In keeping with our mission, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts (MKFA) supports arts organizations that exemplify critical thinking, risk taking, and provocation in the arts. The grant program furthers Mike Kelley’s philanthropic work and honors his legacy by awarding funds to arts organizations that embody the spirit of his practice.

For the 2022 grant cycle, the Foundation will continue to offer Organizational Support Grants (OSG) that will support Los Angeles-based, small and mid-size arts organizations that are recovering from financial challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The OSG offers unrestricted grant funding to nonprofit arts organizations and fiscally sponsored arts organizations that demonstrate need and whose programming portfolio and mission align with MKFA’s core values of critical thinking, risk taking, and provocation in the arts.  These grants may cover costs including but not limited to rent, staff salaries, retaining employees, utilities, and exhibition and artist project expenses.  By providing unrestricted funding, the Foundation aims to support arts organizations in the areas they need it most.  Awards of up to $30,000 will be granted to nonprofit arts organizations and fiscally sponsored organizations.  Award size will depend on need, operating budget, and how much MKFA can offer in awards.

For more information, we strongly encourage potential applicants to read our Guidelines and FAQs.

Fiscal Sponsorships  
Arts organizations without nonprofit status may propose to use a fiscal sponsor and must have a written agreement with the fiscal sponsor. If awarded an MKFA grant, the fiscal sponsor must receive and administer the grant funds on behalf of your organization, as well as submit (or assure submission of) all required reports for the grant.   

You will be asked to provide an itemized budget detailing what the requested grant amount will cover. The requested grant amount can cover an organization’s operating costs; these are costs associated with your organization’s capacity to carry out programming, such as staff salaries, rent, utilities, artist project or exhibition expenses and other overhead costs.

Grants will generally range from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on need, size of the host organization, and the grant applicant pool. Please consider your request amount in proportion to your organization’s overall operating budget.

Application Due Date
Applications are due by 11:59 PM on October 31, 2021, and notifications will by made by Spring 2022.        

Review Process and Criteria 

  • MKFA audits each application to verify that organizations meet all eligibility criteria. Ineligible applications will not be reviewed for grant consideration. For this reason, we encourage any organizations that are unsure if they meet eligibility criteria to email the Foundation at grants@mikekelleyfoundation.org to see if they should apply.
  • MKFA grants are awarded on a competitive basis and evaluated by an independent review panel. Panels are comprised of artists, curators, art writers and other arts professionals that are familiar with the Los Angeles arts community and various modes of artistic practices. Panelists change year-to-year and are announced when the awardees are made public.
  • Panelists evaluate eligible applications on the basis of: 1) need; and 2) programming portfolio.
  • Need is evaluated on the size of an organization’s operating budget in relationship to a variety of factors: funding sources, financial losses, and/or the business structure of the organization that influences the day-to-day operations.
  • Determination of whether or not an organization has the capacity to manage and utilize funds is also taken into consideration.
  • The programming portfolio should give the panel an idea of the strength of an organization’s past programming and one upcoming artist(s) project that will take place before December 2022.
  • MKFA equally weighs the programming portfolio and need⁠—a successful application will score high in both these areas.

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts reserves the right to deny any submission at its own discretion.

For questions about this grant application, please e-mail grants@mikekelleyfoundation.org.