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Community Arts Access Guidelines

To apply for a grant, or for more information, please visit:

**ALL organizational applicants who apply for a grant from the NDCA are now required to register for a DUNS number online before receiving grant funds. The process for registering is simple and easy and only takes a few minutes. To register visit

As a community-based grant program, Community Arts Access is designed to benefit nonprofit organizations that present arts programming in small and rural communities in North Dakota. It also supports nonprofit organizations in communities of all sizes whose arts programming makes a deliberate and focused effort to serve a special constituency or an underserved audience in that community.

Grant Amount

  • Grant requests may not exceed $2,000 or 50% of the total project cost, whichever is less.
  • Awards may be less than requested based on a competitive review process.
  • Granted funds can cover no more than half of the total expenses for the programming.
  • A 1:1 match is required. Of this, up to 50% may be documented in-kind.
  • $1,000 is the minimum request (if $950, or under, please apply through the Special Projects grant program).

Application Deadlines

  • April 1 (submitted electronically) for programs taking place between July 1 and June 30.
  • November 1 (submitted electronically) for programs taking place between January 1 and June 30.


  • To support the arts in small and rural communities in North Dakota, as well as special constituencies and underserved audiences.
  • To encourage existing arts organizations to build upon themselves, enhance the artistic quality of their programming, and expand their audience.
  • To promote knowledge and appreciation of the arts in small and rural communities, special constituencies, and underserved audiences.
  • To provide "start-up" funds for new or emerging arts organizations and programming.
  • To provide opportunities for North Dakota artists. 


The following guidelines apply in addition to the Council on the Arts' general guidelines, rules, and  regulations:

  • Applicant must be registered as a non-profit organization with the state of North Dakota, or be a community or county government entity. Organizations may form partnerships with state agencies, for-profit businesses, and other entities, but the non-profit organization must be the applicant.
  • Programming must be in a community of less than 6,000 people, according to the most recent census available, or serve a special constituency or underserved audience in a community of any size.

Examples of Supported Activities

Can include, but is not limited to:

  • Creation of a public work of art, such as a mural or installment piece, that incorporates talent within the community.
  • Public performances of music, dance, or theatre.
  • An exhibition.
  • Arts festival or performance series.
  • To book a touring performance or exhibit.


  • Any granted funds cannot support the following. These are in addition to restrictions stated in the NDCA's general guidelines, rules, and regulations.
  • Applicants supported by the Council's Institutional Support or Special Projects programs in the same fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).
  • Applicants already supported through Community Arts Access in the same fiscal year.
  • Activities that qualify for the Council's Artist in Residence or Teacher Incentive grant programs.
  • Reduction of a debt or deficit.
  • Capital improvements or permanent acquisitions.
  • Projects completed at the time of application.

Notification, Contract, Final Report, and Requesting Funds

  • If the application is approved, the recipient will receive an award letter via email usually within 45 days after the deadline. If the application is rejected, the applicant will receive a letter explaining the reason for rejection.
  • Final reports must be submitted within 30 days of completion of the activity. 
  • The final narrative report should include a description and evaluation of the programming. The narrative should also explain any additional activity events, if any, not covered in the original application.
  • The final budget should include all applicable expenses and income.
  • Funds are available after July 1 of a year if you applied to the April 1 deadline or after January 1 if you applied to the November 1 deadline.
  • Access funds can be requested at two different times (up to 90% first request, additional 10% after completion and submission of online Final Report); or all at once (after completion and submission of online Final Report). Please allow three weeks for processing.


For assistance with this grant program, contact the Public Information Officer at (701) 328-7594 or

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