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News & Event

2019 Cultural Economic Development Grant Program

2019 CED "In Our Neighborhood" Grant Program

APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 12 (Now Closed)


There are countless groups and connections between individuals that together make up our community in Washtenaw County. These “neighborhoods” that we live in are both literal (defined by geography) and figurative – some of us might be members of “neighborhoods” that are based on our vocation or social identity. “Arts and Culture” form the connective tissue that makes these neighborhoods thrive, allowing us to access our individual creative spirit, meaningfully connect with others, support economic activity, and give voice to our many and diverse experiences.

The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation in partnership with CultureSource invites proposals from interested individuals and nonprofits for ideas and projects that support arts and culture projects in your “Neighborhood” and have a positive impact on the local economy. AAACF is particularly interested in “Neighborhoods” that exist outside of the dominant narrative of Arts and Culture in Washtenaw County.


  1. Individuals – If you are an artist, “culture-maker,” or community leader with an idea or project for your “neighborhood,” you are invited to apply. If funded, the individual would enter a fiduciary relationship (an administrative partnership, particularly for finances) with CultureSource
  2. Nonprofit Organizations – Nonprofits are welcome to submit on their own. AAACF also offers the chance for interested Nonprofits to partner with an artist or culture-maker on their proposal. 
  3. Other Organizations – if you are interested in applying for support but are not a 501c3 organization, you have the option of finding a Washtenaw County 501c3 with whom to partner/serve as a fiscal sponsor.

NOTE: AAACF would be excited to receive applications from individuals that are (and organizations led by) people of color, women, LGBTQ-identified, and people with low incomes.


  • Whichever individual or organization submits the application must themselves be a member of the neighborhood they are proposing to engage through the project.
  • Individuals or organizations must submit an application.
  • In your application, we will expect the following elements to be addressed: A brief description of your proposed idea/project. What is your vision? What is the impact you believe your project will have on your neighborhood, participants, and the community as a whole?
  • A brief description of what “Neighborhood” is being engaged as part of your project. What are its characteristics? Who are the “neighbors”? How are they connected, and how will they be engaged in your project?
  • A description of how audience members and participants will be able to engage with and/or access your project. Priority will be given to proposals that present a compelling vision for how participants will be proactively engaged in your project, particularly outside of traditional venue and spaces.

  • Please note: Attendance at an information session is not mandatory, but is highly recommended.


    If you are unable to attend an information session, or wish to share with a colleague, please see below for a recording of one of the information sessions.


    The 2018 “In Our Neighborhood” Grant Program awarded the following:

    • Youth Arts Alliance: Workshops and Camps for Young Cultural Leaders, offering restorative opportunities to artists transitioning from the juvenile justice system as artistic educators of their younger peers at Parkridge Community Center. $25,000
    • Ballet Chelsea: “Adaptive Dance Program,” promoting the enjoyment of dance for those with physical, mental and cognitive disabilities through performances, workshops, and classes, while engaging the wider community to see that dance is possible for everyone irrespective of age and ability. $21,000
    • Julie Quiroz, Maria Ibarra, Desiraé Simmons, Catalina Rios, and Tanya Reza: “Untold Stories of Liberation and Love,” a network-based participatory narrative & culture shift project that gathers local women of color in collective creativity through community workshops, readings, and creation of an Anthology of Untold Stories by Washtenaw women writers and artists of color. $20,000
    • Yen and Nick Azzaro, in partnership with students at Ypsilanti Community Schools: “Y-Fi: Amplifying Voice with Fidelity,” Citywide art happenings in Ypsilanti that speak to the social, racial, economic, and other themes in the students’ lives. A website with live streaming, video, and photography by the students will document and share the happenings. $25,000

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