Creative Catalyst Fund 2022

                    

Launched by Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs in 2020, the Creative Catalyst Fund supports the local community of artists and cultural organizations, which provides immense social and economic value to the City of Newark by revitalizing neighborhoods, inspiring students, and generally improving the quality of life for city residents. The Fund is administered by the City’s Division Arts and Cultural Affairs through local arts agency, Newark Arts, and provides grants to individual artists and small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations with an arts or culture-focused mission.

The application form will be available on November 9, 2022. The deadline to apply will be December 1. Grant funds will be administered by Newark Arts. Awarded funds must be used by June 1, 2023. A final report must also be completed at the end of the grant cycle. 

Applicants must choose between the two grant streams listed below, based on eligibility. Applicants may only apply to a single grant stream. Please review these Guidelines thoroughly before beginning an application.

GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT

  • Eligibility: Newark-based non-profit arts and cultural organizations with annual operating budgets up to $2 million 
  • Grant Range: $2,500 - $25,000

Grants to support general operating costs of small and mid-sized non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Awarded funds may be used to cover any operating costs, including but not limited to staff salaries and benefits, rent, program-specific expenses, or costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Grants over $5,000 must be matched by funds raised from other sources.

ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS

  • Eligibility: Newark-based individual artists or artist collectives working in any artistic discipline 
  • Grant Range: $1,000 - $5,000

Grants to support individual artists or artist collectives who have shown exceptional creative ability and commitment to social impact through their work. Awarded funds may be used to cover any expenses related to the artist’s practice, including but not limited to workspace rent, supplies or equipment, or costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. There is no matching requirement.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Artist Fellowships are open to applicants that meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Applicants: Project grants are open to individual artists or artist collectives
  2. Location: Applicants must reside or have a demonstrable creative practice in Newark, NJ
  3. Age and Educational Status: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and may not currently be a full-time student in a higher education program.
  4. Public Benefit: Applicants must demonstrate how Newark residents or visitors will benefit from their practice during the grant period (through performances, exhibits, open studios, artist talks, or other publicly accessible programing).
  5. Use of Funds: Applicants may use awarded funds for any costs related to their practice, including but not limited to:

                - Project-specific expenses
               - Rent for studio/rehearsal space
               - Supplies or equipment rental
               - Costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 crisis

Application Process
Any applicant interested in applying for an Artist Fellowship in 2022 must submit an application by the deadline of Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 11:59pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.


Required application materials:

  • Completed application form 
    • Must be submitted through the online platform Submittable by following the link here.

     

  • Proof of residence in Newark, NJ 
    • Applicants must submit one of the following with an address in Newark, NJ:        
      • State-issued identification card
      • Utility bill
      • Lease or sublease for residence, artist studio, or other creative workspace
      • Tax document
    • If the applicant is a Limited Liability Company that has been approved by the Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs, then a New Jersey State LLC Certificate of Organization may be submitted in place of the above documents.

     

  • Background material 
    • As part of the online application form, applicants must upload at least two (2) and up to five (5) samples of relevant work, which may include any of the following:        
      • Photographs of recent programming
      • Link to a representative audio/video clip
      • Sample program materials (e.g., programs, publications, marketing materials, list of classes, curriculum materials, etc.)
      • Selected press releases or clippings
      • Letters of support (e.g., from program partners or participants, school administrators, venue operators, etc.)
      • Bio or resume of principal artist(s)

       
      Review Process
      Submitted applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of city staff and representatives from the field. Committee members will fill out Conflicts of Interest disclosures and will not participate in the judging of any projects with which they are affiliated.
      Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Impact: Does the applicant demonstrate a commitment to social impact and public benefit through their work?
  • Quality: Does the applicant demonstrate exceptional creative ability and artistic merit?
  • Continuity: Does the applicant demonstrate a continuing dedication to their artistic discipline(s) and to their community/ies in the city of Newark?

Once funding decisions are determined, applicants will be given the opportunity to receive feedback on their applications based on the selection committee’s review.


Awards & Payments
Awards will range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000. There is no matching requirement.
Award sizes will be determined based on:

  • the amount of funds available
  • the selection committee’s score of the application, as determined by the criteria outlined above
  • the amount of funds requested

Funding decisions will be announced in December 2022, following which payments will be distributed via ACH deposit by Newark Arts. Awarded funds must be used by June 1, 2023.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

General Operating Support grants are open to applicants that meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Organizational Status: Applicant organizations must be incorporated non-profits that are currently certified tax exempt under Internal Revenue Service Code Section 501(c)(3). In some cases, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) may be eligible to apply; such organizations should contact the Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs to determine eligibility.
  2. Location: Applicant organizations must be based and primarily operating in Newark, NJ.
  3. Mission: Applicant organizations must have missions that are arts- and culture-focused.
  4. Programming: Applicant organizations must demonstrate a commitment to social impact, public service and public participation, and must provide cultural activities that are accessible to the public. 
  5. Budget: Applicant organizations must have annual operating budgets no greater than $2 million. General Operating Support awards over $5,000 must be matched by funds from another source(s).
  6. Use of Funds: Applicant organizations may use awarded funds for any operating costs, including but not limited to:
                       - Staff salaries and benefits
                       - Payments to artists or contractors
                       - Program-specific expenses
                       - Professional development
                       - Rent for programmatic or administrative facilities
                       - Supplies or equipment rental
                       - Costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 crisis



Application Process
Any organization interested in receiving General Operating Support funds in 2022 must submit an application by the deadline of Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 11:59pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Required application materials:

  • Completed application form 
    • Must be submitted through the online platform Submittable by following the link here.

     

  • Documentation of legal status 
    • Applicants must submit both of the following:        
      • New Jersey State certificate of incorporation
      • Federal IRS 501(c)3 determination letter with an address in Newark, NJ
    • If the applicant is a Limited Liability Company that has been approved by the Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs, then a New Jersey State LLC Certificate of Organization may be submitted in place of the above documents.

     

  • Financial documentation 
    • Applicants must submit their IRS 990 form for either their Fiscal Year 2020 or 2021.
    • If an applicant has an operating budget of less than $50,000, they may submit an IRS 990-N Postcard in lieu of a full 990 form.

     

  • Proof of funds match (for requests over $5,000)
    • Award letter(s) from other funder(s) dated in 2021 or 2022 indicating committed support equaling or greater than the amount requested from the Creative Catalyst Fund.

     

  • Background material 
    • As part of the online application form, applicants must upload at least two (2) and up to five (5) samples of relevant work, which may include any of the following:        
      • Photographs of recent programming
      • Link to a representative audio/video clip
      • Sample program materials (e.g., programs, publications, marketing materials, list of classes, curriculum materials, etc.)
      • Selected press releases or clippings
      • Letters of support (e.g., from program partners or participants, school administrators, venue operators, etc.)
      • Bios or resumes of principal personnel, artists, or teaching artists

       

      Review Process
      Submitted applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of city staff and representatives from the field. Committee members will fill out Conflicts of Interest disclosures and will not participate in the judging of any applicant organizations with which they are affiliated.
      Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Impact: Does the organization have a valuable impact, whether broad or deep, on its program participants, the surrounding community, the field, or the city at large?
  • Capacity: Does the organization maintain a high level of responsibility, accountability, professionalism, and fiscal stability?
  • Quality: Do the organization’s programs provide unique and high quality artistic and cultural experiences for their target audience?
  • Equity: Does the organization and its programming demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion both as it relates to its leadership and to its audience?

Once funding decisions are determined, organizations will be given the opportunity to receive feedback on their applications based on the selection committee’s review.


Awards & Payments
Awards will range from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $25,000 and must be matched by funds from another source(s) if the request is over $5,000.
Award sizes will be determined based on:

  • the amount of funds available
  • the selection committee’s score of the application, as determined by the criteria outlined above
  • the size of the organization’s annual operating budget
  • the amount of funds requested

Funding decisions will be announced in December 2022, following which payments will be distributed via ACH deposit by Newark Arts. Awarded funds must be used by June 1, 2023.

City of Newark, Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs