Grants to Organizations – FY24 Grant Cycle report to the community

Twisp Fall Art Walk Community Chalk Event, Sept 2022. Photographer Steven Mitchell, photo courtesy of Twisp Chamber of Commerce.

Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Funding

ArtsWA’s Grants to Organizations (GTO) program was allotted $540,000 to distribute for FY24. These funds came from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). GTO built five (5) grant programs with these funds. GTO received a total of 470 applications.

Grant Programs

ArtsWA’s FY24 grant programs were built to address a range of needs and circumstances.

The Sustaining General Operating Support grant provides two-year funding to support the day-to-day costs of arts organizations as they build creative experiences with and for the people of Washington State. The General Operating Support grant program was split into two application and panel processes. The first was for small organizations with budget sizes up to $350,000. The second was for large organizations (with budget sizes over $350,000).

The Emerging General Operating Support provides one-year funding to arts organizations that were established in the last three years. This grant assists with everyday costs to help new groups build creative, communal, and cultural experiences with and for their communities. New organizations that focused on the work of communities not fully or authentically represented in their region were of special interest.

The Creative Project Grant provides project-specific support for organizations that offer arts projects, arts services, and arts programming. This funding includes support for organizations that don’t have an arts mission but build arts programming into their services. Project Support grants require a project budget. The budget lets ArtsWA track and ensure funding is used for the arts.

The Art Service Organization Support provides two-year operating support to regional and statewide non-profit arts service organizations that offer programming to support, increase, diversify, and raise the proficiency of arts professionals in the field. Art Service Organizations focus on professional development as their primary service.


ArtsWA received $3,150,000 in requests for support in FY24. With a budget of $540,000, ArtsWA was able to support 25% of applications at various percentages of their full request. That left $2,610,000 of requests either fully or partially unfunded. This high percentage of denied applications is unprecedented. Before 2020, ArtsWA grant programs approved approximately 70% of applications. This figure rose to nearly 100% in fiscal year 2022 due to the infusion of COVID relief funding.

Geographic distribution

The ratio of King County and Pierce County applications to awards have stayed consistent over the last six years. Roughly 60% of applications that come to GTO are from King and Pierce County. Grant awards reflect that ratio. We aspire for our funding to fully reflect Washington State’s population. We continue to encourage organizations outside of the I-5 corridor to apply for funding.

Looking forward

The need in Washington’s creative sector is far greater than GTO’s present funding capacity. We are arts people and believe in the important work that is done by arts and culture organizations. The organizations applying for ArtsWA funding represent the determination, care for community, and creative brilliance of Washingtonians. We are saddened that an unprecedented number of applications were declined in FY24.

GTO’s program goal is steadfast: cultural equity for all people of Washington, a thriving creative economy, and support for community-driven arts participation. We have requested a significant increase in agency funding to address the gaps outlined in this report. You can learn about ArtsWA’s legislative priorities online.

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