2021 Cultural Funding

Modified: February 24, 2020 10:19am

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  • 2021CulturalFunding

    Applications are to be released on February 12, 2020, with an applicant briefing on February 13, 2020 at 5:30pm at the Central Library (1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203)

    Level 1 applications are due April 1st, 2020, while Level 2 and Level 3 applications are due on April 8th, 2020

    February 24, 2020 10:19am


The 2021 Cultural Funding cycle is about to begin! Applications will be released tomorrow, Wednesday February 12, 2020. The Applicant Briefing is this Thursday February 13, 2020 at 5:30pm at the Central Library, Central Meeting Room

A second Applicant Briefing is this Tuesday February 25, 2020 at 5:30pm at the Chestnut Ridge Park Casino

With the advocacy from Frontline Arts Buffalo, action from Legislator April Baskin, and full-blown support from DEP, EC administration, and the EACAB, we have finally been able to update the application to reduce the number of questions, requirements, and attachments for smaller organizations, all while also increasing the upper limits for the grant requests. It is our intention that these changes encourage and support smaller organizations to apply. It is our hope that these changes support and show Erie County’s commitment to an ever more diverse and equitable arts and culture industry in our communities.  

The most important changes:

  • Align financial reports with NYS requirements
  • Reduce required number of years as a 501c3 to one (1) or more (must have submitted a 990, 990-N, or 990-EZ to the IRS by application deadline and be able to provide a copy)
  • 3 application levels based on NYS financial reporting outlines
    • Level 1 – NEW – DUE: April 1st, 2020
    • Level 2 – old Short Form with updates – DUE: April 8th, 2020
    • Level 3 – old Long Form with updates – DUE: April 8th, 2020











Annual Report/Unaudited Report


$250,000 - $750,000



Report with CPA Review




>20% will count against score


Report with CPA Audit

  • If any threshold is surpassed, the applicant must submit a higher level application
  • An organization may complete and submit a lower level application, as long as the budget percentage and grant amount are within the thresholds as listed above, i.e., maximum operating budget may be waived for small grant amounts
  • 1 Reports submitted to NYS Attorney General per NYS Executive Law §172b
  • As always, requests are not guaranteed. All applications will continue to be reviewed based on their financial management, governance, and programming, with funding distributed in accordance with available funds for the 2021 calendar year.

Additional changes:

  • More detailed key persons and other demographic information
  • Explicit policy content requirements (per NYS NPCL); “self-review” (Levels 2 and 3)
  • Essay questions built into application in appropriate sections (instead of separate attachment)
  • Financial detail as Excel worksheet (instead of fillable PDF)

The applicant briefing will provide more details of requirements by application level. The application briefing presentation will be provided, as usual, on the erie.gov/culturalfunding website (newly updated! the new website is live but is still being edited as we prepare to release the application tomorrow and add additional resources). 


Press release is available here: http://www2.erie.gov/exec/index.php?q=press/2021-cultural-funding-application-period-set-begin