OLEAN — Attention, creative types: If an arts project is burning a hole in your head and all you need is money, the Tri-County Arts Council hears you.

As the administrator for three DEC arts grants in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, the arts council is now inviting applications. The deadline to submit an intent to apply is before Dec. 8. Full grant applications are due by Dec. 15.

In 2000, the New York State Council on the Arts appointed the Tri-County Arts Council as administrator of the Decentralization Program (DEC.) Funding from the DEC provides support for community-based arts and cultural activities through a local decision-making grant process that reflects the unique character of each community.

The grants fall into three categories:

• Individual Artist grants in the amount of $2,500 are awarded directly to professional artists for the creation of new work.

• Community Arts grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 are awarded to non-profit organizations, municipalities and sponsored individual artists and non-incorporated organizations in partnership with qualifying organizations to present arts and cultural programs of high artistic merit.

• Arts Education grants ranging $500 to $5,000 are available to eligible non-profit cultural organizations and individual artists in providing meaningful arts education. Funding is offered for two funding strands: K-12 in-school projects and after-school, and community-based learning.

Applicants must reside in Cattaraugus, Allegany or Chautauqua counties and have done so for at least one year prior to the application deadline of Dec. 15. They must provide proof of residency, such as a copy of a driver’s license or utility bill; maintain a legal mailing address within the county during the grant project; be 18 years of age or older; and cannot be enrolled in any degree program. Applicants must propose a project that takes place entirely and solely within the county they reside which takes place between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021.

All applicants are required to complete one informational seminar or meet with John Bartimole, executive co-director of the Arts Council and the grants administrator, either individually before applying and at least one week (by Dec. 8) before the grant deadline to ensure ample time to prepare the grant. Informational assistance will be provided by phone or a teleconference call.

“Due to Covid safety concerns, this year’s grant process has a truncated application timeline,” Bartimole said. “So, we are being lenient as the NYSCA requirements are also being relaxed, which means previous or seasoned applicants can waive the process if they feel confident they do not need help.”

For information or to schedule an assistance session, call the Arts Council at 372-7455 or email Bartimole at info@myartscouncil.net. More information is on the Arts Council website.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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