Welcome to the Division of Cultural Affairs Cultural Facilities Program (CF) Guidelines. We're glad you are applying for a Cultural Facilities grant from the Division. These guidelines are incorporated by reference into Rule 1T-1.039, Florida Administrative Code, and they detail the policies and requirements for the application and administration of the Cultural Facilities Program grants.

Purpose of this grant

The Cultural Facilities Program coordinates and guides the State of Florida's support and funding of renovation, new construction, or acquisition of cultural facilities. 

The applicant's mission must be to directly conduct arts and cultural programming. By program definition, a cultural facility is a building which shall be used for the programming, production, presentation, exhibition of any of the arts and cultural disciplines (Section 265.283(7), Florida Statutes). These disciplines are music, dance, theatre, creative writing, literature, architecture, painting, sculpture, folk arts, photography, crafts, media arts, visual arts, and programs of museums and must comprise at least 85% of facility use. The Program is intended for bricks and mortar construction, renovation, or for acquisition (not any combination of the three). State funding IS NOT to be used for landscaping, constructing or fabricating exhibits.

Grant Period

Awarded grant funds must be spent on project expenses incurred during the grant period as defined in your grant award agreement.

Request Amount

You may request up to $500,000 for the renovation, acquisition, or construction of a cultural facility.  There is no minimum request amount.


All applicants must meet the following requirements. All documentation must be provided by the application deadline unless otherwise noted. In other words, documentation must be submitted with the application and will not be accepted later.

  1. Have the correct legal status (public entity or not-for-profit, tax-exempt, Florida Corporation)
  2. Have unrestricted use of the land and buildings associated with the project (for new construction or renovation) which means you MUST be able to file a Restrictive Covenant on the property with the Clerk of Court for ten (10) years. See Unrestricted Use of Land and/or Buildings for additional information
  3. Retain ownership of all improvements made under the grant (unless the land or buildings are owned by the State of Florida and leased to an eligible applicant)
  4. If the property is leased, the lease agreement must be dated, signed and submitted by the application deadline
  5. Provide documentation of Total Support and Revenue (operating budget)for the last completed fiscal year
  6. Have appropriate matching funds and properly document matching funds at submission
  7. Provide an 8.5" x 11" reduction of current architectural plans
  8. Have support of local officials (city and county government) —for this project— documented in writing with the application or submitted at the panel meeting as an update
  9. Applicants with structures 50 years or older must submit a determination letter from the Division of Historical Resources (DHR) with the application or prior to the Panel Meeting (For additional information, please contact the Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) at 850.245-6366)
  10. Complete an online application form at

All applicant organizations must:

  1. Be a public entity governed by either a municipality or county, or
  2. Have been established as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt Florida corporation according to the following definitions:
    1. Incorporated as an active not-for-profit Florida corporation, pursuant to Chapter 617, Florida Statutes. Division staff will verify that the applicant was in "active" status with the Division of Corporations at the time of application

    2. Designated as a tax-exempt organization as defined in Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and

    3. Allowed to receive contributions pursuant to the provisions of s. 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954

Organizations that are not public entities must provide the organization's IRS determination letter documenting not-for-profit, tax-exempt status with each application. The IRS determination letter must be submitted with the application.

The Division of Cultural Affairs will verify that the applicant is registered with the Division of Corporations as of the application deadline. If the applicant is not registered in Corporations by the application deadline, the application will be ineligible.

For more information on corporate status, visit or call the Division of Corporations, profit and nonprofit information line at (850) 245-6054.

Number of applications per deadline

You may only submit one (1) Cultural Facilities application per application deadline, for a single facility, project, site, or phase. 

City or county governments may submit Cultural Facilities applications for their divisions or departments that are separate and distinct budgetary units, provided the applications do not address the same facility, project, site, or phase.

Number of applications per project

Applicants may request funding for different phases of the same project over a period of 5 consecutive state fiscal years. These are called multiphase projects, and they must have activity in each year for which funding is requested. 

In multiphase projects, matching funds may be expended on the current project phase in advance; however, state funds may only be expended on activity occurring after a Grant Award Agreement is fully executed. You may not use funds expended in earlier phases as match for later phases.

The phase number of the project is equal to the number of applications submitted to the Division of Cultural Affairs over a 5-year period in order to complete the project. See Help: Phase Numbering for more information. All eligibility criteria continue to apply.

Restrictions (State Funds may not be used for…)

Non-Allowable Expenses

The Grantee agrees to expend all grant funds received under this agreement solely for the purposes for which they were authorized and appropriated. Expenditures shall be in compliance with the state guidelines for allowable project costs as outlined in the Department of Financial Services' Reference Guide for State Expenditures, which are incorporated by reference and are available online at Grant funds may not be spent on the following:

Matching Funds

You must match your request amount with non-state funds. The amount you must provide as match depends on your Total Support and Revenue (annual budget) and for REDI eligibility.

Summary of Match Requirements
Total Support and Revenue Required Match
Annual Budget less than $1,000,001 1:1
Annual Budget of $1,000,001 or more with a REDI waiver 1:1
Annual Budget Over $1,000,001 or more without a REDI waiver 2:1

REDI Waiver

The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) recognizes those rural or economically distressed counties or communities designated pursuant to Sections 288.0656 and 288.06561, Florida Statutes, as REDI qualified. The REDI program is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Applicants in a REDI designated area must only provide $1 of required match for every $1 requested from the state regardless of their Total Support and Revenue. 

Applicants that seek a REDI waiver must submit a letter from the county government acknowledging the application and requesting a reduction of the 2:1 match (reduced to 1:1) on behalf of the applicant. This letter must be submitted with the application package. The Division cannot waive all matching funds.

For more information about REDI, including a list of eligible counties and communities, see the official REDI website at

Types of Match

There are four types of match:

Non-profit organizations must have all match complete and confirmed at the time of application.

Municipalities and counties (public entities) must submit an executed copy of an approved resolution with the application package. The resolution must include the dollar amount dedicated and available to the project if the grant is awarded and the date the funds will be available. The resolution must be dated and signed by the application deadline. Funding, as indicated by the resolution, must be made available within 90 days of state grant funding notification.  A resolution or minutes by a city or county commission will fulfill the cash-on-hand portion of the local match.

Restrictions on Matching Funds

Matching Funds Documentation

Documentation of matching funds may include:

Unrestricted Use of Land and/or Buildings

You must provide documentation that the Applicant has either Unrestricted Use (ownership or lease) of the building and the land associated with the proposal/project.

Total Support and Revenue (Annual Budget)

You must provide documentation of your Total Support and Revenue (annual operating budget) for your last completed fiscal year.

Architectural Plans

All applicants must upload an 8 ½" x 11" reduction of current architectural plans for the facility. DO NOT send full size architectural plans or drawings with the application. See below for suggested submissions for each project type:

Historical Review Requirements

Facilities that are 50 years old or older must be reviewed by the Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP). No later than May 1st, please provide the BHP office with information, see the link below for instructions:
The applicant must send must send the required information to BHP and copy the Cultural Facilities Grant Manager.

Please note that the review time for projects is approximately thirty days once all required information is received by the Bureau of Historic Preservation office. If you have questions, please contact the Review and Compliance Section at 850.245.6333 or visit BHP web site at

Local Support

All applicants must submit current letters of support from local officials (City and County Government) and community groups who are lending support to this project.  Letters should be from individuals who have actually visited the facility (if a renovation project) or participated in programs (if a new facility).  Applicants should avoid form letters; original letters are preferred. Five or six support letters are sufficient.

Support letters will not be accepted after the application deadline. However, support letters may be distributed at the Panel Meeting during the “Update” section of the Panel Meeting.

Submitting the Application

All application information submitted to the Division is open for public inspection and subject to the Public Records Law (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes).

Application Form

The application form must be completed using the Division's online grant application and submitted online by 5:00 pm ET on the application deadline. Deadlines and a link to the application form is posted on the Division's web site. See the Division Website for deadlines and application at

Attachments and Support Materials

Submit your attachments and support materials by uploading through the online system. Acceptable file formats are as follows:

The application must include the following:

  1. Matching Funds Documentation
    1. Bank statements, awards, contracts, and/or a list of liquid assets for cash on hand
    2. Cash receipts for expenditures (must be withing five (5) years)
    3. A list of irrevocable pledges
    4. A list of in-kind contributions
  2. Documentation of Unrestricted Use (construction and renovation projects) or Intent to Sell (acquisitions)
    1. Deed, title, property tax statement to document unrestricted use, OR
    2. Executed copy of lease and written explanation of any easements, covenants, or other conditions to document unrestricted use, OR
    3. Description of facility, purchase price and letter of intent to sell
  3. Total Support and Revenue Documentation
    1. Audit, review, or compilation, annual budget (not-for-profit, tax-exempt applicants only)
    2. Audit or internally prepared financial statement (public entities applicants only)
    3. Audit of the organization that will be responsible for management of the facility (public entity applicants only)
  4. 8.5 x 11 inch reduction of current Architectural Plans
  5. REDI letter requesting reduction of match (if applicable)
  6. Local Support Documentation
    1. Up to 6 current letters of support from local officials and community groups, OR
    2. A list of officials with signatures
  7. BHP Determination Letter (for buildings 50 years or older)
  8. Non-profit IRS Letter. Not-for profit tax exempt applicants must also provide one (1) copy of your IRS 501(c) (3) or 501(c) (4) determination letter.
  9. Support Materials such as:
    1. Photographs (original or electronic on CD)
    2. Supplemental or expanded budgets
    3. Flyers, brochures
    4. Newspaper articles
    5. Plans for sustainable design
  10. Not-for-profit, tax-exempt applicants must also provide one (1) copy of your IRS 501(c) (3) or 501(c) (4) determination letter
  11. Email from Bureau of Historic Preservation verifying that you have submitted your plans by May 1

Review Process (How your application will be reviewed)

  1. Division staff will review the applications for basic eligibility. The Division will submit eligible applications to The Florida Council on Arts and Culture which will serve as the grant review panel.
  2. The panel will evaluate each application on the three review criteria and assign a score
  3. The Division forward a ranked list to the Secretary of State.
  4. The Secretary of State approves the ranked list to be submitted to the Legislature for funding recommendations.

Review Criteria and Scoring

Each eligible application will be evaluated on three (3) competitive criteria

Criteria Application section(s) Worth
Scope of Work Scope of Work: Project Narrative and Deliverables up to 20 points
Project Budget and Matching Funds Proposal Budget Detail: Expenses
Proposal Budget Detail: Income
Matching Funds Statement
Project Team
up to 40 points
Need for Project and Project Impact Need for Project, Operating Forecast Detail and Project Impact
up to 40 points

The total possible number of points the panel can award to an application is 100. The panel's evaluation will be based on the information contained in the application, required attachments and support materials submitted with the application. The panel's individual scores will be averaged to determine a final score for each application.

Applications must receive a minimum average score of 80 or higher to be recommended for funding. Applications receiving an average score of 80 or higher will be recommended to the Secretary of State for approval and will be forwarded to the Florida Legislature for funding consideration.

Applications with a tied average score will be ranked by aplication number order (lowest to highest).

Panel Review Meeting

The panel meeting is a public process and is open to all. All applicants are encouraged, but not required, to attend the panel meeting. The Division will email all eligible applicants pertinent information regarding the panel meeting prior to the meeting.

At the meeting, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture will serve as the review panel. There are two special provisions:

  1. At no time will any panel member lobby or serve as an advocate for any application or organization and
  2. All panel members must comply with Section 112.312(8), Florida Statutes, Conflict of Interest; and Section 112.3143, Florida Statutes, Voting Conflicts for all applications

Meeting Procedure

  1. The panel Chair will announce the application number and organization name.

  2. The organization's representative may provide an update with new information about the project since the application was submitted, if applicable.

  3. Any panel member may ask questions about the update or application. The panel will be encouraged to discuss the application, providing observations about the strengths and weaknesses of the application or project, and seek clarification from the applicant in any areas of uncertainty. These observations must be written on the panelist's evaluation sheet. The Division will retain each evaluation sheet as part of the application's permanent public record.

  4. The applicant will be permitted time to answer, explain, clarify, or respond to any question from the panel.

  5. After all discussion has been concluded and everyone has been heard, the Chair will call on panelists to voice their initial score.

  6. Steps 1-5 will be repeated for each application in order until all applications have been reviewed.

  7. After all of the applications have been reviewed, the Chair will provide an opportunity for applicants and audience to comment on any application. Applicants are encouraged to speak on behalf of their application at this time.

  8. After all discussion has concluded, the Chair will call for panelists to voice scores. The applications will be scored in the order of their review. Panelists may revise their scores at this time. Division staff will calculate and announce the average score for each application. There will be no opportunity to "revisit" the applications at a later time and change scores.

  9. After all scores have been announced, the Chair will ask for a motion to accept all scores.

  10. The Chair will then ask for general comments from the panel about the program or review process.

  11. The Chair will then ask for public comments prior to the conclusion of the meeting.

When all scores are finalized, a list will be created, ranked in order of total average score.  The ranked list will include all proposed projects with recommended funding levels for each project.

Florida Council on Arts and Culture Review

The panel chair will submit the recommended funding list, ranked in order of total average score, to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture at the Council's next official meeting. The Council may amend the Committee's recommendations based on the following new or existing pertinent information about the applicant or panel proceedings such as:

Funding Process (How applications are funded)

The Secretary of State will provide the Legislature with an approved list, ranked in order of total average score, with funding recommendations for all projects that received a total average score of 80 and above. The Legislature may use this list to make funding decisions.

What if a new application is not funded?

If the Legislature funds some of the applications on the list in a given year, the remaining applications not funded that year are not eligible for "rollover" for the following year. Applicants must submit a new application for the next funding cycle.

If the Legislature does not fund any applicant on the list presented in a given year, the applicants on that list are eligible for “rollover” for the following year (only). Applications may only be on the rollover list once. If your application is not funded on the rollover, you must submit a new application.

Why Rollover?

As a rollover, your application:

A single list (of both rollover and new applications) ranked in order by average score, highest to lowest, will be submitted to the next session of the Legislature. Rollover application recommendations will be identified as such on the ranked list.

Rollover Update

Applicants wishing to rollover must submit a Rollover Update. The Rollover update should provide updated information pertinent to the application since its original submission in the following application sections:

A specific deadline will be established and posted on the Division's website. When you submit the Rollover Application, Division staff will:

Removal from the Rollover List

An organization will be removed from the rollover list for the following:


For information about the Cultural Facilities Program, contact:

Elsie Rogers
Cultural Facilities Program Administrator
(850) 245-6483
[email protected]

For general information about the Division of Cultural Affairs and to access grant information and resources, visit our website at: