Ocala/Marion County’s arts and cultural organizations were among the first to be impacted by COVID-19 as social distancing was mandated and mass public gatherings were banned. Marion Cultural Alliance recognizes the immediate loss of income our arts and cultural organizations are facing and the unexpected and unprecedented disruption to events, performances, and exhibits as a result of the cancellation or postponement of arts and culture events.
In response, the Marion Cultural Alliance Board of Directors is quickly repurposing its Cultural Grant program to respond to, and address the needs of, the arts and cultural sector. MCA will commit $25,000. That, combined with $12,500 from an anonymous donor, will make a total of $37,500 available to arts and cultural organizations. MCA will pursue additional funds as well, as the need is great and this sector is vital to our quality of life.
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. To date, $340,000 has been awarded to more than 35 different nonprofit arts organizations. These dollars have supported more than 125 arts initiatives including programming, equipment, and initiatives.
Each spring, MCA announces the release of the Cultural Grant Criteria and Application to the nonprofit arts community.
MCA Cultural 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 an 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 for final review and approval.
Each year, local arts organizations are awarded grants to enhance, expand, or support their artistic or cultural endeavors. The grants are formally awarded each fall at Applaud the Arts, MCA’s annual showcase and celebration of the arts.
To apply, you need to submit a completed application, narrative, and provide supporting materials. A final report is due no later than sixty (60) days after grant activity is completed.