Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Art Start grant program now creating an arts education track?

Support will continue to be available for arts projects across all disciplines. All arts education programs must now have a curriculum component that clearly supports academic achievement, college /career readiness and demonstrable participant outcomes.

What is not funded through the ArtStart program?

  • individuals
  • programs in service of youth outside of Newark, NJ (organizations from outside the Newark area seeking funding support for programs specifically in service of Newark youth are welcome to apply)
  • treatment programs such as substance or alcohol abuse
  • athletic teams or events
  • fundraiser or gala events
  • advocacy or research groups
  • capital or building construction projects
  • endowment campaigns
  • scholarships
  • support of existing staff
  • projects/programs that have already been supported 2 grant cycles in a row


What is the success rate for ArtStart applicants?


Historically, approximately one in every three proposals have been funded. Please be aware that projects may not be fully funded. Once in being reviewed by the panel, proposals are weighted by rank with the top 10-12 being selected for funding.


Can NAC staff help me with my application?


Members of the NAC are available to answer specific questions about the application materials and forms. However, the NAC does not review full proposals or provide edits to texts or budgets. In advance of the deadline, you may contact the NAC office to set up a time to speak to staff if you have specific questions. Depending on the nature of your inquiry, you will be directed to the appropriate staff person.

What are ArtStart’s program timing and funding guidelines?


Applications Available: Friday, February 12, 2016


Application Deadline:  Friday, April 29, 2016


Notification of Awards: On or around May 23, 2016


Funding Period:  July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017


Final Report Due:  30 days following project completion

How do I know if my organization is eligible to receive an ArtStart grant?

To request a charitable contribution, your organization must either be a federally tax-exempt, section 501(c)3 charitable organization, an accredited school or public agency. Individual artist projects may be submitted in partnership with an existing non-profit organization that will serve as the fiduciary agent. Organizations that do not have an IRS determination letter are eligible, but must partner with a tax-exempt organization who will serve as a fiscal agent. A Memorandum of Understanding (see sample attached) is required as evidence of this relationship.

All organizations operating to provide a community-based arts program within the City of Newark are eligible to apply.

When do you accept applications?


Applications must be received no later than 12:00 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2016. Late or incomplete proposals will not be reviewed. Early submissions welcome!

Can you send us a grantee kit?

Resources are available at to help you promote your partnership with us. Recipients of ArtStart Grants are provided with all necessary documentation, ArtStart posters, and proper logos as well as instructions for how to properly credit the Newark Arts Council as a grantee after the award is given. Organizations receiving support are encouraged to promote receipt of the award through press and social media.

How should I notify the Newark Arts Council if my email or mailing address changes after I submit my ArtStart grant application?

Contact to let us know. Be sure to provide the name of your organization, old address information and any updated contact information in the email.

Are ArtStart grants transferable?


Grant funds are not transferable. Funds may be only spent on those activities specified in the grant application or approved in a project or budget revision. Applicants must submit a written request to Linwood Oglesby, Executive Director of the Newark Arts Council prior to implementing any project or budget revisions.

If the project cannot, for any reason, be implemented as described, the grant check must be returned to the Newark Arts Council. Please email additional questions to

When will I be contacted about the status of my application?

After you submit your application, you will receive confirmation via email on or around May 23, 2016. After the application review period, you will receive notification indicating whether your grant request has been approved or declined.


I applied for a $3,000 grant but only received $2,000. Will I receive the rest of the funds I requested?

No. If partial funding is awarded, grant recipients will be required to demonstrate how the program will be funded in full. We receive many more grant requests than we are able to fund. We wish you success in securing additional financial support for your program.

If I’m awarded a grant, what are the reporting requirements?

Within 30 days following project end, the grantee must submit a complete and accurate final report form describing the project, give an accurate summary of how grant funds were spent, describe the cultural demographics of the participants and audience, and record the number of participants. Failure to submit a complete final report in a timely manner will affect future funding.


Are particular types of projects or disciplines favored over others?


The Newark Arts Council seeks to support all types of arts projects in an array of disciplines. We encourage artists of all backgrounds to apply. Projects that engage underserved populations of Newark, occur in areas of the city where the arts are less concentrated than downtown, and address the numerous social ills of our residents are looked upon strongly. Our goal in supporting projects is ultimately to serve those being underserved or overlooked by traditional programs. Applicants who recognize these needs and clearly address them, both in the proposal and the project itself, will stand out during the review process.


I’m not from Newark, can I still apply for an ArtStart Grant?


Yes! As long as your program happens within the City of Newark and benefits its communities, you are eligible for an ArtStart Grant.


But what if only part of my program happens in Newark?


NAC makes it clear that it will only support projects that happen in Newark. If part of your project occurs outside of the city, grant funds may only be applied to portions happening in/benefiting Newark. However, we strongly recommend that proposed projects happen here and benefit Newark and its communities.


If I plan to partner with other organizations, should I list them in my proposal?


Local partnerships are integral to the success of any community-based project. We encourage you to mention your partners, indicate whether they’re confirmed or proposed, and tell us how they’ll be involved. A letter of support from the highest ranking official at that organization is also strongly encouraged.


I have a great idea for a project, but nowhere to hold it! What should I do?


We strongly encourage all applicants to secure space to run their program prior to submitting their proposal. Our panel will be looking at how realistic your program is to implement, based on the details you provide and the applicant’s program history/experience. Projects proposed without a definite space are deemed “less realistic”. As that is a major challenge, so we advise you to nail down your space in advance.



What happens if part of my proposal falls through after I’ve been awarded an ArtStart Grant?


As an organization that receives funding for its major programs, we understand the challenges many grantees face. Sometimes things change, and we recognize that challenge. Major changes to your project (such as staffing, budget, timeline, location) must be approved by our Executive Director, Jeremy Johnson, prior to proceeding.


Please submit a written request for approval before moving forward with your project. If the alteration to your project changes the initial scope/benefit/impact of your awarded proposal, you may not receive your funding. These changes primarily include population served, key staff, location, and other anticipated funding sources not coming through.