Small Arts & Culture Grants


The 2020 cycle was cancelled to provide COVID-19 relief. Final reports for 2019 Small Arts & Culture grantees are due March 31st, 2021. Grantees may access and complete their final report surveys here.


A 2014 survey revealed that of the 1,884 registered arts and culture nonprofits in Oregon, 61% have budgets under $100,000. Although these organizations are central to the vitality of Oregon’s communities, they are often not eligible or competitive for traditional grant programs.

In response to this need, OCF announces the sixth year of the Small Arts and Culture Grants Program. Over the next three years (2019-2021), OCF will invest $350,000 annually to support small community-driven arts and culture organizations.

Past Grantees

In 2019, 115 Small Arts and Culture grants were awarded throughout Oregon, totaling $350,000. View lists of past grantees:


The purpose of the 2019 Small Arts and Culture Grant cycle is to make funds available to small organizations for operating expenses.

To be eligible, organizations must:

  • Be incorporated with a mission identifying arts and culture as a priority reason for the organization’s existence.
  • Be a certified 501(c)3 tax exempt organization in good standing with the IRS.
  • Be headquartered in Oregon.
  • Document that the cash expenses of the organization during the most recently completed fiscal year were less than $100,000.
  • Submit a complete grant application online through OCF’s website.
  • Be prepared to use the awarded funds completely within one year of receipt.
  • Submit only one application per year for no less than $1,000 and no more than $5,000.

Preference will be given to applications that:

  1. Have not previously been funded by this program.
  2. Represent a diverse range of geography, urban/rural communities and organizations led by and serving historically underrepresented groups.

Learn more about OCF’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.


Application Guidelines

One-year grants of $1,000 to $5,000 for general operating support are available to arts and culture organizations with operating budgets under $100,000. Funds will be allocated to each of Oregon’s eight regions based on population and the number of applications received from each region (see page 3 of the RFP for more information on regional allocations).

Applications for this grant program will be reviewed by volunteers representing each region of Oregon, and decisions will be made independently in those regions. The application process and reporting requirements were designed to be relatively simple in recognition that many small organizations are run by volunteers with little staffing infrastructure or grantwriting expertise.

2020 RFP

Look for our 2020 Request for Proposals soon for detailed information on eligibility, the scope of proposals sought, application process and review criteria. Additional information can be found in our Small Arts and Culture FAQ Document.

Scope of Proposal Sought

The Small Arts and Culture Grants Program supports a wide range of cultural and artistic organizations that enrich the lives of Oregonians and Oregon communities. The current three-year grant initiative will continue to focus on general operating support to allow organizations to dictate how best to use funds to advance their mission. Operating support grants are intended to support the core, ongoing operations and programs of an organization, including staffing, administration, outreach, marketing, overhead and/or programming expenses.

Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider the following criteria in evaluating applications:


    • How will the organization’s activities and goals benefit the community?
    • How are artists or culture bearers involved in the organization?
    • What communities are impacted by the organization’s work?
    • Does the organization serve historically underrepresented populations?
    • Would this be the organization’s first small arts and culture award by OCF?

Community Engagement

    • Is community support evident through volunteers, cash donations, in-kind resources or other means of participation?
    • Does the leadership of the organization represent the community?

Leadership and Management

    • Does the organization have appropriate expertise, experience and qualifications?
    • Does the applicant have a demonstrated record of programming and a proven ability to manage projects?

Staff Assistance

Read Tips for Nonprofits Communicating with OCF (PDF). Tips, guidelines and FAQs before you contact OCF.

Additional questions? Please email us at We will respond by email or phone as appropriate.