Accessibility Microgrants

A grant to engage and deepen the impact of in-person or virtual livestreaming arts programming for persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency

Thanks in part to generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts (CFDA #45.025 Promotion of the Arts Partnership Agreements), M-AAA invites eligible organizations working across all disciplines, including folk and traditional, performing, visual, or literary to apply for an Arts Access Micro-Grant as reimbursement for services that increase the ability of persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency to access artistically excellent and meritorious arts programs.

Applicant organizations must:

  • be a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization, a unit of state or local government, or a federally recognized tribal community;
  • have a valid Data Universal Numbering System ID (DUNS #);
  • be located in the M-AAA region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, or Texas); and
  • be in good standing with M-AAA, with no overdue or delinquent reports and/or documentation.

M-AAA does not accept applications from fiscal agents for this grant program. All applicants should be aware that tax-exempt status will be verified by a third-party entity.

Organizations may submit multiple applications and receive micro-grant awards in the aggregate of no more than $1,000 per fiscal year (July 1–June 30).

Event Criteria

The access service must be provided for a minimum of 60-minutes in length for an activity or event open to the general public which takes place between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

Micro-grant awards can range from $250 to $1,000 and are determined based on the fees stated in the fully executed contract, letter of agreement, or memo of understanding held between the licensed access service entity and the applicant organization.

Documentation for reimbursement must include the name of the access service entity, their contact person’s name with current contact information, access service provider’s fee, the organization’s name, and its contact information, the agreed upon in-person activities or online streaming events including a brief description of the arts program and the access service provided, event dates(s) and time(s), and the service provider’s fee.

While M-AAA’s preference remains in-person experiences of the artist or art form, live streaming online events is an excellent accommodation while the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health concern. Organizations are urged to include a termination clause in all access service contracts that states the fulfillment of the contract is contingent upon local public health authority guidance and funding from M-AAA and/or other pending financial resources.

For in-person activities, the access service provider’s fee can include payment for services, transportation, accommodations, and per diem costs. When the events and access service are streamed online, the service provider’s fee can include payment for any services provided for the event.

Micro-grants require a dollar-for-dollar cash match therefore organizations are encouraged to reflect all expenses and income expected for the events made accessible. The match can include, but is not limited to other funding sources, such as ticket sales, artist fees, access service equipment rental or purchase, fees for professional training of staff to offer access to programs, purchase of materials for staff training on accessibility equipment, improvements to existing facilities or infrastructure meant to enhance access or professional development for staff on how to improve the accessibility of the organization’s programs. The match may not include Federal funds received directly or indirectly.

Events must take place in an accessible facility or on an accessible streaming platform that allows for artist and audience interaction before, during and/or after the presentation or engagement (e.g. chat, Q&A).

When marketing these events, organizations must attempt to engage other underserved audiences who lack access to the arts due to geography, economic conditions, ethnicity, disability, or age, including but not limited to underrepresented cultural groups, immigrants, veterans and active military, persons in institutions, those living below the poverty line and youth at risk.

Eligible Services and Expenses

Eligible services include but are not limited to:

  • Fees for licensed American Sign Language Interpreters
  • Fees for licensed Audio Description Services
  • Fees for captioning services
  • Fees for language translation services
  • Fees for professional training for org staff to offer access to programs
  • Costs associated with the creation of large print materials, providing braille or other accessible materials for use by the public
  • Purchase of equipment i.e., assistive technology

Requests NOT eligible for consideration include:

  • An activity that is not arts focused (e.g. conference keynote speeches, sidewalk sales, food festivals, fireworks displays, etc.)
  • An activity that is part of a benefit or fundraiser
  • Activities that take place in schools or universities, and/or
  • An activity that is not open or available to the public
Review Criteria

Review of application materials relies upon:

  • Organization eligibility
  • Event eligibility
  • Availability of funding
Program Timeline

Application Form will be available online in August 2020.

Applications are due no less than four weeks before the activity if possible.

Applications will be reviewed by M-AAA staff.

Reimbursement requires documentation of the arts program and the access service expenditures.

Award decisions will be made by email no less than 2 weeks before the first public-facing activity, if possible.

Funding is a single payment upon successful review of the final report.

Final report is due 30 days following the access service provider’s last scheduled event.

*Eligible applications are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis by state as funds are available. Applicants may consult with M-AAA staff prior to applying, but consultation is not required, nor does it guarantee award.

Final Reporting

M-AAA will provide an online Final Report form. Grant recipients must complete and submit one within 30 days of the access service provider’s last scheduled event. M-AAA will require: in-person and on-line attendance information for funded activities, pictures or screenshots of funded activities, documentation of award acknowledgements, promotion, and publicity efforts and, when available, press reviews and/or evaluations of activities including anecdotal feedback. Pictures and documentation must be uploaded into the online Final Report form.

M-AAA Policies and Procedures

Grant recipients must comply with the Federal policies and legal requirements, statutes, and regulations as stated in M-AAA’s Assurance of Compliance.

Grant recipients are required to make accommodations upon request for constituents with disabilities at M-AAA funded activities. The National Endowment for the Arts has resources to assist arts organizations in making accommodations.

Grant recipients must compensate all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel at no less than the prevailing minimum rate of compensation. This requirement is in accordance with the regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor in part 505 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 505 does not provide information on specific compensation levels.

Grant awards are considered income. Grant recipients are responsible for all tax obligations under federal, state, and local laws. M-AAA recommends that all recipients consult a tax accountant or local Internal Revenue Service office with questions or concerns regarding deductions and reporting.

Grant recipients who fail to properly acknowledge M-AAA and the National Endowment for the Arts’ support in programs and press materials for the supported event may not be considered for future funding opportunities.

All changes to an event must be submitted in writing to M-AAA before the activity takes place. Awards may be revised or revoked in light of such changes. A reduction in artist fees may result in the reduction or cancellation of the grant.

Appeals Process

Applicants can request a review of the method for M-AAA’s decisions concerning grant applications through the appeals process. Dissatisfaction with the denial or amount of an award is not sufficient reason for an appeal. An applicant not funded may appeal M-AAA’s decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the application was rejected for any of the following reasons:

  • Application was reviewed using criteria other than those published;
  • Award decision was influenced by panelist/staff/committee member who failed to disclose conflict of interest; and/or
  • Application materials (submitted by the deadline) were not provided to panelist/staff/committee members.

If an applicant’s funds were rescinded or reduced, the applicant may appeal M-AAA’s decision if the applicant can demonstrate that:

  • The event outlined in the application was performed, and
  • The contract terms and conditions were followed and fulfilled.

To appeal a grant determination, first contact the Director of Grant Programs to review considerations affecting M-AAA’s decision. If you believe that you have grounds for an appeal, you must submit your appeal, in writing, to M-AAA’s President and CEO, no later than 15 calendar days following the receipt of the written notice from M-AAA. The submission should contain evidence to support one or more of the allowable grounds for appeal. The decision on appeal will be made by the President and CEO, who will render a decision within 30 days of the appeal. Mail your appeal to M-AAA 2018 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City MO 64108, ATTN. President and CEO.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit M-AAA’s online Arts Access Micro- grant application form

Use our downloadable checklist to prepare your responses. Data entered into the online form can be saved for editing later.

M-AAA Grant materials are available in alternative accessible formats upon request.
Questions? Concerns? Contact Christine Bial, Director of Grant Programs
(816) 421-1388, ext. #227 or Christine (at)