Applications are due by MondayFebruary 10,  2020

Complete application below (bottom of this page) or send to:

Lizzie Araujo-Haller –

Or mail/drop off in person to:

Department of Art, Culture + Tourism
ATTN: Lizzie Araujo-Haller
444 Westminster Street Third floor
Providence RI 02903

Proposed programming must take place between July 5th and October 31st, 2020


Supported by the Ely Fund, The Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative (ELY PERFORMANCE FUND) is a partnership between Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, the City of Providence, Departments of Art, Culture + Tourism and Public Parks, and the Partnership for Providence Parks. This initiative encourages Providence-based organizations and artists to create public programming for the City’s diverse neighborhood parks.

Edward Francis Ely left the City of Providence an endowment so that this and future generations will continue to enjoy them as sites of congregation, play, and community life. Chairman of the Board of Parks Commissioners in Providence from 1907 until he died 1920, Ely loved the city’s parks and his whole heart was devoted to the work of creating new ones, as well as making existing parks useful and attractive in appearance. Commissioner Ely was one of the first and most zealous advocates of the playground movement and he devoted enormous energies toward the development of playground projects in Providence Parks. Indeed, the fact that the city has so many parks with playgrounds is largely due to his efforts.



  • Projects must have a public performance aspect in a city park that is handicap-accessible.
  • Because the City of Providence already invests considerable arts resources in downtown parks, proposals for public performances in downtown parks will not be funded.
  • One-off events like festivals will be considered, but preference will be given to events that happen more than once.
  • For purposes of this application, the performing arts are defined as film, theatre, music, dance, and spoken word/poetry.
  • Project awards will range from $50- $2,000.
  • The City of Providence will promote all funded projects; funded organizations should also promote and advertise their activities to their target audiences using their own means.


The panel will use a rubric to score each application, each criteria will be worth 10 points – (10 being the highest – 1 being the lowest)

Applications with the highest points will be awarded grants.

  • The artistic merit of proposed performers
  • Demonstrated neighborhood connections (eg. partnerships with organizations and stakeholders local to the neighborhood/s adjacent to the proposed park/s)
  • Clarity and achievability of proposal
  • Organization/organizer’s demonstrated capacity to produce public events (eg. has organization/organizer successfully produced an event/events of similar scale?)


  • Programs doing more than one event will get a 5pt bonus


In order to be eligible to apply for support from The Ely Fund, you must be:

  • An individual, an arts advocate, a community member etc. conducting business in the City of Providence, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, governed by a revolving board of directors, trustees or advisory board drawn from the community at large and shown to be actively involved in the activities of the organization.
  • Organizations that have not yet received the appropriate IRS non-profit determination may be sponsored by an eligible nonprofit organization. If funds are awarded to your organization as the sponsor of another organization, it is understood that the sponsor organization is financially, administratively and programmatically responsible for all conditions of the funds. The sponsor is also responsible for signing the contract, compliance, and final report forms. Please note: if you are applying with a sponsor organization please provide organizational information as well as a mission statement for both yourself and the sponsor organization.
  • An individual arts advocate or artist who is working under the umbrella of a 501(c) (3) organization.

Other considerations:

  • All public performances or exhibitions must take place in a space that is physically accessible to people with disabilities, as required by law.
  • Divisions, branches, departments, programs, or other subunits of non-profit corporations shall be ineligible to apply on their own; only the parent corporation may submit applications.


Support may be used for expenses related to a specific performance program or for reasonable administrative expenses necessary to carry out the program. Support may not be used for:

    • Construction or capital expenses
    • Deficit reduction or contributions to an endowment fund
    • Fundraising events or benefit activities
    • Prizes and awards
    • Receptions, parties, and gallery openings
    • Expenses incurred prior to or after the fiscal year in which the fund has been awarded (a total of 12 months from the date the funds awarded, i.e. 7/1 thru 6/30)
    • Re-granting purposes
    • Activities that are part of a graduate or undergraduate degree program
    • Activities that have a religious purpose or affiliation
    • Ethnic or Heritage one-day festivals
    • Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public


Please follow the directions below for each section of the application.  Please note: incomplete and unsigned applications will not be reviewed.

If you have any questions, please contact Lizzie Araujo-Haller,  Please put ELY Grant Questions in the subject heading of the email.



Complete this section in its entirety.


Let us know if you have received money from this fund before and tell us about what you produced.


Briefly describe your organization’s history, including examples of past public programming that it has produced. If you are an individual artist or arts advocate applying with a 501(c)(3) umbrella, please include a history of your work in the neighborhood where you hope to produce programming in addition to your sponsoring organization’s history. If you are representing a new organization, please gesture to plans you have for developing enhanced programming for your neighborhood park in years to come.



  • Dates
    • All ELY PERFORMANCE FUND programming takes place between July 5th and October 31st, 2020.
    • Specify your desired start date.
    • Specify your desired day of the week and projected timeframe (eg. 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm).
    • Indicate whether your event will be a one-off, or that it will be recurring (eg. third Wednesdays in July, August and September).
      • Specify your desired date of completion if you are proposing a recurring event.
  • Marketing Plan
    • If you are proposing a one-off event or a neighborhood festival, attach a detailed marketing plan.
  • Projected Audience Numbers
    • Estimate how many people you think will come to each event and explain your reasoning.
  • Projected Number of Artists Benefiting
    • Indicate how many artists you plan on hiring for your program/s.
  • Total Amount of Requested Funds
    • Clearly state exactly how much money you are asking for to support your program/s.


  • In a bulleted list explain the project goals and objectives.
    • Explain how your program will benefit the park’s neighborhood.
    • Describe how the public space of the park will be utilized or changed by the presence of the performances you propose.
    • Provide a timeline and schedule of your proposed programming.
      • This includes all activities that will take place prior to public performance.
      • These projects are to be coordinated with other summer activities and your chosen dates may not line up directly with those schedules.
      • If your proposal is accepted we ask that you be flexible with performance dates.
      • If it is not possible to be flexible with dates, please include a rationale explaining why the specific date(s) are required.
    • Provide a marketing plan for your proposed program(s) including your social media strategy, press release schedule, distribution plan for posters, and any other outlets you plan to use to promote your program.
    • There may be a shared stage owned by the City of Providence available for your program, however, if you definitely require a stage to ensure the success of your program, please include a rental cost for one in your proposed budget.
    • The Parks Department will provide electricity when requested. All other technical needs must be provided by your organization. Please budget accordingly.


  • If you are a park-based community organization or neighborhood group applicant, please list your preferred City of Providence Park.
  • If you are an arts advocate or artist/arts organization applicant without a specific neighborhood/park affiliation, you may state the neighborhood(s) you would prefer to perform in, but your sites will likely be chosen by the ELY PERFORMANCE FUND  selection committee.
    • If you identify a specific park, please be advised that upon review and acceptance of your proposal, you may be asked to work in a different park. The Departments of Art, Culture + Tourism and Parks must approve all final decisions about where programs are sited.



  • Income
      • There is no matching requirement for this project grant. This City funding can support one hundred percent of your proposed costs.
      • Organizations that require funding that exceed $2,000 may reach out to ACT about applying for additional funds.
      • Sponsorship credits such as on-site banners, program credits, announcements from stages, etc. are allowed.
      • In-kind donations may not be counted as income.
        • If your organization would like to provide a list of in-kind donations, please do so on a separate sheet of paper.
  • Expenditures
    • Artistic fees paid directly to performers
    • Administrative fees paid to administrative staff
    • Rental costs of production materials
      • Please include sound and lighting, any other rentals necessary to implement the project
    • supplies and materials needed to produce the proposed program (eg. art-making materials for a hands-on performance activity)
    • Travel and hospitality/subsistence costs associated with lodging artists
    • Other hospitality costs necessary for the program to be successfully implemented
    • Other expenses that do not fit into the above categories
    • Total expenditures should not exceed income



You must sign the signature page to be considered for an ELY PERFORMANCE FUND   grant; by signing, you agree to the terms listed above the signature line.

Please note: incomplete and unsigned applications will not be reviewed.



Resources in this and all other Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism categories may be limited, and applicants should plan accordingly. Awards will range between $50 and $2,000, depending on available resources and the outcome of the review process (see below).

For supplemental funding please contact Lizzie Araujo;


  • The staff of ACT. Parks and local community members review each application for eligibility and completeness. Questions or problems relating to eligibility or application completeness will be referred back to the applicant.
  • Projects will be chosen based on their relevance to the particular neighborhood, artistic merit, and technical feasibility.
  • Notification of awards will be made on or before February 28th, 2020


  • Funding applications are considered on a competitive basis. No applicant is guaranteed funding at any level, even if all basic criteria have been met.
  • Any fraudulent statement made in an application or support material will be grounds for funding denial.
  • Once funds have been awarded, applicants must understand that the fund processing procedure is lengthy. Many times funds may not be received prior to the start of a project.
  • The Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism does not issue checks for payment from the Ely Fund. ELY PERFORMANCE FUND  checks are issued by the City of Providence and have no set date of dispersal. Applicants should be aware of this and plan their cash flow accordingly.
  • On all promotional and public materials funding recipients MUST credit the City of Providence, the Mayor, the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and the Providence Parks & Recreation Department. Once a grant is awarded, further credit information will be provided.


The Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism is not responsible for damage or loss of materials submitted to its office, whether or not such damage or loss is caused by the negligence of the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, its employees, or agents.  All supporting materials submitted must be duplications of work. No original or single editions of works will be accepted. Submitted materials will not be returned.


All organizations that receive funding must submit a Final Report to the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism by Fall 2018 (exact date TBD). Final reports from grantees ensure that the ELY PERFORMANCE FUND  program continues to receive funding.





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