Grants for Organizations

COAST, 2017

Five Grant Programs

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)

March 18, 2019
Applications available
when active, in January/February
OSP Grant Guidelines

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)

March 12, 2020 by 11:59 pm PT
Applications available
Annually mid-winter

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 2020-21 are now available and are accessed online via the GO Smart system. To fill out an application, visit navigate to "Current Programs & Applications" and choose "Community Access & Participation 2020-21." Applicants new to the system must begin by creating a profile.

All applicants must read the CAP 2020-21 Grant Guidelines before completing an application. Budget instructions for the application are available in the application itself.

Informational sessions will be held at the Ken Edwards Center on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11:00 am and on Wednesday, February 26 at 7:00 pm. 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 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

Rolling, from September to November (or until annual funds are depleted)
Applications available
Annually in September the week after Labor Day

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

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the fall or until funds are depleted. Most of the funds are appropriated by mid-November, but cancellations do occur, so applicants are encouraged to contact the City to find out if applications are still being accepted through the winter.

This is a reimbursement program; 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 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 be reasonably prepared to accommodate any Santa Monica third grader who requests a seat (if seats are available). All excursions approved in this program will be listed on the Cultural Affairs website with contact information so that a parent from another school, for example, may reserve a place for a child to participate in the funded activity.

Questions about this program should be directed to Nathan Birnbaum,

Forms for 2019-20

  1. Application
  2. Final Report & Invoice
  3. Final Report for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

Strategic Sustainability Initiative (SSI)

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 Grantees

Arts & Cultural Grantees of the City of Santa Monica – Organizations