2023 Sustaining Grant Guidelines and Application

Application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 13, 2023
No extensions will be given to correct missing application materials. Please contact artsboard@milwaukee.gov before the deadline if you have any questions about your application.
Virtual workshop for applicants:
Will be held virtually on February 16 at 1 pm. Please register for this webinar here

Save & Return

OPTIONAL: Use an account to return to saved work.*

*For the application below, you may create a login to save your progress and return later. You are not required to create a login, and can submit the form without one. If you would like to save your work and return later, Formsite requires a new login be created for each application. You may use the same login across forms but will have to create a "new user" for each form. Please email artsboard@milwaukee.gov if you have any questions or issues.
Required Materials Checklist:
  • Complete this 2023 online application
  • List of current Board of Directors with officers and business affiliations
  • Summary page(s) of most recently completed IRS Form 990 (or 990N where applicable)
  • 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. The purpose of the MAB sustaining grant fund is to:

a. Promote the development, support and enjoyment of the arts in this city.

b. Promote cultural diversity in the artistic life of this city.

c. Promote the formation and growth of artistic projects or programs that are administered by and responsive to the needs of the city's communities that have been historically underrepresented or underserved based on race, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, or citizenship status.

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 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 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 have not completed your 2021 Sustaining Grant final report you may not apply.

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.

What MAB is Able to Support:

  • Expenses to support artistic or administrative staff, facility and operating costs as well as programming costs if applicable. Recipients are strongly encouraged to use these funds to support artists.

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
  • Organizations that proselytize or promote sectarian religious purposes
  • Units of government or other taxing entities
  • Endowment funds
  • Organizations with budgets under $6,000 are not eligible to apply

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.

No cash match is required for this grant.

The grant period is June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024.

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

Application Deadline

Application deadline: 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 13, 2023

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

Review Process

Up to March 13: 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. Panel members will score applications based on the information provided in the narrative questions and the overall organizational feasibility.

May 9: The Milwaukee Arts Board considers the panel recommendations and determines the final grant awards.

Reporting Requirements

June 30, 2023: Final Reports for 2022 grants are due. 

June 30, 2024: Final reports for 2023 grants must be filed documenting your programming history, 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 Final Reports should be emailed to: artsboard@milwaukee.gov 

Failure to file final reports will eliminate applicants from consideration for future funding.

Funding Process

The amount of the grant is determined by the organizational budget:

If funded, an organization with a budget under $100,000* would receive a $3,000 grant. The grant award cannot be more than 50% of your operating budget therefore organizations with budgets under $6,000 are not eligible to apply.

If funded, organizations with a budget over $100,000* would receive a $6,000 grant. 

*Based on “projected income for current fiscal year.”

Grant payment (75% of awarded amount) is made approximately six weeks after the receipt of 2023 signed contracts. Funding will not be available before July 1, 2023. Final grant payment (25% of awarded amount) is made following receipt of a signed Final Report due June 30, 2024. 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.

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.

General Information

Organization Address:
Is this your first time applying with us? *
Has your address changed since the last time you applied with us? *

Organization mailing address (if different from above):

Narrative Questions

Please answer these questions concisely but specifically. 

Required Materials

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