Grants and Purchase Products


The MAC grants program currently offers four programs: ArtWORKS!, Project, Summer Concert and BLINK. Artworks grants provide support to artists and educators for art programs directed at k-12 students. Project Grants provide support to individual and performing artists and non-profit groups for projects that enrich the arts and culture of Madison. Summer Concert Series grants provide support to organizations that coordinate a series of concerts that are free and accessible to the public. BLINK provides funding for temporary public art projects.


The Madison Arts Commission, as part of its mission to make the arts accessible to all of Madison's citizens, is especially committed to making arts education possible for every child. Developing the arts and integrating them more fully into the lives of Madison communities is at the heart of the ArtWORKS! grant program. The goal of the grant is to support partnerships between individual artists or arts organizations and community groups for after-school arts based activities. This arts-based education should take place on a regularly scheduled basis, should serve a diverse, under-served student population composed of elementary and middle-school aged children, and should occur during non-school hours.

Project Grant

The annual Project Grants will provide support for artists and non-profit arts organizations for arts projects, performances, exhibits or events that enrich the cultural lives of Madison's residents. Individuals and/or organizations can apply for only ONE Grant per funding year (you must choose between the Signature Grant and the Project Grant). When applying for a project grant, the applicant must choose to apply as an individual artist, an arts organization, or a neighborhood. This ensures that each application is considered fairly. Grants are awarded in amounts up to $3,000 and must be matched.

Congratulations to Project Grant Award Recipients

Updated guidelines and applications are available every year in mid-January. The annual deadline for Project Grant applications is March 15.

Summer Concert Series

Enjoying free outdoor concerts all summer long is one of the highlights of living in Madison. MAC provides grants to organizations that coordinate or perform summer concert series scheduled between June 1 & September 30, in accessible, outdoor, public spaces, provided at no charge to the audience.

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BLINK Temporary Public Art Opportunities

BLINK is an opportunity for experimental, ad-hoc, temporary works of art to sprout up throughout the community and vanish leaving residents and visitors eager to see what is next. Madison neighborhoods and urban areas are open canvases. The possibilities for creations on open spaces, construction sites, and public parks will provide a glimpse of how the world looks through an artist's eyes.

You present your idea for a temporary public art project that is modest in cost and is feasible, yet unique, bold and ambitious in impact. MAC reviews your proposal and decides if they want to purchase it for the City's Blink program.

Helpful tips for artists considering pitching their temporary public art projects to MAC:

  • First identify the location(s) you are considering for your project. Find out what entity (i.e., is it city, state, private property) has jurisdiction over that site. This is legwork/research for you to do. If the site is public property, find out what department has jurisdiction over that spot (i.e., Parks, Streets, Madison Public Library, etc.). You will need permission of the property owner to create your project. While MAC sometimes commits to a Blink project before all necessary permissions are secured, funding is contingent on the artist's ability to secure permission for use of the site.
  • How does your project fit Blink? Is it Blinky enough? We are looking for high quality, unique, temporary, surprising, placemaking, publicly accessible ephemeral art. We have other ways to fund arts projects through our annual grant fund. If it wouldn't surprise your grandmother if she bumped into it at night, it probably won't impress the panel.
  • Expect that you will be responsible for all costs associated with the project, including the costs of installation, general liability insurance, permits, fees, deinstallation, site restoration, (some projects may require a licensed engineer to review design) etc. Put those costs into your budget. Blink funding is $1,500. Does your project fit within that budget. If not, talk with the Arts Program Administrator.
  • Research what regulations, from structural engineering to Disability Access, your project will need to comply with. Do not expect that just because it is "art," it will be exempt from these requirements.

Remember, if MAC funds it, it will become a Blink project and it needs to be identified as such. Your project and all promotional materials will need to display our logo and/or credit language. You are not getting a grant for your project. You are selling MAC a temporary public art project for our art collection. For whatever dates we agree upon (you propose them), the project is a Blink temporary public art project of the City of Madison. We will share images of the work and include the project in our Blink archive (giving credit to the artist)

Last Updated: 11/07/2014