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Showers of Sunshine

Oklahoma CARES Grants

Emergency Relief for Oklahoma Arts Nonprofits

Designed to support the retention of jobs and to stabilize nonprofit arts organizations throughout the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oklahoma CARES Grants of up to $2,500 are available from the Oklahoma Arts Council to eligible Oklahoma nonprofit arts organizations. Applications are due May 29.

Eligible organizations are 501(c)(3) arts-focused organizations incorporated in the State of Oklahoma that have an annual operating budget of at least $10,000. Full eligibility requirements are listed below.

Oklahoma CARES Grants are one-time grants made possible by federal funding provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts to the Oklahoma Arts Council as its state partner. Guidelines for Oklahoma CARES Grants reflect the Oklahoma Arts Council’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations in the investment of funding throughout the state.


May 15 - Last day for organizations new to Oklahoma Arts Council grants to request a login to the grant system
May 18 - Application opens
May 29 - Application deadline
June 16 – Awards determined by Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board and staff
June 26 - Applicants notified of awards
July 10 - Final report due
Payment - Payment is processed after the Oklahoma Arts Council receives grantee's final report and all required support material.

Grant Funding

Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded on a competitive basis. There is no match requirement. As Oklahoma CARES Grants are competitive, funding may be prioritized for organizations that serve geographically isolated areas, under-resourced communities, culturally diverse populations, and underrepresented groups. (NOTE: Any expenses related to development/fundraising or lobbying are not eligible).

Eligibility Criteria

Organizations eligible for Oklahoma CARES Grants must meet all of the following criteria:

(NOTE: Major Grant Support organizations with annual operating budgets of more than $50,000 and Organizational Support grantees are not eligible for funding through this grant opportunity.)

Eligible Expenses

Organizations may use Oklahoma CARES Grants for a wide range of expenses, including artistic and administrative expenses (salaries, benefits, and contracts), and facility and operational expenses (such as rent, mortgage, utilities, security, building maintenance, and cleaning or sanitation services).

Oklahoma CARES Grant funds do not have a match requirement. Organizations must maintain detailed records for all expenses supported by Oklahoma CARES Grant funds indefinitely, or until otherwise notified by Oklahoma Arts Council. Records must indicate how expenses and payments are being supported with these funds as well as all other additional funding sources. State and federal funds cannot be used to support more than 100 percent of a single payment. Funds cannot be used to support duties or expenses related to fundraising and/or lobbying. 100 percent of awarded Oklahoma CARES Grant funds must be used for expenses incurred between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Application Support Material

Organizations should be prepared to submit the following with their application. Instructions for submitting support materials will provided in the grant system during the application process:


To Apply

Step 1: If your organization has not applied for an Oklahoma Arts Council grant within the past three years, please complete our Grant System Login Request Form by May 15. The form provides us with information needed to determine your organization's eligibility for grant funding. Once you have access, you can log in and apply for a grant. If you have questions about logging in, please contact our grants office at (405) 521-2040 or

Step 2: Log in to our grant system and complete an Oklahoma CARES grant application. Submit the application and all required support material by May 29.


Questions related to Oklahoma CARES Grants may be directed to Thomas Tran, Grants Director, at or (405) 521-2041.