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 is intended for organizations whose mission is cultural programming in one of the disciplines as defined in Section 265.283(7), Florida Statutes. 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 where the programming, production, presentation, exhibition of any of the arts and cultural disciplines are carried out 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 parking facilities, sidewalks, walkways, and trails that are independent projects; landscaping; fabrication or design of exhibits (not permanently affixed to the building); nor commercial projects.

Grant Period

Awarded grant funds must be spent on project expenses incurred during the grant period as defined in your grant award agreement. The grant period is 23 months.

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. Documentation will not be accepted after the submission deadline

  1. Must have completed and submitted final reports for any previously awarded Cultural Facilities grants or Fixed Capital Outlay line item grants at the time of application submission
  2. Must have the correct legal status (public entity governed by either a municipality or county or not-for-profit, tax-exempt, Florida Corporation)
  3. Must have unrestricted use of the land and buildings associated with the project which means you MUST be able to file a Restrictive Covenant on the property with the Clerk of Court for ten (10) years or provide a 10 year surety bond. See Unrestricted Use of Land and/or Buildings for additional information
  4. Must 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)
  5. If the property is leased, the lease agreement must be dated, signed and submitted at the time of the application submission
  6. Must provide documentation of Total Support and Revenue for the last completed fiscal year
  7. Must have appropriate matching funds and documented at submission
  8. Must provide current architectural plans signed by a licensed architect or engineer clearly indicating scope of work
  9. Must have current support of local officials (city and county government and community groups) -for this project- documented in writing with the application
  10. Applicants with structures 50 years or older must submit a determination letter from the Division of Historical Resources (DHR) with the application (For additional information, please contact the Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) at 850.245-6366)
  11. Must provide documentation supporting at least 85% of facility use is for cultural purposes as it pertains to the organization's mission per Section 265.283(7), Florida Statutes
  12. Must complete an online application. See the Division website for deadlines and application 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. Be 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. Be 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. Be 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

Applicants may only submit one (1) Cultural Facilities application per application deadline.

Project Restrictions

The following restrictions refer to the project Scope of work. Applicants may not use state or matching funds for the following:

Non-Allowable Expenses

Grant (state and matching) funds may not be spent on the following:

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

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 statement (comprehensive income, revenue and expense) and REDI eligibility. Operating expenses cannot be used as match.

Summary of Match Requirements Required Match
Last completed FY total support and revenue less than $1,000,001 1:1
Last completed FY total support and revenue of $1,000,001 or more with a REDI waiver 1:1
Last completed FY total support and revenue of $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. 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

Three types of match (must be on hand at the time of the application submission):

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 by a city or county commission 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.

Restrictions on Matching Funds

Matching Funds Documentation

Documentation of matching funds MUST include bank statement(s) confirming cash on hand or resolution showing funds dedicated to the Scope of Work.

And as applicable:

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 (Statement of Comprehensive Income, Revenue and Expense)

You must provide documentation of your Total Support and Revenue for your last completed fiscal year.

Architectural Plans

All applicants must upload current architectural plans for the facility certified by a licensed architect or engineer (not required for building acquisition).

Historical Review Requirements

Facilities that are 50 years old or older may have historical significance that must be preserved. If your facility meets the criteria, the Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) must approve your project plans before submission of your application. Upload a copy of the BHP determination letter at time of the application.

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 . DHR approval is required for any facilities that are 50 years of older prior to release of grant funds.

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.

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, for cash on hand
    2. Copies of irrevocable pledges
    3. Letters from 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. Current Architectural Plans certified by a licensed architect or engineer
  5. Local Support Documentation
    1. Up to 6 current letters of support from local officials and community groups
    2. Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) Determination Letter (for buildings 50 years or older)
  6. 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.
  7. Mission and Programming Materials such as season program, box office statement, educational programs that document 85% cultural programming of facility
  8. Support Materials such as:
    1. Photographs
    2. Flyers, brochures
    3. Newspaper articles
    4. Plans for sustainable design

Review Process (How your application will be reviewed)

  1. Division staff will review the applications for eligibility. Eligible applications will then be submitted to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture who serve as the grant review panel.
  2. The panel will evaluate each application on the review criteria and assign a score
  3. The Florida Council on Arts and Culture approves a list for submission to the Secretary of State
  4. The Division forwards a ranked list to the Secretary of State.
  5. The Secretary of State approves the ranked list for submission to the Legislature for funding consideration.

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 Description up to 30 points
Project Budget and Matching Funds Proposal Budget Detail: Expenses
Proposal Budget Detail: Income
Matching Funds Statement
Project Team
up to 30 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 and forwarded to the Florida Legislature for funding consideration.

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

Florida Council on Arts and Culture Review

The panel chair will submit the recommended funding list, ranked in order of total average score (highest to lowest), to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture at the Council's next official meeting. The Council may amend the panel's recommendations based on new or existing pertinent information about the application 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 does not fund any application on the list presented in a given year, the applications 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: