The Creative Opportunity Fund provides general operating support grants of $2,000-$5,000 to small professional theatres with budgets under $500,000 working throughout New York State. Applicants to the Creative Opportunity Fund are NOT required to be members of A.R.T./New York. Non-member applicants who receive funding through this program will receive a free year of membership as part of their grant award. The Creative Opportunity Fund is a regrant of a New York State Council on the Arts program. A.R.T./New York regrants NYSCA funds, and all applicants and grantees will interact with A.R.T./New York as their grantmaker.

The grant aims to distribute flexible funding to support theatres throughout the state with capacity building and stabilization and to increase funding opportunities for theatres that have been left out of mainstream funding opportunities because of barriers associated with racial, economic, disability, and sexual identity and/or geographic location. Payments are made via electronic or paper check, depending on the grantee’s preference. 

The application process for the 2024 COF program closed on October 17th, 2023, at 5:00 pm ET.
Notification of application outcomes was conveyed via email by January 5th, 2024. The information listed below is for reference purposes. Check back in early August for all the FY25 grant opportunities. If you have questions about our grant programs, please contact the grants team at [email protected]. 

(A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program)

 General Eligibility

  • To be eligible for the 2024 Creative Opportunity Fund, applicants must:

    • Be a theatre company based in New York State with a New York State address that has presented or produced public programming for at least two years;

      • Applicants should be theatre companies and/or collectives, though they can have a wide range of organizational structures including - but not limited to - 501(c)3, fiscally sponsored, or unincorporated artist collectives. 

      • NYSCA has informed us that any application submitted on behalf of a for-profit Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Domestic Business Corporation, regardless of whether or not they are fiscally sponsored by a registered 501c3 nonprofit, will not be eligible to be considered for funding.

    • Have live or virtual performances open to the general public (free or ticketed) in New York State in 2024.

    • Have annual expenses totaling $500,000 or less for its most recently completed fiscal year (FY23);

    • Not have applied directly to NYSCA’s theatre programming for 2024 funding, regardless of whether or not the application was funded.

    • Currently and previously pay artists, or commit to allocating at least 50% of any funding awarded through the Creative Opportunity Fund to providing compensation to artists.

If you have questions about any of these eligibility requirements or how they may apply to your theatre, please get in touch with the grants team at [email protected].

Grant Assistance & Technical Support

Information sessions

A.R.T./New York will hold live and virtual info sessions covering the Creative Opportunity Fund and NYC Small Theatres Fund programs. The info sessions are led by A.R.T./New York staff and will cover the evaluation criteria, eligibility, and application process. Attendees can also ask questions about the application and are encouraged to review the grant website and application before attending the info session.

A recorded info session is available on YouTube. The recorded info session is captioned, and all slides are audio-described. Automatic captioning is available on all virtual info sessions. 

Office hours 

A.R.T./New York staff offers technical assistance in virtual "office hours." All applicants will be able to schedule a 25-minute session, during which they’ll be happy to discuss your responses to the questions in the grant application, look over potential work samples you're considering, talk through questions on your budget and/or budget notes, and answer any other questions regarding the grant and your application you might have. All appointments will be held virtually through Google Meet or Zoom between August 29, 2022 - October 13, 2023.

Please be sure you have reviewed the grant application, eligibility requirements, and evaluation criteria before your meeting. You do not need to have completed responses to the application questionnaire before your meeting, but we encourage all meeting participants to be prepared; the more you have prepared, the more substantial feedback our team can provide.


Grant Panels 

The grants administered by A.R.T./New York are adjudicated by peer panels of New York-based arts administrators, artists, and theatre-makers. If you know someone who would make a great panelist, nominate them. You can also nominate yourself! We accept grant panel nominations on a rolling basis.



A.R.T./New York is committed to making our grantmaking and funding programs accessible to disabled theatre-makers, artists, and administrators. Our Application Guide and Tips & Tricks/FAQ documents are available in large print. Office hours and virtual information sessions offer automatic captioning through Zoom and Google. Additional accommodations, including ASL interpretation, live captioning, audio description, etc., are available upon request. Please submit requests to Adam Mummery at [email protected] at least five business days in advance. 

Narrative questions can be submitted in writing or by submitting an audio or video file of a company member answering the questions. If you need additional support in applying to any of A.R.T./New York's grant programs, please contact Adam Mummery & Erica Wray Barnes at [email protected]. 

Featured Image In Header: FY23 Edith Lutyens & Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund Recipient Kyoung's Pacific Beat production of NERO. Costume designer Andrew Jordan.PC by Andrew Jordan.