Select Page

VISION Arts | Resiliency and Recovery Program

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 Resiliency & 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 funding is designed to provide needed funding to support ongoing operations and economic development activity of this important sector.


Application Open: May 12 2020

Application Due: May 26 2020, 5 p.m.
*Late applications will not be accepted

Contracts Executed and Funding Disbursed June 2020

Awarded Funds Must be Spent
on Allowable Expenses by: December 31 2020

Purpose & Goals


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.


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.


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.


  • Provide for working capital to arts organizations to prevent a liquidity crisis and allow for programming, events, and/or exhibits to be altered to encourage economic development opportunities in Tulsa while complying with social distancing and sanitation requirements
  • Secure a vibrant arts community in Tulsa
  • Maintain local employment during the COVID-19 pandemic and response
Roles & Responsibilities


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


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 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.


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.


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.



  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission statement that is arts-, humanities-, or culturally-focused
  • Principally located within the city limits of Tulsa
  • Negative revenue impact of at least 20% due to COVID-19
  • Board-approved Recovery Plan in place prior to submitting an application


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

The VISION Arts Resilience & Recovery Program will evenly allocate the total funding amount across small and large organization subcategories. Based on the volume of qualified applicants, the Independent Review Panel and Arts Commission may recommend increasing or decreasing the subcategory awards up to $25,000, provided, the total program award does not exceed $300,000.

Donations Received Fiscal Year End 2019

Investment Amount Estimates*

Small Organizations: Under $400,000

 No less than $5,000

Large Organizations: $400,000 and above

 No more than $20,000


Allowable Expenses


  • Payroll expenses, including benefits
  • Rent/mortgage payments
  • Utilities expenses, including Internet and telephone
  • Regular facilities maintenance expenses, including janitorial, security, refuse and grounds keeping
  • Insurance payments, including property, liability, umbrella and workers compensation
  • Office supplies and postage
  • Credit card fees and online processing fees from online ticket fees, membership dues, program fees and donations


  • Contracted artist payments
  • 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


  • Sanitation and safety expenses related to reopening in a COVID-19 present
  • Exhibit redesign expenses related to COVID-19
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.
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
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.
Application Contents


  • Organizational Information
    • Contact Information – name, address, email
    • Organization Mission Statement
  • Donations Received in Fiscal Year End 2019
    • Small Organization under $400,000
    • Large Organization $400,000 and above
  • Proof of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status
  • Most Recently Completed Federal Tax Filing (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N)


  • Current Financial Impact – Please describe the financial impact of COVID-19 on your organization through April 30, 2020.
    • Revenue impact
    • Percentage of annual budget
    • Proof of negative revenue impact of at least 20% due to COVID-19


  • Please provide your board-approved Recovery Plan.
    • Additionally, please list any other emergency financial assistance your organization has sought and indicate which sources have been funded (PPP, EIDL, etc.)
  • Funding Justification – Please list the allowable expenses for which you will use the granted funds.
Scoring Rubric

The Review Panel will score the applications based on the following five criteria with a yes or no response for each:

  • Organized as 501(c)(3) not-for-profit with qualifying mission statement
  • Financial viability prior to February 2020
  • Negative revenue impact of at least 20% due to COVID-19
  • Board-approved Recovery Plan in place
  • Prove that funds will be used for qualified and allowable expenses

Only organizations receiving a score of 5 out of 5 will be recommended for VISION Arts Resiliency & Recovery funding.

For General Inquiries:

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

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget