Grant Opportunities

MCA supports local artists and nonprofit arts organizations with direct funding.

MCA Cultural Grant

A key element of MCA’s mission is supporting local arts organizations with direct funding. Cultural grants are an important means to promote excellence in the creative sector and the cornerstone of MCA’s fund raising efforts.

The Cultural Endowment Fund was established in 2001 and initially funded with proceeds from Horse Fever. The Fund provides direct support to Ocala/Marion County’s nonprofit arts organizations for programming, equipment, and initiatives. To date, $525,000 has been awarded to more than 42 different nonprofit arts organizations. These dollars have supported more than 135 art initiatives including programming, equipment, and initiatives; and has impacted more than 385,000 individuals including seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, students, and artists.

Each spring, MCA announces the release of the Cultural Grant Criteria and Application to the nonprofit arts community. Grants are available for all artistic disciplines, including music, theater, dance, visual arts, cinema, literary arts, folk arts, and photography. Historical and scientific museums may also apply.  A committee of community volunteers, chaired by a MCA Board member, evaluates each grant utilizing the criteria in the application and guidelines. Following the evaluation and scoring process, the committee’s recommendations are reviewed by MCA Executive Committee and presented to the Board. Each year local arts organizations are awarded grants to enhance, expand, or support their product. The grants are formally awarded in the fall at Applaud the Arts, MCA’s annual gathering of artists and arts organizations.

Request may be submitted for up to $10,000. The 2024 – 2025 deadline is July 12, 2024.

4 Friends Grant

The fund was established by MCA in October of 2015 as a permanent endowment, designed to generate income to support occasional one-time grant requests that fall outside the scope of timeline of MCA’s annual Cultural Grant awards.

The inspiration for this fund is the legacy of leadership created by four important community leaders. Through care and concern, words and deeds, over many years and across many institutions, Jim Copeland, Mack Dunwoody, E. L. Foster, and another friend  (who wished to remain anonymous) have impacted the lives of nearly every citizen residing in Ocala and Marion County.

Each of these Four Friends of MCA leaves a leadership legacy of his own, that when combined serve as an enormously inspirational example of those who may choose to follow in their footsteps of improving the quality of everyday life in our community. As close friends over the years, they inspired one another, with E. L. , Jim, and Mack even earning the nickname, “the Three Musketeers” as they had a reputation for coming to the rescue of so many good causes, including the seedlings of what grew to become MCA. As stand out leaders of their generation, their support of improvements to education, city life, health, many recognized and continued. The open-minded supportiveness of new ideas and initiatives sets this group apart. This fund was launched in 2019.

Request may be submitted for up to $1,000 and may be submitted online at any time.

Megan Boone Grants for Performing Arts

The Laurie D. Reeder Grant for Performing Arts
& The Nancy A. Atkinson Grant for Music

Actress and Director Megan Boone was raised in The Villages and graduated from Belleview High School in 2001. Boone established the “Megan Boone Grants for the Performing Arts”, with Marion Cultural Alliance, in honor of Laurie D. Reeder and Nancy A. Atkinson, two arts educators who made a difference in Boone’s life. Each year, Boone will award a total of $6,500:  $4,000 for a Theatre Educator and $2,500 divided between three students.