Essex County Local Arts and History Grant Program
The Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs receives generous grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and the New Jersey Historical Commission which we regrant to support local arts and history organizations. Non-profit organizations within Essex County that offer cultural and/or historical programming are encouraged to learn more about this grant opportunity. Guidelines can be found below and formal Information Sessions are usually held in June before the August application deadline. Funding periods run from January to December of a given year. Grants are available for Special Projects or General Operating Support.
Note: If you are new to the Local Arts and History Grant Process, please read through the information below before proceeding to the Grant Interface.
Online Grant Application Available: June 1st
Funding Period: January 1 – December 31
Deadline for Submission: First Monday in August, 9:00 a.m.
Award Letter & Grant Contract Sent: December
First 75% of Grant Awarded: upon approval by the Board of Chosen Freeholders
Interim Report Deadline: July 15 of the grant year
Final Report Deadline: January 15 immediately following the grant year
Final 25% of Grant Awarded: upon submission of final report
Please read through the guidelines via the link below for eligibility, requirements, and other details.
The Essex County Local Grant Program uses an electronic application process. Upon registration in the Grant Management System, you will find applications for the Local Arts Grant Program or the Local History Grant Program. In addition, a Finance Chart must be filled out and uploaded to the application. You will add to it throughout the life of the grant.
Curious to know what is on the application before you register? A printable version is available here:
These are for reference only. The application must be completed and submitted online.
To apply for the Essex County Local Arts and History Grants, log in and complete the online application as well as the appropriate Finance Chart.
Note to Previous Grantees:
Instead of separate budget charts for the application and interim and final reports, there is now a single Finance Chart. For those that do not have Microsoft Excel, you may utilize Google Sheets to view and edit the spreadsheet. First, download the file in Google Drive, and then choose the option to open the file in Google Sheets. When you are finished, select the “File” drop down option and click on “download as”. You will then be able to download your edited spreadsheet as a Microsoft Excel file and upload it to your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I apply?
A: All applications are submitted through an online grant management system; there is no paper application. Links to this grant web portal can be found above. First time applicants will need to create an account for their non-profit organization before having access to the application form.
Q: Is there a blank Finance Chart we should use to fill out and upload in our application?
A: You must upload a Finance Chart to your application. If you are awarded a grant, this chart will be added to and attached to your Interim and Final Reports. The Finance Chart is available under Applications above.
Q: What is a general award amount?
A: Awards generally range from $500 - $5,000. Awards may be granted for sums less than the requested amount.
Q: Can I still get a grant with Essex County if I get money from:
A National Endowment for the Arts grant - YES
A New Jersey State Council on the Arts or another County Arts Agency - NO, you cannot apply for a Local Arts grant.
A New Jersey Historical Commission or another County Historical Agency - NO, you cannot apply for a Local History grant.
Q: Would my organization be eligible to apply for a Local History and a Local Arts grant in the same year?
A: Yes, you can apply to both arts and history grants under the same organization as long as the applications are for two different projects. Neither application can be for General Operating Support.
Q: If we do not have 501(3)(c) status, are we eligible to apply?
A: Both nonprofits and units of government are eligible to apply for these grants. A newly formed organization that has not yet received 501(3)(c) status should find an eligible partner to serve as a fiscal sponsor.
Q: Is it a requirement that we have an “Emergency/Disaster/Preparedness Plan” in order to qualify for a grant?
A: We strongly suggest organizations create an emergency plan. You can also note in this section if you are planning to develop a plan within the grant period. We do understand an emergency plan can look very different depending on your organization and programming, but want you to begin to think along the lines of disaster planning to strengthen the longevity of your organization. If you do not have a plan and do not plan to work towards one, state that within the application and we will review accordingly.
Q: Is it a requirement that we have an “ADA Plan" in order to qualify for a grant?
A: We strongly suggest organizations create an ADA Compliance Plan. You may use an ADA statement, but should make progress to develop a plan within the grant period. We do understand an ADA plan can look very different depending on your organization and programming. If you do not have a plan and do not plan to work towards one, state that within the application and we will review accordingly.
Q: What materials should I have ready as I start my application?
A: Some of the support materials we ask for are:
- Past, Current, and Projected Financial Information
- Budget Chart for special projects
- Tax-Exempt Determination Letter
- Emergency/Disaster/Preparedness Plan
- ADA Compliance Plan
- Key Staff Resumes
- Artist List (arts specific)
- Marketing Materials
Updated June 2019