Overview and History
Founded in 1977 by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Decentralization Program (DEC) was developed to ensure that New York State’s cultural funding reaches every part of the state. Decentralization has since become one of the Council’s most effective means of making arts support available to geographically, economically, and ethnically diverse segments of the state’s population. The program serves each of the state’s 62 counties and funds volunteer community organizations as well as established non-profit corporations with paid professional staff. The program forms the cornerstone of the Council’s partnership with local arts agencies throughout the state, providing a link between the Council and portions of the community that might not otherwise be able to access funding from NYSCA.
In 1986, at the invitation of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), The Council established its Community Arts Grants (Decentralization) with funding provided by NYSCA to non-NYSCA supported community based nonprofit organizations and individual artists. By 1997, the program grew to include Arts Education and Community Arts Grants for Columbia County in addition to Greene County. In 2012, The Council accepted and assumed the administration of same programs for Schoharie County, thus providing Re-granting in three counties.
Decentralization funds are re-granted locally by regional and local arts agencies at the invitation of the Council. DEC enables these designated agencies (DEC sites) to provide project support to a wide-range of professional, vocational and educational arts and culture in their respective communities and to support the creation of new work by individual artists directly through the Individual Artist Category. Applicants/artists must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
NYSCA has developed broad guidelines that provide a framework for implementation of the program, while giving local arts agencies flexibility to tailor the program to the diverse communities that they serve. Funding decisions are based on evaluative criteria designed by each DEC Site and approved by NYSCA staff. DEC site administration is governed by a set of procedures outlined in this Decentralization Manual issued by NYSCA and available at every DEC site.
Decentralization serves as an umbrella for three distinct funding categories: Community Arts, Arts Education and the Individual Artists. All DEC sites are mandated to fund the Community Arts category and may opt-in to fund the Arts Education and Individual Artist Categories.
Your Local DEC
CREATE Council on the Arts provides DEC funding for Community Arts Projects, Arts Education, and Individual Artists Commissions.
Community Project Support:
- available to not-for-profit organizations, collectives, or individuals in partnership with a non-profit residing in Columbia, Greene, or Schoharie County
- Provides funding for cultural and art programs taking place in the county of registration
- Available to not-for-profit organizations, collectives, or individuals in partnership with a non-profit residing in Columbia, Greene, or Schoharie County
- Provides support for widespread participation in community arts and arts in education initiatives, supporting partnerships between teaching artists or cultural organizations and schools that focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process in all disciplines in the county of registration
- Also supported by your local Stewart’s Shop
- Available to individual artists legally residing in Greene, Columbia, and Schoharie Counties
- Provides support to significantly advance the work of the artist, resulting in the creation of new work, and actively engaging a segment of the community through a public program
- awards one artist in each county
Please see the Upcoming Grants page for detailed guidelines, applications, and important information
January – Once the GCCA board approves funding recommendations, notifications are sent and the awardees are announced publicly. After the appeals period ends, contracts are sent and returned. Checks are sent once GCCA recieves each grantee’s signed contract, W9, and grant monies from NYSCA. DEC project period begins January 1st.
February – Panel feedback is available upon request for applicants to review.
March – GCCA applies to NYSCA for Decentralization funds.
May – GCCA begins holding grant seminars, attendance for which is required for ALL applicants (new and returning).
June – Applications and related materials are available online for review immediately after NYSCA approval. Grant Coordinators are available for individual meetings. The DEC Award Ceremony for the current year is held.
July – Applications open online. Grant Coordinators are available for draft review.
September – Deadline for draft review (September 13th) and final submission deadline (September 30th) for all applicants. Grant Coordinators begin assembling panels.
October – Grant Coordinators begin holding panels.
December – Once all panels are completed, the GCCA Board approves funding recommendations. DEC project period ends December 31st.
Please note that this timeline is simplified and approximate