The City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs annual grants programs are open to non-profit, 501(c)(3) cultural organizations and cultural departments within an institution of higher learning (college or university) with tax-exempt status under other subsections of 501(c)(3) wishing to present or produce cultural and artistic events in the City of Miami Beach. 

The grants programs were originally created in 1998 as an essential component of the mission of the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council, which is to develop, coordinate, and promote the arts in the City of Miami Beach community. Since the program's inception, the City of Miami Beach Mayor and Commission and the Cultural Arts Council have awarded in excess of $14 million in cultural arts grants, supporting thousands of performances, exhibits, and other cultural activities in Miami Beach. The grants programs are managed by professional staff from Cultural Affairs, a Division of the City of Miami Beach's Department of Tourism and Cultural Development. 

In an effort to address the needs of the arts community, the Cultural Affairs staff annually reviews each of the programs. Suggestions and ideas are received from grantees, grants panelists, members of the Cultural Arts Council and other granting organizations. Cultural Affairs welcomes this input so that it can continually grow and improve its programs. Program application periods and relevant deadlines are announced via press releases, electronic mail, on its website, www.mbculture.com and in area newspapers. Program guidelines, applications and instructions are created in Microsoft Word format and made available on the website, in English and Spanish. These forms are also available upon request via email (maryheaton@miamibeachfl.gov). Applications are also available in paper version by calling 305.673.7000 ext. 6126. 

Applicants should determine the primary goal of their project, examine the purposes and review criteria of the different grant programs, and apply to the program that is most relevant to the project. 

Each grant applicant must follow an extensive multi-level public review process. This includes a general orientation for all applicants and required consultations with Cultural Affairs staff to determine eligibility and appropriate program. Applicants must meet all application requirements, including deadlines, or the application will be disqualified. A mandatory dollar for dollar ($1 to $1) match is applicable to all grants programs. Grant applicants must demonstrate this match through cash, other matching grants and/or In-Kind contributions (In-Kind contributions not to exceed 25% of total cash project budget). The Cultural Affairs grants programs should not be considered the sole source of funding. Applicants should thoroughly explore other funding sources prior to seeking support from this program. An organization may submit only one grant application each grant year. An application must score a minimum average of 80 points or higher at the Panel meeting to be eligible to receive funding. 

Applications will be scored by the Cultural Arts Council at a series of Panel Meetings to be held between March 3 and June 2, 2016. All meetings will be publicly noticed. It is strongly suggested that applicants attend their respective Panel Meeting. During the Panel Meeting, applicants are permitted only to respond to questions from panelists. Applicants are strictly prohibited from speaking during any other part of the Panel Meeting or distributing printed materials. Persons requiring special accommodations must make the request at least 72 hours prior to the Panel Meeting. Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council panelists follow rigorous conflict-of-interest guidelines. They do not participate in funding deliberations affecting organizations with which they have been affiliated as employees or board members within the past three years. Once the Panel has reviewed and scored an application the decision of the Panel thereto shall be final. 

Funding distribution will be decided at the regular Cultural Arts Council meeting Thursday, July 7, 2016. These initial funding recommendations are submitted to the City of Miami Beach's Mayor and Commission for final approval during the City's annual budget hearing each September. Upon final approval of the grant awards, grantees are required to complete and sign a grant contract complete with detailed project description and itemized project and grant award budgets. These contracts also contain provisions for monitoring, performance and enforcement, which are implemented by Cultural Affairs staff.