skip to Main Content


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.

Interested in becoming an Arts Organization Member?

Application Process

1. Submit Application

To submit your application:

  1. Go to the Cultural Grants Application form here.
  2. Submit the online form after completely filling out


2. Submit Application Narrative

To submit your Narrative:

  1. Go to the Narrative form here
  2. Submit the online form after completely filling out


3. Submit Support Materials

To submit your Support Materials

  1. Go to the Support Materials upload form here.
  2. Submit the online form after adding all Support Materials


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, Florida.

5.) Project must occur within Marion County, Florida. 

6.) Applicant organization must have been in existence for at least two years at the time of application.


7.) Applicant organization must be in compliance and in good standing with any previously funded Marion Cultural Alliance grants.


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


9.)  Anti-Discrimination Policy

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.

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.


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 14th to review and score individually. Before August 11th, 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 the grant for Contact Person so that panelists can reach the organization if they have questions.



June 1- July 7, 2017

Courtesy review period.

July 14, 2017

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

July 14 – August 11, 2017

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 the final awards at their August 2017 board meeting.



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.



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:


Accessibility – opening existing programs, services, facilities, and activities to individuals with disabilities. Inclusiveness of persons with disabilities is addressed through staffing, mission, policy, budget, education, meetings and programs to ensure that audiences/participants
have an equal range of opportunities.

Admissions – revenue derived from the sale of admissions, tickets, subscriptions, memberships, etc. for events attributable or prorated to the project.

Applicant Cash – funds from “applicant’s” present and/or anticipated resources that “applicant” plans to provide to proposed project. For general program support or total operating budget purposes, this line-item represents withdrawal from savings. This line item is often used to “balance the budget” when expenses exceed applicant’s ability to “pay the bills” for all expense items. If there are excess revenues, reduce this line item to zero or only the amount needed to balance the budget. Negative numbers cannot be used to balance the budget. “Applicant Cash” can also be money received in the current year, but prior to the beginning of the grant period.

Artist – an individual who creates or performs, on an ongoing basis, works of art within an artistic discipline (dance, folk arts, interdisciplinary, literature, media arts, music, theatre, or visual arts), and is pursuing it as a means of livelihood or for the highest level of professional recognition. Does not include beginning/amateur such as beginning students who are not yet seriously committed to the discipline or are life-long learners who are taking art classes. The total number of artists should reflect the number of professional artists that are directly involved in providing artistic services specifically identified with the grant.

Arts – any and all artistic disciplines which include but are not limited to music, dance, drama, theatre programs, creative writing, literature, architecture, folk arts, visual arts, and media, and the execution and exhibition of other such allied major art forms.
Authorizing Official – name of person with authority to legally obligate the “Applicant”.

Community – the geographic area and/or constituents served by the applicant (for general program support requests) or by the proposal (for project requests).

Community Organizations – civil, social service and business groups that may be involved in the project of which funding is being requested. These may include science organizations, historical organizations, and organizations which serve diverse populations.

Contact Person – the person to contact for additional information about the application. The person with immediate responsibility for the project.

Contracted Services Revenue – revenue derived from fees earned through the sale of services (other than this grant request). Include sale of workshops etc. to other community organizations, government contracts for specific services, performance or residency fees, tuition, etc.

Corporate Support – cash support derived from contributions given for this project (other than this grant request) by businesses, corporations and corporate foundations, or a proportionate share of such contributions allocated to this project.

Cultural – includes the disciplines of dance, music, theatre, folk arts, visual arts, literature, media arts, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and programs of museums.

Cultural Diversity – having the characteristic of being deeply rooted in and reflective of ethnically diverse, inner-city, or rural populations, and which represents the works of a particular culture, including an ethnic minority.

Cultural Events – includes different artistic, cultural, or educational activities which were produced or sponsored by the grantee, were open and accessible to the public, and took place within the grant period, i.e., performances, exhibits, rehearsals, workshops, classes, seminars, demonstrations, conferences, publications, or media broadcasts. Do not include strictly fund-raising/gala events. Note: to count number of events, only include the number of different events which were offered, i.e. a play performed ten times, or a museum exhibit running for three months, should each be counted as one event.

Demographics – statistical information relating to the characteristics of human populations, with reference to size, growth, density, distribution, and the purposes of the proposal, information on the economic base. Includes information (types and percentages) on the geographic service area of the applicant with respect to age groups, ethnic, and other diverse populations, types of employment, and the capacity for expansion or decline for both economic and population bases.

Disability – physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

End Date – the last date of fiscal activity in the project for which assistance is requested.

Equipment – all items which cost in excess of $5,000 (per unit) and have a life expectancy of over one year.

Exchange – to take or give in return for something else, to provide or transfer goods or services for something of equal value, to take part in a mutual trade, to give and receive in a reciprocal manner.

Foundation Support – cash support derived from grants for this project (other than this grant request) by private foundations, or a proportionate share of such grants allocated to this project.

General Program Support – funding to assist underwriting general programming expenses (not for specific projects) of eligible organizations through a specific period. General program support funds may be used only for those programming expenses itemized on the grant proposal budget form. This type of funding is broad in scope. Panel review is more comprehensive and encompasses evaluation of all activities conducted by the applicant organization.

Government Support Federal – cash support derived from grants or appropriations given for this project (other than this grant request) by agencies of the federal government or proportionate share of such grants or appropriations allocated to this project.

Government Support – Local/County – cash support derived from grants or appropriations given for this project (other than this grant request) by city, county, in-state regional, and other local government agencies, or a proportionate share of such grants or appropriations allocated to this project. Applicants may include grants from the Ocala Municipal Arts Commission (OMAC) on this line item.

Government Support – State/Regional – cash support derived from grants or appropriations given for the project (other than this grant request) by agencies of the state government and/or multi-state consortiums of state agencies, or proportionate share of such grants or appropriations allocated this project.

Grant Award – the dollar amount of a grant award approved by Marion Cultural Alliance of a project, program, or general program support as outlined in the application.

Grant Period – the term in which the project, program or general program will be accomplished as set forth in the application by the start date and the end date.

Grantee – an organization receiving a grant award from the Marion Cultural Alliance.

Individuals Participating – the total number of individuals who are directly involved in the funded activity as artists, non-artist project participants or audience members between the grant or project start and end dates. Figures should encompass only those individuals directly affected or involved in the funded activity. For General Operating Support, count artists, staff, audiences, and project participants directly involved with the organization’s events and services within the given funding period; do not substitute the entire population of the geographic area served. For projects-related publications, report the number of persons using the materials or the number of copies actually distributed; do not substitute the total number of copies produced. For internet-based projects, report the number of unique users; do not substitute the number of “hits” or times the information was accessed.

In-kind Contributions – all non-cash contributions provided to the grantee and other non-federal parties. These contributions may be in the form of charges for real property and non-expendable personal property and the value of goods and services directly benefitting and specifically identifiable to the project or program. The basis for valuation of personal services, material, equipment, buildings, and land must be fair market value and be documented. This includes all such goods and services provided the grantee by a third party in lieu of a cash contribution. Note: Grant Proposal Budget: In-kind contributions may not exceed 25% of the total project costs.

Marketing – all costs for marketing/publicity/promotion specifically identified with the project. Do not include payments to individuals or firms which belong under “personnel”, or “Outside Professional Services”. Include costs of newspaper, radio, and television advertising, printing and mailing of brochures, fliers, posters, and rental spaces directly connected to promotion or advertising.

Matching Funds – the portion of the project costs not borne by the Marion Cultural Alliance grant. Matching funds shall amount to at least 50% of the project costs and may include up to 25% of project costs as in kind, unless specified in the Grant Award Agreement.

Minority – for the general purpose of the Marion Cultural Alliance grants program, a minority is a lawful, permanent resident of Florida who is one of the following: African American, Asian American, Native American, or a person with a disability. For the purpose of this grant, gender and religious affiliations are not basis for consideration as a minority.

Other Private Support – cash support derived from cash donations given for this project or a proportionate share of general donations allocated to this project. Do not include corporate, foundation, or government contributions and grants. Include gross proceeds from fundraising events.

Other Revenue – revenue derived from sources other than those listed above. Include catalog sales, advertising space in programs, gift shop income, concessions, parking, investment income, etc.

Outside Artistic Fees and Services – payments to firms or persons for the services of individuals who are not normally considered employees of “Applicant”, but consultants or the employees of other organizations, whose services are specifically identified with the project. Include all non-employee/non-staff individuals such as artistic directors, directors, conductors, conservators, curators, dance masters, composers, choreographers, designers, video artists, filmmakers, painters, poets, authors, sculptors, graphic artists, actors, dancers, singers, musicians, teachers, instructors, etc.

Outside Other Fees and Services – payments to firms or persons for non-artistic services or individuals who are not normally considered employees of “Applicant”, but consultants or employees of other organizations, whose services are specifically identified with the project.

Personnel – Administrative – payments for employee salaries, wages, fees, and benefits specifically identified with the project for executive and supervisory administrative staff, program directors, educational administrators, managing directors, business managers, press and agents, fundraisers, clerical staff such as secretaries, typists, bookkeepers, and support personnel such as maintenance and security staff, ushers, and other front-of-the-house and box office personnel.

Personnel – Artistic – payments for employee salaries, wages, fees, and benefits specifically identified with the project for artistic directors, directors, conductors, conservators, curators, dance masters, composers, choreographers, designers, video artists, filmmakers, painters, poets, authors, sculptors, graphic artists, actors, dancers, musicians, teachers, instructors, puppeteers, etc.

Personnel – Technical/production – payments for employee salaries, wages, and benefits specifically identified with the project, for technical management and staff, such as technical directors, wardrobe, lighting and sound crews. Stage managers, stagehands, video and film technicians, exhibit preparatory, and installers, etc.

Presenter (Sponsor) – an organization that is in the business of presenting professional performing artists or arts groups to the public.

Project Costs – all allowable expenditures incurred by the grantee during the grant period and the value of the in-kind contributions made by the grantee or third parties in accompanying the grant.

Project Title – a short descriptive of the project for which “Applicant” is requesting assistance. If no formal title exists or if the title is not descriptive, a short phrase describing the activities of the project should be substituted.

Regranting – using Marion Cultural Alliance monies to underwrite grant programs or individual grants within one’s own organization. Regranting of Marion Cultural Alliance funds is prohibited.

Remaining Operating Expenses – all expenses not entered in other categories and specifically identified with the project. Include non-structured renovations, improvements, scripts and scores, lumber and nails, electricity, telephone, storage, postage, photographic supplies, publication purchases, sets and props, equipment rental, insurance fees, trucking, shipping, and hauling expenses not entered under “travel”.

School-Based Cultural Events – cultural events that directly involve the participation of a public or private PreK-12 school, i.e., school field trips to arts organizations, performances or workshops which took place on school grounds, or other collaborations between arts organizations and schools. In school-based cultural events, the school is involved in organizing the children’s participation in the cultural event.

Seniors – individuals over the age of 65 who directly attended/participated in the project or program.

Space Rental/Rent or Mortgage – payments specifically identified with the project for the rental of office, rehearsal, theatre, hall, gallery, and other such spaces. Include the interest portion of mortgage payments only. Do not include the principal portion of mortgage payments. Do not include rental of housing for guest artists or other persons traveling under the grant project to this line item. (See definition for “Travel”.)

Specific Project – A particular project, program, or series within the applicant organization’s total operations. Organizations selecting to submit a specific project application should be certain the application is indeed for a project and not general program support. A specific project proposal budget should not reflect the entire general operating budget.

Sponsor – see “Presenter”.

Start Date – the first date of fiscal activity in the project for which assistance is requested.

Total Number of Opportunities to Participate – the total number of times the public can participate. For example: a concert is considered as one (1) event, but it may have three (3) performances; therefore, 3 “opportunities to participate”. An art exhibit is considered one event, but it is open for the public to view for 20 days; therefor, there are 20 “opportunities to participate”.

Total Operating Budget – gross operating income for the organization’s last completed fiscal year. Governmental agencies may include all funds directly appropriated and administered by the applicant agency, as well as support services provided by the agency that is directly attributed to the program. Do not include capital contributions or expenses in the operating budget.

Travel – all costs for travel directly related to the travel of an individual or individuals and specifically identified with the project. For transportation not connected with travel of personnel; see “Remaining Operating Expenses”. Includes fares, hotel, other lodging expenses, food taxis, gratuities, per diem payments, toll charges, mileage, allowances on personal vehicles, car rental costs, etc. For trucking, shipping, or hauling expenses see “Remaining Operating Expenses”.

Youth Participating – individuals under the age of 18 who directly attended/participated in the project or program.

Back To Top
Yes No