Grants for Organizations

To ensure a robust arts and culture ecosystem for both residents and visitors to the City, Cultural Affairs offers five grant programs for Santa Monica-based arts and heritage nonprofits.

Organizational Support Program (OSP)

Deadline: March 18, 2019 | Guidelines

Applications available: when active, in January/February

General operating support grants are vital to a thriving cultural scene. Santa Monica’s Organizational Support Program (OSP) was created in 1996 to provide multiyear support to the City’s nonprofit cultural institutions. This robust program makes grants of up to ten percent of local organizations’ budgets. Grants are awarded after an application process, currently on a two-year cycle.

Resident organizations are defined as those whose primary administrative office and primary location of programming (more than 50%) are within Santa Monica city limits. Organizations receiving grants will:

  • Increase world-class artistic production and exhibition in Santa Monica
  • Offer opportunities for creativity, artistic participation and greater understanding of cultural heritage to diverse members of the community
  • Promote high standards of organizational management
  • Position the City as an international creative center
  • Open avenues of discourse to broad topics of human creativity and learning among the general public

Community Access & Participation (CAP)

Deadline: May 21, 2019 by 5:00 pm PT

Applications available: Annually in spring

Santa Monica’s Community Access & Participation (CAP) program provides grants of up to $7,000 to nonprofit arts organizations for cultural programs in all media with the goal of providing increased access to the arts and culture to Santa Monica residents and visitors. All projects must take place in Santa Monica. Applicants are encouraged to consider city parks such as Tongva and Reed Parks as potential venues, as well as City-owned facilities such as the Miles Memorial Playhouse.  

Applications for FY2019-20 are now available and are accessed online via the GO Smart system. To fill out an application, navigate to "Current Programs & Applications" and choose "Community Access & Participation 2019-20." Applicants new to the system must begin by creating a profile.

All applicants must read the CAP 2019-20 Program Guidelines before completing an application. Budget instructions for the application may be downloaded here and are also available in the application itself.

Required informational sessions will be held at the Ken Edwards Center on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:00pm and on Saturday May 4th at 11:00 am. Applicants who have not received a CAP grant in the past three years must attend one of the CAP informational sessions. All applicants, however, are strongly encouraged to attend. Call 310.458.8350 or email nathan.birnbaum@smgov.net to reserve a place for one of the sessions. The Ken Edwards Center is located at 1527 Fourth Street between Colorado and Broadway, in downtown Santa Monica. Attendees who park under the Ken Edwards Center will have their parking validated.

CAP grant applications are accepted in three categories. Please read the program guidelines for a complete description. The three categories are:

Community Access & Participation
This program supports Santa Monica-based arts and cultural agencies in the presentation of exemplary cultural opportunities. Applicants should demonstrate a history of high-quality work, professional management practices and an ability to serve diverse communities.

Latino Community Access & Participation
The Latino CAP grants support to programs that preserve and stimulate Santa Monica's rich Latino heritage. This grant is not restricted to arts organizations. Any Santa Monica-based nonprofit agency serving the community is eligible to apply in this category. Qualifying organizations must demonstrate professional management standards and serve Santa Monica's Latino population by employing professional artists in high-quality cultural programs.

Building the Future
This category is designed to engage Santa Monica youth in activities that encourage a lifelong association with the arts. Programs must take place in non-classroom settings and adhere to the California's Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) standards. Qualifying agencies must demonstrate professional management standards and a history of education programs of outstanding value.

Arts Transportation Grant 

Deadline: Rolling until annual funds are depleted

Applications available: Annually in September soon after Labor Day

The City of Santa Monica Arts Transportation Grant Program provides access to arts and culture activities throughout Los Angeles County. Any Santa Monica school or nonprofit organization wishing to visit a cultural destination in L.A. County may apply for reimbursement of transportation costs. Trips must take place between October and June.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the fall and winter. Funds are mostly appropriated by mid-November, but the City encourages applications throughout the winter because cancellations do occur, opening up funding for new excursions.

Grant funds may be used only to reimburse the costs incurred by transporting Santa Monica residents and students to and from cultural destinations, such as performing arts venues and museums. Destinations must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. 

Support for this program comes from the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Proposition A Local Return funds. The MTA requires that program services be made available to all members of the public in an age-appropriate manner, not limited to a specific group. For example, a third grade class trip to the Getty Museum must reasonably accommodate any third grader in Santa Monica who requests a seat (if seats are available). All excursions approved in this program are listed on the Cultural Affairs website with contact information so that a parent from another school may reserve a place for a child to participate in the funded activity. 

Questions about this program should be directed to Nathan Birnbaum, nathan.birnbaum@smgov.net

Strategic Sustainability Initiative (SSI)

Deadline: Annually in November

Applications available: Annually in October

The purpose of the City of Santa Monica’s Strategic Sustainability Initiative (SSI) is to invest in the medium-to-long term sustainability of the City’s core cultural agencies. The program makes grants of up to $20,000 available to current OSP grantees for one-time strategic initiatives. 

 

Current Arts and Cultural Grantees of the City of Santa Monica - Organizations