NHSCA Arts for Community Engagement Grants

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

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Next deadline: Jul 7, 2023 8:59pm PDT

Later deadlines: Jul 7, 2024 8:59pm PDT

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $6,000

Fields of work: Arts / Culture Access & Participation Public / Community Art Tourism Performing Arts Art & Culture

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program, Exhibitions

Location of project: New Hampshire

Location of residency: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont


New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (NHSCA) is a Division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Our enabling legislation charges us to ensure that the arts play a significant role in the welfare of people in the Granite State. Our mission is to promote the arts to protect and enrich New Hampshire’s unique quality of life.

The State Arts Council provides a wide variety of services, competitive grants, and technical assistance to non-profit organizations, schools, health care facilities and to individual artists, helping to ensure that the arts thrive in New Hampshire and are accessible to all. Funding for our grants and services is provided by the New Hampshire Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Arts for Community Engagement Project Grants

Arts for Community Engagement (ACE) project grants support community enrichment and public benefit by providing access to high quality arts events and activities presented by community-based organizations, Main Street programs, and municipalities. The ACE grant supports a wide range of activities across a range of disciplines and includes performances, concerts, exhibits, workshops, community arts programming, and collaborative public art projects. The goals of this funding category are to engage and benefit New Hampshire residents and communities through the arts, especially people who are underserved or under-represented; encourage collaborative and cross-sector community partnerships; stimulate local economies through cultural tourism and the arts; and enhance the vibrancy of New Hampshire communities and quality of life for New Hampshire citizens.

Sample Projects

  • A municipality partners with a performing arts nonprofit to offer a series of public performances at the farmers’ market. The event enlivens the town and attracts patrons to downtown businesses.
  • A chamber of commerce and a community arts organization collaborate to host a weekend “Arts Walk” featuring local artists and live music to attract out-of-town visitors to the downtown area.
  • A Main Street program, library, and historical society engage an artist to host public workshops at the library and local schools to inform the creation of a community mural on a downtown building. The artist seeks input and participation to ensure the mural authentically reflects the identity, history, cultural heritage and/or landscape of the town.
  • An art exhibition features works that address urban growth and renewal. The exhibition incorporates a series of panel conversations with town planners and local leaders to prompt conversations about changes in the community and to seek public input into an upcoming community visioning process.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Projects funded in this category are required to:
    • Clearly articulate a plan that centers community engagement and public benefit;
    • Demonstrate a clear focus on artistic quality;
    • Incorporate the direct participation of an artist as a core element of the program;
    • Ensure that activities are accessible and provide an opportunity for meaningful participation for people of all abilities and underserved populations;
    • Compensate artists at a professional level.
  • Who Can Apply
    • Any organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS and not-for-profit incorporation in the State of New Hampshire; state, federal, county, municipal, or government agency; or unit of a post-secondary educational institution that meet the following conditions:
      • Make all programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities
      • Have submitted all required reports on past State Arts Council grants
      • Good standing with the N.H. Secretary of State’s Office and the N.H. Attorney General’s Office
      • Arts organizations only: at least one-year of arts programming prior to the application deadline
    • Organizations incorporated in Maine, Vermont or Massachusetts may also be eligible if they meet all of the following conditions. Contact the grant coordinator with questions about eligibility.
      • Physically headquartered within 50 miles of the New Hampshire border
      • Can demonstrate that over 50% of the individuals who benefit from their work are N.H. residents
      • Have a significant representation of N.H. residents on their Board.


  • Projects funded in this category are strongly encouraged to:
    • Foster deep connections within the community by establishing partnerships and collaborations with artists, organizations, local businesses, government agencies, and others. Collaborations should deepen the content, reach, and impact of the project;
    • Identify and reach individuals in the community who may not be known to the organization, and present a plan to engage them through the project design, presentation, and artistic content;
    • Include N.H. artists. Preference will be given to projects that request NHSCA funding to employ N.H. artists and/or NHSCA Roster Artists. 


  • To allow for broad and equitable distribution of public funds, organizations may receive ONE grant in the following categories. An exception to this restriction may be made for organizations acting as a fiscal agent; please contact the coordinator for approval prior to applying.
    • Arts for Community Engagement Grant (ACE)
    • Folklife and Traditional Arts Project Grant
    • Public Value Partnership
    • Youth Arts Project Grant (YAP)
  • This grant does NOT support:
    • Commercially viable "for-profit" publications, recordings, or films
    • General operating expenses not directly related to the project
    • Lobbying or fundraising expenses
    • Organizations or projects already receiving funds from another State Arts Council grant category
    • Projects that do not require the direct participation of an artist as a core element of the project
    • Projects/activities that are not open to the general public

This page was last reviewed February 20, 2023 and last updated February 20, 2023