Apply for a Grant

Deadlines for FY17 grants:

 March 22, 2016, 5:00 pm CSTSupporting activities from July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018

All applications must be submitted through the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development GO system by Friday, March 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm CST. To complete the application process, the deadline for receipt of the signed, printed signature page is Friday, March 25th in the Louisiana Division of the Arts office - PO Box 44247, Baton Rouge, LA 70804. Applications are accepted every other year for this grant. 

Note: Additional information and definitions of terms can be found in the Arts Grants Glossary.

General Operating Support Grant Program (Formerly Stabilization)
The General Operating Support (GOS) Grant Program seeks to support nonprofit 501(c)3 arts organizations that help to create, present, and preserve the various unique arts resources that make up Louisiana. The  GOS Program provides grants to arts organizations that have made an impact locally, statewide, regionally, nationally, or internationally. GOS grants provide general operating funds in three funding tiers. They are (1) Institution, (2) Advancement, and (3) Entry. Applicants compete within their tier of funding. GOS grant awards are for a two-year period.  The grant activity period for Year 1 is July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 and Year 2 is July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.  There will be one application for the two-year grant period, but a separate grant agreement for each year.

Goals and Objectives for the General Operating Support Grant Program

  • Strengthen the infrastructure of the arts industry
  • To support communities efforts in order to maintain authenticity and uniqueness through the arts 
  • Increase in-state purchasing of Louisiana cultural products and services by Louisiana residents and businesses
  • Develop, stabilize, and maintain the producers and presenters of Louisiana's arts industries and products
  • Create and nourish artists of the future and the audiences for those artists

Application Process

The Division of the Arts receives the application and verifies that it complies with Division of the Arts guidelines. Application deadlines will be strictly enforced and late applications will not be considered. The applicant's grants management track record is considered in all programs. Delinquent Final Reports may impact future eligibility. All eligible grant applications will be reviewed by an advisory panel.

Application Review

The Louisiana Division of the Arts, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council uses advisory panels to assist in funding decisions. Panelists are experienced artists, administrators, and individuals knowledgeable in the arts, and are recommended by individuals, organizations, and the Division staff. The Council ratifies the selection of diverse panelists who reflect various geographic areas and appropriate areas of expertise. If you are interested in becoming a panelist, please click here.

Evaluation Criteria

The Review Panel will use the following evaluation criteria to select applicants to recommend for funding: 

  • Quality of Organizational Programming:
    • Level of excellence and quality of product
    • Qualifications of artists involved
    • Selection of programming
    • Excellence in execution of product
  • Outreach and Access:
    • Appropriateness of programming
    • Quality of educational or outreach programs
    • Development of a Louisiana audience
    • Availability of opportunity to Louisiana artists
  • Management:
    • Professional qualifications of paid staff, as applicable
    • Level of programming in line with budget
    • Ability to achieve programming and organizational objectives
    • Clarity of the narrative and budget and completion of the application


Funding Tiers and Matching Requirements

There are three levels, or tiers, of support within the GOS Program. These tiers are designed in relation to an organization's budget size. Your tier is determined by your organization budget for your last completed fiscal year. Please consult Division of the Arts staff if you have questions regarding your application tier. All grants to organizations require a nonstate match of at least 1:1. Grants are for two years of funding.  


Maximum Grant RequestMatch Requirement
(1) Institution$1 million or more$40,0001:3
(2) Advancement$250,000 to $1 million$20,0001:2
(3) Entry$30,000 to $250,000$9,0001:1

Contact Director of Grants and Community Programs Paula White, 225-342-8175,

For All Applicants:

Grants will not be awarded below $1,000. In developing an application, we urge you to consider the level of recent awards. Applicants whose grants are recommended for less than the requested amount will be asked to submit a revised budget with your contract.

Allowable Matching Funds

Contributions are allowable as part of the grantee's match when they are:

  • Carefully defined
  • Used for costs allowable under these guidelines
  • In-kind match (donated goods or services)

Ineligible Source and Use of Matching Funds

  • State funds from any other state source
  • Funds used for state-owned facilities or equipment purchase or use
  • State faculty salaries
  • Administrative costs from state institutions


Eligible applicants generally are:

  • Nonprofit arts organizations domiciled in Louisiana with a letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring them exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Federal Internal Revenue Code. An arts organization is further defined by the following three characteristics:
    1. Has an independent board of directors.
    2. Has an organizational mission statement which states that a primary goal of the organization is to provide arts programming to the public. The arts disciplines include dance, design arts, folklife, literature, media, music, theatre, and visual arts and crafts.
    3. Provides arts educational activities and/or outreach for children and/or adults.

Eligible applicants generally:

  • Offer arts programming to the general public
  • Have been incorporated for at least two years
  • Have received at least two years of municipal and/or governmental funding
  • Provide educational or outreach programming as part of its mission for children and/or adults that corresponds to the organization's size and mission.
  • Have documented income and expenses of at least $30,000 from the last completed fiscal year 
  • Comply with the Accumulated Deficit Policy (click here)

Ineligible applicants for grants generally fall into the following categories:

  • Nonprofit organizations in Louisiana without a letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring them exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Federal Internal Revenue Code.
  • Non-profit organization that do not have a DUNS Number 
Nonprofit organizations that are not in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service, Secretary of States Office, and/or Legislative Auditor.
  1. Click here to check whether your organization is in good standing with the Secretary of State's office. 
  2. Click here to check whether your organization is in good standing with the IRS. 
  3. Click here to check whether your organization is in good standing with the Legislative Auditor.
  4. Click here to check whether your organization has a DUNS Number.


  • In general, nonprofit organizations receiving direct funding from the State General Fund are ineligible to also receive funds from the Division of the Arts grant programs in the same fiscal year. Please call the Division of the Arts staff for clarifications specific to your organization.
  • Immediate family of the Division of the Arts staff or Louisiana State Arts Council members: Section 1113 of the Louisiana Code of Ethics states that "no public servant...or member of such a public servant's immediate family shall bid on or enter into any contract, subcontract, or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such public servant." The Code defines immediate family to include public servant's children, the spouse's of his children, brothers, sisters, parents, spouse and the parents of his spouse. The code defines "a controlling interest" as any ownership interest in any legal entity of beneficial interest in a trust held by or on behalf of an individual or member of his immediate family, either individually or collectively, which exceeds 25% of that legal entity. Click here to request an advisory opinion from the Board of Ethics.

Funding Conflicts

Organizations receiving General Operating Support funding may not receive Decentralized Arts Funding (DAF) General Operating funding in the same fiscal year. Please call the Division of the Arts staff for clarifications specific to your organization.

The Louisiana State Arts Council has adopted an accumulated deficit policy to ensure that institutions receiving funding demonstrate sufficient fiscal stability to insure their continued existence. An organization, that has increased or failed to reduce an operating or capital budget deficit for three consecutive years prior to the deadline is not eligible to apply for a Division grant unless the organization has ended the most recent fiscal year with a balanced budget and can:

  • Demonstrate having made a significant effort in deficit reduction during the fiscal year preceding this application
  • Provide a deficit elimination schedule approved by its governing body and acceptable to the Division


Each organization that is awarded a two-year General Operating Support grant will be required to submit an Interim Report due June 1, 2017 in order to receive final payment for Year 1 in the grant period.  A final report will be due on June 1, 2018 for Year 2 in the grant period.


We Do Not Fund

Under these guidelines, funding is not available for:

  • Accumulated deficits or debt retirement
  • Acquisition of works of art
  • Capital improvements including restoration of buildings and sites
  • High school, college, or university faculty exhibitions
  • Conservation of non-culture related collections
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Operational costs to universities
  • Activities used for academic degrees
  • Activities that primarily serve social or religious purposes
  • Scholarships, purchase awards, or cash prizes
  • Performances & exhibitions to take place outside the state
  • Tuition for academic study
  • Activities intended primarily for fundraising
  • Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions
  • Licensing fees
  • Fines, penalties, interest on loans, or costs of litigation
  • Indirect costs
  • Hiring of temporary or permanent staff in any school or school system
  • Payment of administrative or teaching staff for any school(s) or school systems
  • Artists filling teacher vacancies
  • Transporting of students to arts events


Grants Calendar

  • January 20, 2016
    General Operating Support Guidelines Available Online

  • January 29, 2016
    General Operating Support Grant Applications Available Online

  • February 22, 2016
    Draft Receipt Deadline: Your program officer will give feedback to a draft application.

  • March 15, 2016, 5:00 pm CST
    Application Deadline

  • March 25, 2016, 5:00 pm CST
    Receipt of Application Signature Page Deadline

  • May 2016
    Grant Review Panels

  • June 13, 2016
    Panel Comments & Recommendations

  • June 27, 2016
    Appeals Deadline

  • July 2016
    Louisiana State Arts Council Grant Recommendations & Appeals Review

  • September, 2016
    Grant Award Notices & Contract

  • June 1, 2017
    Interim Report Due For Year 1

  • June 1, 2018
    Final Report Due for Year 2
  • July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017
    Grant Period for Year 1
  • July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018
    Grant Period for Year 2

Appeals Process

  1. To appeal the panel's funding recommendations, applicants must submit a letter of appeal. Such requests must contain a justification indicating that actions of the advisory panel or the Division staff were based upon insufficient or incorrect information in the panel process that is not the fault of the applicant. Funding recommendations at a level lower than anticipated by the applicant are not considered grounds for appeal. Letters of appeal must be submitted in writing (hardcopy) to the Executive Director and must be in the Division office by the appeals deadline.
  2. The Executive Director reviews all appeals and provides recommendations - including any recommended adjustments in funding - to the Louisiana State Arts Council at its quarterly meeting in July.
  3. The Council reviews the appeal recommendations and ratifies all final funding recommendations. The Louisiana Legislature appropriates money for the Division of the Arts grants programs during its regular session. It is only after passage of the Appropriations Bill that the Division has an indication of the amount of money available for the grant year. Once an application has been approved for funding, and after the Division receives its approved budget, applicants receive notification of approval and formal grant agreements are processed. The Division does not release funds until there is a signed grant agreement between the Division and the recipient of a grant. Funding is contingent on the availability of funds designated from the Louisiana Legislature.

How to Contact Us

Louisiana Division of the Arts
Office of Cultural Development
Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
State of Louisiana


Main Phone Line: 225.342.8200
Fax: 225.342.8173

Questions about Grants?
Staff Directory


Mailing Address (for US Postal Service only)
P.O. Box 44247
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4247

Physical Address (for all couriers other than the US Postal Service)
Capitol Annex Building
1051 NorthThird Street
4th Floor-Suite 405 
Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5239

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
Directions to the Division Office

©2017 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism