Whether you are in the process of starting your own small creative business, expanding your entrepreneurial skills, or refining and exploring new avenues in your creative practice, the Cultural Alliance has resources for individual creators.
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the York County Economic Alliance (YCEA) and with funding support from the J. William Warehime Foundation, the Creative Accelerator program offers small business consulting, creative mentorship and grants for artists and creators in York, Adams, Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Based on our data from 2020 and 2021, our ongoing Racial Equity work, and a workgroup of local artist leaders and liaisons, the CAYC has created a new format for the distribution of these resources to artists in our region.
In order to connect artists with valuable business and skill building services, as well as create more authentic relationships between artists in our community, the path to connecting to resources from the Cultural Alliance will no longer start with a written application. We will be empowering a team of Navigators, hired and trained by the Cultural Alliance, to work with artists seeking resources for an idea. These Navigators will provide business development resources, advice and insight into their development plan, as well as work with the artist to submit their application for a request of $500-$2500 in grant funds if their idea has been green-lit for funding (most awards average under $2,000.)
Log into our Grants Portal and fill our a Letter of Interest (a simple form which lets us know who you are and what types of resources you are looking for), and we will pair you with a Navigator to get you started on your next steps.
POTENTIAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE
- Pairing with a mentor from Susquehanna SCORE, Small Business Development Center, YCEA or CAYC Navigator
- Small Business Workshops in-person and online through YCEA and SCORE
- Networking opportunities
- Guidance from Navigators on how to fulfill on your ideas
- Referrals to arts organizations, event organizers, or internship opportunities.
- $500-$2,500 in grant funding (most awards average under $2,000.)
A Navigator is a leader in York County's creative community who has been hired by the Cultural Alliance to connect with artists and help distribute resources deeper, and more equitably into the community than has been previously possible due to the CAYC's small staff. Navigators have experience, expertise and connections in their field, and in many cases, are people who were already at work mentoring and connecting creatives.
Any creative in York County seeking resources (educational, connections, funding, etc.) is welcome to fill out an LOI (Letter of Interest, a simple form which lets us know who you are and what you are looking for) and be paired up with a Navigator to help them determine their goals, next steps, and whether or not a grant would be beneficial to their growth.
- Artist/creator creates or logs into their account on the Cultural Alliance Foundant website and fills out a Letter of Interest (LOI: a simple form which lets us know who you are and what types of resources you are looking for).
- Within a week, you will be paired with a Navigator who's expertise fits your needs.
- You will have up to 3, one-hour meetings with your navigator (in-person or virtual). These meetings are meant to:
- Get to know you as an artist and hear about OR help you figure out what your goals are.
- Ask questions about and assess ideas that you have to more your career forward
- provide access and recommendations to any additional resources. small business workshops, classes, and other resources which would be provided at no cost.
- If you and your Navigator decide grant funds are part of the resource plan to move forward, Navigators will green-light a full grant application to be completed online. You will only be asked to fill out a full application if you have already been approved for funding.
- Grants will be awarded quarterly in January, March, June and September in the order that they were approved by Navigators. If there are more applications than funding, applications will be awarded based on time-sensitivity decided on by a panel of Navigators.
If you have difficulty or challenges using a computer, contact Rita Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-812-9255 for assistance.
Artist grant applications are rolling. An artist may begin the process by filling out an LOI at any time, and the Creative and Navigator work together to determine next steps. If a Creative comes to the Navigator from the beginning with a fully formed and achievable idea, the process can move very quickly. If there is a business plan to be written or additional education or resources needed, the Navigator will support through that process for the amount of time it takes, including up to 3, one-hour meetings.
Grant funding is distributed quarterly in January, March, June and September to those Creatives who have been recommended for funding by a Navigator.
Specific examples of eligible expenses if grant funding is awarded include:
- Travel, transportation, and lodging costs including food
- Registration fees
- Tuition costs for a course outside of a degree or certificate program
- Shipping costs for artwork, supplies, and other materials
- Printing costs and materials
- Web hosting and fees associated with website development
- Professional consultant fees and services
- Purchase of equipment
- Studio/rehearsal/retail space rent
- Project-based work or costs related to the creation of artwork
- Professional fees for workshops, consultants, and career coaching
- Participation in events, trade shows, festivals, etc. that offer access to audience and revenue generation potential
- Research and development
- Marketing and promotion
- Reasonable fees for supporting/collaborating artists
Examples of expenses not eligible to be covered by Professional Development Grants:
- Tuition for coursework within a degree or certificate program
- Work that has already been created or activities that have already taken place
- Ongoing work or business expenses
- Activities that have a religious purpose.
- Payments to lobbyists
- A full- or part-time staff position
- Medical fees and most legal or accounting fees
- Food and hospitality costs
To be eligible to receive creative entrepreneur accelerator program resources, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Reside in York County for at least one year prior to application.
- Be in good standing with all reporting requirements for any previously-funded CAYC grants.
- Have a gross annual revenue (total amount of money paid to you in a calendar year) of less than $200,000.
- Funding priority will be given to creative entrepreneurs/artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color ("BIPOC") and those who are located in and whose work benefits low-income communities as defined by the Small Business Administration.
- Artists/creators who work at partner organizations of the CAYC may apply with opportunities for their own creative and/or business skill development unrelated to the work they do for the organization.
Creative Entrepreneurs and Creators working in the following fields are also specifically eligible to apply:
- Marketing – Advertising and marketing agencies & professionals
- Architecture – Architecture firms & architects
- Visual Arts & Crafts – Galleries, artists, artisans & makers
- Design – Product, interior, graphic, and fashion design firms and designers
- Film & Media – Film, video, animation, TV & Radio businesses
- Digital Games – Companies, programmers & individuals producing games.
- Music & Entertainment –Producers, venues, musicians & performers
- Publishing – Print or electronic businesses & content creators, editors & writers
Resources and grants are not available to the following individuals or organizations:
- Individuals enrolled in a degree or certificate program in the arts at the time of application are not eligible to apply.
- Previous grant recipients cannot receive funding more than once within a calendar year.
- Members of CAYC staff
Thanks to our partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, we are able to offer an additional source of funding for York County Creative Entrepreneurs, the Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Grant, in addition to the Professional Development grants that have been offered by the Cultural Alliance since 2020.
This means that beginning in 2022 we will be able to provide twice the number of grants to individual artists than we have in the past, ideally 6-8 per quarter, depending on amount requested. Navigators will guide you through which funding stream is best suited for your idea.
Receive updates about available funding, information sessions and upcoming deadlines by subscribing to our mailing list:
The Cultural Alliance uses an online grants portal for all applications and resources. To get started, first create a profile which will save and manage any application you submit to the Cultural Alliance.
Creating a profile is free and does not obligate you to fill out an application.
The following are a few notes on creating your Foundant profile as an individual artist:
Business Title: OWNER or SOLE PROP
Executive Officer Question: As an individual artist, answer YES
Additional Executive Officer: LEAVE BLANK
You can reach Rita Whitney at (717) 812-9255, Ext. 3 or Rita@culturalyork.org with any questions about the application process. We LOVE talking to artists about their ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Beginning in 2022, The Cultural Alliance will hold virtual information sessions regarding these grants once per quarter. You are invited to attend any session regardless of if you intend to apply for funding that quarter or not. These sessions will include a walk-through of the application and grant process, as well as a chance to meet some of the Navigators.
Charlotte R. Langione Fund
Charlotte Langione was passionate about the arts. This Fund was created at her bequest to promote the arts in York County, now and for generations to come.
Walter B. Loucks-Michael Alan Bose Arts Fund
This Field of Interest Fund for the Arts was established by Michael A. Bose and family and friends of Walter Bott Loucks, Jr. to honor the memory of these men and their deep interest in history and the arts. Mr. Loucks’ lifelong interest in history was exemplified by his 30 years of continuous service on the board of the Historical Society of York County and the York County Heritage Trust. Michael A. Bose was an executive chef well-known for using authentic 18th-century American recipes. He may be best remembered in York for his weekly restaurant review column in the York Daily Record.