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VISION Arts | Creative & Cultural Economic Recovery

About the Program

VISION Arts emphasizes the artistic and cultural industry within Tulsa and solidifies its role as a driver of economic growth and development. The specific purpose of the VISION Arts is to strategically engage the City’s arts and cultural organizations in boosting the local economy.

The VISION Arts Creative & Cultural Economic Recovery program is a response to the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis. The City of Tulsa recognizes that arts and culture institutions are profoundly impacted by the crisis. This program is designed to provide needed funding to support ongoing programming, events, and/or exhibits to encourage economic development opportunities in Tulsa while complying with social distancing and sanitation requirements.

  • Application Open: October 13, 2020, 8:00 AM CDT
  • Virtual Informational Sessions
    • To Join Every Meeting: (Conference Link, Meeting ID: 652 724 6961, Passcode: visionarts)
      • 3:00 PM Thursday, October 22
      • 2:00 PM Saturday, October 24
      • 10:00 AM Monday, October 26
      • 6:00 PM Wednesday, October 28
    • Application Assistance Deadline: 11:59 PM Sunday, November 15
    • Application Close: 5:00 Monday, November 30
    • Awards will be announced by early January 2020
    • Grants funds disbursed during Q1 2021
    • Organizations have until December 31, 2021 to use funding for Eligible Expenses
Purpose & Goals

City of Tulsa Mission

The mission of the City of Tulsa is to deliver exceptional services and create the foundation for economic prosperity, health, and quality of life for our community.

Tulsa Arts Commission Purpose

The Tulsa Arts Commission is charged with assisting the City in public matters concerning public artwork. Its responsibilities include: recommending the purchase and maintenance of new and existing artwork; imparting advice on concerning public matters having aesthetic implications; reviewing public signage (including neighborhood signs); stimulating superior aesthetic quality in all phases of physical development within the community; and assisting in the procurement of additional works of public art.

The Tulsa Arts Commission shall evaluate and make recommendations to the Mayor regarding use of the Vision Tulsa funds for art-related purposes. The Tulsa Arts Commission shall review the use of, and economic impact derived from, the organization’s receipt and use of Vision Tulsa funding and present an annual assessment to the Mayor and City Council.

VISION Arts Purpose

In April of 2016, voters approved Vision Tulsa, which included approved funding for a program that supports arts projects which stimulate economic development throughout Tulsa. $2,250,000 was allocated to Tulsa Arts Commission to provide annual arts support over a 15 year cycle, with a total amount of $150,000 awarded every year to eligible organizations.

Recognizing that the arts are a vital component of a vibrant community and a thriving economy, the City of Tulsa seeks to strategically engage the city’s arts and cultural organizations in boosting the local economy.


Goals for the Allocation of Funds

  • Provide for working capital to arts organizations necessary for programming, events, and/or exhibits to encourage economic development opportunities in Tulsa while complying with social distancing and sanitation requirements
  • Support the creative economy through payroll support for artists, performers, scholars, technicians and other vital members of the cultural community
  • Secure a vibrant arts community in Tulsa
  • Maintain local employment during the COVID-19 pandemic and response
Roles & Responsibilities

Mayor of Tulsa

The Mayor of Tulsa will, upon receipt of Tulsa Arts Commission’s recommendations, approve funding for selected projects.

Tulsa City Council

The Tulsa City Council will annually review and approve the VISION Arts program, process and timeline.
Two city councilors will sit on the review panel.

Tulsa Arts Commission

Tulsa Arts Commission is responsible for evaluating the funding recommendations of the Vision Arts Review Panel and for the general oversight of the VISION Arts Program. Commissioners will acknowledge any conflicts of interest during the evaluation process and, if necessary, will recuse themselves from voting.

VISION Arts Staff

City of Tulsa staff assists in the facilitation of the program, the collection of applications, and updates to the VISION Arts website and program materials.

Review Panel

The review panel is responsible for scoring all eligible applications. Panelists shall not review applications which present a conflict of interest. By city ordinance, the review panel is made up of three representatives selected by ahha Tulsa, three representatives selected by Arts Alliance Tulsa, two city councilors and one representative of the Economic Development Commission.


Eligibility Requirements

  1. Organizations must be principally located within the limits of the City of Tulsa.
  2. Organizations must be nonprofit institutions that engage in the cultural, intellectual, historical, or artistic enrichment of the people of Tulsa through programs, exhibits, and/or performances. To this end, the organizations’ mission statements must be arts-, humanities-, or culturally- focused in order for the organization to be eligible.
  3. Organizations must carry their own 501(c)(3) exemption OR have a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit exemption.
  4. Organizations must demonstrate a financial loss principally due to the COVID-19 public health response.

The following are NOT Eligible for this Funding Opportunity:

  1. Organizations having a primary mission related to social services (housing, community development, justice, etc.) but also have an arts program
  2. Stand-alone or one-time festivals, conferences, or other events
  3. Stand-alone publications, films/videos, or websites
  4. Religious-based activities
  5. Groups that are legally, financially, or operationally part of a larger institution, e.g. the art department of a college
Allowable Expenses


At least 50% of the awarded funds must be used for the following:

  • Artist or scholar payroll directly related to completing the program
  • Contracted artist or scholar payments directly related to completing the program

Other allowable programming expenses include:

  • Marketing, advertising and social media expenses related to online cultural content
  • Venue rental fees for programming
  • Technology fees for programming, including audio/visual, staging, etc.
  • Travel and accommodation expenses for visiting artists, including hotel, restaurant, and transportation fees

Business Operations 

Up to 20% of funds may be allocated to overhead business expenses described below:

  • Payroll expenses, including benefits
  • Rent/mortgage payments
  • Utilities expenses, including internet and telephone
  • Regular facilities maintenance expenses, including janitorial, security, refuse, and groundskeeping
  • Insurance payments, including property, liability, umbrella, and workers compensation
  • Office supplies and postage
Prohibited Expenses
  • Travel or transportation fees for staff
  • Auto mileage
  • Costs of goods sold
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Signage and decorations expenses, not related to COVID-19 safety and sanitation signage
  • Food and beverage expenses
  • Professional development or conference fees
  • Advocacy or lobbying expenses
  • Equipment or capital purchases
  • Any other fee not listed in Allowable Expenses
Application Process
  1. The VISION Arts application link will go live on the City of Tulsa arts and culture website:
  2. The application can ONLY be submitted online. The City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Arts Commission will share the news and the application link through the media, social media and various arts partners.
  3. In order to expedite the granting process, the application will close after two weeks.
Application Contents

Organizational Information

  1. Organizational Information
    1. 501(c)(3) Organization/Fiscal Sponsor Name exactly as listed with the OK Secretary of State
      1. Applicable DBAs
      2. Proof of tax-exempt status or sponsorship (IRS Letter of Determination)
    2. Organization Location
      1. Mailing Address
      2. Within City of Tulsa city limits
    3. Proposal Coordinator Contact Information
      1. name, address, email, phone
    4. Registration with City
      1. Organization/Fiscal Sponsor Form W9 (DBA must match above)
      2. Supplier Registration Form (DBA must match above)
    5. Signee Contact Information (City will only accept signatures from the 501(c)(3) organization’s Board Chair, Vice Chair, or President)
      1. Signee name, address, email, phone
    6. Organization Mission Statement(s)
    7. Type of arts-, humanities-, or culturally-focused institution
  1. Donations received in FY 20
    1. Less than $400,000
    2. $400,000 or more
  2. Most recently completed Federal Tax Filing (Form 990; Form 990-N)
  3. Demonstration of financial loss due to the COVID-19 public health response

Supporting the Local Economy

  1. Program Name
  2. Program Narrative
  3. Artist, Performer, Scholar payroll, stipends or contract fees – Please show how you will use at least 50% of your grant funds to pay creatives

Maximizing Value

  1. Funding Request
  2. Program Budget
  3. Open Date
  4. End Date
  5. Venue(s)
  6. Marketing Plan – Describe your program marketing plan, including paid and earned opportunities
  7. Accessibility – Describe your accessibility plan for your program, considering physical, economic, and/or social accessibility concerns

Cultural Tourism

  1. Audience Size – both virtual and in person
  2. Economic Impact – Describe your program’s economic impact for the City of Tulsa
Review Process
  1. City of Tulsa staff will eliminate any applications that are not eligible using the eligibility requirements listed above.
  2. The Review Panel will independently score each application, except for any application that may pose a conflict of interest for that panelist.
  3. The Review Panel will meet virtually to review aggregated scores for each application and to make selection recommendations to the Arts Commission. The Review Panel will recommend a slate of awardees that represents a broad distribution of arts organizations based on size.
  4. The Arts Commission will review the panel’s recommendations and make final recommendations for funding to the Mayor of Tulsa.
  5. Within 10 days of receiving approval from the Mayor of Tulsa, the VISION Arts staff and the Chair of the Arts Commission shall notify applicants of their award status. Dates for project reports will be included for approved applicants.
  6. The Arts Commission will make a public announcement of the organizations selected for VISION Arts funding. 
  7. Following the approval of the funding recommendation, the City will enter into a contract with the applicant organization. The contract will establish procedures and responsibilities for both the City and the funding recipient, including reporting requirements regarding the use of funds.
Scoring Rubric




Organizational Information

Organization is eligible; organization has performed in the past; applicant proves themselves historically responsible


Supporting the Creative Economy

Program has creative merit; applicant proves at least 50% of funds will be used to pay creatives


Maximizing Value

Program is logistically feasible; budget is reasonable; marketing plan is sound; accessibility is considered and properly addressed


Cultural Tourism

Program will stimulate tourism and economic impact; economic impact goals are realistic and achievable

Bonus +10

Support for Applicants

This option is only available if submitted no later than November 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm. After filling out the application completely, check the box to request assistance before submitting your application. Upon receipt, your application will be distributed to an arts and culture professional for independent review and consultation. You will receive feedback within one week and will have until November 30, 2020 to make any desired changes based on the review.

For General Inquiries:

JT Paganelli | Planner
2 West Second St, Suite 800
Tulsa, OK 74103

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