Arts Funding

Arts Funding

The goal of the Arts Funding and Contract Division is to invest in arts and cultural programs that deliver excellence, innovation and engage audiences in the unique experience of San Antonio. To achieve this goal, the Arts Funding and Contract Division has designed five distinctive programs that support a wide range of arts and cultural organizations, individual artists, artist collectives and neighborhood groups to collectively animate the economic vitality of the arts for our diverse community. The Arts Funding Programs are listed below.

For details on the current FY 17 Arts Funding process, check the Apply for Funding page.

Learn more about the Department for Culture & Creative Development Arts Funding Division funding GUIDELINES

Click HERE for FY2017 Art Funding Process FAQs.


Cultural Arts Operational support – Multi-year awards that strengthen our City by providing a base of financial support to San Antonio’s non-profit arts and cultural agencies. These critical investments play a pivotal role in enabling our arts and cultural institutions to provide artistic excellence that are accessible to our entire community.

 Application deadline: April 1, 2016

Festivals and Community Celebrations – One year awards available to arts organizations, community groups, artists or artist collectives to further the presentation, production and preservation of arts and cultural programs that are unique to the San Antonio experience.

 Application deadline: April 1, 2016

stART Place – One year awards available to arts organizations, neighborhood associations, and local artists/artists collectives to support creative projects that provide meaningful community enrichment and transformation.  Through this effort, DCCD aims to create vibrant and energetic neighborhoods infused with culture and to showcase San Antonio as a center for creative activity.

 Application deadline: April 1, 2016


Artist Re-granting – One year awards made to non-profit arts organizations whose mission is the funding of local professional artist advancement. Through the program DCCD wants to enhance both the creative vitality of our community and the awareness that San Antonio is an excellent destination for artists of all genres to live and work.

 Application deadline: April 1, 2016

Technical and Economic Development Assistance – Ongoing competitive assistance program that provides awards designed to help local non-profit arts and cultural agencies as well as individual artists with small awards aimed at providing professional assistance in the areas of organizational stability, fiscal management and professional growth.

Due Monthly 2016 ongoing (by second Friday of each month)

The Arts Funding Programs listed above are supported by Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds and invested in to promote and engage residents, visitors and the convention and hotel industry in the San Antonio experience through the creation, encouragement, promotion and exhibition of the arts and culture of San Antonio. Occasionally other funding sources are made available to DCCD and at such time additional awards and funding opportunities can be offered and support projects that otherwise cannot be supported by Hot Occupancy Tax funds.


  • Serve a broad audience, and encourage excellence, growth and viability within the arts and diverse cultures;
  • Encourage appreciation, interest and access to the arts across all ages, culturally diverse populations, underserved and economically disadvantaged residents and persons living with disabilities;
  • Support the economic growth of the arts and cultural environment through strategic planning, professional development and economic impact studies;
  • Provide financial support to enable organizations and artists to leverage the City’s investment by securing additional funding from the public and private sectors;
  • Support the goals and objectives of SA2020 (increase access to and awareness of arts and cultural activities, downtown development, economic competitiveness, enhance quality of life in neighborhoods);
  • Invest in eligible art and cultural organizations and artists working within all art forms that support and define the development of the San Antonio experience;
  • Promote the San Antonio arts and cultural experience to all residents and visitors.


The following apply to all programs, but set policies are detailed further within each individual Program section.

  • Art and cultural organizations can only submit one application in the CORE PROGRAM category (Cultural Arts, Festivals, stART). Such organizations can also apply to the Technical & Economic Development Program;
  • The City reserves the right to suspend, defer or cancel all or part of the funding process at any time;
  • For the Core Programs, an independent panel (Review Committee) that has significant expertise will conduct reviews in the assigned discipline and subject to final recommendations from the San Antonio Arts Commission (SAAC) and Staff. Final Approval is made by City Council;
  • All organizations receiving a total city investment of $250,000 or more must submit an annual audit report from an independent CPA;
  • SAAC and Staff have the option to recommend adjustments to levels of annual awards if an organization’s service levels or financial history is or becomes unstable. The DCCD Executive Director or City Manager has the final authority to make adjustments, or reallocation of awards to existing or new organizations, programs or projects during the course of the year. Adjustments or reallocations that would bring a contract above $50,000 or are outside the director’s approval authority are subject to City Council approval;
  • All initial or continuation of awards are contingent on availability of City funds;
  • Applicants are required to have a business office address in the City of San Antonio that is accessible by the public. PO Boxes are not allowable;
  • Applicants must make all DCCD funded programs, events and services accessible to the public;
  • Applicants must be governed by board of directors/trustees that meets regularly;
  • Members of the San Antonio Arts Commission can apply and/or be part of a collaborative application for funding from DCCD, but he/she must recuse him/herself from any votes, and cannot discuss their application with any other Board member during the application and review process. Any violation of this activity immediately disqualifies the application;
  • All awarded organizations are subject to comply with the specific funding program’s requirements and contract obligations;
  • Upon submission, all materials become property of DCCD, City of San Antonio.


  • Programs with culminating events not accessible to the public;
  • Workshops and educational programs held on a school campus that are provided by a school district;
  • Scholarships, purchase awards, or cash prizes;
  • Benefits and projects planned primarily for fundraising purposes;
  • Deficiencies in previously completed projects or unanticipated costs in ongoing projects or payment of prior deficits;
  • Social functions, parties and receptions, including food and beverage;
  • Programs that are essentially recreational, rehabilitative, or therapeutic;
  • Loans, fines, penalties, costs of litigation or associated interest payments;
  • Non-profit agencies and foundations that directly support City Departments;
  • Accredited academic teaching institutions, and departments thereof. (Exception): The Southwest School of Art is eligible to apply since they have an established history of being a DCCD operational awardee as an arts institution and continues to provide services to the community under its 501(c)3 organization status;
  • Programs where the primary effect of funding would be to support a religion;
  • Programs where the primary effect of funding would be for political purpose for or against a political candidate, ballot measure or bill;
  • Projects, productions, workshops and/or programs that include obscene material as defined in Section 43.21, Penal Code of Texas; and
  • Organizations whose offices and events are not located within the boundaries of the City of San Antonio proper.


Access - To provide the opportunity and means for San Antonio citizens and visitors to participate in the arts and cultural activities that are provided by the programs that DCCD invests in. These opportunities must exist regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, physical ability, or neighborhood.

Artist Collective - Two or more local artists, whether of the same artistic discipline or not, working together in a project with a goal of developing and producing a specific art or cultural project(s) designed to engage a community in a participatory activity. The collective can be under its own management or may be managed by an umbrella organization or individual.

Artistic Excellence or Merit -  Includes, but is not limited to, a mastery of artistic skills and techniques, professional approaches to process and presentation, and communication of a unique vision or perspective. "Artistic merit" includes but is not limited to a work that has an impact on the artistic or cultural development of a community or individuals; whose quality enhances the visibility and acceptance of art in the community or whose presentation has the potential to broaden access to, expand and diversify audiences.

Artistic excellence is evaluated based on the material and work samples submitted with the application.

Community Based Organization - Is a small to mid-sized organization that is deeply rooted in a community, often culturally specific, and whose mission or focus is to create, present and preserve artistic and culturally relevant programs that respond to the needs of economically or culturally underserved communities.

Community Engagement - Works that are done to attract and sustain audiences for the arts, build community, expand access to arts and culture, generate revenue or business opportunities, serve neighborhoods which generally lack arts programming, meets the needs of special audiences such as youth, senior citizens or persons living with disabilities.

Creative Placemaking -  Artistic and cultural strategies to help activate a specific community’s place (public or private) and engage people to celebrate, inspire and give them a sense of belonging.

Cultural Equity - The state of fairness in approach, access, or treatment used by DCCD for culturally-specific groups who would otherwise experience disadvantages or barriers.

Festivals and Community Celebrations - These are public presentations that showcase the diverse artistic expressions, multicultural traditions or the unique heritage of San Antonio. Festivals and Community Celebrations are defined by their artistic and cultural, not commercial, value. Festivals can be citywide or community or neighborhood based. Festivals and Community Celebrations must be open to all members of the public

Innovation/Innovative Programs - Innovative programs are activities that have the potential for meaningful change, whether in the development or enhancement of new or existing art forms, new approaches to the creation or presentation of art, or new ways of engaging the public with artistic and cultural excellence by utilizing unconventional solutions.

Professional Artist - Must be a resident of San Antonio and must meet the following criteria:

  • At least five years of relevant work experience, or has received specialized training in his or her artistic field, such as a degree or certification
  • Derives a portion of individual earned income from their artistic practice or areas related to their field or demonstrates a clear investment of time and resources into the creation of new works.
  • Has a professional portfolio that includes published or publicly displayed works.

San Antonio Based - An organization that has an office within the city limits of San Antonio and does a significant part of its work/outreach within the San Antonio community. Significant in this instance can refer to either a qualitative measure, like importance, and/or quantitative, as in a percentage of time.

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Sunday, February 25, 2018