Manhattan Community Arts Fund

Grants of up to $5,000 for Manhattan-based artists and small non-profit organizations.

Not Without a Trace by 2009 MCAF recipient Tara Parsons

The Manhattan Community Arts Fund (MCAF) is a local arts funding program that provides seed grants to individual artists, collectives and small arts organizations for projects and activities that enable Manhattan communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts. An MCAF grant is often one of the first grants an artist or group receives, and can help grant recipients leverage support from other sources. Through MCAF, LMCC awards over $230,000 each year to support over 120 arts projects, including concerts, performances, public art, exhibitions, screenings, festivals, workshops, readings and more.

MCAF was established in 1983 as part of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Greater New York Arts Development Fund. LMCC administers MCAF for the borough of Manhattan.

The application deadline for projects taking place in calendar year 2014 has passed.

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Information Sessions

Information sessions for MCAF and The Fund are offered each summer in 10 locations across Manhattan for artists, collectives, and nonprofit organizations interested in applying to our grant programs. Sessions include a review of the programs and useful information to help applicants put their best foot forward.

Attendance at an information session is required for first-time and returning applicants who have not attended in 2010 or later. For the schedule of information sessions and to RSVP to attend - click here.

How MCAF Works

MCAF makes grants ranging from $750 to $5,000 to small Manhattan-based non-profit organizations and individual artists. The program supports performing, literary, media and visual arts projects with a public component that is accessible to and engages Manhattan communities. Individual artists may apply directly to MCAF without a fiscal sponsor.

Program Goals

MCAF is designed to support and develop the capacity of individual artists and small organizations to 1) develop high quality local arts projects and programming and 2) contribute to Manhattan communities by providing opportunities for the public to experience and engage with the arts. Emphasis is placed on the quality and artistic merit of proposed projects and the depth and authenticity of audience experience, participation and engagement.

Competitive projects will demonstrate thoughtful project planning, experienced and appropriate project personnel and planned project income in the form of cash and other means of support. MCAF and LMCC strongly support the payment of artist fees and opportunities for artists to develop and lead community projects. MCAF seeks to increase access to arts and cultural activities in neighborhoods throughout Manhattan.

LMCC expects that applicants will be able to identify the audiences and communities they wish to reach and that project activities and events will reflect a relationship with or understanding of that audience or community. Projects should include clear and realistic plans to promote the project and reach the public. The program encourages projects that provide audiences with rich arts experiences as demonstrated by: opportunities to experience the arts; participate in artistic inquiry and creation; present or perform works; and engage with artists and/or dialogues about the arts.

For information about eligibility, the application process, and how to apply: APPLY!



See what our grantees are doing…

Jennifer Cecere

LMCC grantee and ASI participant Jennifer Cecere's new public art project, "Double Doily" is installed at Whitehall at Water Streets in Lower Manhattan!

Crossing Jamaica Avenue, Inc.

2013 Grantee Crossing Jamaica Avenue, Inc. presents "Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon" in association with La MaMa, receiving high praise from the New York Times.

2013 MCAF grantee Crossing Jamaica Avenue, Inc. presents "Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon!" in association with La MaMa, receiving high praise from the New York Times.

Read about more grantees…

Grantee Spotlight »

Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company

Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company

LMCC grantee Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company returns to LaMaMa this April with their signature combination of puppetry and dance theatre in “Seucy and Boto: Stories from the Amazon Jungle.”

More events we support »

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Upcoming Events & Info Sessions

April 2014
May 2014