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Los Angeles Offers Grants For Cultural Events

The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) offers grants to nonprofits and festival producers that provide free and/or low-cost cultural events.

A nonprofit arts organization may propose an artistic project, in one primary art form or discipline (which is also the selection to the expertise of the review panel. A special category of arts education is offered for youth-learning projects that begin within closed classrooms yet culminate in after-school public presentations. Three variety-arts categories are available for projects which cross disciplines (culture/history, multidisciplinary (for avant-garde fusions) and traditional/folk arts)

A partnership between a nonprofit community-service organization (an organization whose mission and program are not arts-exclusive but include cultural offerings) may propose to plan and present an outdoor festival or parade in partnership with a tribal elder, arts curator, or arts agency. Outdoor festival/parade proposals are accepted each year, but it is best that proposed outdoor performing-arts festivals be submitted in even-numbered years, while outdoor craft fairs be submitted in odd-numbered years.

The application deadline is Aug. 27, 2021. For more information visit: 

DCA’s Grants Program Office provides panel scores that can be held for two consecutive years (two one-year contracts), so applicants are encouraged to propose a project which can be repeated (in general or with a related theme) for a second year/term.

Applicants in odd-numbered years are encouraged to apply within one of these categories:

  • Culture/history presentations
  • Literature or publishing projects
  • Media activities or presentations
  • Design/visual art exhibitions or museum projects
  • Traditional/folk arts activities/presentations

Applicants in even-numbered years are encouraged to renew (with a separate renewal form available from staff) within any of these categories:

  • Dance concerts or classes
  • Music concerts or classes
  • Theatrical workshops or productions
  • Multi-disciplinary arts activities.

Applicants who are “off-cycle” are encouraged to call the staff for advice rather than selecting the wrong art discipline, which results in being disqualified or reviewed by a panel with the wrong expertise.

Qualified applicants are:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations with a primary purpose to provide arts/cultural services, or arts-friendly charitable organizations (e.g. 501(c)3, 501(c)6, etc.) that will partner with an arts expert/agency to present an outdoor festival or parade, and
  • Headquartered in Los Angeles County and proposing projects that will specifically serve residents, visitors, and/or tourists within the City of Los Angeles boundaries, and
  • Those that have a minimum of one year of prior experience with the project they propose to make “bigger, stronger, or faster” with City of LA support, and
  • Those that have an arts/culture mission statement as well as specific metrics about the project audiences they recently served within the city of LA, and
  • Those that fulfill all of the additional qualifications for the category in which they apply.

A series of free online webinars are available to provide assistance to applicants. Webinar space is limited to 30 participants per webinar and RSVPs are required at least two business days in advance. The first webinar of the season is usually recorded and posted. It is highly recommended that returning and new applicants seek, attend or watch educational materials to improve clarity and strategy within their proposals. 

DCA will also host an open office hour/meet-and-greet where new applicants are encouraged to attend to meet staff and ask questions in an informal, open forum environment:

  • Aug. 6, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 12, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 21, 1 to 2 p.m.

For more information, including instructions to register, visit:

Applicants will receive notification of results in May/June 2022 and applicants will receive a legal contract and/or panel feedback in July 2022. For complete program details, including application instructions, Cultural Grants Program Guidelines are available here:

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