Funds are allocated annually from the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Benton County Board of Commissioners, based on County population. These funds (less the commission’s 5% administrative fee) are then allocated to the Benton County Cultural Coalition (BCCC) for distribution. The BCCC announces the availability of funds and accepts Letters of Intent from August 1 through September 10 of each year.
Priorities and Benchmarks
- We seek to fund a balance of rural and urban applicants as well as a balance of art, heritage and cultural projects each grant cycle.
- We appreciate projects that are both accessible and visible to the general public as well as projects that build local capacity.
- Build Organization or Individual Capacity. Projects that strengthen the capacity of an organization or individual to do the work they do in art, heritage or humanities. This includes but is not limited to buying new equipment, purchasing uniforms, hiring an employee.
- Improve or Preserve Structures. Projects that preserve or improve a structure i.e.: a storefront, school, historic bank, heritage site.
- Increase Participation In/Access To Culture. Projects that increase participation and access to culture for all Oregonians. This includes but is not limited to increasing diversity of participants and/or creating plans that include all community members.
- Public Art. Projects that seek to place art in public and community environments.
- Lifelong Learning. Projects that target adults and senior citizens as program participants. This includes but is not limited to adult music programs, art, heritage or cultural programs for adults and senior citizens, etc.
- Stories/Oral Traditions. Programs with the main goal of sharing stories in the oral tradition.
- Cultural Tourism. Projects and events that promote cultural tourism.
- Youth. Any project that is youth related, specifically those for children in grades K-12. It may be partnering with or created by a school; however to be a youth-focused project, school affiliation is not required.
- Economic Development. Projects that seek to improve the economy of their community. This includes but is not limited to seeding organizations, encouraging investment in culture, main street projects, and preservation for the sake of increasing commercial traffic to area businesses.
Guidelines for Submission
- All applicants must be from Benton County, Oregon. All grant-funded events/programs must take place in Benton County, Oregon.
- Applicants must either provide proof of their 501(c)(3) non-profit status or, if they are an individual or for-profit organization, they must declare and identify a 501(c)(3) fiscal non-profit sponsor. NOTE: First time applicants must e-mail a copy of their 501(c)(3) Letter of Determination to email@example.com by 11:59pm on September 10, in order for their Letter of Intent application to be complete.
- If a project involves public art, signage or other construction, the applicant must document approval of the organization which governs the site prior to application for BCCC funding.
- Grant funds are distributed in January. Grant projects must complete during the calendar year for which they are funded. Final Grant Reports are due 30 days after completion of the project or December 31st, whichever is earlier.
- Acknowledgment of the Benton County Cultural Coalition, and the Oregon Cultural Trust, must be included in all publicity for grant-funded projects. BCCC logos and OCT logos should be present on all printed materials (programs, signage, etc.)
- Modifications to an approved project, including budgeted expenses, timeline or activities specified in the approved BCCC Grant Application, must be requested by filing an Interim Report.
- Prior grant recipients must have successfully completed their BCCC Final Grant Report before they are eligible to apply for additional grant funds. Final reports are due within 30 days of project completion.
Online Application Forms and Timelines
How to Apply:
Complete the on-line Letter of Intent (LOI) form and submit it between August 1 and 11:59pm on September 10. No late entries; no exceptions. You will receive a confirmation e-mail within several minutes of submitting the LOI: check your spam folder. Click here to review in advance the questions on the Letter of Intent.
Projects which best meet BCCC guidelines, including priorities and benchmarks, will be invited to submit a Grant Application between October 1 and October 31. Many applicants find it extremely helpful to carefully review in advance the questions asked on the grant application: click BCCC Grant Application Questions to download a pdf for review.
Grant-writing workshop/networking event:
For invited applicants, the grant writing process is discussed in detail and questions are answered. Those who have been invited to submit a grant application share their project ideas. This annual event takes place in early October. It usually lasts about an hour and is typically held at the Benton County Historical Museum.
Grant Cycle Timeline:
- Letters of Intent Due: August 1 – September 10
- Grant Writing Workshop and Networking Event: Early October
- Grant Application Form Due: Deadline October 31
- Notification of Grant Awards: First week of December
- Signed Grant Agreements Due: December 15
- Checks Distributed: Early January
- Final Grant Reports due 30 days after project completion
- Modifications to an approved project, including budgeted expenses, timeline, or activities specified in the approved BCCC Grant Application, must be requested by filing an Interim Report.
- Any unused BCCC funds must be returned, by check payable to the Benton County Cultural Coalition, within 30 days of the approved grant completion date.
For Current Grant Recipients
Upon receipt of your grant award letter, please complete and sign two copies of the Grant Agreement. Mail both signed copies of the Grant Agreement to Benton County Cultural Coalition, PO Box 1504, Philomath, OR 97370 by December 15. A fully signed copy of the Grant Agreement will be returned to you in early January along with a check in the amount of your total grant award.
Please submit your final report within thirty (30) days of the completion of the grant period, and no later than December 31 of project year, whichever is earlier.
Modifications to an approved project, including budgeted expenses, timeline or activities specified in the approved BCCC Grant Application, must be requested by filing an Interim Report. If you are unable to complete your project in the time period for which the funding was awarded, please contact us immediately.
(Note: this online form must be completed in one session. Please print a copy for your records. You should receive a confirmation e-mail following your submission: be sure to check your SPAM folder. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Logos and Publicity
All promotional materials created by Benton County Cultural Coalition grant recipients must include a Benton County Cultural Coalition and Oregon Cultural Trust logo (which can be downloaded below) and must be accompanied by the following text, with the text standing alone: “This [project/program/workshop] is supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust.”
Other Funding Resources
Any proposal is made stronger through collaboration with partners. Addressing arts education? Contact your local schools to learn about their needs and interests. Holding your writing workshop in a bookstore? Mention their partnership in the proposal, and include the use of their space as an in-kind value in your budget. These are just two ideas that can make your proposal even more compelling.
Any proposal jumps out that considers accessibility to attendees who identify themselves as alter-abled. With the Oregon Arts Commission reimbursement grants, accessibility efforts have never been easier and more affordable. They provide advice to organizations, online resources, and reimbursement grants for accessibility projects. Contracting an American Sign Language interpreter, for example, whose fee is paid by the Oregon Arts Commission, shows partnership, provides accessibility, and all for a zero net expense.