Downtown Program Fund
Downtown Program Fund 2023
Is there an event or artistic installation you would like to present downtown? Community-driven events and programming are needed now more than ever to build community, uplift the soul and share the stories and experiences from our diverse communities. The City of Eugene Cultural Services Downtown Program Fund offers you an opportunity to transform downtown outdoor spaces into arts and culture destinations. We believe the work of the arts creates a stronger, more vibrant and more creative community through shared experiences that uplift the soul and tell the diversity of stories from our communities. We hope to fund projects that work with themes of identity and belonging that nurture a sense of pride and welcoming in our downtown Eugene community.
Funding of up to $5,000 per project will be awarded to organizations or individuals who wish to produce their own quality programming in publicly accessible outdoor spaces located within Eugene’s downtown core. Funding can support any artistic or cultural discipline, including visual, dance, music, theatre, film/video/media, multidisciplinary fields and events.
The 2023 Downtown Program Fund seeks to:
- Draw people, economic vitality, sense of place and safety to the downtown core through activation of outdoor spaces with arts and culture events and/or installations.
- Help artists and arts organizations to survive and thrive through the economic impacts and effects of the pandemic.
- Foster a sense of belonging and safety for historically marginalized and underrepresented communities, such as Eugene’s BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities, low-income communities, people experiencing disabilities, unhoused individuals, youth and seniors.
- Promote cultural exchange through public arts and cultural experiences that will generate empathy, understanding, dialogue, wonder and curiosity.
Virtual Info Session
This virtual info session, hosted by Community Programs Manager Colette Ramirez, was held on Jan. 11, 2023. In this video, Colette answers questions about the City of Eugene's Downtown Program Fund grant and provides tips on navigating the application and budget.
At the 58:16 minute mark, you can see an example of the budget process for a hypothetical event.
Deadline for submissions is noon on February 6, 2023
- The Downtown Program Fund is open to all organizations and individuals headquartered/physically residing within Lane County.
- Organizations or artists with outstanding Downtown Program Fund grants are not eligible to apply until their programs have been completed.
- Previously funded programs, artists and organizations are eligible to re-apply. Approximately 20% of funding will be awarded to first-time programs, artists or organizations.
- Proposed programming must take place between April 1 and October 31, 2023.
- Programs must take place in outdoor publicly accessible spaces located within Eugene’s Downtown Activity Zone, such as the Park Blocks, Farmers Market Pavilion/Plaza and Kesey Square.
- Programs should be made as accessible as possible for community members. If the event is not free to attend, a portion of tickets must be offered for free or on a sliding scale.
- Applicants must provide a 1:1 cash, in-kind and/or volunteer time match for the project that equals the amount of your Downtown Program Fund award (i.e. if the City awards you $1,000, you must also contribute at least $1,000 toward your project costs). Your total match amount should consist of one or any combination of the following:
- Cash: either already secured or additional funds you anticipate raising through sponsorships or other fundraising.
- In-Kind: includes donated materials and supplies, valued at full retail or rental cost.
- Volunteer time: value each hour of volunteer time given to the project at the nationally-established rate of $29.95 per hour.
- Please note that you can choose to use in-kind or volunteer time as 100% of your match.
- Applicants may submit proposals for as many as two programs. If more than one program proposal is submitted then a complete and separate proposal is required for each project.
- Read the tabs on eligibility, selection criteria, timeline and past fund recipients to learn more about the Downtown Program Fund.
- Prepare before filling out your application by reviewing the list of application questions.
- Complete the Downtown Program Fund Application. We are taking applications now. Applications must be submitted by noon PST on February 6, 2023 to be considered. You may save your progress and return at a later date by creating an account.
- To what extent will programming draw people to downtown spaces and meet the goals of the Downtown Program Fund and Cultural Services mission?
- Does the programming allow for flexibility/scaling? Will this project easily respond to last minute changes due to wildfire smoke, and/or weather?
- Does the applicant demonstrate the capacity to produce the proposed programming and display excellence in planning?
- Does the applicant have experience administering and producing similar programming?
- Does the programming have the potential to contribute to long-term success for the applicant?
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity:
- If applicable, does the organization represent historically marginalized or underrepresented communities?
- Does the program provide access, opportunities and/or resources to these communities?
- How does the program recruit and market to these communities?
Past Fund Recipients
If awarded, Cultural Services expects the awarded individual/organization to:
- Conduct all marketing and promotion of their program. Cultural Services will provide a promotional toolkit and offer some social media and website marketing.
- Include the City of Eugene Cultural Services logo on all visual marketing materials for the program, and/or the written name in program press releases or other written information.
- Awardees will receive 80% of the funds upon award notification and 20% upon completion of their program with final report due no later than October 15, 2023.
- Upon completion of the program, complete a brief report and provide the City with 3-5 high-quality, copyright-free digital photographs of the program for use in future City promotions.
Support from Cultural Services
In addition to funding, Downtown Program Fund awardees will also receive:
- An initial consultation with the City’s Cultural Services staff, including advisement on permits and scheduling a meeting with the departments issuing relevant permits.
- A promotional toolkit and information about marketing best practices.
- Some publicity through Cultural Services social media and website marketing (awardees are expected to use the provided promotional toolkit and their experience to market their program).
- Access to available City equipment including tables, chairs and canopies.
- Introductions to relevant Downtown businesses.
Applications must be submitted by noon on February 6, 2023 to be considered for the 2023 season. Awards will be announced by February 24, 2023. Programming must occur between April 1 and October 31, 2023.
- Does my match need to be 100% cash?
- What do I do if my expenses and revenue do not match up in the budget?
- Am I responsible for paying for the permits for my program?
- I have an idea for an event but not a date. Is that okay?
- I want to include artists in my program but I’m not sure how much to pay them. How do I decide?
- I want my program to happen outdoors, but I don’t know how to plan for inclement weather.
About Cultural Services
Cultural Services provides responsible and catalytic leadership to support the public’s vision for a thriving arts and cultural sector that contributes to the community’s social and economic well-being.
The mission of Community Events is to bring fun, accessible and relevant arts and culture programs to all residents in our community.