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First-Time Grant Applicant? Nice to meet you.

If you’re looking for funding for your arts and cultural nonprofit, you’ve come to the right place.

Rainey Institute

CAC makes grants to Cuyahoga County-based nonprofits that bring creativity to life for all of our residents.

Here’s what you need to know:

First-time grant applicants can apply for a Project Support grant – funding of up to $5,000 for your arts and culture project. After that, you may be eligible for other grant types in future cycles. To be eligible for CAC funding you must:

  • Be a 501c3 organization with a base in Cuyahoga County for at least one year

  • Be incorporated for business in Ohio as verified by the Secretary of State

  • Have produced or presented arts and/or cultural program(s) in Cuyahoga County that are open to the public within the previous two years

If this describes your organization, check out the full eligibility criteria in the 2025 Project Support Guidelines. It’s your roadmap for our grant process. Not sure? Contact a grant manager to learn more.

CAC accepts new applications for Project Support grants every year. Here’s a general overview of our process:

  • May – Grant Application Guidelines Released

  • June – Initial Eligibility Check Deadline – Required for All Applicants

  • August – Application Due

  • September – Public Panel Review

  • November – Grants Announced

  • January – Grant Year Begins

Each fall, CAC holds a public panel where diverse arts and cultural professionals evaluate all eligible applications at a public panel meeting or through a written review online. This ensures a fair and transparent process and provides applicants with useful feedback. Learn more about our panel review process.

Here’s some good news: most eligible CAC grant applicants are successful in securing funding – even in their first year! We aim to fund as many applicants as our budget allows. There are a few things you can do to give your application a leg up:

  • Understand the Funding Criteria – The success of a CAC grant is based on three criteria: public benefit, artistic and cultural vibrancy, and organizational capacity. Learn more.

  • Connect with Us – Our team is your best resource throughout the application process and grant year. Contact us or attend an upcoming workshop.

Project Support Application Workshop

Tuesday, July 23 at 3:00 pm
Register Here

Watch Recording