4/05/2021 update

Even during the best of times, most local arts organizations have existed on razor-thin operating budgets. We recognize that limited reserve funds have likely been tapped and funding might still be required to reopen and adjust operations to reflect a new world informed by COVID-19 realities. For this reason, local arts and cultural organizations have the option to apply for a grant to support programming as in past years OR apply for Restart + Resilience Funding. Agencies CANNOT apply for both types of funding.

We also encourage performing arts organizations to see if they are eligible to receive funding from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), which is administered by the Small Business Association. The SVOG application is slated to open April 8, 2021.

Geographic scope: Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County, or the city of Ripon
Range of grantmaking: Grant awards are typically less than $5,000
Grant application deadline: June 1, 2021
Grant decisions: July
Contact: Amy Putzer, [email protected] or 920-426-3993


Participation in arts and cultural activities enriches the lives of individuals, promotes interaction among residents, provides opportunities to deepen learning, and builds community across groups with diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In order to support local arts programming, the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation annually applies for a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the state agency that nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, and stimulates community and economic development. All funds received are matched with local community donations to the Fund for the Arts, and then re-granted to established arts organizations or nonprofit groups with an innovative arts program.

GRANT GUIDELINES to support programming

Programming grants support the creation and presentation of arts in our community. Proposed projects can be any artistic discipline or combination of artistic media. Priority will be given to innovative arts-related collaborations between arts groups, artists, venues, community groups, or area residents.

Eligible grant proposals will:

  • Enhance local arts programming and arts educational opportunities.
  • Involve an activity that is open to the public such as an exhibition, a performance, a workshop, a residency, a lecture/demonstration, or a publication. A fee for admission or publication may be charged.
  • Not request grant funding exceeding 50% of the total project costs.

Examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • A theater presents multiple productions and educational programming throughout the year including residencies.
  • A museum or gallery holds an exhibition or community arts event.
  • A performing arts organization presents a dance, music, or theater performance.
  • A community nonprofit group coordinates an arts-based community celebration, festival, or concert.
  • A university department offers an annual art film and video festival for community and university audiences.
  • A literary organization presents a series of poetry readings, a books festival, and/or produces a literary journal featuring local poets.

The following activities are not currently supported by Community Arts Grants:

  • Grants to individual artists.
  • Events or performances that serve primarily as fundraisers for an organization.
  • Travel costs for projects or performances that occur outside of the greater Oshkosh area.
  • Hospitality expenses, i.e. entertainment, refreshments or food at receptions, parties or gallery openings. (These may appear in your project budget but cannot be funded by Community Arts grant dollars.)
  • Activities that have a religious purpose


Restart + Resilience Funding can be used to offset expenses incurred by arts organizations to reopen and operate in accordance with public health guidelines while delivering high-quality, inclusive, accessible programming and experiences. Arts and culture will be essential to our recovery as a society – we need these organizations to be stronger than ever when it is safe to return and when audiences are ready.

To apply for Restart + Resilience Funding, organizations must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Based in Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County, or the city of Ripon. Organizations that may serve but are not physically located in this geography are not eligible.
  • Primary purpose is to promote appreciation for, enjoyment of, or understanding of the visual, performing, folk, and/or media arts. Organizations with broader missions that offer arts programming in addition to other programming are not eligible.
  • Received a Community Arts grant from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation in the last three years.

Eligible organizations can request capital and operating support across the following categories:

  1. Physical Environments (i.e., venue changes and adaptations, touchless fixtures, flexible seating, partitions, etc.)
  2. Programming Modifications (i.e., more performances, expanding hours, changing locations, increased access to serve more underrepresented audiences in response to increased community need)
  3. Staffing (i.e., new models that minimize exposure, training needs, additional hires to cover volunteers)

In general, any expense incurred prior to June 30, 2021, will not be considered eligible for funding. Expenses must be new and directly related to your organization’s reopening/recovery strategy in order to be considered eligible for funding.

If your organization is in need of personal protective equipment (PPE), free supplies are available thanks to a regional funders’ effort. View real-time inventory and place your requests at using the password PPE2021. Once orders are submitted, nonprofits will be verified by local funders through a typical due diligence process to confirm eligibility. Nonprofits are expected to pick up the items at Valley Packaging Industries’ Roemer facility the week they are approved.


Grant Awards – Spring 2019
Grant Awards – Spring 2018
Grant Awards – Spring 2017


Grantees are required to complete a final report, account for all funds, and evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the project. At least two digital images should accompany the final report. Copies of promotional materials are no longer required as part of the grant reporting process.

Community Arts Grant Final Report Form


Contact Amy Putzer, Director of Programs, at 920-426-3993 if you are unsure whether your proposal meets the grant guidelines.

Submit an online grant application form for ONE of the following types of support:

  1. Funding to support programming. Applications must include a budget worksheet.  If you do not have Microsoft Excel, please use Google Sheets to complete the budget worksheet.
  2. Restart + Resilience Funding. Applications must include a operating budget for 2020 vs. 2019.