Black Arts Projects - FAQs

My organization / collective is Black-led (majority Black leadership) but not all our programming is Black-focused. Can we apply?

  • If your organization / collective has demonstrated a commitment to being Black-focused and Black-serving, you can apply. Here is how we define “Black-focused” and “Black-serving”:

    • Black-focused: primary goal of the organization is to meaningfully support and engage Black communities

    • Black-serving: a significant portion of program activities prioritize serving Black communities

How will additional supports – Black Futures Studios Co-creation Lab, Mentorship, and Arts Career Development – be offered in this program?

  • All additional resources are optional. Arts career development workshops and Black Futures Studios co-creation lab may be accessed as needed. The mentorship component must be selected within the application. Grant recipients will receive information about Arts Career Development workshops and Black Futures Studios Co-Creation Lab as they become available.

With regards to collaborative projects and collectives; are all applicants required to be residents of Toronto?

  • Not all members of a collective or participants in a collaborative project have to be residents of Toronto. The majority of the collective must be Toronto residents. For example, in a collective with two individuals, both members must be Toronto residents. In a group of three, one member may be a non-resident.

My organization isn't based in Toronto but just opened a Toronto office. Can we apply?

  • No. Having a satellite office in Toronto does not automatically make an organization eligible for TAC funding. Organizations with a regional Toronto office must have operated in the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline. We do not accept post office box numbers as evidence of office location.

My organization is based in Toronto but our project is taking place outside of Toronto. Can we apply?

  • No. The project for which the funding is requested must take place in the City of Toronto.

Can I include staffing fees in our budget for staff in my organization working on this project?

  • No. Funding cannot be used to support an organization’s ongoing staff or faculty salaries. Where a portion of permanent staff or administrative resources are dedicated to the project, you may estimate the value of these resources and include a detailed breakdown in the budget as in-kind revenue.

My organization is not an arts organization. Can we apply?

  • No. This program is only open to arts-based organizations.

I’m a newcomer artist. I’ve been in Toronto for four years and have an application pending for permanent residence as a refugee claimant. Am I eligible to apply?

  • Yes, Toronto Arts Council was the first funding body to accept applications from people seeking Permanent Resident status. Protected Persons (approved refugee claimants) are also eligible. You may be requested to provide documentation about your claim.

Can I fund parts of an existing project?

  • Yes. It’s possible to fund one or more activities within your project or initiative. This grant may cover up to 100% of project costs, but it doesn’t have to cover 100%. You will be asked to identify which phase of your project you would like funded.

Can I use this funding to purchase equipment for my project?

  • No. Costs related to equipment purchase, capital projects (e.g. building purchases, renovations, etc.), film/video production, archiving, publishing, awards and award ceremonies, art therapy, fundraising events/projects and deficit reduction are not covered by these grants. Costs related to activities occurring outside of the City of Toronto are also not covered (e.g. touring, travel, etc.)

How does TAC define a “professional” artist?

  • A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized as such by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), who has a history of public presentation, publication and/or production and who is committed to devoting more time to their artistic activity if financially feasible.

  • TAC recognizes that due to systemic barriers within the broader arts community (e.g. limited mainstream presentation opportunities for artists from equity-seeking communities) that some flexibility may be required in interpreting eligibility criteria to take into account equivalent professional experience and contexts. Potential applicants from equity-seeking communities are encouraged to discuss their eligibility with the Program Manager in advance of submitting an application.

What is the role of the Program Manager?

  • TAC Program Managers facilitate the application process. This includes advising individuals or organizations about how to apply, ensuring that applications meet the funding criteria, and facilitating the assessment process. Program Managers attend arts events and participate in outreach initiatives to publicize grant programs.

How does the assessment process work?

  • The grant will be assessed by a grant review panel of independent practicing artists and arts professionals who are Black. After reading all grant applications within each program deadline, each grant review panel meets as a group to discuss, score and award grant applications in a rigorous process facilitated by the Program Manager. The discussions that occur during assessments are kept confidential. Grant recommendations are then made to the Board of Directors.

How will audio or video submissions be assessed?

  • The same assessment criteria will be applied to all application formats submitted. You will not be assessed differently for questions submitted in different formats. The audio and video submission options have been implemented to provide greater accessibility to the application process for those who may find it easier to access the application in this way, and will not affect how the question is scored.

How does the rolling deadline work?

  • For 2021, the program will have an October 7, 2021 deadline. After 11:59 pm on October 7, 2021 your 2021 application can still be accessed in your Application History page in TAC Grants Online. To work on a new application after October 7, 2021 you can start a new draft from the Apply page after the program re-opens by November for the following granting year at which point you can apply at any point throughout the following year until the end of the granting year (November 2022).

How do I contact the Program Manager to discuss my application?

  • First-time applicants must discuss their application with the Program Manager, Timaj Garad, who can be reached at or 416.392.6802 x209.