About the Genesee Valley Arts Grants Program

Founded in 1977, the Decentralization Program (DEC) was developed to ensure that New York State’s cultural funding reaches every part of the state.  Decentralization has since become one of the Council’s most effective means of making arts support available to geographically, economically, and ethnically diverse segments of the state’s population.  The program serves each of the state’s 62 counties and funds volunteer community organizations as well as established non-profit corporations with paid professional staff.

The program forms the cornerstone of the Council’s partnership with local arts agencies throughout the state, providing a link between the Council and portions of the community that might not otherwise be able to access funding from NYSCA.

Decentralization funds are regranted locally by regional and local arts agencies at the invitation of the Council. DEC enables these designated agencies (DEC sites) to provide project support to a wide-range of professional, vocational and educational arts and culture in their respective communities including the creation of new work by individual artists directly through the Individual Artist Category.


Decentralization serves as an umbrella for three distinct funding categories:

  • Community Arts
  • Arts Education 
  • Individual Artists 

Decentralization applicants may submit up to three direct and/or fiscally-sponsored requests in any combination of categories (Community Arts,  Arts Education and/or Individual Artists) totaling no more than $5,000. Fiscally sponsored requests are exempt from the three request limit and the $5,000 maximum.

Note: Current direct NYSCA applicants may not apply for any DEC regrants nor serve as a fiscal sponsor or partner organization.

For an overview of the Decentralization Program and the 2020 Grant Cycle, including eligibility, funding restrictions, and the application process, please view the slideshow below. Click on a slide to enlarge it.