FAQs for Current Grantees and Applicants


1. January 2021, Update: When will NYSCA announce recipients of FY2021 grants?

NYSCA anticipates announcing FY2021 grant recipients in February 2021. Please continue to check our website for updates.

2. January 2021, Update: Are there any anticipated changes to multi-year awards or new awards for FY2021?  

There will be no changes to multi-year awards. NYSCA will be processing multi-year awards soon. New awards for FY2021 will be announced during the first quarter.

3. January 2021, Update: Does NYSCA expect to release remaining payments for FY2020 grant awards in 2020?

There will be a plan for payment for these funds by March 31st, 2021.  Please continue to check our website for updates.

4. January 2021, Update: When will NYSCA open the FY2022 Grant Application Portal?

NYSCA anticipates that our FY2022 grant opportunity application portal will open in Spring 2021. We will share all grant opportunity calendar updates here and in other places on our website. Please continue to check our website frequently. If you would like to receive NYSCA updates, join our mailing list by emailing [email protected]

5. 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. 

6. Does NYSCA plan to offer flexibility for FY2021 grantees similar to FY2020 grantees? 

Yes. NYSCA currently plans to offer FY2021 grantees the same flexibility offered for FY2020. Both multiyear and new awardees for FY2021 may make such requests. Generally, all activity changes and time extensions for FY2021 will be approved by email similarly to FY2021.  Such requests should not be requested in the Grants Gateway website.  Please email or call your program director about FY2021 activity or time extension requests.

7. 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.

8. 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. 

9. 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.

10. 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. 

11. 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. 

12. 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.

13. 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. 

14. 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, please do so as soon as possible.  We are still accepting requests even for those grants whose 12-month grant activity has ended (e.g., for contracts staring January 2020, by December 31, 2020).

15. Will NYSCA be offering any options on final reporting requirements for FY 2020 grants?

Yes. We are providing flexibility on FY2020 final reports. You submit your final report 60 days after the end of your grant (including any extension) but we welcome you to submit your reports due March 1, 2021 now. You must complete your report on the NYSCA website.  Changes this year: 1) The full project income and expense table is optional. 2) There is a new required table to require expense reporting on the use of the NYSCA grant amount. 3) There are required questions on the impact of COVID-19. 4) You can optionally share links and uploads relating to project activity and significant organizational news. (We updated our form for these changes on January 28, 2021. If you had a draft in process or submitted before then, you will be submitting on the old form.  If you use the old form, the full project budget table is still optional as long as you tell us in the narrative how you actually used our grant dollars.)  Questions? Email us at [email protected]

16.  Regarding the Prequalification requirement, is an extension available in Grants Gateway for Document Vaults for COVID-related delays in uploading financial documents or Charities Bureau filings?

Yes.  You may make a Grants Gateway COVID-19 Extension Request for your Charities Bureau filing on form 500 or 410 and annual financial statement.  You may request an extension of 6 months. Upload a brief request into the upload box for each of these documents in the Vault.  The request can be in PDF or Word. A sample request form is here: https://grantsmanagement.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/04/covid-19-financial-document-extension-request.pdf 

Grants Gateway is not providing an extension for the IRS Form 990.  Please contact our Prequalification Specialist [email protected] if you have any questions. 

17. I am new to NYSCA: I Hear I can Prequalify My Organization Now Even Through There are No Current Grant Opportunities?

NYSCA has not released its grant opportunities for FY 22. One step your organization can still take now is to go through the Prequalification process on the NYS Grants Gateway website. You need to finish before you can apply for a NYS grant.  We recommend you start as soon as you consider applying to NYSCA. It requires submission of governing and finance documents and answering organizational questions about fiscal and managerial practices.  

The first step is to register your organization in the Grants Gateway by emailing a Grants Gateway Registration Form for Administrators according to the instructions found here. Second, after you are registered, you create and submit a Document Vault, according to the steps outlined below.  

 For more information:

Please contact our Prequalification Specialist [email protected] if you have any questions.