Grants for Arts Organizations

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

Continue the Process:

Guidelines and Application for 2022-23 (Microsoft Word Document download). Submit completed applications to nathan.birnbaum@santamonica.gov.

Deadline: Rolling, from September to November (or until annual funds are depleted) 

Applications Available: Annually in September the week after Labor Day

Final report forms may be downloaded here.

SMMUSD final report forms may be downloaded here.

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, nathan.birnbaum@santamonica.gov.

Sample Guidelines: OSP Grant Guidelines
Deadline Closed: March 18, 2019

Next Applications Available: December 2022
Next Deadline: Winter 2023

General operating support grants are vital to a thriving cultural scene. Santa Monica’s Organizational Support Program (OSP) was created in 1996 to provide multi-year 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

Grant guidelines: CAP 2022-23 Grant Guidelines

Application process opens: Noon, Wednesday March 16th, 2022 
Deadline for submission: 11:59 PM, Monday, April 25, 2022 

To fill out an application, visit smcad.gosmart.org, navigate to "Current Programs & Applications", and choose "Community Access & Participation 2022-23." Applicants new to the system must begin by creating a profile.

All applicants must read the guidelines above before completing an application. Budget instructions for the application are in the application itself.

Applicants who have not received a CAP grant in the past three years must attend one of the CAP informational sessions. Informational sessions will be held online on: 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 @ 7:00 PM & Saturday, March 26, 2022 @ 11:00 AM 

All applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. 

Email nathan.birnbaum@santamonica.gov to reserve a place for one of the sessions and receive the Zoom link. 

Important New Guidelines for the Pandemic Era 

The worldwide pandemic has presented major challenges to public health and to economies across the globe, but it has been particularly damaging to the arts. Recovery in the arts sector may take years. Santa Monica Cultural Affairs has responded by adjusting the traditional CAP categories to reflect new priority areas. Applicants may submit a maximum of two applications per year, but may not submit more than one application in any one category, nor may they apply to more than one category for the same program. 

  • Category 1: Readiness to Reopen – for projects supporting the applicant organization’s ability to re-open for business and return to income-producing operations as pandemic rules are relaxed.
  • Category 2: Programming – for projects that represent artistic programming, either live or online.
  • *Latino/a priority: prioritized funding is available for Latino/a programs that stimulate and preserve Santa Monica's rich Latino/a cultural heritage. Each application may be considered under the Latino/a priority area by simply checking a box on the application form. Applicants who submit two CAP applications may submit one or both of their applications under this category, as they wish. Note that applicants should not check the Latino/a box unless their application narrative explicitly targets the Latino/a community with appropriate cultural programming.

Contact Us: