2021 Sustaining Grant Guidelines and Application

Application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 8, 2021
Required Materials Checklist:
  • Complete this 2021 online application
  • List of current Board of Directors and addresses, with officers and business affiliations
  • Summary page(s) of IRS Form 990 for most recently completed fiscal year
  • Annual financial statement for most recently completed fiscal year
  • Organizational operating budget for current fiscal year
  • IRS Letter of Tax Determination, Articles of Incorporation, and By-Laws
  • Organizational Assurances Form with Board Officer Signature


The Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) Grant Program’s primary objective is to bring accessibility and enjoyment of the arts to the citizens of our culturally diverse city. We do this by essentially “purchasing” arts programming and arts education from Milwaukee’s eligible arts organizations. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we are suspending our usual Project Grant program for a second year and are continuing the sustaining grant program. By so doing, we hope to provide a measure of financial support to our vibrant and exciting arts community. The MAB promotes the formation and growth of artistic projects or programs that are administered by and responsive to the needs of Milwaukee’s racial and ethnic minority communities.

About us

The Milwaukee Arts Board was established in 1990. Its members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council. Funding is provided through the Department of City Development and the Council with additional support from the Wisconsin Arts Board. MAB meetings are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month and all meetings are open to the public.

Organization Eligibility

You are eligible to apply if you have received and successfully carried out a MAB Project Grant between years 2016-2019 and/or if you are a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization (for at least 2 years as of the application deadline date) with a physical administrative office located in the City of Milwaukee* that has as its sole mission the presentation and/or production of art or arts programming.

The Milwaukee Arts Board also will consider applications from groups that have received and successfully carried out a MAB Project Grant within the last 4 years (2016-2019) AND are nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations (for at least 2 years) with physical administrative offices located in the City of Milwaukee* that have a unit with the sole mission of the public presentation and/or production of art or arts programming for the larger community. The unit should be a discrete entity with a governing board, mission statement and budget.

If you received a 2020 sustaining grant, you must have already submitted your 2020 Interim Report.

You are not eligible to apply if you are an individual artist, government agency, or publicly-funded educational institution. Organizations may not use a fiscal agent for the purpose of this application.

*Organizational addresses with Post Office boxes will not be accepted as evidence of City of Milwaukee residency.


Program Overview

Only one application per eligible organization will be considered. Please email: artsboard@milwaukee.gov if you need a paper copy application or for technical assistance with your application.

In any calendar year an arts organization may only apply to the New Work Fund or to the Project Grant/Sustaining Fund Program.

No cash match is required for this grant.

The grant period is June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022.

Each application will be reviewed by staff with a panel of Milwaukee Arts Board members appointed by the Chair. Lobbying efforts are not considered and such efforts are strongly discouraged.

What MAB is Able to Support:

  • Expenses to support administrative or artistic staff, facility and operating costs as well as programming costs if applicable.

What MAB Is Not Able to Support:

  • Prizes or awards
  • Capital projects or equipment purchase
  • Labor or material costs for renovation
  • Receptions, refreshments, food, gratuities, travel, lodging, or transportation
  • Debt reduction, contingencies, fines, penalties, interest
  • Projects that proselytize or promote sectarian religious purposes
  • Projects of units of government or other taxing entities
  • Endowment funds

Application Deadline

Application deadline: 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 8, 2021

Use the checklist at the beginning of the application form. If all materials are not submitted, the application may be deemed incomplete. Late, ineligible and incomplete applications will be returned.

Review Process

Up to March 8: Staff will be happy to provide assistance. Contact artsboard@milwaukee.gov

Mid March—End of April: Panel reviews the applications for recommendation to the full board.

May 11: The Milwaukee Arts Board considers the panel recommendations and determines the final grant awards.

Reporting Requirements

January 31, 2022: Year 2021 grant recipients must file a six-month interim report.

June 30, 2022: Final reports for 2021 grants must be filed documenting the precise expenditure and receipt of funds along with (if possible) project photos and samples of programs and promotional material with MAB acknowledgment. 

Questions on Interim and Final Reports should be emailed to: artsboard@milwaukee.gov 

Failure to file six-month interim reports and final reports will eliminate applicants from consideration for future funding.

Funding Process

The amount of the grant is determined by the number of eligible applicants. All eligible applicants will receive the same amount. Grant payment (50% of awarded amount) is made approximately six weeks after the receipt of 2021 signed contracts. Funding will not be available before July 1, 2021.

Final grant payment (50% of awarded amount) is made following receipt of a signed Interim Report due January 31, 2022. The MAB reserves the right to withhold final payment if the organization is no longer operating as of that date, or if the organization has moved out of the City of Milwaukee. A final report is due by June 30, 2022.  

Conflict of Interest

Members of the Milwaukee Arts Board intend to avoid all conflicts of interest or any appearance of conflict of interest and are required by law to comply with the State of Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 19, Sub-chapter III and the City of Milwaukee Chapter 303 Code of Ethics. Copies of statutes, ordinance and complete Conflict of Interest Policy are available by emailing: artsboard@milwaukee.gov

Appeals and Extensions

Applicants may appeal grant decisions under the following limited circumstances:

a) A procedural error has been made in handling the application; or

b) The Conflict of Interest Policy has been violated by a member of the Milwaukee Arts Board, the panel or the staff. All appeals shall be made in writing within 30 days after the announcement of the grant awards to Milwaukee Arts Board, Chairperson, 809 North Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

Extensions of the grant period will be permitted only under special circumstances.

Contractual Obligations

Grant recipients sign a contract with the City of Milwaukee to spend grant funds as described in their grant application for allowable expenses.

Organizations must alert the MAB to any change in the organization’s official address that may affect residency in the City of Milwaukee.

Public Presentation Requirement

The public presentation requirement is waived for this sustaining grant only.

General Information

Organization Address:
Organization mailing address (if different from above):

Narrative Questions

Required Materials

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