Cultural and Historic Affairs

Essex County Local Arts and History Grant Program

New applications being accepted.

2025 Grant Applications will be available on June 1, 2024.


COVID-19 Resources for Artists & Arts Organizations: NJSCA Artist Resources

COVID-19 Resources for History Organizations: NJHC Resources 

The Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs receives generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and the New Jersey Historical Commission which we regrant to support local arts and history organizations. Non-profit organizations within Essex County that offer cultural and/or historical programming are encouraged to learn more about this grant opportunity. Guidelines can be found below and formal Information Sessions are usually held in May before the June application openning. Applications for both the arts and history grant programs are made available each year on June 1st. Funding periods run from January to December of a given year. Grants are available for Special Projects or General Operating Support.

Note: If you are new to the Local Arts and History Grant Process, please read through the information below before proceeding to the Grant Interface.

Grant Interface                                      


Important Dates

Online Grant Application Available: June 1

Funding Period: January 1 – December 31  (All grant expenditures must occur within the grant year, not the year prior or after.)

Grant Initiation Deadline: August 1

Deadline for Submission: August 15

Award Letter & Grant Contract Sent: October

First 75% of Grant Awarded: upon approval by the Board of County Commissioners

Interim Report Deadline: June 30 of the grant year

Final Report Deadline: January 15 immediately following the grant year

Final 25% of Grant Awarded: upon submission of final report


Please read through the guidelines via the link below for eligibility, requirements, and other details. 



The Essex County Local Grant Program uses an electronic application process. Upon registration in the Grant Management System, you will find applications for the Local Arts Grant Program or the Local History Grant Program. In addition, a Finance Chart must be filled out and uploaded to the application. You will add to it throughout the life of the grant. 

Curious to know what is on the application before you register? A printable version is available here:

These are for reference only. The application must be completed and submitted online. 

To apply for the Essex County Local Arts and History Grants, log in and complete the online application as well as the appropriate Finance Chart.

Grant Interface

Note to Previous Grantees:
Instead of separate budget charts for the application and interim and final reports, there is now a single Finance Chart. For those that do not have Microsoft Excel, you may utilize Google Sheets to view and edit the spreadsheet. First, download the file in Google Drive, and then choose the option to open the file in Google Sheets. When you are finished, select the “File” drop down option and click on “download as”. You will then be able to download your edited spreadsheet as a Microsoft Excel file and upload it to your application.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply?
A: All applications are submitted through an online grant management system; there is no paper application. Links to this grant web portal can be found above. First time applicants will need to create an account for their non-profit organization before having access to the application form. 

Q: Is there a blank Finance Chart we should use to fill out and upload in our application? 
A: You must upload a Finance Chart to your application. If you are awarded a grant, this chart must be added to and attached to your Interim and Final Reports. The Finance Chart is available under Applications above. Please choose the appropriate one:  Arts or History.

Q: What is a general award amount?
A: Awards generally range from $500 - $10,000. Awards may be granted for sums less than the requested amount. 

Q: Can I still get a grant with Essex County if I get money from:
A National Endowment for the Arts grant or National Endowment for the Humanities - YES

A New Jersey State Council on the Arts or another County Arts Agency - NO, you cannot apply for a Local Arts grant. 
A New Jersey Historical Commission or another County Historical Agency - NO, you cannot apply for a Local History grant. 

Q: Would my organization be eligible to apply for a Local History and a Local Arts grant in the same year?
A: Yes, you may apply to both arts and history grants under the same organization as long as the applications are for two different projects. Neither application can be for General Operating Support. 

Q: If we do not have 501(c3) status, are we eligible to apply? 
A: Both nonprofits and units of government are eligible to apply for these grants. A newly formed organization that has not yet received 501(c3) status should find an eligible partner to serve as a fiscal sponsor.

Q: Is it a requirement that we have an “Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Plan” in order to qualify for a grant?
A: We strongly suggest organizations create an emergency plan. You can also note in this section if you are planning to develop a plan within the grant period. We do understand an emergency plan can look very different depending on your organization and programming, but want you to begin to think along the lines of disaster planning to strengthen the longevity of your organization. If you do not have a plan and do not plan to work towards one, state that within the application and we will review accordingly.

Q: Is it a requirement that we have an “ADA Plan" in order to qualify for a grant?
A: We strongly suggest organizations create an ADA Compliance Plan. You may use an ADA statement, but should make progress to develop a plan within the grant period. We do understand an ADA plan can look very different depending on your organization and programming. If you do not have a plan and do not plan to work towards one, state that within the application and we will review accordingly. 

Q: What materials should I have ready as I start my application?
A: Some of the support materials we ask for are:

  • Past, Current, and Projected Financial Information
  • Budget Chart for special projects
  • Tax-Exempt Determination Letter
  • Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Plan
  • ADA Compliance Plan
  • Key Staff Resumes
  • Artist List (arts specific)
  • Marketing Materials

Updated May 2024