Artists in Communities: Getting to know MAC’s new arts grants

By Cathleen Enns

Share: Artist in Community is now a grant program that encompasses the activities formerly funded in several past MAC programs – Artists in Communities, Community Connections, and Juried Art Shows, as well as former MAC partnerships with certain provincial organizations whose work has tremendous impact across the province. The range of activities that this program can fund is wide, but the focus remains on artistic activity involving professional artists, groups, or organizations in communities that may face barriers to access to the arts.


The Program

The Artists in Communities program supports arts-related activities by artists, arts groups, organizations and communities that face barriers to accessing artistic opportunities.


Grant amounts

This program has three grant types that are aimed at individuals, groups, and organizations. Individual and groups can ask for a grant of up to $7,500 and organizations can ask for up to $15,000.


Who can apply

In order to apply to the Artists in Communities program, you must either be a professional artist, an arts/cultural professional, an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, a professional arts group, a professional arts organization or a non-artistic not-for-profit organization. That means you must have a valid profile as an individual, a group or an organization on MAC’s Online Application System. To give yourself enough time, make sure that you submit your profile to MAC at least 15 business days before you want to start your application.


What you can apply for

The eligible activity in the program was previously divided between many programs. You’ll notice that this program supports multiple types of activities.

This grant can help you cover direct costs related to your proposed project. Those projects can include:

  • Creation
  • Production
  • Public presentations
  • Publication
  • Juried art shows
  • Community art projects involving professional artists
  • Artistic workshops and sharing opportunities
  • Cross-sectoral activities
  • Arts-related gatherings
  • Knowledge sharing


When you can apply

The Artists in Communities program will have two deadlines in a given calendar year. These will stay the same from year to year starting in 2019. The deadlines for the Artists in Communities program are January 30th and September 15th.

Applicants must submit their applications for any MAC program by 11:59 PM on the day of the deadline. Previously, an application deadline would move to the following business day if it fell on a weekend or holiday. This allowed applicants to deliver or mail their paper application during regular business hours. Now that applications will be submitted online, deadline dates will be fixed.


How decisions are made

Your application to the Artists in Communities program will be assessed by a peer assessment jury representing a discipline or group of disciplines. This jury will use the following criteria to evaluate your proposed project:

  • Artistic Merit (50%)
  • Impact and engagement (40%)
  • Feasibility (10%)

If you’re interested in reading up on MAC’s evaluation process, you should check out our Peer Assessment Handbook.


Applied to MAC before?

Still wondering if this program is right for your project? Our new programs continue to fund the kinds of activities that were supported in our previous programs.

Specifically, the Artists in Communities grant supports most of the activities that were eligible in the following programs:

  • Artists in Community Residency
  • Community Connections and Access
  • Juried Art Shows
  • Indigenous Arts Mentorship, Training, and Development Grant

If you’re still not sure, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help you!


Take Away:

  • Two application deadlines
  • Individuals are eligible to apply
  • Increased maximum grant amounts for organizations
  • You must have a valid profile to apply.