Creative Economy Fund

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2018-2019 Creative Economy Fund

  •  Applications are now closed

Mesa Arts Center Creative Economy Fund

Application Deadline May 4, 2018 at 5:00 pm

As part of a larger initiative to further activate the urban center of Mesa, to increase the growing number and variety of offerings at the Mesa Arts Center (MAC) in downtown Mesa, and to continue to build an environment of creativity and discovery in the downtown district, the CREATIVE ECONOMY FUND in-kind grant program is being continued for a seventh year. The intent of this program is: 1) to provide support to professional and semi-professional organizations who use or wish to use the MAC venues; 2) to bring new cultural offerings to the Mesa and East Valley communities; and 3) to encourage new organizations to experience presenting or producing an event at the MAC, in order to form new partnerships and relationships among and across cultural organizations in the region.

The City of Mesa Department of Arts and Culture CREATIVE ECONOMY FUND will support reduced licensing rates at the Mesa Arts Center for non-profit organizations presenting an arts project, event, activity, workshop or a series of any of the above. Organizations may submit only one application for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Project Support

Applicants may submit proposals requesting reduction of rental costs for the use of Mesa Arts Center theaters, Studios or Shadow Walk, or Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum lecture hall or courtyard for the purpose of presenting quality arts programs for the Mesa community and region. The proposed projects must take place between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019.

Projects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A concert or series of concerts
  • A theater, dance or spoken word production
  • A collaborative or interactive community art project
  • A festival
  • A workshop or class(es) in the visual or performing arts
  • A multidisciplinary project

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. While arts and culture organizations are strongly encouraged to apply, other non-profit organizations that are offering arts programming to the public are also welcome to apply. Non-profit organizations whose tax-exempt status is pending may apply one time only through a non-profit fiscal sponsor. A letter from the fiscal sponsor must accompany the application.

Organizations that are applying for support for the 2018-19 fiscal year through the MAC Foundation’s ACES Program (Arts and Cultural Education Sponsorship) should be aware that they are not eligible to receive support through both programs, and must disclose if they have submitted an ACES application or plan to do so. ACES is primarily designed to support presentations by educational/student organizations and or presentations by community organizations that are specifically geared to educational audiences. If you are a K-12 school or are presenting an educational program for schools, your application should be submitted to the ACES program, rather than the Creative Economy Fund (information is available under the GET INVOLVED tab at, in the MAC Foundation section).

The funded project must take place at Mesa Arts Center before June 30, 2019.
Those applicants who have presented or will present performances, festivals or other activities at the Mesa Arts Center during the current fiscal year, July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019, must include, as part of the project for which support is requested, a community engagement, education or audience development activity or initiative, and are strongly encouraged to expand on previous efforts of these kinds. We want the support each organization receives through the Creative Economy Fund to enable growth of the organization’s audiences and increased value to the community.

Examples of activities that fulfill this requirement include workshops, audience talk-backs, lecture-demonstrations, school or community based performances or outreach activities, discount ticket offers, ticket giveaways to low-income or underserved audiences, and special promotions that reach new audiences, although this is by no means an exhaustive list. Creativity in responding to this requirement is encouraged, and a thoughtful plan will increase the likelihood of receiving support.



Amounts requested for licensing reduction may not exceed the total amount being paid in facility licensing fees. Funding awarded to any one organization will not exceed $5,000, and for most applicants is unlikely to exceed $2,500.

The amount requested can cover base license fees only; all production, front-of-house, or ticketing fees that are not included as part of the licensing fee will not be eligible for funding, but must be included as expenses in the project budget. Marketing services will not be provided as part of this support, but all projects taking place at Mesa Arts Center will be included as calendar listings on MAC’s website and promoted on our digital marquees.

As a requirement of the application, you must discuss calendar availability and cost estimates with Mesa Arts Center’s Event Services Supervisor, Jaime Kenney, 480-644-6511 or, prior to developing your budget. Please do not wait until the final week for submission to contact Jaime, as she could be out of town, at a conference, or unavailable to do last minute calculations. Once you know your project and have selected a date, contact her immediately.

The events held at the Mesa Arts Center through the Creative Economy Fund cannot be fundraising events or promoted as such by the presenting/producing organization, whether for your own or another organization or cause. Organizations funded agree to acknowledge support from Mesa Arts Center in programs and other means that are feasible and appropriate, such as curtain speeches.

Final Report

Each applicant awarded support by the City of Mesa Department of Arts and Culture Creative Economy Fund must provide the City with a follow-up report and a financial report showing all income and expenses, and describing how the project met the stated applicant objectives and the criteria below. The Final Report is due by July 31, 2019.

For information about the Mesa Arts Center visit For facility details and licensing fees/information please click on “Visit” and then “Host a Function” then scroll to “Theaters” and finally to “rental rates.



  1. Quality of the artistic work to be presented and/or the past artistic work of the applicant organization or its presentations.
  2. Length or scope of the engagement or activity, and any indication of interest or intention to develop an ongoing relationship with the Mesa Arts Center.
  3. Extent to which the project provides new or different experiences to the community, meets a community need, or provides an experience or cultural opportunity in which the community has indicated an interest/need/desire.
  4. Quality and likely impact of any proposed education, outreach/engagement programs, or audience development activities.
  5. Soundness of the plan for the proposed project and the likelihood of success. Ability of the organization to meet the stated objectives of the project, as shared by the applicant in the application.

All applicants are encouraged to include audience engagement/audience development activities as part of their project, which will be considered in rating criteria number 4 above.

Application Process

Please fill out the online application form and upload the required additional documents.

You are also welcome to use the Word version of the form to email, mail or drop off.  Please make sure to include the additional required documents.


Creative Economy Fund
Office of the Director
Mesa Arts Center
PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211-1466


Mesa Arts Center
One East Main St., Third Floor
North Studios Conference Room


April 24, 2018
5 - 6 p.m.

Grant Workshop – get tips on submitting a competitive grant
Mesa Arts Center, South Studios Conference Room, 3rd Floor
PLEASE RSVP to Jean Kaminski at 480-644-6607


May 4, 2018 (by 5:00 p.m.)
Application due date

May 9 - 11, 2018
Applications reviewed by a peer panel

May 14, 2018
Panel meets

May 24, 2018
Recommendations are reviewed and endorsed by the Museum and Cultural Advisory Board

By May 29, 2018
Applicants are notified of the outcome of their proposal

June 30, 2019
Projects must be completed

July 31, 2018
2017-18 Final Report due

July 31, 2019
2018-19 Final Report due

QUESTIONS? Contact Jean Kaminski at or 480-644-6607