Municipal Support for the Arts

The Municipal Support for the Arts program is the City of Atlanta’s means of granting public funding to the arts. MSA awards contracts related to the production, creation, presentation, exhibition and management of artistic and cultural services in the city of Atlanta. The program recognizes that the presence of artists and non-profit organizations involved in the arts are critical to Atlanta’s cultural vitality. The arts enrich the creative development of the city’s diverse populations and contribute positively to the social and economic well being of Atlanta and the region. The goals of the MSA program are:

  • To provide support for the existence and excellence of artists and arts organizations in Atlanta.
  • To assist in the artistic development of the arts in Atlanta so that all citizens may participate in the diverse cultural life of the city.
  • To develop the contributions of Atlanta’s culturally diverse communities.
  • To ensure that the arts have broad geographic distribution and reach all segments of the population.
  • To support a broad range of educational activities in the arts.
  • To preserve the city’s artistic, cultural and historic heritage.
  • To enhance neighborhood vitality and economic development through the arts.

Each year, MSA awards grants in the following categories:

  • Major Arts Organizations
  • Arts Organizations
  • Community Cultural Development
  • Artist Projects
  • Emerging Artist Award


Funding Philosophy

The Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) believes that providing the local arts community with financial assistance is an investment in the continued cultural growth of the city of Atlanta. At the same time, the Office recognizes that government resources are limited while demands for services are high. For this reason, the Office views its financial assistance role as that of a catalyst, helping to augment and strengthen a grantee’s overall base of support. All funded activities must take place within the city of Atlanta and result in presentations available to the general public.

Funding Categories

  • Grants to Major Arts Organizations are available for project support (for outreach activities only) and general operating support for the city‘s established large-budget arts organizations with expenses totaling at least $500K. The grant fosters the stability, development and vitality of the city‘s major cultural institutions by stimulating growth and professional development, and by increasing the organization‘s accessibility to the general public. These contracts enable major arts institutions to promote Atlanta as a cultural destination and to share the organization‘s programs and services with a broad cross-section of the city‘s population.
  • Grants to Arts Organizations are available to provide general operating or special project support for the city‘s established mid-size and small arts organizations with expenses between $500K and $100K or less than $100K respectively.
  • Grants to Community Cultural Development are available to provide project support for non-arts organizations to encourage arts programming initiatives that develop partnerships with local professional artists and meet specific needs in a targeted community. 
  • Grants to Artist Projects are available to provide support for arts and cultural activities initiated by individual practicing professional artists who live and work in the city. It provides project support to artists working in the areas of dance, literary arts, media arts, visual arts, music, theater, and multidisciplinary genres.
  • Awards to Emerging Artist are available in recognition for artistic vision and achievement of new, upcoming, professional artists who live and create in Atlanta.
  • Grants to Neighborhood Arts are available to provide support for artistic development, engage neighborhood art-making and reimagine places. The OCA piloted this funding program in early 2015 to help neighborhood associations and neighborhood planning units (NPU) enrich the quality of life in the City of Atlanta.

Who We Fund

  • Tax-exempt, non-profit arts organizations (1) incorporated in the State of Georgia, (2) headquartered in Atlanta, within the corporate limits, for at least one year prior to the application deadline, and (3) have 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt status.
  • Tax-exempt, non-profit community organizations that are not involve in arts programming on a regular basis, but initiate arts programming as part of their service to the community (1) incorporated in the State of Georgia, (2) headquartered in Atlanta, within the corporate city limits, for at least a year prior to the application deadline, and (3) have 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt status.
  • Practicing professional artists (1) who reside in Atlanta, within the corporate city limits, and (2) who have been residents for at least one year prior to the application deadline.

*Refer to the Application Guidelines for Eligibility Requirements for a specific funding category.

Who We Do Not Fund

  • Private, for-profit organizations.
  • Artists who reside outside the city of Atlanta, including areas classified as metropolitan Atlanta.
  • Artists whose projects were funded during the most recent grant cycle.
  • Contractors who have not successfully completed other OCA contracts within the last five years.
  • Employees of the City of Atlanta.

What We Fund

  • Publicly accessible arts programs in all arts disciplines that take place in the city of Atlanta.
  • Administrative and marketing support to arts organizations related to audience development and community outreach.
  • Community arts programs that provide arts opportunities to the public.
  • Artistic components of festivals.
  • Percentage of staff salaries related to funded projects and activities.

What We Do Not Fund

  • Projects occurring outside the city of Atlanta.
  • Private events that are closed to the general public; or exhibitions at commercial, privately owned galleries; or activities restricted to an organization’s membership.
  • College/university or school projects that are a required part of the curriculum and/or which do not involve and serve a significant non-student population.
  • Deficit or debt reduction, fund-raising, lobbying, building construction or renovation, purchase of equipment and real property.
  • Hospitality and food costs.
  • Projects of a religious nature that are designed to promote or inhibit religious belief and/or practice and which have no basis underlying secular theme or topic.

Virtual Workshops

Each year, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs conducts application workshops for the Municipal Support for the Arts applicants. First-time applicants interested in submitting a proposal must attend a virtual workshop covering the submission process. Workshops will provide an overview of the program, application tips, and the review process.

Residency or Headquarter Eligibility

City of Atlanta Planning Viewer Interactive Map 

Individual and organization applicants can click here to enter their address in the tool/search bar at the top left corner of the page and determine their residency or headquarter eligibility.

The purpose of this web map is to provide geographic information central to helping the OCA determine if an applicant lives within the City of Atlanta corporate city limits. It can be used for simple tasks such as determining the zoning districts in which a neighborhood lies, or for more complex tasks such as analyzing recent development patterns. In short, it is intended to help you–whether as a planner, community leader, or citizen–to make more informed decisions.

MSA Guidelines & Applications


Major Arts Organizations Grant

The Application and Guidelines for the FY23 cycle are forthcoming. Please check back for updates. 


Arts Organizations Grant

The Application and Guidelines for the FY23 cycle are forthcoming. Please check back for updates. 


Community Cultural Development Organizations Grant

The Application and Guidelines for the FY23 cycle are forthcoming. Please check back for updates. 


Artist Projects Grant & Emerging Artist Award

The Application and Guidelines for the FY23 cycle are now available online. Please see link down below. 



NAG Guidelines & Application

Neighborhood Arts Grants FY23 Guidelines & Application are forthcoming. Please check back for updates.


Neighborhood Planning Units (NPU)

Locating a NPU: NPUs are Citizen Advisory Councils that make recommendations to the Mayor and city council on zoning and land use. You can find your neighborhood by looking at an alphabetical list of neighborhoods that shows which NPU each neighborhood belongs to or by looking at an alphabetical list of NPUs and the neighborhoods they contain.

Neighborhood Associations

Locating a Neighborhood Association: Neighborhood Associations consist of neighborhood residents who volunteer in the beautification, historical preservation, and celebration of the uniqueness of their neighborhood. Review the alphabetical list of neighborhood associations.

For more Municipal Support for the Arts information, please contact:

  • Brittnee Buley, Municipal Support for the Arts, Program Manager at 404.546.6895 or



Office of Cultural Affairs Logos

Panelist Info and Application

The Guidelines and Application for the FY23 cycle are forthcoming. Please check back for updates.

Resources for Grant Seekers

Here are a few resources to consider:

The Georgia Center for Nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

The Foundation Center of Atlanta

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

Tips for Individual Artists Writing a Compelling Grant Application



2021-2022 Grantees

Major Arts Organization

Art Organizations

Community Cultural Development