Arts Build Community - Organizational Grants


Grant Guidelines

The grant process is now closed.


The grantmaking component of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Arts Build Community initiative supports the testing of new ideas to increase community engagement through the arts and creative process, especially among lower-income residents, communities of color, youth and immigrants. BTCF seeks to aid innovation among Berkshire County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and community organizations that present significant arts and cultural programming as they launch new projects, expand existing programs and collaborate with other organizations.


Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Berkshire County


BTCF will accept applications from Berkshire County nonprofit organizations seeking to launch new projects or expand existing programs aimed at increasing community engagement in the arts and creative process through a meaningful and strategic approach.

Organizations are invited to apply for a grant that will enable the organization to have a greater impact on Berkshire County residents, in alignment with its strategic vision and values.

Proposed projects must work to address the most significant barriers to cultural participation for underserved Berkshire residents, including one or more of the following populations: youth, people of color, immigrants and low-income communities. BTCF’s community-based participatory research identified these barriers as cost, transportation, social discomfort, time constraints and fears of rejection based on race and social class.

Organizational grants may be used for any number of purposes related to the overall goal of the project. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Reaching a new population segment that is currently underserved
  • Expanding an existing program that has proven effective and holds the potential, if adapted, to serve new communities or to deepen engagement with a current population segment


Applicants must:

  • Be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization or operate under fiscal sponsorship of a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Have operated with active arts and/or community engagement programming for at least three years.
  • Be based in and serve residents of Berkshire County. Fiscal sponsors may be located outside of the county.
  • Not include in its by-laws or practice discrimination against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.


Grant awards will range up to $10,000 per organization. The total amount available for all awards is $50,000. Applicants will be notified of a decision within six weeks of the deadline date.


Organizational grant applications are due April 15, 2019. No late submissions will be considered.


Applications will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic staff and the Arts Build Community Advisory Committee, comprised of area residents who are active in their communities and have expertise in the arts, creativity and community engagement. Applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Applicants have a meaningful strategic approach that is aimed at removing barriers to the arts and creativity engagement for underserved Berkshire residents (as defined above)
  • Applicant organizations have a demonstrated track record of engagement efforts and are in a position to increase access to, and engagement in, their programs and services  
  • Applicants demonstrate readiness to participate in the grantmaking program, as evidenced by organizational capacity, partnerships within the community, and approach to developing new initiatives or programming
  • Potential impact of the proposed program on the organization internally
  • Potential impact of the proposed program externally
  • Demonstrated ability of the organization to implement change and grow


BTCF expects that new ideas for community engagement will be incubated and tested, leading to positive results in the community, greater awareness of what works, and key lessons that can inform additional program development.

Additional desired outcomes include:

  • Increased engagement in a wide range of cultural activities by those that are underrepresented (especially among lower-income residents, communities of color, youth and immigrants);
  • New and enhanced collaborations among arts and cultural organizations, community groups and underrepresented populations;
  • More high-quality strategies and programs that engage diverse audiences in the community;
  • Increased capacity of organizations to continue to design and implement these strategies and programs.

It is the intention of the foundation to bring together grantees to learn from each other, as well as provide technical assistance and professional development, to amplify and improve grantee success.


Up to $10,000 per organization


The grant process is closed.