Express Grants of Up to $2,000 for Organizations in Rural Communities

From South Arts –

South Arts believes that rural communities deserve great art, and can require specialized support to make that vision viable. Distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, Express Grants support rural organizations and communities with expedited grants of up to $2,000.

To be eligible for funding, applicants must program arts experiences featuring a Southern artist. Express Grants can be used to support fees for presenting Southern guest film directors, visual and performing artists, or writers from inside or outside of the presenter’s state. Touring support is awarded for film (documentary, fiction, experimental and animation), performing arts (theater, music, opera, musical theater and dance), literary arts (fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry), and visual arts (crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media). Projects must include both a public presentation (film screening, performance, reading or exhibition) and an educational component.

South Arts is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have prioritized this commitment to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) led and LGBTQIA+ led organizations are represented as both applicants and grantees. In addition, we encourage applications for projects that engage BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists. Our guidelines also acknowledge the current realities of the presenting and touring field. For the 2021-2022 grant cycle, we will accept applications for virtual presentations and for the engagement of local artists, and we will temporarily adjust the cash match requirement from a dollar-for-dollar cash match to a 50% cash match.

New applicants are encouraged to contact Nikki Estes at 404-874-7244 ext. 16 to discuss eligibility prior to submitting an application.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the project start date.
  • Applicants will be notified by email within four weeks of submission.
  • Projects must take place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Eligibility Requirements

The following is a top-level list of the main eligibility requirements necessary to be considered for an Express Grant. Please refer to the full list of eligibility requirements in the program’s Guidelines.

  • Be a tax-exempt nonprofit, an official unit of local, county, or state government, or a federally recognized tribal community based within South Arts’ nine-state service area
  • Be in a rural community (for the purposes of this program, we define rural as a community with population of 50,000 or below)
  • Engage an artist who resides within South Arts’ nine-state service area
  • Provide a 50% cash match

A full list of eligibility criteria and other project requirements is provided in the guidelines below.