The Southern Arts Fund

The Southern Arts Fund (SAF) is made possible through an Illinois Arts Council Community Arts Access program which offers grant opportunities to artists and non-profit organizations dedicated to arts programming and community engagement throughout Southern Illinois.

Artists and organizations wishing to provide thoughtful and accessible arts programming and outreach for their communities are encouraged to apply. Applicants eligible for SAF grants include, but are not limited to: cultural arts groups, community music groups, theatre groups, dance collectives, film/video and literary groups, artist collectives, libraries, public and private schools, and other community cultural providers.

Individual artists may also apply to support programs that include a significant public outreach component.

In order to fund as many quality programs as possible, grants typically do not exceed $1000. In addition, project budgets should demonstrate how SAF dollars are being matched by equivalent cash and/or in-kind contributions from other sources. (See application for important details about required match.)

Prospective applicants are encouraged to read the application materials in full before beginning the the application. CCA staff is generally available by phone (618.457.5100) or email ( to answer questions about the program or the application itself.

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About the Southern Arts Fund
The Southern Arts Fund is a Community Arts Access Program administered by Carbondale Community Arts with major funding support from the Illinois Arts Council. Additional financial support for the program is provided by the City of Carbondale and by institutional and individual donors throughout the region.
The mission of CCA’s Southern Arts Fund is to promote and encourage arts programming and educational outreach by not-for-profit organizations and individual artists throughout Southern Illinois through the provision of financial and technical support.
• Increase the geographic and community impact of public arts projects
• Bring arts activities to underserved communities (both urban and rural) that have
limited access to larger arts funding agencies
• Encourage sustainable arts/cultural programming by community groups
• Support the community outreach initiatives of local artists
• Encourage organizations to work with local artists in communities
• Strengthen the visibility of area artists and art organizations
• Maximize access to arts/cultural opportunities for area residents
SAF applications for project funding will be accepted from incorporated not-for-profit organizations, public schools, and individual artists who propose projects that demonstrate a significant community outreach component. (Please note that funding is not available to support projects that are undertaken as part of an academic program or submitted for course credit; programs presented for course credit are also ineligible for funding.)


• Projects must demonstrate a strong public service or community outreach component.
• SAF dollars are not available for general or operating support or for professional
development for individual artists.


• Organizations should generally have been incorporated for one year before applying.
• Unincorporated organizations should consult with CCA before proceeding.
• Cultural groups affiliated with community service organizations, faith-based
organizations, or non-arts agencies may only apply for SAF grants in support
of their arts/cultural activities.

All grant-funded events must be open to the public.
Funding Levels
SAF awards will rarely exceed $1,000. Exceptions are sometimes made for projects that demonstrate extraordinary potential for wide geographic impact or those associated with donor-advised contributions.

Applicants should be aware that funding may be awarded for an amount that is lower than the applicant request. In such cases, applicants may be requested to submit a modified budget that demonstrates their ability to complete the project at the new funding level.

To encourage viability and commitment on the part of its grantees, the Southern Arts Fund requires applicants to fully match (100%) any funding request with cash and in-kind support from other sources.

Thus a request for $1000.00 from the SAF must be matched by $1,000.00. First year applicants may have a minimum cash match of 25% with 75% in-kind support. Second year applicants with repeat projects may have a minimum of a 50% cash match with 50% in-kind support. And third year applicants with repeat projects must match 100% of the request amount with an equal amount of cash (i.e. no in-kind support may be counted)

A general guideline for cash versus in-kind support is outlined below:

In other words, for $1,000 grant request, the applicant must show an additional cash match of:
$250 for the first time funds are requested for a given project
$500 for the second time funds are requested for the same project
(i.e. to repeat the project)
$750 for the third and subsequent requests for the same project

The source of all matching contributions should be verifiable. Questions about what
constitutes cash versus in-kind support should be addressed to the CCA office.

State colleges/universities and other institutions funded by state tax dollars are required to match CCA/IAC funds from outside sources beyond staff time and overhead provided by the school that is already tax-payer funded.

There is no guarantee of repeated funding for successful applicants. Those who have received SAF grants previously are welcome and encouraged to apply, but applications from new grantees and projects will be given priority consideration.

In accordance with Illinois Arts Council Agency policy:
• SAF may not duplicate support already provided by IACA grants.
• SAF funds will not be awarded for capital expenditures (e.g. building projects),
permanent fixtures or equipment, out of state touring, scholarships or reduced
fees, or deficit reduction.

NOTE: Other IACA Policy restrictions may apply. Those who have not applied to CCA for Southern Arts Funding in the past are strongly advised to call the office before proceeding.

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