note:

  • Applicants eligible for City funds may request up to $5,000.
  • Applicants eligible for State funds may request up to $5,000.
  • Applicants eligible for City and State funds may request up to $8,000.
  • If awarded, no grants will be made for less than $750.

State funding for teaching artist professional development:

LMCC encourages proposals that include access to professional development activities for participating teaching artists to grow as educators. To this end, applicants for State funding may request an allocation of up to $200 in Creative Learning funds to attend workshops, seminars and/or conferences focusing on best practices in arts education, such as curriculum development, classroom management, and evaluation.

See Applicant Eligibility for specific City and State eligibility requirements.

Application Deadline: September 12, 2017, 5pm, for projects taking place between January 1 – December 31, 2018.

Nonprofit Organizations:

Creative Learning supports nonprofit organizations that meet the following Core Eligibility Requirements:

  • Organizations must be based in Manhattan.
  • Organizations must have proof of nonprofit status.
  • Organizations must have a core artistic mission and/or history of arts programming.
  • Applicants may not apply to LMCC’s Creative Engagement program for the same fiscal year.
  • First-time applicants and applicants who have not attended an information session for Creative Learning in 2016 are required to attend a session before applying. For dates, locations, and to RSVP, scroll down to the INFO SESSIONS section.

 

In addition, to access City funding:

  • Organizations may not be directly receiving funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) for the same fiscal year.
  • Organizations must have operating budgets under $100,000 for two of the last three completed fiscal years.
  • Organizations may not be New York City agencies or departments.

 

To access State funding:

  • Organizations may not be directly applying for funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for a grant for the same fiscal year, regardless of funding status.
  • Organizations may not be New York State agencies or departments.

 

Individual Artists and Collectives:

Creative Learning supports individual teaching artists, as well as collectives, project-based collaborations, and unincorporated groups that meet the following Core Eligibility Requirements:

  • Individual teaching artists must reside in Manhattan.
  • Individual teaching artists may not apply or receive funds on behalf of any organization.
  • Collectives must designate a lead artist (director, or equivalent), who meets all eligibility requirements for individual teaching artists, to apply as an individual on its behalf. Note: The lead artist will be the primary entity responsible for the application, as well as the grant, if awarded. Guest artists or temporary programming staff will not be considered a lead artist for the application.
  • Applicants may not apply to LMCC’s Creative Engagement program for the same fiscal year.
  • First-time applicants and applicants who have not attended an information session for Creative Learning in 2016 are required to attend a session before applying. For dates, locations, and to RSVP, scroll down to the INFO SESSIONS section.

To access City funding:

Individual teaching artists and collectives need only meet the above Core Eligibility Requirements.

 

To access State funding:

  • Individual teaching artists and collectives should be collaborating with a nonprofit Partner Organization to realize the proposed project. If desired, the Partner Organization may also act as the artist’s fiscal sponsor. The Partner Organization must:
    • Be a primary project collaborator and contribute resources, monetary or otherwise, such as facilities, materials, or access to participants or audiences, to demonstrate a true partnership for the project.
    • Be based in Manhattan.
    • Provide proof of nonprofit status.
    • Provide a letter of commitment describing the organization’s role and planned contributions to the project.
    • Not be directly applying to New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for a grant for the same fiscal year.
    • Not be a New York State agency or department.

 

  • Individuals and collectives may not be directly applying to New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for a grant for the same fiscal year, regardless of funding status.


About fiscal sponsorship:

Individual teaching artists and collectives may apply directly to Creative Learning without a fiscal sponsor. Those who wish to apply with a fiscal sponsor, please note:

  • Applicants for City funding may apply with a fiscal sponsor of their choice.
  • Applicants for State funding may only designate their Partner Organization as fiscal sponsor.

Creative Learning supports sequential, skills-based arts study and participatory arts projects incorporating one or more art forms.

Project Requirements:

  • Project activities may be dedicated to a discrete group of participants. Registration must be accessible to the target participants, and reflected accordingly in outreach and participant recruitment plans.
  • Projects may, but are not required to, culminate in a public event or finished product such as an exhibit, performance, or presentation.
  • Project activities must be located in Manhattan.
  • Project activities must take place between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.
  • Project must hold at least three (3) sequential contact sessions between the same teaching artist and group of participants.
  • Project budget must show at least 25% of planned project income, in cash or in-kind contributions, from sources other than Creative Learning. Please see the FAQs and Project Budget Template for guidance in accurately calculating this percentage.
  • All participating professional artists must be guaranteed a fee, indicated in the project budget.
  • Applicants may not be a lead artist or key partner in more than one proposal to Creative Learning.
  • Applicants may only submit one (1) proposal requesting support for one (1) project from Creative Learning, including those requesting both City and State funds.
  • Applicants for City funding may also apply to the SU-CASA program, administered in Manhattan by LMCC and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), provided it is for a different project.

 

Support for teaching artist professional development

Applicants for State funding may request an allocation of up to $200 as part of the total Creative Learning funding request for participating teaching artists to attend professional development training, seminars, and/or conferences. Please note, proposed professional development activities:

  • Must take place between January 1 – December 31, 2018.
  • Should be focused on best practices in arts education such as curriculum development, classroom management and evaluation, but does not have to be directly related to the proposed project.
  • Must be reflected as part of the project budget submitted as part of the application.
  • Under this program, funding is not available for:

    • In-school arts education programs or projects exclusively serving a school’s student body; this includes classroom-based school activities previously supported by Creative Curricula.
    • Projects restricted to any organization’s membership; eligible projects must be promoted and remain available to the target audience.
    • Projects and programs where participation is determined by a merit-based review and selection process.
    • Projects that are intended to be experienced solely online.
    • Projects that are recreational, therapeutic, rehabilitative, or religious in nature including at-risk/social service programs when the purpose is primarily for rehabilitation, therapy or worship
    • Humanities projects
    • Professional arts training programs or projects primarily designed to support the creative development of artists.
    • General operating support or funds to establish a new organization.
    • Payment for facilities, purchase of capital equipment, or non-project related administrative expenses.
    • Offering fellowships or cash prizes.
    • Entertainment costs, such as opening parties, receptions, or fundraisers.
    • Events that take place in private homes.
    • Payment to amateur participants of community workshops or programs.
    • Previous grantees of LMCC that have failed to comply with grant contract or reporting requirements.

A jury of artists and arts professionals will review projects using the following four criteria:

  • Artistic merit of project design, and the expertise and appropriateness of proposed artists and educators
  • Degree to which the proposed project will strengthen learning in the arts and deepen the exploration of the artistic process for the proposed participants, taking into account the stated learning goals and methodologies
  • Clarity, appropriateness, and feasibility of project, taking into account the project description, outreach/recruitment plan, timeline, budget, and evaluation tools
  • For partnership projects only: Degree to which the partner will collaboratively plan, implement, and contribute resources for the project; supported by the Partner Organization’s letter of commitment

The criteria are not listed in order of priority; each is equally important. Please make sure that your application materials, taken as a whole, address these criteria.

 

Applying to Creative Learning is a competitive process. Proposals should accurately describe the project, activities, and recruitment efforts, learning goals, and the project’s anticipated impact. Project budgets should be precise, reflect actual needs, and demonstrate the ability to raise funds from additional sources.

 

Applicants will be notified by email in February 2018 whether their projects have been funded

 

We encourage applicants and grantees to contact our staff in the month following notification for a summary of jury comments and feedback on their applications.

 

Grant Requirements

The grant award is a contract for arts services; grantees are required to do the following during the grant period:

  • Sign and return grant contract to LMCC.
  • Include funding credit on all marketing and event materials, print and electronic.
  • Submit an event notification form six weeks before funded public events take place to: 1) allow LMCC to promote the event information and/or 2) arrange for an LMCC representative to attend.
  • Notify LMCC of any significant changes to proposed project activities, including schedule, key participants, project scope or budget, before these changes are finalized.
  • Submit a final report, no later than 30 days after completion of all project activities.

 

Appeals Process

Applicants may appeal decisions in writing within ten (10) days of funding notifications should they believe an error in the review of their application has taken place, effectively arguing the case for appeal based on the criteria below. Dissatisfaction with either an unfavorable decision or the recommended level of support is not grounds for appeal.

 

Grounds for appeal are limited to the following:

  • Misrepresentation of information: an applicant’s information was improperly presented by the LMCC staff in a way that may have adversely affected the review process
  • Non-presentation of information: the applicant’s information was not presented by the LMCC staff as part of the jury’s decision-making process
  • Improper jury procedure: conflict of interest or biased decision

Applications should be completed and submitted online before 5PM on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

 

Follow these FOUR STEPS TO APPLY:

  1. Read the Program Guidelines and Online Application Form. Make sure your project is eligible for consideration before you apply.
  2. Attend an Information Session. First-time applicants, or returning applicants who have not attended an information session in 2016 must attend an information session to be eligible to apply. RSVP for an information session below.
  3. Prepare Required Documents and Work Samples. Prepare digital versions of the Required Documents and Work Samples to be submitted as part of the Online Application Form. If you have difficulty converting paper documents into digital formats, please contact LMCC staff for assistance.
  4. Complete and submit Online Application Form. Create a Submittable account. Your application will always be connected to your account. The main point of contact should manage and maintain access to your Submittable account. Make sure to save unfinished applications before you exit the form. Complete and submit all components of your application online. Application forms are not considered final until submitted.

 

We strongly recommend that you view the Online Application Form and instructions in advance and maintain a backup copy of your responses in a separate document off line. Once you have submitted the form, you will not be able to make changes, or resubmit.

Work samples are an important element of your application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit samples that demonstrate experience working in an educational context. For example, documentation of classroom activities, workshops, or samples of participants’ work that resulted from previous projects under the direction of the applicant. LMCC uses a Mac laptop and projector to play work samples. Please test your samples accordingly.

The aim of the work sample is to bring the jury as close as possible to an actual experience of your work, with an emphasis on teaching practices and methodologies. Do not submit edited promotional or interview materials.

You will be asked to provide:

A. Work Sample Format – select which option you will be submitting
B. Work Sample Inventory – enter descriptions for each work sample
C. Work Samples – enter links or upload files

Work Sample Format

Based on the discipline or form of your project, select a format option and provide samples of past or current work by uploading or providing links directly in the Online Application Form.

  • We encourage you to choose samples from within the last three years that best represent your work as a teaching artist or organization, and are relevant to your proposed project. If education-based work samples are not available, applicants may submit samples of work by the teaching artist(s) who will be involved in the project.

 

Work Sample Format Options are as follows:

Option 1: 2 Audio/Video Recordings

Option 2: 10 Images

Option 3: 10-Page Manuscript

Option 4: 1 Audio/Video Recording and 5 Images

Option 5: 1 Audio/Video Recording and 5-Page Manuscript

Option 6: 5 Images and 5-Page Manuscript

 

Performing Arts, Film, Media And Other Time-Based Projects

Submit recordings: 2 maximum

Submit up to two (2) recordings of past/current works or projects in performing, media, music, film or other time-based art forms. Creative Learning accepts recordings in two formats:

  1. Online: links to video or audio samples hosted on one of the following external sites: YouTube.com, Vimeo.com or SoundCloud.com.
  • Provide these links in the Online Application Form.
  • Samples should remain accessible online through March 2018.
  • Do NOT submit personal website URLs containing embedded samples, or links to other online sites and platforms.
  1. CDs or DVDs: received by LMCC by the application deadline.
  • Indicate in the Online Application Form that you are submitting CDs or DVDs and include track number.
  • Submit your work samples disks to LMCC before the application deadline to the following address:

Creative Learning
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
125 Maiden Lane, Second Floor
New York, NY 10038

  • Include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) if you want the samples to be returned. Samples with SASE will be returned by April 2018.
  • Label your CD/DVD as “[applicant name]: Sample #”. Use a permanent marker. Do not use stickers on DVDs or CDs as these can jam equipment.

The selection jury will view each recording for up to 2.5 minutes. However, we encourage you to submit full-length work, if possible. Provide a cue point, which indicates the start time to play the sample during review, for any work sample that is longer than three (3) minutes total. Theater artists without video documentation should contact LMCC staff about alternative work sample formats.

Literary Projects

Upload manuscripts: 10 pages maximum

Submit samples no longer than ten (10) pages of scripts, poetry or prose. Applicants may provide any number of works totaling ten pages, however you will only be allowed to submit one (1) document in PDF format.

The manuscript must be typed, double-spaced with 8 1/2” x 11” page formatting. The applicant’s name, title of the work, and a page number should appear on each page of the manuscript.

 

Visual Arts Projects

Upload images: 10 maximum

Submit a maximum of ten (10) digital images.

  • Images must be saved as JPEG files, 800 pixels in the longest dimension, at 72dpi.
  • Each image filename must be saved as: LastName_FirstName_#(e.g. Smith_John_01.jpg / Smith_John_02.jpg / etc.)
  • During the selection process, images will be viewed one at a time as a projection.
  • Work Sample image files should be directly uploaded into the Online Application.

 

Support Materials

Submit support materials related to the project or applicant to round out your application. Though optional, support materials are an opportunity to share additional materials and can be an essential component to your application. Consider sharing materials that will help the jury to further understand your work. Sample lesson plans are highly encouraged. Additional examples include completed evaluation forms, participant feedback, letters of recommendation, venue confirmation letters or promotional materials.

Nonprofit Organizations: upload one (1) copy of each of the following items:

  1. Proof of nonprofit status with address in Manhattan. Choose ONE (1) of the following options:

a. Letter of Determination from the IRS indicating tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3)

b. Documentation of charter by the New York State Board of Regents under section 216 of the New York State Education Law

c. Documentation of incorporation under Section 402 of the New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law

d. Current New York State Bureau of Charities (Office of the Attorney General) filing receipt

e. Official authorization as an arm of local government (i.e. a formal letter on official stationary signed by the appropriate county, city, town or village executive)

Note: Proof of nonprofit status should have the same address as the nonprofit address in the application. If the address on nonprofit documentation is a PO Box or shows an address that does not match the main address in the application, provide additional proof of the organization’s physical address in Manhattan.

  1. Board of directors and staff lists
  1. Financial statement for the most recently completed fiscal year (audited statement or most recently filed IRS Form 990).

Note: If the organization filed a 990N or audited financials are not available, submit an itemized financial statement signed by the organization’s treasurer, bookkeeper, or accountant instead. Actuals from your most recently completed fiscal year are preferred over audited financials from prior fiscal years.

  1. Projected organizational budget for the fiscal year in which the proposed project takes place (i.e. FY18 or FY19)

 

Individual Teaching Artist(s) And Collectives: upload one (1) copy of each of the following items:

  1. Proof of Manhattan address of the individual teaching artist or lead teaching artist of a collective. Upload one (1) copy of one (1) of the following.

a. Utility bill (e.g. electricity, cable, gas, etc.)

b. Driver’s license or IDNYC (address on the driver’s license/ID must be same as address provided in application)

Note: Proof of Manhattan address should be the same as the applicant address. If the proof of address shows a PO Box or shows an address that does not match the main point of contact address in the application, provide additional proof of the individual’s physical address in Manhattan.

 

Individual teaching artists and collectives applying i) for city funds with a fiscal sponsor, or ii) for State funds with a partner organization must provide the following:

  1. Letter of commitment on the organization’s letterhead, signed by the Executive Director or equivalent. The Letter should confirm the following
  • For Fiscal Sponsors:
    • The scope of the proposed project, demonstrating an overall understanding of the proposal
    • Roles and responsibilities as fiscal sponsor
  • For Partner Organizations:
    • The scope of the proposed project, demonstrating an overall understanding of the proposal
    • Roles and responsibilities as a collaborator to realize the project
    • Contributions towards the project, monetary or otherwise, if any
  1. Proof of nonprofit status from the organization. Choose one (1) of the following options:
  • Letter of Determination from the IRS indicating tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3)
  • Documentation of charter by the New York State Board of Regents under section 216 of the New York State Education Law
  • Documentation of incorporation under Section 402 of the New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law
  • Current New York State Bureau of Charities (Office of the Attorney General) filing receipt
  • Official authorization as an arm of local government (i.e. a formal letter on official stationary signed by the appropriate county, city, town or village executive)

Note: Proof of nonprofit status should have the same address as the nonprofit address in the application. If the address on nonprofit documentation is a PO Box or shows an address that does not match the main address in the application, provide additional proof of the organization’s physical address in Manhattan.

 

Applicants for State funds that designate their partner organization as a fiscal sponsor must also provide the following:

  1. Board of directors and staff lists from the Partner Organization.
  2. Financial statement from the Partner Organization for the most recently completed fiscal year (audited statement or most recently filed IRS Form 990).

Note: If the organization filed a 990N or audited financials are not available, submit an itemized financial statement signed by the organization’s treasurer, bookkeeper, or accountant instead. Actuals from your most recently completed fiscal year are preferred over audited financials from prior fiscal years.

 

  1. Projected organizational budget from the Partner Organization, for the fiscal year in which the proposed project takes place (i.e. FY18 or FY19).

All information sessions cover Creative Engagement and Creative Learning. Information sessions are offered in locations across Manhattan for artists, groups, and non-profit organizations interested in applying to our grant programs. Learn what constitutes a well-prepared grant application and ask questions about LMCC’s grants programs from our staff. RSVP today!  

Attendance is required for first-time applicants and returning applicants who did not attended an information session for Creative Learning in 2016.

Monday, July 10, 6:30PM at United Palace RSVP

Wednesday, July 12, 4PM at El Museo del Barrio RSVP Spanish interpretation available. Traducción en español disponible.

Tuesday, July 18, 4PM at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts RSVP

Monday, July 24, 3PM at Chinese American Arts Council RSVP Interpretation in Mandarin Chinese. 是一普通中文

Tuesday, August 8, 4PM at Nuyorican Poets’ Café RSVP

Wednesday, August 9, 6:30PM at Goddard Riverside Bernie Wohl Center RSVP

Monday, August 14, 6:30PM at Gibney Dance Center RSVP

Thursday, August 24, 6:30PM at The Studio Museum in Harlem RSVP

Thursday, August 31, 4PM at The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York RSVP

Thursday, August 31, 6:30PM at The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York RSVP

Wednesday, September 6, 6:30PM at LMHQ RSVP

Review our Frequently Asked Questions HERE.

If you have additional questions or technical issues please contact: CreativeLearning@LMCC.net

You will be required to upload a Project Budget and Project Participants & Timeline in the application form. You must use LMCC’s templates for these uploads. Please note: Project Upload Templates have been updated. Please be sure you’re using the 2018 templates. The templates can be downloaded by clicking the links below. Once re-directed, click Download in the upper right hand corner. (A Dropbox account is not necessary to download this form).

 

Download the blank Project Participants & Timeline Template here.

Download the blank Project Budget Template here.

Complete and submit Online Application Form HERE.