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Grant opportunity for art-focused events that support community grieving and healing in Portland

News Article
The City seeks grant proposals for arts-focused and community-informed collective grieving and healing events taking place this summer and fall.
In this article

Grant amounts

$2,500 OR $5,000 (Applicant self-selects)


  • Applicants can be individual artists, artist collectives, LLCs and nonprofit entities. (Non-arts based organizations are welcome to apply as long as the proposed event is arts centered). 
  • Residents of the city of Portland or organizations that are based in the city of Portland.
  • The proposed event should be free and accessible to the public, and take place between July 1 - October 31, 2021.

Deadline for Application Submission

5 p.m. Friday, June 11, 2021

Decisions Will be Announced

Friday, June 25, 2021

Funds Disbursement and Required Reporting 

Funds will be disbursed as one single disbursement through our fiscal sponsor, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC). Before funds are disbursed, the following will need to be completed:

  1. W9 of party receiving the funds

  2. Simple contract that outlines partnership and support details

  3. A demographics survey that indicates the communities served through the grant project.

Centering Principles Guiding Initiative and Grant Invitation

Portlanders have endured the COVID-19 pandemic, political discord around the necessary racial reckoning work, extreme climate disasters like wildfires and an ice storm, and drastic changes to daily life. In these historic times of heightened emotional exhaustion and grief, local artists are still showing up in many ways. They are creating art that is evocative, grounded, and often represent new methods of communication in these isolating times. The City of Portland acknowledges the need to amplify the power of art to support our community members’ healing.

Led by our Creative Laureate (Subashini Ganesan) and the City Arts Program, with support from Mayor Wheeler's Office and Commissioner Rubio's office, this grant program is a part of a six-month arts-focused, multi-pronged, community-informed collective grieving and healing initiative. Our centering principals are as follows:

  • Respectful amplification of the diverse ways by which we grieve, mourn and heal as a community.
  • Honoring and highlighting artistic and communal resiliency.
  • Recognizing that our survival depends on intertwined communities of cultural organizers, artists and activists creating and sharing space, resources and mutual aid.

How to Apply

Please send an email to with the answers to the following questions and provide the attachments requested. Your subject line should read “APPLICATION for Grief, Healing and Art Grant Program.”

Answer these questions. You can attach a document or answer in the body of the email.

  • Name of event
  • Name of lead applicant
  • Are you applying as an organization or as an individual?
  • Email Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Website (If applicable)
  • Where will the event occur
  • Proposed Dates for the event
  • Describe your event. Focus on your existing partnerships between artists and the community this proposal seeks to serve.
  • Tell us how your proposal addresses our centering principles (see above).
  • Are you seeking $2,500 or $5,000? You will need to pick one. NOTE: Given that we expect a large number of applicants, please pick the category that reflects your most immediate needs and impact. 
  • How will you use the grant amount? Specifically tell us what the dollar amount will be allocated to. NOTE: The most compelling applications will address artist- and community-centered spending, rather than using grant money for supplies and/or permits. For events taking place at parks managed by Portland Parks & Recreation, there may be additional, limited funding available to help subsidize park fees through this grant program.

Provide these attachments:

  • A basic budget of your proposed event.
  • IRS letter if you are applying as a 501(c)3 organization
  • Biographies of lead applicant and collaborators

Decision-Making Process

A panel of three community members will gather with the City’s Creative Laureate, Subashini Ganesan, on June 18 to deliberate and select a pool of successful applicants. This pool of successful applicants will be sent to the City Arts Program for final approval. Public announcements will be made on June 25 via email. 

Assistance Available

For assistance with applications contact to set up a 25-minute one-on-one Zoom conversation. Subject line of email should read “Help with Events Grant Application.” In the body please briefly describe your project and your need (for example, I am confused about how to present a budget attachment, or I am still unsure about location of the event.). Indicate as many half-hour options you have available as possible based on the schedule below:

  • Tuesday, June 1 between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. 
  • Wednesday, June 2 between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. 
  • Thursday, June 3 between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. 

Please also note if you will need ASL interpretation and/or translation services.  



The Community Healing through Art initiative is funded by the City of Portland and the Fred W. Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.