UMEZ Arts Engagement is a grant program designed to enhance the diversity and frequency of arts and cultural presentations in Upper Manhattan. The program provides direct support for these activities to Upper Manhattan’s artists and nonprofit arts organizations under the guiding principle that support for artists of diverse disciplines, practices, cultural backgrounds, and career stages contributes to the vibrancy and sustainability of the communities in which they live and work. This area is defined as north of 98th Street on the east side of Fifth Avenue; and north of 110th Street on the west side. Funding is available for projects in the performing, literary, media, and visual arts, ranging from folk/traditional forms to contemporary and socially-engaged artistic practices. LMCC encourages proposals that connect audiences to rich arts experiences as demonstrated by opportunities to attend and/or participate in arts events and programming including concerts, performances, public art, exhibitions, screenings, festivals, readings, and more. Competitive projects will demonstrate strong artistic merit, thoughtful project planning, and clear and feasible plans to reach the public. 

Program funding is provided by the Cultural Investments Fund (CIF) of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ). Since 1996, UMEZ has invested more than $55 million in nonprofit organizations with a focus on cultural institutions to spur the growth of Upper Manhattan’s cultural and economic landscape. UMEZ Arts Engagement provides an accessible source of project-based funding for individual artists and smaller nonprofit arts organizations that were previously ineligible to access UMEZ funding. UMEZ Arts Engagement is administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).

  • Eligible applicants may request between $1,000 - $10,000. 
  • Eligible projects must occur between January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020.

Please refer to the UMEZ Arts Engagement program guidelines for comprehensive eligibility information and complete program details.

Please Note: The UMEZ Arts Engagement application form has been updated for 2020. While questions remain largely the same, additional context and staff application tips have been added and the form is now structured in two parts; I. Project Proposal and II. Applicant Profile. We strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with the application form in advance.

  • The application form uses conditional logic. Select whether you are applying as an individual artist, artist collective/group, or nonprofit organization when first viewing the form in order to reveal all required fields for your applicant type.
  • Keep an eye out for guidance and suggestions from LMCC staff throughout the form. Tips for particular questions appear on the right hand side. 

Create an Account
Below, create an account for Submittable if you have not used the online submission platform before or login to your existing Submittable account. Your application will always be connected to your account. The main point of contact for your application should manage and maintain access to your Submittable account. LMCC staff will contact you with questions, follow-up information, and the official grant notification via the email address connected to your Submittable account.

Saving Your Work
Once you have set up your account, you can begin filling out the Application Form. The form periodically saves to your account. However, we highly encourage you to use the "Save Draft" button at the bottom of the form before exiting. Each time you save,  the latest draft will be kept in your Submittable account. Please note: if you have this form open in multiple windows, Submittable will auto save the version that is last open. We recommend saving your responses in a document offline and copying and pasting them into the Application Form from there. 

Complete and submit all components of your application online. Application forms are not considered final until submitted. Once you have submitted the form, you will not be able to make changes, or resubmit. You will receive an automated confirmation email when your application has been successfully submitted.

For technical support, contact Submittable.

For general inquiries about the program, contact LMCC at 212-219-9401 ext. 129 or
Para asistencia en español, por favor contacte a Lina Alfonso, Program Associate, Grants: 212-219-9401 ext. 129 o

Applications must be completed and submitted online before 5PM on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.