TIER 1: ARTIST CAREER EMPOWERMENT GRANT
GRANT APPLICATION IS CLOSED
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The Artist Career Empowerment Grant Program is designed to stimulate artists’ careers, and by extension benefit the arts and cultural sectors, the creative community, and economic ecosystems of Salt Lake City.
Grant Amounts: $10,000, $5,000 and $2,000
All interested applicants to the Tier 1 Artist Career Empowerment Grant are required to attend one Virtual Grant Program Orientation sessions.
Our orientation sessions are closed.
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 to an undetermined number of individual artists before June 30, 2023. Grants will be made in the following three amounts; $10,000, $5,000 and $2,000. The amount funded is based on request and the application’s score in accordance with the Funding Priorities and Evaluation Criteria. Applicants are encouraged to write their project in close relation to the Funding Priorities and Evaluation Criteria whenever possible to maximize their score.
GRANT PROGRAM PURPOSE
The Artist Career Empowerment Grant Program is designed to stimulate artists’ careers, and by extension benefit the arts and cultural sectors, the creative community, and 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 racialized persons 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. Thus, we are committed to addressing these systemic inequities by providing this grant opportunity.
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.
ABOUT OUR FUNDING PARTNER
In November of 2021, 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.
ABOUT OUR CITY ARTS GRANTS 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.
Please read the Program Guidelines thoroughly as substantial changes to this program have been made.
Applications for Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Artist Career Empowerment Grant Program must be submitted and administered by an individual artist who meets all of the following Eligibility Criteria at the time of submission:
- Is a current resident of the State of Utah;
- 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)
- Is 18 years of age or older;
- Is an individual person who considers themself an artist or artisan. Artist groups/collectives are ineligible to apply as such;
- Is a practicing artist able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, career, and a public audience.
- 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 Jun 1, 2023 and Dec 31, 2023.
Funds cannot be expended for the following activities and/or expenses:
- Activities and/or expenses incurred outside of the grant timeline (Jun 1, 2023 through Dec 31, 2023);
- Activities and/or expenses already underway. Project should be a new idea or a project that is being enhanced by new elements previously not employed.
- Activities and/or expenses incurred for the purposes of debt reduction;
- 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;
- Expenses related to travel;
- 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;
- Projects which occur outside of the city limits of Salt Lake City, Utah. Please verify the address of your proposed project using this tool;
- While 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.
- Tier-1 recipients from fiscal year 2022 may apply for and receive funding in the $2,000 or $5,000 levels, but a minimum of half of the funding in these levels will be awarded to applicants who DID NOT receive funding in the previous Tier-1 Artists Career Empowerment cycle. The Salt Lake City Arts Council acknowledges the importance of continuous support of artist’s careers, however, due to the limited nature of this funding, we want to prioritize supporting emerging artists.
If funded, Additional Requirements must be met before final approval and disbursement of your grant funds. At this time, these may include:
- Awards to individuals are required to have tangible outcomes, see general funding guidance for more details and examples.
- 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;
- 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;
- 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 (including assessing risk of financial irresponsibility, theft, forgery, fraud, etc.);
- Applicants granted at the $5,000 or $10,000 level are required to attend regular Cohort Meetings, approximately once a month for one (1) hour. 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.
GENERAL FUNDING GUIDANCE
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 with 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 project ideas can be, but are not limited to, the projects listed below:
- 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;
- Projects which present a minimum of one public engagement opportunity grounded in creative industry such as; workshops, festivals, symposiums, showcases, digitally based, markets, fairs, panels, service projects, experiential, and educational courses;
- 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. Examples include: sculpture, mural, installation;
- 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;
- At the $2,000 level, projects which include trainings/classes for self improvement or artistic inquiries. Tangible outcomes for such projects might include, but are not limited to, a presentation of artworks or a performance, a certificate/letter of completion, creation of artworks/recording/etc, or other artistic inquiry with a tangible outcome.
Every funded application must result in a tangible outcome of some kind. Funding Usage for your project must adhere to the following:
- All Funding Limitations and Additional Requirements listed above;
- All funded expenses must be justified in context with the development or implementation of your project. The following fund uses may be allowed only if the related expense(s) can be justified in context with a public project:
- Professional Development: Use of funds to build technical, artistic, administrative, or adaptive skills may not exceed $2,000 of grant funds;
- 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.
- Artist Fees and Honoria: Use of funds to compensate yourself or other artists.
- 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 $18.06 per hour as defined by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator found here. This includes artists, subcontractors, and existing employees of your organization.
APPLICATION KEY DATES
- Guidelines* Released: Monday, Feb 27, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
*Guidelines are subject to change until application is open for submissions.
- Application Opens: Wednesday, Mar 1, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
- Virtual Grant Program Orientation*:
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023 at 5:30pm
Thursday, Mar 2, 2023 at 7:30am
Monday, Mar 6, 2023 at 12:00pm
Friday, Mar 10, 2023 at 10:00am
Thursday, Mar 16, 2023 at 4:30pm
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 5:30pm
*Your attendance is required at at least one of the orientation meetings. Advanced registration registration is required, please click here to register.
- Application Closes*: Friday, Mar 31, 2023 at 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: Apr 3, 2023 through Apr 28, 2023
- Salt Lake City Arts Council Board Meeting*: Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 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 19, 2023 before 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 26, 2023 before 5:00 p.m.
- Virtual Grantee Orientation*: Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 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 50% of award: Friday, Jun 16, 2023
- Level A Second Grant Installment* of $2,000: Friday, Sep 1, 2023
*A short project update and spending report will be required prior to each grant distribution.
- Final Grant Distribution of remaining grant amount: Upon completion and approval of final report
- Monthly Cohort Meetings*: Dates to be determined in collaboration with grantees
*If granted $5,000 or $10,000, 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*: Jul 1, 2023 through Dec 31, 2023 Specific date(s) to be determined by the Artist.
*If granted $5,000-$10,000, you must present a public project featuring your artistic discipline. If granted $2,000 this may not apply to you depending on your project proposal. Details 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 108 points available for this grant program, however, all final point considerations will be weighted based on a total of only 100 points.
Applications will be approved by the Salt Lake City Arts Council Board of Directors. The board consists of community members that represent a diverse group of artists, professionals and patrons of the arts from the seven Salt Lake City Council Districts. Applicants may listen in on the public board meeting on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
The breakdown of available points is as follows;
Level A & B Level C
$10,000 & $5,000 $2,000
Core Criteria: 80 Points Available 90 Points Available
Budget: 20 Points Available 20 Points Available
Total Weighted Points: 100 Points Available 100 Points Available
Additional Funding Priority Criteria: 8 Points Available*
*Priority Criteria represents available points for applications who are considerate of our Funding Priorities as outlined in the rubric. 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: 8 Points Available
Grand Total Points Available: 108 Points
FINANCE AND BUDGET INFORMATION
All applicants of Level A ($10,000) and Level B ($5,000) must submit a detailed budget using the provided budget template, here.
Applicants at Level C ($2,000) will complete a simplified budget located within the grants portal.
If you have questions regarding your budget please email () or schedule an office hour meeting with the grants staff. We are happy to assist with simple or complicated questions you may have about the budget or grant application.
All budgets must balance. Meaning, expenses may not exceed income, grant award plus any additional funds for the project. We acknowledge that this budget represents an estimation 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. The grants staff is available to provide support with creating budgets.
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. 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 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.
Click HERE to schedule an appointment with our available office hours. You may also email questions to
From March 1, 2023 to March 28, 2023, three (3) 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.
- National Historic Preservation Act
- National Environmental Policy Act
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA
- Registration for Grant Orientation
- 2023-2024 Tier 1 Artists Career Empowerment Scoring Rubric
- 2022-2023 Tier 1 Artists Career Empowerment Budget Template (Level A & B)
- To Schedule Office Hours
- 2022-2023 Tier 1 Artists Career Empowerment Frequently Asked Questions
- Online Application Portal
- Unique Entity Identifier
- Buy America Act
- MIT’s Living Wage Calculator
- Salt Lake City District Map
- Marketing Guide for Artists and Grantees
- Glossary of Terms
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.
Glossary of Terms
Our staff are here to provide as much help and assistance for easing your application process as we can offer. If you have any additional questions about the language or terms on our guidelines, please contact Salt Lake City Arts Council Community Investment and Development Manager, Susan Campbell or Salt Lake City Arts Council Grant Projects Coordinator, Cyan Larson at .
• 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
•Importance and appropriateness of the project to the artist, audience, community and/or
• 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, and 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.
ARTIST RESUME: A document outlining your artistic career. It may include your
achievements, scholarships, shows, performances, completed body of works, education, history.
Click here for a guide.
ARTISTIC INQUIRY: Researching or investigating through or on behalf of furthering an
CURRENT FISCAL YEAR (FY23 OR 2023-2024): the organization’s present, active fiscal
year at the time of application. Current year financial figures are estimated amounts based on
DIVERSITY: (Who’s at the table?) Recognition and representation of individual or group
differences encompassing race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability,
socioeconomic status, age, religion, and other areas of identity.
DISCIPLINE: the primary focus of an arts activity as defined among the following eight fields:
dance; design arts; folklife; literature; media; music; theater; visual arts and crafts. See also
Multi-disciplinary and Inter-disciplinary.
EMERGING ARTIST: an individual with a career commitment to an art form, but lacking an
extensive resume or body of work.
EQUITY: The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the
same time identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of some
groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the protocols,
processes, practices and policies of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of
resources. Confronting and tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes
of disparities within our society. Equity is closely tied to actions and results to address historical
EXPENSES (EXPENDITURES): costs required to implement a project or programming.
FISCAL YEAR: any 12-month period used for financial record-keeping and reporting suited to
the organization’s operating cycle or programming season.
INCLUSION: Embracing differences by creating environments in which any individual or
group can feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. While an
inclusive group is diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. To achieve inclusiveness,
recognition of implicit or unconscious bias is necessary.
INCOME: present or anticipated funds and resources required to accomplish the proposed
activities (for example, revenues which are earned income, support which is unearned income,
such as cash contributions and grants).
INDIRECT COST (REI): A term used by the National Endowment for the Arts. This is a cost
rate that has been negotiated with a Federal Agency.
LIVABLE WAGE: The wage for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place
sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and/or their family. Elements of a
decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation,
clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.
PERSONNEL – ADMINISTRATIVE – employees receiving payments for salaries, wages,
fees and benefits specifically identified with the project. Examples include executive and
supervisory administrative staff, program directors, managing directors, business managers,
clerical staff, bookkeepers, etc.
PERSONNEL – ARTISTIC – employees receiving payments for salaries, wages, fees and
benefits specifically identified with the project. Examples include, artistic directors, curators,
dance masters, composers, choreographers, designers, video artists, sculptors, film makers,
painters, poets, authors, graphic artists, actors, dancers, singers, musicians, teachers,
PERSONNEL – FULL-TIME – employees or volunteers who work at least 35 hours per week
for at least 48 weeks per year.
PERSONNEL – PART-TIME – employees or volunteers who work fewer than 35 hours per
PERSONNEL – TECHNICAL/PRODUCTION – employees receiving payments for salaries,
wages, fees or benefits specifically identified with the project for technical management and staff
services. Examples include, technical directors, wardrobe, lighting and sound crew, stage
managers, exhibit preparers, video and film technicians, etc.
SUBCONTRACTING: employing a business or person outside one’s organization to do (work)
as part of the project. Under the provisions of Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA),
contractors or their subcontractors must pay workers who qualify under DBRA no less than the
locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits paid on projects of a similar character.
TANGIBLE OUTCOMES: Regarding the outcome of the project, including definite evidence
for completion of the project. Tangible outcomes for projects might include, but are not limited
to: a presentation of artworks or a performance, a certificate/letter of completion, creation of artworks/recording/etc.