City Artist Corps Grants

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to partner with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), with support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queens Theatre, to launch City Artist Corps Grants.

City Artist Corps Grants is part of City Artist Corps, a new $25 million recovery initiative designed to help artists who were both hard hit by the pandemic and who may have been left out of other local and federal funding opportunities.

City Artist Corps Grants are intended to support NYC-based working artists who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The program will distribute one-time $5,000 grants to over 3,000 artists to help sustain their practice and engage the public across New York City’s five boroughs beginning in July 2021. Artists working in any discipline were eligible to apply. Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for City Artist Corps Grants.

City Artist Corps Grants applications and grant announcements rolled out over the summer in various cycles.  For all cycles, artists were screened for eligibility and grant recipients were selected by lottery.

City Artist Corps Grants were administered in partnership with re-grant and arts service organizations to support outreach, provide technical assistance for prospective applicants, and inform the grantee selection process in service of the city’s diverse cultural communities.

Partners include: Asian American Arts Alliance, A.R.T./New York, Black Public Media, Brooklyn Arts Council, Bronx Council on the Arts, Bronx Documentary Center, Dance/NYC, Firelight Media, Flushing Town Hall, Indie Theater Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), MakerSpace NYC, New Music USA, Poets & Writers, and Staten Island Arts.

All grant opportunities through City Artist Corps Grants followed the same criteria:

  • The proposed creative engagement activity:
    • Must have an arts or creative focus
    • Must be presented live and in person
      • Artists with a disability and/or who are immunosuppressed for whom it is unsafe to engage in live in-person performance are welcome to apply for live digital creative engagement activities. 
    • Must occur in NYC (any of the five boroughs)
    • Must be free to the public. Ticketed programs are eligible, but all tickets must be free. 
    • Can occur indoors or outdoors
  • Artists may present more than one activity but can only receive one $5,000 grant
  • It is strongly recommended that a portion of the grant be used to support artist fees, both for the applying artist and any other artist that are engaged to support the activity
  • Artists can choose to partner with a venue or present on their own
  • Must be documented with a minimum of 2 photographs taken during the activity (these photos will need to be shared with your final report along with attendance numbers once the activity is completed)
  • Creative engagements do not need to feature new work; they can be restaging of preexisting works / shows / exhibitions. 
  • As long as the activities meets this criteria, City Artist Corps Grants can be used to supplement an already established activities set to happen in the summer in NYC between the dates of July 10 to October 31, 2021

Types of eligible creative engagement activities might include:

  • A live music, dance, theatre, literary reading performance
  • An in person art-making workshop with community members
  • A public screening of a film or other media work
  • An art exhibition in a community center or other public or private venue (including apartment gallery set-ups)
  • A live art making experience, such as painting of a mural 
  • Already established or recurring creatively focused program that is planned to happen in the summer/fall 
  • All of the above can be scheduled independently or featured as part of an existing festival or program already scheduled for the summer


We are no longer accepting applications for City Artist Corps Grants.

Application Cycle 1
Engagements from July 10 to October 31, 2021

Tuesday, June 8 at 10:00AM
Tuesday, June 22 at 10:00AM
Recipients notified:
Friday, July 2

Application Cycle 2
Engagements from August 20 to October 31, 2021

Tuesday, July 6 at 10:00AM
Tuesday, July 20 at 10:00AM
Recipients notified:
Monday, August 2

Application Cycle 3
Engagements from September 3 to October 31
Open: Tuesday, July 27, at 10:00AM
Close: Tuesday, August 10 at 10:00AM
Recipients notified: Wednesday, August 25


  • Applicants must be current residents of New York City (5 boroughs) and have maintained residency since January 2020.
  • Applicants must be artists with a demonstrated sustained, ongoing creative practice in any creative discipline 
  • Applicants must provide documentation of their creative practice from anytime in the past 2 years (2019 and/or 2020).
  • Applicants must apply with a creative public engagement activity that meets the above criteria. Applicants can apply with an activity that is yet to be confirmed (in terms of presentation date and location). 
  • Artists can only apply once in each Cycle and can only receive one (1) grant through the City Artist Corps Grants program. 
  • Applicants can be past recipients of any of NYFA’s grant programs, including 2020/2021 COVID-19 Emergency Grants 
  • Applicants must be able to provide a W-9 with a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or EIN (after selection).
  • Applicants must be 21 years or older on of before June 8, 2021
  • A family member, friend or a support person may apply on behalf of an artist who is unable to complete the application on their own. 
  • Applicants cannot be enrolled in a degree-seeking program
  • Applicants cannot be an employee of NYFA, the City of New York, or any partnering organization supporting the City Artist Corps Grants program. This includes board members of these organizations or an immediate family member to any of those listed.


  • All funded creative engagement activities must take place between July 10 and October 31, 2021
  • All grant recipients need to submit a final report by November 12, 2021
  • After reviewing applications for completeness and eligibility, qualifying applicants will be selected for funding via a lottery process. 
  • All eligible public engagement activities (with flexible activity dates) that are not selected in Cycle 1 will automatically be placed into the upcoming cycle lottery for selection. The applicant will not need to complete a new application form. 
  • Funded creative engagement activities and activity location, along with the applicant’s name may be made public throughout the duration of the program, by NYFA or the City.
  • Funds will be distributed in 2 installments:  
    • Installment 1 $4,000 – on selection
    • Installment 2 $1,000 – on successful completion of the final report. 
  • All funded creative engagement activities must be visually documented with a minimum of 2 photographs taken during the activity, with documentation provided in the final report. 
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This program is made possible by the New York City Artist Corps.