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“We hear you…”
During the first year of COVID-19 we pivoted our grantmaking, offering more flexible awards with the goal of supporting a greater number of artists and arts-based businesses during a time of rapid change and creative innovation.
The Make|Learn|Build grant program supports artists, creatives, organizations, and businesses in making work, gaining skills, or building up a business as we continue to respond to community needs. This grant program is designed to address the various ways the arts community in the tri-county region need support.
This grant offered funding for artists and arts-based business/organizations in three categories:
- MAKE: the creation of work in any artistic discipline
- LEARN: artistic or administrative learning, skill building, or professional development that improve your art practice or business
- BUILD: a transition or pivot for an arts business or operations, including purchase of equipment or staffing costs
Only one application can be submitted at a time. Awards in each focus area are at the $1,500 or $3,000 level, or a $5,000 level in Make when additional eligibility requirements are met.
Round One and Two awards were announced Spring 2021.
- Round Three Due Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, by 5:00PM – Awards announced by November 30, 2021.
- Round Four Due Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 by 5:00PM – Awards announced by March 31, 2022.
Grant awards are based on funds available, panel rankings, and RACC’s work to increase investment in under-represented communities.
- Read the full Make|Learn|Build Grant guidelines.
- Apply through the RACC Opportunity Portal.
- Download our FAQ here or find the answers to frequently asked questions below.
- Watch the Info Session held via Zoom on March 3 for Rounds One and Two and download the transcript.
- Sign up for the Make|Learn|Build Grant Info Session – scheduled for September 22nd at 11:00am.
Click here for the Make|Learn|Build FAQ
If you have a question that isn’t answered here or if you would like to get in touch with our team.
Q: What does Make|Learn|Build grant support?
A: This grant program is designed to be flexible and responsive to the arts community in the
challenges of the COVID-19 impacted world. This program provides funding support for artists
and arts based businesses and organizations in the areas that will sustain and have impact for
the applicants through making art, learning new skills, or building their business operations.
Q: Who can apply?
A: RACC will accept applications from individuals and arts-based businesses or organizations.
The application is the same for all applicants. Make sure that your Applicant Profile in your
online account matches the eligibility for this grant program and has up to date information.
Q: Are social service or other nonprofit organizations eligible for Make|Learn|Build?
A: Not at this time. RACC is focusing this grant opportunity on direct support for the arts
Q: To be clear, does my art organization need to have 501(c)3 status to be eligible to apply?
A: No. IRS 501(c)3 status is NOT required. However, if you are applying as an organization or a
business, please verify in your Applicant Profile how you are organized and be prepared to
provide a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). RACC makes grant awards to
nonprofits, Limited Liability Companies (LLC), partnerships, and other legally organized entities,
in addition to individuals. Individual artists are welcome to create an account and apply on behalf of a collective or
organized project that does not have its own FEIN.
Q: Can I still apply if I have an open RACC grant?
A: You may still apply for the Make|Learn|Build grant if you have an open RACC grant, but it
must be in a different focus area than is already being supported by RACC grant funds. If you
currently have an open Project Grant, you are only eligible to apply to LEARN or BUILD. If you
have an open Professional Development Grant, you are only eligible to apply to MAKE or BUILD.
If you are currently in the Capacity Building Program, you are only eligible to MAKE. If you
receive a Make|Learn|Build grant, you must complete it before you apply again in any
category. You may only have one Make|Learn|Build grant open at a time.
An open grant is one that is either in Grant Agreement or Final Report stage in the RACC
Q: I understand that I cannot apply for a Make|Learn|Build grant if my activity is already
supported by a different RACC program. Can I apply for a new phase of a project or
opportunity that was supported by RACC in the past?
A: If RACC support is showing up in the current or overall proposal budget, the answer is likely
No. If you think you can make the case that this opportunity is separate from a past RACC
funded project, artwork, call, program, event, or happening, please contact RACC grant staff to
Q: Why aren’t schools eligible?
A: The Make|Learn|Build grant program is intended to support the arts community directly.
Artists, arts organizations, and arts businesses are welcome to apply with proposals or
opportunities that involve K-12 schools as partners or students and youth directly. We want to
make sure the professional artists and creatives are being supported with these funds directly,
including teaching artists, rather than school administration, employees or overhead.
Q: I understand that Make|Learn|Build is not a scholarship and I cannot apply for tuition. Can
students apply for funding for proposal costs that are or aren’t related to their schooling?
A: There is no age limit on eligible applicants and artists of all ages are welcome to apply for
opportunities to make work, learn skills, or build their arts business, including individuals who
are currently students. However, please note that costs for projects that are related to schooling or course work, including a thesis, are not eligible and that you will need to make the case that your
proposal has an impact both on you and on an audience and/or the community. All types of
proposals will be considered, however the Make|Learn|Build grant is intended to support and
sustain the arts community and will be a competitive application process. While students can
apply, activities directly related
to schooling are not eligible.
Q: Can artists apply for projects that are connected to General Operating Support
A: Yes. While arts organizations that are currently receiving General Operating Support grants
from RACC are not eligible to apply, they can be involved in proposed opportunities submitted
by other applicants.
Q: Can I apply for a grant and be a Community Panel Reviewer at the same time?
A: No. You may apply to be a Community Panel Reviewer, if that role interests you. If you are
hired as a Community Panel Reviewer, you will not be eligible to apply for your own grant while
under contract. If you are not hired, you will be notified before the Make|Learn|Build grant
deadline and are welcome to apply with your own grant proposal in either round.
If you apply and are hired as a Community Panel Reviewer, you will be eligible for future RACC
grant opportunities after your contract is complete.
Q: What assistance is available to grant applicants?
A: RACC Grants staff are available to support applicants and grant recipients at every stage of
the grant process. Details are listed on page 6 of the Make|Learn|Build grant guidelines,
including help with the online system, translation services, accessibility, info sessions, and draft
review. You are welcome to contact individual staff directly with your specific questions or
email all of us at email@example.com to request support.
Q: If I apply in the $3,000 or $5,000 category, could I potentially be awarded $1,500?
A: No. If you receive a grant, it will be for the full amount that you have
requested. However, if you apply in the $5,000 category of Make, but do not meet the eligibility requirements, you will be contacted to adjust your request amount.
Q: What is the grant award cycle? When do I have to use the funds by?
A: The applicant will define the start date and end date of their proposed opportunity. If you
receive a grant, you will receive the full amount after you submit your Grant Agreement. You
should submit your Final Report when the activity is complete. We recommend that you submit
your report within 45 days of finishing your activity, but there is no deadline for your activity or
end of a “grant cycle”. Instead, please keep in mind that you will be issues a 1099-NEC at the
end of the calendar year, so keep track of your expenses for tax purposes and note that you will
not be eligible for future grant awards until your activity is complete and your Final Report is
Q: Do I still need to save and produce receipts to document the grant award?
A: No. While you will still need to complete a Final Report with a final accounting of your
proposal actual costs and contributions, you do not need to provide RACC with copies of
receipts or other documentation of those costs. However, you want to save all those materials
for your own tax purposes and arts business accounting!
Q: The RACC Opportunity Portal won’t let me access this program or submit.
A: Technology has glitches. If you notice anything acting differently than expected, please first
check to make sure you are using a compatible browser that is up to date (Chrome is preferred,
Firefox and MS Edge work smoothly, Safari and Internet Explorer are not supported). Next,
make sure that you are using the correct account and your Applicant Profile is up-to-date. Not
every grant program is open to all applicants based on criteria you have entered in your profile,
and many applicants have inadvertently created more than one account, as well. If you haven’t
found a user error, send us an email through our feedback form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and
we’ll try to sort out the issue for you and other users.
Updated August 2021
All applicants are welcome to contact RACC Grants staff at email@example.com if you have questions about your application or need assistance with the application process.