The City of Austin provides cultural arts programs for the Austin community by contracting with arts organizations for specific services. These contracts are referred to as Cultural Services Agreements, or Cultural Contracts.

The Cultural Arts Funding Programs support projects and activities in all disciplines that provide quality arts and cultural programming to the Austin community including the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). These programs reinforce the artistic and cultural industry to promote Austin as an exciting, vibrant, and diverse cultural destination for visitors and tourists.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, in partnership with MJR Partners, Cultural Funding staff engaged in a Cultural Funding Review Process. During this review, we have invited stakeholders from Austin’s cultural community to inform the development of funding programs and procedures that can better support our diverse creative communities. 

Cultural Funding Review: Arts, Heritage, Music 

In partnership with MJR Partners, the City of Austin Economic Development Department is reimagining its Cultural Funding Program for arts, heritage, and music with an intentional focus on equity and inclusion, while more effectively promoting tourism to Austin, as well as the city’s convention and hotel industries. The Cultural Funding Program is funded through Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) proceeds from Austin’s convention and hotel industries.

Sharing Insights

Your feedback and questions are important to us. We are creating short responses to some of the most common program questions we have been receiving from the Austin creative community surrounding the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) Funding Review Process. 

Watch this short, Sharing Insights video from the Cultural Arts Division. More responses to community questions will be coming soon.

Learn More about the Funding Review:

Equitable Economic Resiliency Framework for FY21 Funding

The Arts Commission's recommendations for Hotel Occupancy Tax funding to be used by the Economic Development Department's Cultural Arts Division (CAD) in administering programs for Fiscal Year 2020-21, and information regarding the development of these recommendations can be found in the Equitable Economic Resiliency Framework document.

Source of Cultural Funding Program Funds:

The City of Austin invests in the arts by allocating 15% of the municipal allocation of the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT). Click here for details of the State of Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Code.

Sign up for the Cultural Arts Division newsletter to stay informed about the Cultural Funding Review and Cultural Funding opportunities.

Economic Recovery Resources
  • City of Austin's - A one-stop resource to help businesses and individuals recover from the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Austin COVID-19 Information
  • Economic Development Department’s Small Business Resources Directory - Database of local, state, federal, and community resources. Filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for businesses and creatives impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Community Initiatives

This program is currently CLOSED


Community Initiatives is a quarterly funding program that provides up to $3,000 towards community-based arts events that celebrate Austin’s culture of creativity, and encourage collaboration, innovation, accessibility, and cultural tourism. 


Who Can Apply

Individual artists, unincorporated groups, and 501c organizations may apply. We encourage applications from artists and organizations from the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA), and Disabled communities.


Application Deadlines:

Events occurring in October, November, or December 2020:

Application deadline: August 31, 2020


Events occurring in January, February, or March 2021:

Application deadline: October 26, 2020 


Events occurring in April, May, June, 2021:

Application deadline: January 25, 2021


Events occurring in July, August, or September 2021:

Application deadline: April 26, 2021


Program Guidelines

How to Apply

FY21 Community Initiatives Guidelines

Contractor Resources


For more information email Anne-Marie McKaskle-Davis, Cultural Funding Specialist Senior or call 512.974.7854.


Search Zoomgrants for Open Programs

Find open Cultural Funding programs and begin your application.


Vendor Registration

All contractors must be registered with the City as a vendor. Sponsored Projects will use their Fiscal Sponsor’s Vendor Information. W9’s are required for new vendors.

To change your mailing address or organization name in vendor registration log into your Vendor Registration Account.

Important: Your name and address in the Vendor System must match exactly to the name and address in ZoomGrants, including exact punctuation, or payments cannot be processed.


Arts Commission

Find information on the Arts Commission members, upcoming meetings, and more. 


ATXN Video Archive

Access recordings of City Council meetings, including Budget Work Sessions here.

To filter for Arts Commission events, click on the “Boards and Commissions” tab, and then select “Arts Commission” from the “Filter by Subcategory” drop-down menu.

Core Funding

This program is currently CLOSED for applications.


Project support for individual artists, unincorporated groups, and non-profit arts and cultural organizations, and organizational support for non-profit arts and cultural organizations.


Current Core Contractors can click here for more information.

Cultural Heritage Festivals Program

This program is currently CLOSED for applications.


This funding program responds to the increased number of arts and cultural festivals and celebrations in our community and requests to support them. Our goal is to give increased access to the arts, culture, and diverse heritage in Austin.


Current Cultural Heritage Festivals Program Contractors can click here for more information.