The Tier 1 Artist Career Empowerment Grant Program is designed to stimulate economic opportunity and benefit to both the individual artist recipient and creative entrepreneurs, as well as the arts and cultural sectors, the creative community, and the economic ecosystems of Salt Lake City. 

Grant Amounts: $10,000 – $15,000

All interested applicants to the Tier 1 Artist Career Empowerment Grant are required to attend one Virtual Grant Program Orientation sessions. 

The final orientation session is on March 18, 2022 at 4:30pm. If you are unable to attend this final session please send email us.

Click Here to View Prior Grant Program Guidelines
Click Here to View Grant Application Questions

This Grant Program is now closed for submissions. Please note, we acknowledge that this Grant Program is complex and intimidating. We aim to alleviate as much anxiety as possible for all interested applicants and we encourage you to reach out to us directly should you have questions or concerns about this program!


We aim to distribute approximately $150,000-$175,000 to an undetermined number of individual artists before June 30, 2022. Grants will be made in the following amounts; $10,000- $15,000 and distributed based on adherence to the Funding Priorities, as well as the Evaluation Criteria. We anticipate a high number of competitive submissions to this program. Applicants are encouraged to adhere to the Funding Priorities and Evaluation Criteria whenever possible to maximize their score.


The Artist Career Empowerment Grant Program is designed to stimulate economic opportunity and benefit to both the individual artist recipient and creative entrepreneurs, as well as the arts and cultural sectors, the creative community, and the economic ecosystems of Salt Lake City. 

As the Salt Lake City Arts Council, we acknowledge that our current economic conditions have disproportionately impacted our creative sector. Further, we acknowledge that Black, Indigenous, and/or other Persons of Color (BIPOC) have persisted through even greater challenges stemming from the COVID-19 Global Pandemic as well as the violence of prolonged systemic racism and inequities which exist in our industry and society at large.

This grant program will aid in Salt Lake City’s phased economic recovery efforts and provide necessary financial resources to incentivize individual artists in our creative sector. The Artist Career Empowerment Grant Program will directly contribute to a more expeditious and equitable recovery of Salt Lake City’s thriving creative economy.

In November, the National Endowment for the Arts announced American Rescue Plan Grants for Local Arts Agencies. Salt Lake City Arts Council is one of these 66 organizations and the only organization in the State of Utah to be funded with a grant in the amount of $500,000 to subgrant to individual artists and nonprofit organizations. With these funds, we will support several grant categories, including this program.  

For decades, the Salt Lake City Arts Council has administered the City Arts Grants Program, distributing millions of dollars to countless arts and culture organizations and individual artists. The City Arts Grants program is designed to provide financial support for arts programs and projects in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Artist Career Empowerment Grant program was first released in 2021 and distributed 38 grants to individual artists, ranging from $500 – $2,000. Our City Arts Grants Program hopes to amplify the Artist Career Empowerment Grant using this once-in-a-generation investment from our federal partners. 

Please read the Program Guidelines thoroughly as substantial changes to this program have


Applications for Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Artist Career Empowerment Grant Program must be submitted and administered by an individual artists who meets all of the following Eligibility Criteria at the time of submission: 

  1. Is a current resident of the State of Utah;
  2. Is legally able to receive taxable income in the U.S. (e.g. citizen, green card holder, and/or permanent resident who can provide a W9 and SSN or ITIN)
  3. Is 18 years of age or older;
  4. Is an individual person who considers themselves an artist or artisan. Artist groups/collectives are ineligible to apply as such;
  5. Is a practicing artist able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, career, and a public audience.
  6. Demonstrate a high level of artistic excellence/artistic merit; 

Is able to develop and implement a project within the boundaries of Salt Lake City which is open to the public between Dec 1, 2022 and Jun 30, 2023.


Funds cannot be expended for the following activities and/or expenses:

  1. Activities and/or expenses incurred outside of the grant timeline (Jun 1, 2022throughJun 30, 2023);
  2. Activities and/or expenses already underway. Project should be a new idea which is developed exclusively for the purposes of this grant program or a project that is being enhanced by new elements previously not employed. 
  3. Activities and/or expenses incurred for the purposes of debt reduction; 
  4. Activities and/or expenses incurred outside of the State of Utah must be approved in writing (including online purchases), items made in America should be prioritized whenever possible per the Buy America Act
  5. Activities and/or expenses which are sub granted in any way. Subcontracting is a permissible use which must be approved through the grant application process;
  6. Projects which occur outside of the city limits of Salt Lake City, Utah. Please verify the address of your proposed project using this tool;
  7. While artist-owned businesses and artists who maintain a LLC or equivalent are eligible to apply, activities and/or expenses should demonstrate a commitment to the Funding Priorities below, as well as create a highly impactful project which conveys a financial model that would otherwise be unavailable without these grant funds. 


If funded, Additional Requirements must be met before final approval and disbursement of your grant funds. At this time, these may include:

  1. Adherence to the National Endowment for the Arts official General Terms and Conditions for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to Organizations;
  2. Adherence to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and/or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) during project development and implementation. The Salt Lake City Arts Council may conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with NHPA/NEPA;
  3. Adherence to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended. The Salt Lake City Arts Council may conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance with Section 504/ADA;
  4. Cooperation with the Salt Lake City Arts Council in conducting a Risk Assessment for noncompliance with federal statutes, regulations, and the general Terms and Conditions outlined above; 
  5. Successful completion of a registered Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Additional instructions about this requirement will follow if funded. 
  6. Required attendance at a monthly Cohort Meeting, approximately one (1) hour in length. The purpose of the Cohort Meeting might include, but is not limited to, discussions on the progress of your project, garnering additional support and resources for successful execution of your project, as well as to generate networking opportunities for all individual artists involved.

Additional eligibility and/or limitations may be added at any time with written notice to funded projects.


The Salt Lake City Arts Council aims to fund Artist Career Empowerment Grants which are innovative, transformative, and engaging. As such, we are encouraging applicants to this grant program to develop and propose projects which adhere to the above principles and press the boundaries of creativity, fill critical community needs, or raise awareness on social issues. 

Applicants are encouraged to develop projects which adhere to the Eligibility Criteria and Fund Limitations listed above. Potential fund usage can be, but is not limited to, the projects listed below:

  1. Projects which present a minimum of one public performance of the following artforms: Dance, visual art, music, theater, performance, new media (film/video/digital/web based/archives etc), social practice art; or transdisciplinary artistic media. Examples include: opera, busking, DJing, web based work, illusions, and any other crafts which are creative in nature;  
  2. Projects which present a minimum of one public engagement opportunity grounded in creative industry such as; workshops, festivals, symposiums, showcases, webinars, digitally based, markets, fairs, panels, service projects, experiential, and educational courses;
  3. Projects which develop and place one or more physical object(s), grounded in an artistic discipline, within a designated space accessible to the public. The object may be temporary or permanent, but must adhere to all relevant city code and permits; 
  4. Project that focuses on a restricted audience that has a significant impact on that population including but not limited to; hospitals, prisons, schools, rehabilitation centers, and other such locations;


Every funded application must result in a public project of some kind. Funding Usage for your project must adhere to the following: 

  1. All Funding Limitations and Additional Requirements listed above;
  2. All funds expended must be justified in context with the development or implementation of your public project. The following fund uses may be allowed only if the related expense(s) can be justified in context with a public project:
    1. Professional Development: Use of funds to build technical, artistic, administrative, or adaptive skills may not exceed 20% of grant funds;
    2. Facility and Equipment: Use of funds to purchase software, hardware, subscriptions, and pay for facility costs. Costs cannot exceed $5000 per item and should adhere to all requirements of the Buy America Act.
    3. Travel: Use funds to travel within the United States. Must acquire competitive fare on domestic flights, purchasing for the lowest available fare at the time of receipt. Travel expenses require written approval through the grant application process and may not exceed 10% of grant funds. 
    4. Artist Fees and Honoria: Use of funds to compensate yourself or other artists.
  3. This project cannot include project costs that are supported by any other federal funds or their cost share/match, including costs that may be included in applications submitted, or grants received, by partner organizations or presenters. It is your responsibility to ensure that any future requests made on your behalf carefully consider the sources of the program’s fund;

Without exception, all personnel involved in your project must be paid a livable wage of $15.11 per hour as defined by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator found here. This includes artists, subcontractors, and existing employees of your organization.


  • Guidelines* Released: Tuesday, Feb 22, 2022at 8:00 a.m.
    *Guidelines are subject to change until application is open for submissions.  
  • Application Opens: Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022at 8:00 a.m.  
  • Virtual Grant Program Orientation*:
    Tuesday, Feb 22, 2022at 7:30am
    Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022at 5:30pm
    Thursday, Mar 3, 2022at 12:00pm
    Friday, Mar 7, 2022at 10:00am
    Friday, Mar 18, 2022at 4:30pm
    *Your attendance is required at at least one of the orientation meetings. Advanced registration registration is required, please click here to register
  • Application Closes*: Tuesday, Mar 29, 2022at 11:59 p.m. 
    *No application submitted after this date will be accepted. Absolutely no exceptions will be made. 
  • Salt Lake City Arts Council Committee Review Process: Mar 31, 2022 through Apr 28, 2022
  • Salt Lake City Arts Council Board Meeting*: Wednesday, May 18, 2022at 5:30 p.m.
    *This meeting is a public meeting where committee recommendations will be submitted to the Board of directors for approval. Attendance is not required. 
  • Written Grant Notification*: Friday, May 20, 2022before 5:00 p.m.
    *Any and all communications will be through email. It is your responsibility to ensure that all emails from our staff and grants software are successfully delivered to an inbox you control and check daily. Failure to do so may result in termination of your grant. 
  • Grant Agreement Form Acceptance*: Friday, May 27, 2022before 5:00 p.m.
    *If granted, you must review and agree to all NEA Grant Terms and Conditions, as well as Terms and Conditions specific to the Salt Lake City Arts Council. Failure to accept before this due date will result in termination of grant. Federal Grant Terms and Conditions
  • In Person Grantee Orientation*: Monday, May 31, 2022at 4:00pm – 5:30pm
    *If granted, you must attend our Orientation Meeting. Please reserve this time on your calendar now to avoid potential conflicts. 
  • First Grant Distribution of $3,000-$5,000: Wednesday, Jun 1, 2022
  • Grant Installment* of $3,000-$4,000: Monday, Sep 1, 2022
  • Grant Installment* of $2,500-$4,000: Thursday, Dec 1, 2022
    *A short project update and spending report will be required prior to each grant distribution.
  • Final Grant Distribution of $1,500-$2,000: Date to be determined based on completion of Final Public Project.
  • Monthly Cohort Meetings*: Dates to be determined by Organization
    *If granted, you must attend a monthly meeting, approximately one (1) hour in length. The purpose of these cohort meetings might include, but is not limited to, discussions on the progress of your project, garnering additional support and resources for successful execution of your project, as well as generate networking opportunities for all individual artists involved. 
  • Final Public Project Release*: Dec 1, 2022 through Jun 30, 2023 Specific date(s) to be determined by the Artist.
    *If granted, you must present a public project featuring your artistic discipline. Details about the nature of this project can be found in the Grant Usage and General Guidance AND the Application Information section of these guidelines. Please read both sections carefully.

All applications will be scored in accordance with our scoring rubric, found here

There will be a total of 110 points available for this grant program, however, all final point considerations will be weighted based on a total of only 100 points

The breakdown of available points is as follows; 

Core Criteria: 80 Points Available
Budget: 20 Points Available
Total Weighted Points: 100 Points Available

Additional Funding Priority Criteria: 10 Points Available*
*Priority Criteria represents available points for applications who are considerate of our Funding Priorities as outlined above. These points should be viewed as “extra credit” and are intended to provide supplementary points for applicants who choose to align their project proposals with our Funding Priorities. There is not an expectation that applicants attempt to receive all supplemental points. Rather, applicants should consider how our Funding Priorities and the goals and objectives identified within their project align and clearly demonstrate accordingly within their submission.

Total Weighted Points: 100 Points Available
Total Funding Priority Points: 10 Points Available
Grand Total Points Available: 110 Points

All applicants must submit a detailed budget.

All budgets must balance. Meaning, expenses may not exceed income. We acknowledge that this budget represents a projection of income and expenses. As such, funded applicants will have opportunities throughout the grant program to submit change requests which better align with current economic conditions. All applicants are encouraged to submit budgets which thoughtfully consider rising inflation of materials and supplies, supporting individuals engaged in their project with a livable wage (themselves included), and to adhere to all Funding Limitations, Additional Requirements, and Funding Priorities outlined above.  

All questions or concerns regarding this grant program should be submitted in writing. Once submitted, please allow 2 business days for a response. Additionally, all questions and answers will be released for any applicant to see, unless such release includes sensitive personal information.

All questions and answers will be updated here as necessary.

What does Artistic Merit/Artistic Excellence mean?

  • Artistic Excellence
    • Artistic excellence is evaluated based on the program description; a clear and concise description of the project, the goals, and the relevance to the audience or communities being served.
  • Artistic Merit
    • Importance and appropriateness of the project to the artist, audience, community and/or constituency.
    • Ability to carry out the project based on such factors as the appropriateness of the budget, the quality and clarity of the project goals and design, the resources involved, and the qualifications of the project’s personnel.
    • Potential to serve and/or reach individuals whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability, as applicable.
    • Evidence of direct compensation to artists, and/or art workers.

Can you apply for both Tier 1 or Tier 2?

  • No, you cannot apply in both Tiers, however there is an option for applicants in Tier 1 where you can select to be considered for Tier 2 if you are not funded in Tier 1. Please be aware that in order to be awarded in Tier 2 you need to be a resident of Salt Lake City.

How do I get the access code to the grant application?

  • You are required to attend a grant orientation in order to receive the access code to the grant application.  You can register for the orientation here.
  • If you have attended an orientation session please email for an access code.

I may not be able to attend one or more of the required Cohort Meetings because of pre-planned events, am I still eligible to apply?

  • Please email and with details about how many monthly cohort meetings you will miss and the reason, i.e. travel plans, work issues, etc.

Can I present my project in a location outside Salt Lake City?

  • The grant stipulates that you must present at least one public performance/presentation in Salt Lake City, please use this tool to verify your event is located in Salt Lake City.
  • Once the project is completed in Salt Lake City you are able to present your performance in other locations as long as no grant funds are used for the performances/presentations out side of Salt Lake City.

How do I use the Economic Prosperity Calculator?

  • Enter your project data into the Economic Prosperity Calculator and use the data it provides to illustrate how your project has an impact on the Salt Lake City Economy.  So referencing that your project is the equivalent of providing X full time positions and creating $XXXX of Local revenue, etc.
    Please use the details to write a brief statement about the economic impact.  It may not be a huge impact for your grant individually, but when we combine the results of all the funded projects it will have a much larger impact that we can share with the City Administration.

Office hours are completely booked, please send email questions to and .

From February 22, 2022 to March 23, 2022, six (6) days before the deadline, applicants are encouraged to schedule one (1) thirty (30) minute appointment. The purpose of this meeting is to ask questions which are not answered in the Program Guidelines or Frequently Asked Questions. We are happy to help you with any additional technical or adaptive questions or concerns you may have, as well as answer specific questions you might have regarding your materials or application. We are administrators of the Program and, as such, we have to maintain a level of fairness to all applicants. 


The following represents priorities as identified by the Salt Lake City Arts Council which align with several strategic initiatives of Salt Lake City, including the Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Strategic plan and the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Work Plan. We acknowledge that it is highly unlikely that any single application will adhere to every priority listed below. However, we encourage the applicant to carefully consider how our Funding Priorities and the goals and objectives of your prospective project might align, and clearly demonstrate that alignment accordingly. The following Funding Priorities apply to this Grant Program:

  • All individual artists are encouraged to apply, however a portion of funds will be prioritized for and subsequently granted to individual artists who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or other Persons of Color (BIPOC);
  • Applicants who foster cultural equity and provide a positive social impact;
  • Applicants who aim to strengthen their individual and entrepreneurial health and development;
  • Applicants who cultivate and build healthy partnerships in the community;
  • Applicants who elevate the arts sector;
  • Applicants who demonstrate a public project which is considerate of our environment and sustainable in both the development and implementation phase;
  • Applicants whose public project occurs in Council Districts 1 and 2. Please verify the Council District of your proposed project using this tool. 
  • Applicants who demonstrate a high level of artistic excellence/artistic merit; 
  • Applicants who demonstrate a substantial commitment to accessibility for persons with disabilities and adherence to Section 504 and the ADA (as described above); 
  • Applicants whose project demonstrates a large impact in the community either through estimated attendance, and/or community involvement/engagement, and/or disciplinary uniqueness and innovation;
  • Applicants whose public project is either free or low cost;
  • Applicants whose public project includes innovative art-based or creative technology or represents a substantial effort to advance arts and culture industries as a creative entrepreneur.
  • Applicants who demonstrate additional support for their project through grants, sponsorships, cash, or in-kind contributions. 
Submit Your Application
Tier 1 Artist Career Empowerment Grant Due In