Wyoming Arts Council

Operating Support Grants

To access Operating Support Grant final report click here.

This grant program helps fund the ongoing work of Wyoming’s established 501(c)3 non-profit art organizations, who are crucial partners with the WAC in providing access to the arts for the state’s residents and improving the quality of life in Wyoming.  Operating Support grants help organizations to sustain and expand their programs and services.  These grants can be used by organizations to support any of their general operating expenses, including salaries, marketing, rent, utilities, insurance, supplies, exhibits or artistic fees.

Because of the wide range of expenses the grant can include, Operating Support Grant applicants are required to submit more detailed information than other WAC grant applicants.  The additional information allows the WAC’s grant review panels and board members to get a more detailed picture of the applicant organization’s overall structure, management practices, fiscal stability and activities.

Note:  Wyoming non-profit arts organizations are limited to applying for the Operating Support OR Grants to Organizations program each fiscal year.   Arts organizations applying for Operational Support Grants must provide at least two of the following services:

  • Arts-based community development programs for local residents;
  • Services to local artists or other local arts organizations
  • Serves as a source of information on local cultural events, activities and programs
  • Facility management (such as a gallery, dance studio or performance center) services
  • Arts education
  • Arts presenting
  • Arts instruction
  • Serves a defined segment of the arts community
  • Provide services or arts programs to the general public, not just members of its organization
  • Creates technical assistance or networking opportunities for professionals within a specific arts discipline.

Funding Criteria

The following funding criteria are the basis for the panel and WAC Board review of Operating Support Grant applications and relate to the narrative sections of the application:

  • Artistic excellence and creativity of the organization and its programming
  • Ability of the organization to serve the needs of the community, including potential public exposure and public benefit, and efforts to reach artists and audiences from diverse groups
  • Managerial/administrative ability of the applicant organization including an assessment of the effectiveness of its management practices and  its ability to carry out arts programming and properly administer funds granted
  • Appropriateness of the applicant organization’s budget to carry out its proposed programs
  • Financial Status which will include an assessment of the financial stability of the organization.  Explanations will be required for how the organization plans to retire or reduce any financial deficit; or in the case of substantial surplus, the organization will need to explain why their proposed activities should be carried out using Wyoming Arts Council funding.


A Wyoming–based arts organization may apply for an Operating Support Grant if it is a  Wyoming based non-profit organization.  Organizations may not use a fiscal sponsor in this grant category.  All applicants in this program must have tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3  of the IRS code for at least two years, and:

  • Have a mission focused on arts development and presents performances, exhibitions, arts education programs or other arts services to the public as its primary function;
  • Have a governing board empowered to form policies and execute programs;
  • Demonstrate a close working relationship with local government agencies, artists, schools, and community organizations;
  • Have a board-adopted, basic long-range plan that shows how the organization intends to grow artistically, manage for the future, and serve the community;
  • Reflect demographics of its community in the planning, implementation and evaluation of its programs;
  • Demonstrate ongoing fiscal responsibility by maintaining financial records that meet generally accepted accounting principles;
  • Is not receiving operating funds from another line of the Wyoming state government budget;
  • Is not primarily educational and does not award academic credit;
  • Have applied for WAC grant funds previously. No first-time applications will be reviewed.


If your annual operating budget is between:

  • $25,000 – $49,999         Level 1
  • $50,000 – $149,999       Level 2
  • $150,000 – and above  Level 3

Then the Maximum Grant Amount will be:

  • $7,000 OSG     Level 1
  • $11,000 OSG   Level 2
  • $15,000 OSG   Level 3

Minimum Grant Amount that can be Awarded is:

  • $3,500   Level 1
  • $5,500   Level 2
  • $7,500   Level 3

Level 1 grants assist arts organizations with small annual operating budgets that do not employ full-time executive, managing or artistic directors.

Level 2 grants assist arts organizations that employ or intend to employ a professional full-time manager OR that have a minimum operating budget of $50,000.

Level 3 grants support mid-sized to large organizations with a full-time executive, managing, music or artistic director.

NOTE:  Organizations may receive funding for either a Operating Support grant OR a Grants to Organizations grant, but not both.

Grant Information

Deadline: March 15 (Application will be available on December 1)
Timeline: Project dates must fall between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016
Amount: Up to $15,000
Match Requirements: Grant funds must be matched, dollar for dollar. The grant amount cannot exceed 30% of the total cash expenses.. In-kind donations and services do NOT count as match, but are recommended.
Apply Here