FAQs for Current Grantees and Applicants

Instructions for Current Grantees and Applicants

1. When will NYSCA announce recipients of FY2021 grants?

NYSCA anticipates announcing FY2021 grant recipients in late 2020.

2. Are there any anticipated changes to multi-year awards or new awards for FY21?  

NYSCA will be continuing to support our field in FY2021 as we navigate the challenges of the ongoing health crisis. The state is contending with a $16 billion loss, and without federal aid must reduce spending to balance the budget. A spending plan is expected to be released by the state in late 2020, and we will provide further direction at that point.  At this time, NYSCA anticipates announcing FY 2021 multi-year and new awards in late 2020.  If NYSCA’s grants budget is reduced for FY 2021, all awards for FY 2021 (both new and multi-year) will be subject to this reduction.

3. We are facing cancellations of events and programs funded through FY2020 project grants – how will NYSCA help?

NYSCA is providing immediate support to grantees facing cancellations of their events or programs funded by FY2020 project grants through the following options: 

A. You can request approval for a “COVID-19 activities change request” in order to apply NYSCA funds to expenses of: 

  1. The originally funded events or programs which have been cancelled because of a COVID-19 Executive Order;    
  2. Rescheduled events or programs;      
  3. Substituted similar events or programs; and/or      
  4. Remote/online versions of the event or program (or the similar substitute event or program).

B. You can request an extension of time of up to one year to spend funds, complete activities and deliver a final report.

C. Your expenses can be substituted in the COVID-19 activities change request  -- as long as you stay within same cost categories anticipated in the grant. 

Here’s a simple example: 

A museum has a NYSCA FY2020 project grant for an exhibition but the museum is now closed to the public. The grant is $15,000, with $10,000 allocated to fund salary of a curator’s work on the show and $5,000 towards other expenses such as installation materials and shipping.  Here are some sample options:

  • NYSCA can fund expenses with respect to the cancelled exhibition under option (a).  For example, NYSCA could fund $10,000 of the salary of the curator organizing the show and $5,000 for other expenses, such as installation materials and shipping fees for returning the art for the cancelled show.
  • If the museum schedules the show later or decides to mount a similar substitute exhibition, NYSCA could fund expenses of such show under option (b) or (c).  For example, $10,000 allocated for the salary of the curator of the new show and $5,000 for other expenses such as installation materials and shipping.
  • If the museum can mount an online version of the original exhibition or a similar substitute show, NYSCA could fund expenses of the online version under option (d).  

Another simple example: Same museum as above but instead of materials and shipping, $5,000 is allocated to teaching artists contracted to lead school programs related to the show.  NYSCA could fund the teaching artists expenses for the cancelled work, for rescheduled work or remote work. 

4. Does NYSCA plan to offer flexibility for FY21 grantees similar to FY20 grantees? 

Yes. NYSCA currently plans to offer FY2021 grantees the same flexibility offered for FY2020

5. How do we make a COVID-19 activities change request to use these flexible project grant options? 

Simply contact your program staff at any time by email to request such a change and your program staff will send you a confirmation email following review and acceptance.

A. Include your FY2020 contract number, program category and grant title in the email subject line.

B. Tell us how the delay or closure was caused by the COVID-19 Executive Order (or other NY government directive) and let us know which options from the above list you would like your grant funded expenses applied or if you would like an extension.  (If you have already given us recent general impact information in a COVID-19 field note, you can just reference it and do not need to repeat it.)

C. Note the cost categories that the NYSCA grant is designated to fund and the amounts for each, and give us a very brief description for each cost category to which the alternative expense use will be allocated.   Cost categories appear on Attachment B-1 on your Grants Gateway contract. But please note that if your grant is under $10K in total across all funding years, you will not have a Grants Gateway contract, so just describe your proposed alternative expense use in a few words.  Click here for instructions on how to find your contract and the cost categories in Attachment B-1 in Grants Gateway. For example if your grant has your funds allocated to the “Contractual” cost category to fund artistic fees,  you could request to use NYSCA funds instead for “Contractual” artistic fees related to: (1) the cancelled show, (2) a substitute similar show;  or (3) for work on any remote/online options.   Please note that it is less likely that you will be able to apply the entire grant to something like rent since that would falls under a different cost category (Space/Property and Utilities). 

NYSCA expects to be able to quickly respond to any project grant requests that meet the criteria above.  We reserve the right to refrain from accepting any request for compliance or other reasons, in our sole discretion. No Grants Gateway actions are generally required by NYSCA at this time for the above.

6. Do we need to keep updating our COVID-19 field notes?

No. The COVID-19 grantee notes page on the grantee portal on NYSCA.org continues to be a resource for sharing your experiences confronting the COVID-19 crisis on an optional basis.  We welcome you to share any updates.  NYSCA staff has been inspired and humbled by your dedication and creativity and our review of these notes has helped us to design timely responses to support you. Thank you for sharing.

The types of organization and project information you can share on the COVID-19 field memo page continues to include the following: (a) any delays and/or cancellations of activities; (b) actual income loss; (c) expected income loss; (d) other challenges resulting from COVID·19.

You may list URL links if you have already shared such information online, (Please know that updates you have already shared with NYSCA staff will be compiled as well so there is no need to repeat on the COVID page.) Memos once submitted can't be reopened but you may submit a subsequent field memo at any time if you have further updates.  (2000 characters maximum)

To find the COVID-19 field memo page, click on the COVID link on the left hand of the NYSCA.org grantee portal once you log in. 

7. Do we need to make a COVID-19 activities change request on a general operating support (GOS) grant?

No.  You do not need to submit a COVID-19 activities change request regarding a cancelled or substitute activity in your overall operational activities program funded by a NYSCA GOS grant. NYSCA GOS grantees already have the flexibility to use funds for awarded core operational costs.

8. Do we need to make a COVID-19 activities change request on a project that doesn’t have an event or program element?

No. Do not submit an activities change request if there is no event or program element in your specific grant project.  Examples include our facilities grants, our REDC workforce grants and many of our commissioned artistic grants.  You can request a time extension for up to a year as noted below.  You may also share any COVID-19 related updates on these grants on the NYSCA field memo page (if you have not already done so), e.g., how commissioned artists are faring in working remotely or how a facilities project is progressing.  If you have a question on whether your grant has an event or program element, or have any other requests, your program staff will be happy to help at any time by email. 

9. Can I make a COVID-19 project grant activity change request on an REDC FY2020 grant?

Please reach out to REDC program staff regarding any REDC grants in light of COVID-19. 

10. What is the status of the REDC Opportunities?

Until New York State has more information regarding what the Federal Government will be providing in terms of relief funding to states and how that will impact the NYS budget, agencies will not be advancing REDC funding requests for review.

11. Will NYSCA be permitting time extensions generally for FY 2020 grants?

Yes.  All FY2020 grantees can obtain time extensions, if needed, as a result of the COVID-19 EO.   Extensions are generally less than six months, and requests of up to one year will be considered.  This extension enables an organization to expend funds and complete activities during the extended period and to submit a final report two months after the end of that extended period.  Simply email your program staff to request an extension.  Please include your contract number, program and category in the email subject line and explain the COVID-19 EO related reasons for the request.  Your program staff will send you a confirmation email back following review and acceptance. No Grants Gateway actions are generally required by NYSCA at this time for the above. 

12. Is there a deadline for submitting a COVID-19 activity change request or a time extension request? 

We will process changes as they are received. We realize that you may need time to map out your strategy moving forward. If we do not hear from you, we will assume you will fulfill the use of your grant as originally proposed. That said, if you need to submit a change for your 2020 grant, we will need to hear from you before the end of the existing 12-month FY2020 grant period (e.g., for contracts staring January 2020, by December 31, 2020). 

13. Will NYSCA be offering any options on final reporting requirements in 2020?

Yes. We are providing flexibility on FY2020 final reports (due 60 days after the end of the grant period) by making the presentation of the full project budget optional and allowing grantees to report only on the use of the NYSCA funds along with a narrative presentation of delivered activities, as well as any data required by the NEA.