Photo Credit: Ambre Amari

CITY OF BIRMINGHAM COMMUNITY ARTS GRANT PROGRAM

This program is funded and made possible by the City of Birmingham and administered by Create Birmingham.

2025 CITY OF BIRMINGHAM COMMUNITY ARTS GRANT PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The third year of the Community Arts Grant Program will once again support four community arts collaborations that benefit the City of Birmingham with grants of $10,000 each. Key dates and deadlines for this summer and fall are listed below. Funded projects will take place between January 1 and December 1, 2025. Each community collaboration supported will be a partnership between an artist or arts organization and a community organization from a non-arts sector.

Priority consideration will be given to projects involving small to mid-sized arts organizations and/or individual artists. Applications will be reviewed by a nine-person panel appointed by the Birmingham City Council. The funding criteria and scoring rubric will be available for reference throughout the application process.

The primary partner must have nonprofit status and be located within the municipality of the City of Birmingham. Organizations may not serve as one of the two lead partners on more than one application. Individual artists also may not serve as one of the two lead partners on more than one application. Recipients of 2024 City of Birmingham Community Arts Grants are not eligible to apply for 2025 funding.

Funded projects will use the arts to address an issue impacting the City of Birmingham, will take place in one or more of the City of Birmingham communities and neighborhoods listed here, and will be accessible to the public. Examples of issues addressed include but are not limited to civic advocacy and engagement, public health or safety, racial justice, restorative justice, and social or legal services.

Collaborations eligible for funding include but are not limited to workshops, performances, concerts, festivals, demonstrations, screenings, and readings. Arts education projects that serve students attending a specific school or schools, either during or after school hours, are not eligible for funding. Activities must be broadly accessible to City of Birmingham residents, regardless of the age group being served by the project. Projects may be first-time collaborations or continuations of existing work. 

Projects must provide 1:2 matching funds, meaning that 50 cents in project funds must be provided by the applicant team for every $1 in grant funds awarded. The total budget must be at least $15,000: $10,000 to be covered by this grant if awarded and $5,000 in matching funds from other sources. Matching funds may be in-kind, cash, or a combination of both.

Questions regarding this year’s grant cycle may be emailed to communityarts@createbirmingham.org. Staff will also be available for 30-minute meetings in person and via Zoom, which can be requested by sending an email to the same address. 

Key Dates and Eligibility Check and Application Requirements can be found below.

KEY DATES

July 1, 2024: Eligibility Check portal opens

August 14, 2024 by 5:00 pm: Last day to submit questions regarding the Eligibility Check

August 16, 2024 by 11:59 pm: Eligibility Check materials due

August 23, 2024: Notification of eligibility to apply and application link provided

September 18, 2024 by 5:00 pm: Last day to submit questions regarding the application

September 20, 2023 by 11:59 pm: Application due

October 2024: Panel review of applications

November 8, 2024: Notification of funding decisions

November 15, 2024: Grant agreements completed

December 13, 2024: Grant funds disbursed

January 1-December 1, 2025: Project period for funded activities

December 8, 2025: Project reports due

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FIRST ROUND: ELIGIBILITY CHECK

Photo Credit: Ambre Amari

Open July 1, 2024 through August 16, 2024 at 11:59 pm

All Eligibility Check submissions must provide the following documentation to advance to the second round of consideration.

  • 2024 City of Birmingham business license,
  • IRS 501c3 letter of exemption,
  • Documentation of City of Birmingham business address,
  • IRS Form-990 for the most recently completed fiscal year,
  • Audit or financial statement for the most recently completed fiscal year, and
  • List of current board of directors.
Applicants will be notified of qualification for the second round of consideration and provided with the application link by August 23rd. 

SECOND ROUND: APPLICATION

Open August 23, 2024 through September 20, 2024 at 11:59 pm

All eligible applicants must submit an application that will include:

  • A description of the project including timeline and location,
  • A description of both partners and their roles in the project,
  • A description of how the project serves City of Birmingham citizens,
  • A project budget form detailing expenses and sources of matching funds,
  • A current organization budget for the primary partner;
  • A partnership agreement form signed by both partners, and
  • An IRS Form W-9 signed by the primary partner.
While applications may be submitted until 11:59 pm on Friday, September 20, please contact staff with any questions regarding your application no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, September 18. Due to the number of applicants, staff may not be able to assist with technical difficulties or respond to questions received on the day applications are due.
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PANEL REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS

An initial application review will be conducted by Create Birmingham staff to confirm that all applications are complete.

Applications will then be evaluated by a panel consisting of one representative from each of the City of Birmingham’s nine districts, selected by their respective City Council members.

The 2025 scoring rubric used by the community panel to evaluate applications can be found here.

NOTIFICATION

Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by November 8, 2024, with grant agreements to be completed by November 15, 2024.

Funds will be disbursed by December 13, 2024 for project activities taking place between January 1 and December 1, 2025.

REPORTING

Photo Credit: Ambre Amari

A brief narrative and financial update will be required 60 days before key project activities, on a date to be determined as part of the grant agreement.

A brief final narrative and financial report will be due by December 8, 2025, or 60 days after the completion of the project, whichever comes first.

Under the terms of the grant agreement, grantees must agree to an audit of project expenses if requested by Create Birmingham or the City of Birmingham.

2024 CITY OF BIRMINGHAM COMMUNITY ARTS GRANT RECIPIENTS

In the second year of this grant program, the following four community arts collaborations were selected to receive 2024 City of Birmingham Community Arts Grants. Each project received a $10,000 grant in support of creative cross-sector programming serving residents of all ages across the city.
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FOUNDATION FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL CONNECTIONS, INC.
IMAGINATION FESTIVAL

This grant supported artist-led workshops for Birmingham area students at the Magic City Art Connection’s Imagination Festival. The Imagination Festival is an arts-centered community event that leverages the power of the arts to provide an opportunity for creative expression, exposure, engagement, education, and empowerment. The goal of the festival is to implement arts-centered projects aimed at providing children with a new set of creative skills that are both artistic and practical.

Photo by: Ambre Amari

DESERT ISLAND SUPPLY CO
POETRY IN THE PARK

This grant supported Poetry in the Park, a collaboration between Railroad Park and the Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO). Poetry in the Park featured poems written by Birmingham City Schools students in a series of site-specific installations around Railroad Park. This program amplified the voices of Birmingham’s young writers by exposing their words and ideas to the more than 500,000 people who visit Railroad Park every year. The student work featured in Poetry in the Park came from the 600+ members of the All City Writers Corps, a collective of students who meet weekly throughout the school year with DISCO’s teaching fellows and volunteers.

Photo Credit: Ambre Amari

FRIENDS FOUNDATION OF THE BIRMINGHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY
MAGIC CITY ART MART

This grant supported Magic City Art Mart, a dedicated space within the Birmingham Public Libraries that collects and distributes free art supplies to community members. In addition to supplying art materials, Magic City Art Mart strives to create a supportive and inclusive artistic community, through workshops and events to foster learning, skill development, and the sharing of diverse perspectives. Magic City Art Mart is dedicated to breaking down barriers to artistic expression, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background, socioeconomic status, or ability, can explore their creativity and engage in the transformative power of art.

Interview-Carey Fountain--06

Greater Birmingham Ministries
BRANCHES OF RECONCILIATION: ART, HISTORY, AND HEALING IN BIRMINGHAM

This grant will support The Black Chery Tree Project, a collaboration with the Jefferson County Memorial Project, that seeks to illuminate Birmingham's haunting history of racial violence and propel racial reconciliation. This joint effort focuses on memorializing 33 African Americans lynched in Jefferson County from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s. By championing local artists and their creations, BCTP aims to foster productive dialogue around race, justice, and community unity. The collaboration emphasizes an arts-centered approach to meet community needs through workshops, exhibitions, and living memorials.

2023 CITY OF BIRMINGHAM COMMUNITY ARTS GRANT RECIPIENTS

In the first year of this grant program, the following four community arts collaborations were selected to receive 2023 City of Birmingham Community Arts Grants. Each project received a $10,000 grant in support of creative cross-sector programming serving residents of all ages across the city.
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Bare Hands + Dewon Moton + Woodlawn Neighborhood Association
Day of the Dead Altar Workshops and Mural Creation

This grant supported altar-making workshops that gave Birmingham residents the opportunity to learn about the traditions of the Day of the Dead and create personal altars to honor and remember loved ones. Muralist Dewon Moton worked with students to create a mural at Day of the Dead inspired by the altars created.

Photo Credit: Ambre Amari

Magic City Poetry Festival + Yogi Dada + St. John AME Church
GRAFFICA LIVE! 2023

This grant supported an evening of poetry performances, African drumming, dance, sign language to music, yoga, a screening of Yogi Dada’s film GRAFFICA, and a panel discussion. The collaboration exposed a diverse audience to the beauty and power of Black creativity in the communal historical setting of a Black church.

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Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Central AL + St. Paul United Methodist Church
A Place in the Choir Gospel Festival

This grant supported a two-day gospel festival that will include free workshops, a recital by Metropolitan Youth Orchestra students and local artists, and an all-day exhibition of the St. Paul Choir, MYOCA ensembles, and local gospel groups.

Photo Credit: Ambre Amari

Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema + Birmingham Public Library Association
Beyond the Screen

This grant supported a film education program for Birmingham residents at local libraries that introduced the terminology and techniques of making a movie. Participants met professionals in the field to learn about filmmaking as a career and explore the role of media in our society and the importance of creating it responsibly.