Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative

Grant Overview – Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative (NACBI)

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) recently launched its Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative (NACBI) and is pleased to announce this 2014 request for proposals for this Initiative. First Nations will distribute up to six grant awards of up to $30,000 each to strengthen the organizational, managerial, and programmatic capacity of Native organizations that have existing program initiatives in place to serve the field of Native American arts and Native American artists in tribal communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 

As a cultural asset for Native communities, art has been an integral part of sustaining Native nations, their cultures, their languages, and their traditional beliefs, thereby shaping community and family ties and cultural pride. First Nations believes the continuing development of Native American art is an indispensable component of Native community economic development and the retention of Native cultures. Through direct grants and technical assistance and training under the NACBI, First Nations is striving to significantly increase the organizational, managerial, and programmatic capacity of selected direct service Native organizations in an effort to enhance their long-term sustainability, stability, vibrancy, and economic impact so they can continue to carry out their essential work in the field of Native American arts and Native American artists.

Grant Period

The grant period will commence September 1, 2014 and end October 31, 2015.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must currently have existing program initiatives in place that emphasize strengthening the field of Native American arts and building the capacity of Native American artists in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Types of eligible entities include:

  • Reservation-Based and Select Non-Reservation-Based Native American Museums;
  • Tribal Cultural Centers;
  • Native American Educational Institutions;
  • Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs);
  • Native 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organizations;
  • Native 7871 Organizations;
  • Tribal Government Programs (i.e. Tribal Arts Programs, Heritage Departments, etc.); and
  • Native Chambers of Commerce.

First Nations does not require federal recognition for tribal governments applying for grants; however, tribal governments applying must demonstrate, at a minimum, proof of state recognition.

All entities that apply must be located in a tribal community or demonstrate that they have a very close tie to one or more tribal communities. Native community organizations may submit applications through a sponsoring organization if the sponsor has 501(c)(3) status, and can provide written authorization confirming its willingness to act as the fiscal sponsor.

Grants under the NACBI will not be made to individual Native American artists or for-profit organizations.

On-line Application Process & Required Attachments

All applicants must fully complete the First Nations ONLINE Grant Application, including the submission of all necessary attachments, by Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm Mountain Time.

The following attachments must be uploaded during the on-line submission process:

  • Attachment A: An estimated budget for the proposed project that breaks down costs, is reasonable and related to grant expenditures, and includes a travel line item of at least $1,000 to attend First Nations’ national technical assistance and training event. Proposed expenses must be directly connected to the proposed project. (view sample)
  • Attachment B: A detailed project timeline that documents important project goals, milestones and benchmarks. (view sample)
  • Attachment C: A copy of the organization’s or fiscal sponsor’s IRS Determination Letter if the applicant is a 501(c)(3) organization or community organization using a fiscal sponsor.
  • Attachment D: List of Board of Directors, with Tribal affiliation (if applicable), and Key Staff.
  • Attachment E: A completed W-9 for the tribe, organization, or parent organization/fiscal sponsor. (download form)

Important note:

Please allow yourself enough time to submit a complete application before the deadline, as the system will shut down automatically at 5:00 PM Mountain Time on Thursday, July 31, 2014, and no data may be entered thereafter. Partial, faxed, emailed, or mailed applications that are not received on time due to user error will not be considered.

Technical Assistance Requirements During Grant Period

Selected organizations must send two team members to one of two mandatory regional technical assistance and training events and one team member to a national technical assistance and training event hosted by First Nations during the grant period. Travel scholarships will be provided for the regional technical assistance and training event. However, each applicant must set aside a minimum of $1,000 of their proposed requested funds for attendance at the national technical assistance and training event. These funds will be used for travel, lodging and other travel related expenses. This amount, totaling at least $1,000, must be included in all applicants' budgets with the total requested project budget not to exceed $30,000.

Selected grantees must also participate in a basic organizational or programmatic assessment early in the grant period, which will inform the content of the regional training events and individualized technical assistance plans to be carried out during the grant period. 

Grant Selection Criteria & Use Of Grant Funds

First Nations seeks projects that demonstrate:

  1. A clear programmatic focus on directly supporting the field of Native American arts and building the capacity of Native American artists in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin through training and technical assistance and/or grants, fellowships, apprenticeships, etc. (see example issue areas below);
  2. Innovative and comprehensive activities focusing on the field of Native American arts and Native American artists;
  3. The ability and/or experience necessary to accomplish the proposed project;
  4. A clear plan of action, specific goals and objectives, and a process to periodically assess, document, and disseminate progress and lessons learned;
  5. Feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability;
  6. Willingness and experience collaborating, forming partnerships, and engaging and supporting the community; and
  7. Potential for application and replication in other Native communities.

Use of Grant Funds

Selected grantee organizations must use First Nations’ grant funds under the NACBI to address organizational, programmatic, and managerial issues facing their organization and the Native American artists they serve, including but not limited to the following:

  • Organizational & professional development 
  • Governance
  • Communication plans
  • Developing capitalization and market readiness plans
  • Supporting Native American curators
  • Financial management
  • Fundraising
  • Community organizing
  • Business plan & entrepreneurship training
  • Supporting archiving and collections/preservation efforts
  • Promoting Native American artist convenings
  • Leadership training
  • Marketing plans
  • Strategic planning
  • Financial literacy training
  • Supporting communal artist spaces for Native American artists
  • Offering apprenticeships to Native American artists

Technical Support For Application Preparation & Submission

First Nations will host two optional Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions for interested applicants prior to the application deadline. These Q&A sessions will provide an opportunity for applicants to ask questions about the application, proposal criteria, or other proposal related questions before the application deadline. Participation IS NOT mandatory; however, applicants are encouraged to participate in one or both of the calls.

Technical support for application preparation and submission will be held on:

  • Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 10:00 AM MDT
  • Thursday, July 17, 2014, 2:00 PM MDT.

The call-in number for both calls will be 1-877-427-7602 (toll free).
The conference code is 828.198.8050.

Questions

Should you have questions about the RFP or this project, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine Bryan by email at cbryan@firstnations.org or by phone at (303) 774-7836. 

Additional Resources

  • Download printable Request for Proposals
  • Download instructions on using First Nations' Online Grant Application System 
Start or Resume Application

To begin a new application:

To access a saved or submitted applicaiton:

All applicants must fully complete the First Nations ONLINE Grant Application, including the submission of all necessary attachments, by Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm Mountain Time.

Please note:  the online system automatically closes at 5:00 p.m. (MDT) and no further data or information can be entered at that time.  Please plan accordingly.  Waiting until the last hour is strongly not recommended as your application form must be completed by the deadline.  No other letter or format will be accepted.

If you have questions regarding your organization’s alignment with First Nation’s guidelines, you may contact Catherine Bryan by email at cbryan@firstnations.org or by phone at (303) 774-7836.