What is a Catalyst grant?

ArtsKC Catalyst Grants are investments in people, programs and projects that make the arts more accessible, that sustain a vibrant and thriving arts community, and that support traditions of excellence as well as innovation and entrepreneurship in the arts.

Catalyst grants reach a broad range of organizations with budgets for arts activities that are generally less than $1 million annually.  It is estimated that 25% of available grant funds raised in the spring of 2017 will be awarded in the Catalyst category for activities and projects that take place between July 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

Catalyst Grant Application Information for 2017 – 2018

  • DEADLINE TO APPLY:  11 pm, Friday, July 14, 2017
  • Funding decisions will be made and announced in September and October, 2017
  • Categories of Funding will include:
    • Catalyst Mission Support Grants, for non-profit organizations with the arts as their primary purpose
    • Catalyst Project Grants, for any non-profit organization with arts projects, activities or programs

Catalyst Grant Applications are submitted entirely online.

Timeline + Deadlines

Applications Available Online:  April 18, 2017

DEADLINE to apply: Friday, July 14, 2017

Catalyst Mission Support Grants Panel: at ArtsKC, September 7th and September 9th, 2017
Catalyst Project Grants Panel: at ArtsKC, August 24th and August 26th, 2017

Catalyst Grant Announcements:

Catalyst Project, End of September. Catalyst Mission, End of October.


To be eligible for funding in the Catalyst category, an organization must:

  • Be a not-for-profit arts, cultural or other nonprofit organization
  • Be principally located in the five-county Kansas City metropolitan area (Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Platte, Wyandotte)
  • Have a governing body with bylaws
  • Provide matching funds for funded projects and activities
Grant Types

Catalyst funding provides grants of two basic types:

  1. Catalyst Mission Support Grants, for non-profit organizations with the arts as their primary purpose
  2. Catalyst Project Grants, for any non-profit organization with arts projects, activities or programs

If you are uncertain about whether your organization qualifies to apply for Mission Support, please contact the ArtsKC Grants staff at 816-994-9237. 

You can preview and download the online application forms here:

Application Process
  • Catalyst Grant Applications are submitted online using the ArtsKC Grant System.  You can preview and download the online application forms for the two different kinds of Catalyst Grants at these links:
  • IF you have applied before, when you go to the ArtsKC Grant System, log in to your existing account and click on the “Apply” link to start a new application. Use the “Forgot Your Password?” link if you don’t remember what your password is.  When you return to work on a saved application, be sure to look for your previously started form!
  • IF you have not applied before, when you go to the ArtsKC Grant System, click on the “Create New Account” button, and follow the directions there.  If you are a new user but your organization has applied for ArtsKC funding before, be sure to link your request to the existing account for your organization.

If you need assistance with online application process,  please see the step by step instructions or this video.

Support Materials

It is recommended that you submit up to 8 items of support materials: up to 4 reviews, press articles, or other items that help to document or describe the artistic quality of your programs or services and up to 4 brochures, photographs, programs, booklets, or other promotional materials from your organization. These items must be submitted electronically online. Files must be in PDF or JPEG format when uploaded to the application.

Draft Applications

Draft applications may be submitted for review by staff.  This step is strongly encouraged for new applicants. Draft applications do not require a full set of attachments or support materials to be reviewed and should be completed via the Foundant system. Once the application has been completed for a draft review, email or phone the ArtsKC Grants staff to say that the application is ready for draft review. ArtsKC staff will review applications in the order they are submitted and will provide timely feedback to the applicant. Applicants will be able to make changes directly in the application without having to start the application over.

Evaluation + Funding

Catalyst grant applications will be rated competitively in a public review panel process by the type of support requested. There will be two different panels; one to review Mission Support requests and one to review Project Support requests. This allows applications to be reviewed and rated in comparison to other similar requests.

Panelists are selected for their artistic knowledge and experience, awareness of community needs and issues, and other contributing factors.  Attendance at the panel review meetings by applicants is strongly recommended for Catalyst applicants, but not required.  Each application will be reviewed and discussed by the panelists and, if present, applicants are asked for a brief overview of the organization and to respond to questions regarding the application. The panelist will take into consideration each applicant’s:

  • Artistic quality
  • Community impact
  • Budget size and need
  • Size and diversity of audiences, diversity of governing body, and positive trends in audience demographics
  • Accessibility
  • Any other factors that may be determined by the review panelists and the ArtsKC Board of Directors

Catalyst grants of both types will be awarded in the range of $500 to $5,000. Organizations must choose to apply for either Mission Support or Project Support.  Due to the high number of worthy requests received, most grants will be awarded for less than $5,000. Catalyst grant awards must be matched at least one to one with other funding.  As a guideline, the amount of the request should be no more than 10% of the total operating revenue in the most recently completed fiscal year of the organization.  Exceptions to this policy may be made for organizations with budgets of less than $10,000 under special circumstances.

Payments for Catalyst grant awards are split into two parts. 75% of the grant amount awarded is paid upon receipt of a signed grant agreement and the remaining 25% is held in reserve until a final report has been received and approved by ArtsKC at the completion of the project.

Committee Members
Grant System Link and Instructional Video