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Each spring, MCA announces the release of the Cultural Grant Criteria and Application to the non profit arts community. Grants are available for all artistic disciplines, including music, theater, dance, visual arts, cinema, literary arts, folk arts, and photography. Historical and scientific museums may also apply.  

A committee of community volunteers, chaired by an MCA Board member, evaluates each grant utilizing the criteria in the application and guidelines. Following the evaluation and scoring process, the committee’s recommendations are reviewed by MCA Executive Committee and presented to the Board. Each year local arts organizations are awarded grants to enhance, expand, or support their product. The grants are formally awarded each September at Applaud the Arts, MCA’s annual showcase and celebration.

Marion Cultural Alliance Supported Badge

Are you a MCA Cultural Grants recipient?

Click the MCA Supported Logo above to save the image.

Applicants must be a local arts organizational member at the time of application.

Ready to submit your application?

Interested in becoming an Arts Organization Member?


Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA) champions, convenes, and creates opportunities for Marion County artists and arts organizations.

Organizations eligible for MCA support include those involved in the fine arts, performing arts, arts education, and historical and scientific museums. Through its fund-raising activities and public art projects, MCA seeks to increase opportunities and access to financial resources for a broad spectrum of cultural organizations.

Applications DUE: Friday, July 14, 2017 / 5:00 PM Eastern Time



To be eligible to apply, the applicant organization must be a current member of MCA and one of the following:

1.) A public entity governed by a county, municipality, school district, community or college, university, or an agency of state government.


2.) A not-for-profit, tax-exempt Florida corporation incorporated or authorized as a not-for-profit corporation, in good standing, pursuant to chapter 617, Florida Statutes. (Some private schools may be determined not-for-profit under Chapter 623.) Florida incorporation must be issued in the name of the applicant.


3.) Designated as a tax-exempt organization as defined in section 501 (c) (3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Exemption must be issued in the name of the applicant.

AND be able to answer yes to all of the following:

4.) Organization must operate within Marion County and project must occur within Marion County.

5.) Have been in existence for at least two years at the time of application.

6.) Must be in compliance and in good standing with any previously funded Marion Cultural Alliance grants.

7.) Grant project must be open to the public.

Note: At this time, Marion Cultural Alliance, Inc. will accept applications only from organizations. No grant awards will be given to individuals.


Applications submitted for the grant cycle must be requesting funding for a project occurring between September 1, 2017 and September 1, 2018. Note: Project expenses cannot be incurred nor can income be received for the grant project before or after these dates.


Organizations may submit only one grant application each year.

To submit your application.

  1. Go to the Cultural Grants Application form here.
  2. Login to your Arts Organizations Member account
  3. Submit the online form after completely filling out


The review panel for the Marion Cultural Alliance grant applications will consist of five individuals, appointed by the board of directors of Marion Cultural Alliance. Panelists must be residents of Marion County and may not have a substantial interest in any of the organizations applying for a grant. “Substantial Interest” includes employees, staff, members of the board of directors, or spouses of same. A conflict of interest also includes anyone who would financially benefit from the organization receiving the grant. Individuals interested in serving on a future grant review panel should send a letter of interest to the following:

Grants Committee

Marion Cultural Alliance

P.O. Box 1571, Ocala, FL 34478

Or send an E-Mail to [email protected]

Panel members will receive the applications immediately after July 29 to review and score individually. Before August 13, the panel will meet as a group to compare scores and determine the final recommendations by a majority vote. Applicant organizations should include all pertinent information in the application packet and must NOT contact panelists directly. Make certain to complete the section of thegrant for Contact Person so that panelists can reach the organization if they have questions.


July 29, 2016

Grant application deadline. All completed applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on this date. No exceptions will be granted.

Aug 8-12, 2016

Review panel will evaluate applications and recommend funding. Marion Cultural Alliance Board of Directors will receive the recommendations from the grant review panel and vote on final awards.

Sep 22, 2016

Grants will be awarded at “Applaud the Arts” at The Reilly Arts Center.


Based on the material submitted, the application will be scored on the following criteria:


  • Quality of projects as described in the proposal summary, including goals and objectives.
  • Reviews of organization’s work and other printed support material.
  • Resumes of key artistic personnel involved in project.
  • Letter attesting to the quality of the organization’s work.


  • Number of individuals impacted by project.
  • Cooperative relationships with other community organizations.
  • Cultural diversity and community outreach.
  • Demonstrated need for organization or program.
  • Educational component to foster future audiences.
  • Marketing and audience development efforts.


  • Strength of program planning and evaluation.
  • Accuracy and feasibility of grant proposal budget.
  • Ability to implement the proposal both artistically and administratively.
  • Proven record or demonstration of capacity to develop and effectively manage resources including fiscal stability and responsibility.
  • Completeness of application.

APPLICATION NARRATIVE (Not to exceed 11 pages)

Please respond to each of the following items. If an item does not apply to the organization’s application, respond “Not Applicable”. The responses are designed to give the panelists background information on the organization, its mission, and eligibility.

1) Give a brief history of your organization, including founding dates, date of incorporation, and date designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) or (4), if applicable.

2) Describe the audience intended to be served by the proposed program/event, including estimated total individuals, ages, demographics, and any special constituencies.

3) Describe the administrative and artistic structure of the organization. Indicate which positions are full‐time paid staff, part‐time paid staff, independent contractors, and volunteers.

4) Provide organizational statistics for the last completed fiscal year, including budget total, the number of individuals served, number of artists participating, number on Board of Directors, number of volunteers, number of volunteer hours, number of seasonal ticket holders or memberships, etc.

5) What methods (i.e., attendance figures, surveys, press reviews, etc.) of evaluation will be used to evaluate the success of your proposed program/event?

6) Describe how you plan to market the proposed program/event.

7) Describe the fiscal condition of your organization. Be sure to address any operating or fund balance deficit that currently exists as well as any special fiscal circumstances which may exist for your organization at this time and how these circumstances are being addressed.

8) What other funding sources, besides this grant, do you anticipate to support the expenses of this program/event? Describe the donations (both cash and non‐cash) that your organization receives from the community.

9) Marion Cultural Alliance requires that all funded programs be open to the public and encourages grantees to make programs/events accessible to persons with disabilities. Describe your organization’s efforts to make this program/event accessible to the public.

10) Describe admission charges, if applicable.

11) Describe any particular obstacles or challenges to the success of your project.


It is strongly recommended that applicants provide additional information about the organization and its programs. Although support materials are not required, the submission of these materials makes an application more competitive.

Suggested support material includes, but is not limited to, reviews, newspaper articles, letters of support, a list of the organization’s current board of directors, brochures, programs, color photographs, and publications.

Support material may also include a description of the in‐kind services donated by individuals or other organizations to assist your project. In‐kind donations demonstrate community support for your project.

Remember, staff salaries are not considered in‐kind donations unless the individuals are working as volunteers.

A maximum of eight (8) pages of support material may be concluded in the application. Therefore, choose your support material wisely.


Grants may be awarded in any amount up to $5,000.00. Please complete the box “Grant Amount Requested” on Page B by filling in the amount you are requesting. The grant amount requested may not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the total anticipated expenses. For example: A grant award of $1,000.00 must have a total anticipated expense budget of at least $2,000.00. The grant review panel and MCA board of directors reserve the right to award a larger or smaller grant than the applicant requests.


Part of the mission of the Marion Cultural Alliance is “increased cultural impact in the community”. Please be sure to describe in full who will benefit from your grant project. Projects that impact only a select group or limited audience or exclude the public from participation are not likely to be funded.


Organizations that are awarded grants for the next MCA grant cycle will be required to submit a final report no later than 60 days following the “end date” listed on the application. A form and reminder will be sent to the organization by MCA to coincide with the “end date”.


Proofread, proofread, and proofread. Check math and have someone else check the application as well. Check all copies for completeness. Each application must stand alone and be complete in itself. Application copies will be sent to the review panel members exactly as submitted.


If you have questions or would like assistance with the application, you may contact the following individuals:

Jaye Baillie, Executive Director – (352) 369‐1500 – [email protected]

Ana Dunwoody, Executive Assistant – (352)-369-1500 – [email protected]

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