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Arts Grants

Arts Grants


Applications for the 2022 Grants Cycle will open October 1st, 2021.

The 2022 Urbana Arts Grant All Grant Guidelines are located at the bottom of this page.



The City of Urbana supports opportunities for all residents to engage with the arts in its many forms. The arts are essential to the vitality for the development of the city and enhance the quality of life while encouraging economic development, improving academic performance, and celebrating diversity. The Urbana Arts and Culture Commission, through the Urbana Arts Grants Program, supports projects in the arts that are accessible to the public. This program fosters an environment for established and emerging artists to thrive in Urbana, promotes life-long participation and learning in the arts, and integrates art into the urban environment.

Up to $90,000 will be awarded to artists, arts organizations, and festival presenters for creative projects that enrich the lives of Urbana residents and visitors. 

 “For over a decade, the Urbana Arts Grants Program has supported a wide range of arts-related programs and services that make Urbana a more vibrant place to live and work," says Rachel Lauren Storm, Arts and Culture Coordinator at the City of Urbana. "Through selective funding, we aim to foster a city that values creative innovation and collaboration. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, proposed projects may include adapted and virtual engagement efforts that build community and foster creativity through partnerships with Urbana venues and organizations."

This grant program is open to all disciplines in the arts on public display within spaces open to the public, including but not limited to creative writing, dance, film, video, music, theatre, visual arts, crafts, performing arts, spoken word, environmental arts, multimedia arts, architectural arts, landscape architecture, and emerging media. Grants will be available in five categories listed below:

  • Tier I Grants ranging between $500-$1,500 for individual artists and initiatives
  • Tier II Grants ranging between $2,000-$4,500 for mid-sized initiatives
  • Tier III Grants ranging between $5,000-$10,000 for large-scale special events
  • Arts in the Schools Grants for arts education initiatives in USD #116 schools (now built into the Tier I application)
  • Poet Laureate Program Honorary award for Champaign County resident poet
  • Youth Poet Laureate Program Honorary award for Urbana youth poet



  •  Integrate the arts into the urban environment, creating a sense of place and purpose and promoting tourism and commerce;
  •  Increase the availability of publicly accessible projects in the arts;
  •  Encourage emerging artists and art forms;
  •  Preserve and commemorate local and multicultural traditions and histories;
  •  Enrich the lives of Urbana residents and visitors;
  •  Increase opportunities for residents to engage in the arts in its many forms;
  •  Represent the community in its diversity; and
  •  Encourage partnerships among artists, performers, businesses, and organizations




  • Projects must be exhibited or performed within the City of Urbana. Please note that the cities of Champaign and Urbana are separate entities. Further, preference may be given to projects that take place within a Tax Increment Financing District (TIF).
  • Projects must be open and accessible to the public. Projects that charge admission are required to ensure grant funding is spent primarily on portions of the project that are free and open to the public.
  • Permanent installations are not eligible at this time. Consideration will be given to murals with a detailed property owner partnership/tenant relationship, along with a plan and detailed timeline for installation, maintenance, and de-installation. 
  • Applicants do not need to live in the City of Urbana. However, Urbana residency may be taken into consideration.
  • Previous recipients of Urbana Arts Grants ARE eligible to apply for the 2022 cycle of Urbana Arts Grants. Grant applications requesting funding for new projects or new additions to ongoing projects may be given priority. 

Funding Restrictions

Grant funds must be used to support project-based efforts. Requests for operating costs will not be considered. Grant funds may NOT be used for the following purposes:

  • For the purchase of non-consumable materials (e.g., computers, software, cameras, power tools, instruments)
  • For the completion of degree work
  • For any event conducted solely or primarily as a fundraiser
  • For inherently religious activities (religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.) As a note, faith-based organizations are eligible to apply for an Urbana Arts Grant to support the non-religious cultural and arts programming that they provide and proposals should outline the care taken to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from any arts or cultural programming funded through an Urbana Arts Grant.
  • For any project serving as a political endorsement
  • For any cash prizes, gifts, or giveaway items
  • For any honoraria and/or salary or service payments to City of Urbana staff or members of the Urbana Arts and Culture Commission. 
  • For any projects that serve as commercial advertising

City staff of the Urbana Arts and Culture Program continues to offer informational workshops to those interested in learning about this funding opportunity. Workshops are designed to give applicants opportunities to explore the grant application, best practices for grant writing, and an overview of the application process. Staff will also share information about other opportunities within the City of Urbana's Arts and Culture Program. All workshops are free and open to the public. Please note: the same information will be given at each workshop.

Please email the Arts and Culture Coordinator with any questions at



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- Last Modified -March 9, 2022 - 4:13am
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