Program Support Grants

Program Support grants support arts and culture organizations and non-arts nonprofit organizations in the production and presentation of high-quality artistic activities that engage the diversity of residents throughout St. Louis City and County. It provides financial support for an ongoing arts program or one-time arts and culture program or project that broadens and deepens participation in and access to the arts.

If you are a new applicant to RAC, Program Support is the appropriate grant category in which to apply.



Amount Awarded

$1,500 - $15,000


Program Support objectives include:

  • Support professional artistic programming and activities of both arts and non-arts organizations
  • Encourage organizations to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve
  • Encourage the development of organizational capacity in arts and non-arts organizations to play a leadership role in their communities

Applicants should have a track record of community programming in the St. Louis region prior to submitting an application. Program Support grants are intended to serve as partial support for arts programs, which may be new, recurring, or one-time projects.

The Program Support grants category is further divided into three categories:

  • Arts and Culture Programs
  • Cultural Festivals, Parades, and Special Events
  • Community Arts Programs

More detailed information is available in the Organization Grants Information Guide.

Grant Amounts

Eligible organizations can apply for funding in four discrete grant tiers. The maximum amount of funding that an organization can receive from each of these tiers is $15,000, $10,000, $5,000, or $3,000. The grant tiers are based on the overall program or project cost and require at least a 1:1 cash match.

More detailed information is available in the Organization Grants Information Guide.


Eligibility for Grant

An organization is eligible to apply for Program Support provided that it meets a number of requirements, including:

  • Nonprofit and tax-exempt status
  • The program is open and accessible to all citizens and occurs in St. Louis City or County
  • Primary purpose of the program is the creation or utilization of art

More detailed information is available in the Organization Grants Information Guide.

Grant Restrictions

  • An organization may apply for only one Program Support grant per grant cycle.
  • A first-time applicant is eligible to apply only at the $3,000 and $5,000 grant tier in Program Support.
  • Educational institutions including schools, child care centers, colleges and universities are ineligible to apply. Organizations that are closely affiliated with such institutions should contact RAC prior to submitting an application and may be asked to provide additional information.
  • Applicants for Program Support may not apply to the Regional Arts Commission for:
    • Programs that are part of a religious service
    • Political advocacy
    • Programs, projects or events not accessible to the public
    • Capital improvements
    • Purchase of real property
    • Tuition assistance
    • Benefits or fundraisers
    • Costs of receptions and social activities, except when they are incidental and related to arts activities
    • Deficit or debt reduction efforts

Fiscal Sponsorship Policy
New and emerging arts organizations are eligible to apply with a fiscal sponsor (agent) in Program Support at the $5,000 and $3,000 grant levels.

For more detailed information about fiscal sponsorship, please see the RAC Grants Information Guide.


Grant Schedule

Grant Cycle – Single-Year Applicants: July 1, 2020 – June 31, 2021

Grant Cycle – Multi-Year Applicants: July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021, and July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

Pre-Qualification Process Opens: November 8, 2019

Pre-Qualification Deadline: December 10, 2019

Notification of Eligibility: December 19, 2019

Applications Available: December 20, 2019

Application Writing Workshops: January 8 and 14, 2020

Staff Phone Consultations: January 27-31, 2020

Application Deadline: February 6, 2020

Review Panel Meetings: March 17 – April 2, 2020

Appeals Process: Appeals due within one week after panel review meeting

Commission Vote on Awards: May 14, 2020

Award Announcements: June 9, 2020


Grant Review Criteria

Each application will be rated according to RAC’s review criteria. RAC uses a four-point rating system (4-1) with steps in between each rating (4, 4-, 3+, 3, 3-, 2+, 2, 2-, 1).

Your rating is used to determine your RAC award. A rating of 4 is rare and that of a model organization. Organizations with a 3 are strong, 2 are considered fundable and 1 will not be recommended for funding. In this category, a 2+ is the minimum rating that will be considered for funding. Available funds vary and a rating of 2+ or higher is no guarantee of funding. Each organization will receive a 10% reduction from the maximum funding level for each step down in rating.

More detailed information is available in the Organization Grants Information Guide.

Grant Review Criteria

A Program Support applicant receiving the highest ratings will share the following characteristics:

  • Artistic Merit and Quality of Programs
  • Community Benefit
  • Organizational Capacity

More detailed information is available in the Organization Grants Information Guide.


How to Apply for this Grant

The Program Support application review process has several steps:

  • Applicants must first complete the pre-qualification process through grants.racstl.org.
  • Eligible organizations will be able to access the full application in December 2019.
  • Application-writing workshops will be held in January 2020.
  • Applications are due in February 2020.
  • Applications are reviewed by a Review Panel in March through April 2020.
  • The Grants Committee, a subcommittee of RAC’s Board of Commissioners, makes final recommendations based on the Review Panel’s ratings of the applications.
  • RAC’s Board of Commissioners votes on the recommendations made by the Grants Committee.
  • Public announcement of grant awards will be made in May 2020, after the full Commission meets and approves the awards.

If you have questions regarding the Program Support application, contact grants@racstl.org.