Community & Visitor Development Grants Program General Guidelines

 CVD grants are supported by funds from the City of Abilene’s hotel/motel occupancy tax and the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council.

1. All ACAC Grant funds must be used for cultural activities of an established non-profit organization, government or educational institution. Community & Visitor Development Grant funds specifically must be used for organizational support for established arts groups and for events that promote cultural tourism.

2. Grant funds must be used for projects which fall within the official 12-month grant cycle, beginning on October 1, following the June 1st grant application deadline, and ending September 30 of the following year.

3. Organizations requesting grants larger than $3,000 must emphasize in their applications how they plan to serve and impact a large segment of the community.

4. All grant proposals must be received by the Council no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 1st. If June 1st falls on the weekend, proposals are due the first working day of June. LATE OR INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Please refer to the grant checklist to ensure that the grant packet is complete.

5. Applicants shall match the ACAC funding request with their own money, according to the following schedule:

Organizational Budget

  • $10,000 or less

  • $10,000 - $50,000

  • $50,000 or greater

Grant Award Match

  • 50% match in cash or in-kind services of total grant request

  • 50% or greater cash match of total grant request

  • 100% or greater cash match of total grant request

6. Most grants for major institutions will not exceed $7,500. A major institution is defined as having:

  • An annual budget in excess of $50,000

  • An annual season of exhibits and/or performances

7. Applicants must use the grant application form provided by the Council. Twelve copies of the application form, plus all requested supplemental activity, must be turned in by the June 1st deadline or the application will not be accepted. All forms can be found online at

8. ACAC provides a Grants Checklist online at, which has details about the items that should be included in your application packet. A copy of the Grants Checklist, fill out to show that each item on the list has been included in the packet, must be included with each grant application.

9. Items to be included in Grant Application include the following:

Please submit 12 copies of each of the following:

  • Cover letter, no longer than two pages, including organization history and mission, and addressing pertinent points from criteria.

  • Completed application form

  • Detailed project budget, which should tell the review committees exactly how you would spend grant monies and the amount of funds your organization is contributing to the project, including in-kind contributions.

  • Current operating budget for your agency or organization

Also include one (1) copy each of the following:

  • Financial statement for the previous year (audit if available) or copy of 990 if required to file.

  • Current list of Board of Directors and staff with addresses and phone numbers.

  • Current list of contributors, grants received and grant requests pending

  • By-laws, charter and organizational history or any applicable update since last application

  • IRS exemption letter

10. No DataArts CDP report will be required for the 2018-19 grant cycle or beyond. However, grant applicants who filled out info for DataArts during the past four years will continue to have access to their accounts and profiles. Through their accounts they have free access to analytic reports and can log in and run their annual report and trend and comparison reports at any time. DataArts offers free monthly webinars for organizations on how to utilize these reports. Visit the DataArts website to learn more.

11. Applicants receiving funds from one of the Council’s grant programs may not use the funds to provide the match for another Council grant program.

12. Applicant should be able to demonstrate that effort has been made to secure funding and grant money from other sources, in addition to the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council.

13. Emergency grants of $1,000 or less will be considered as requested only if funds are available.


What the Council does not normally fund in the ACAC Community & Visitor Development Grants Program:

  • Projects or organizations that do not enhance cultural tourism

  • Deficit budget expenses or retroactive funding for current projects

  • Activities restricted to an organization’s membership

  • Costs of parties, receptions, and other social activities

  • College or university-based projects which are part of an academic degree or curriculum and are not open to the public

  • Programs that are primarily recreational, rehabilitative or therapeutic

  • Activities which do not benefit the citizens of Abilene and surrounding area

  • Activities of individuals applying without the aegis of a non-profit organization

  • Major capital improvements, construction, renovation, or structural maintenance of facilities

  • Operating expenses of privately owned facilities, i.e. homes and studios

  • Church related activities unless they involve the community as a whole

  • Projects that have an arts-in-education focus


Applications are encouraged in the following areas:

  1. Collaborative Projects- for two or more art groups who work together on projects designed to attract visitors and further the Artfully Abilene marketing platform.

  2. Project and Organizational Support- including exhibits, performances, and events with excellent artistic programming that are open to the public; organizations must have minority involvement on the board and/or staff; and sound financial management.

  3. Cultural Tourism Projects- Organizations with events, exhibits, and/or performances that promote cultural tourism.


Award Notification:

A letter regarding grant status and amount awarded and a contract will be sent to the applicant in early October. The applicant must return one copy of the letter and the contract, signed by the appropriate person. Grant monies will not be disbursed until the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council has received the signed letter and contract.


After a grant has been awarded, recipients are asked to:

  • Return one copy of the signed letter and grant contract within 30 days of receipt. Failure to return letter and/or contract within 30 days could result in revocation of your organization’s funding.

  • Publicly promote the grant in your news releases and newsletters.

  • Include the following acknowledgement on all promotional materials: “This project is supported by a grant from the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council and the City of Abilene.”

  • Provide the Council with complimentary tickets to the performance or event.

  • Meet all budget requirements of the grant application.

  • Submit an evaluation report within 30 days after completion of the project



The following acknowledgement should be included in all promotional materials.

This project is supported by a grant from the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council and the City of Abilene.


Evaluation Report:

Grant recipients must provide an evaluation report within 30 days of the completion of their project. In addition to the evaluation form, recipients should include the following:

  • Five digital photographs

  • Copies of flyers, posters, or other promotional materials created for the event or program.

  • Evaluation forms can be found online at Failure to submit an evaluation report will prohibit future disbursal of grant monies to the organization.

Questions? Call Hollye Jaklewicz at 325-677-1161 (work) or 325-370-6291 (cell) or email for assistance.