Artist Grant Program – Career Development

The Arts Council recognizes that creative individuals make important contributions to the cultural vitality of the Hillsborough County. Through grants we can support artists and develop a vibrant, creative community that inspires, energizes and stimulates prosperity for residents and visitors alike.  

The Professional Development for Artists (PDA) Grant Program provides support to emerging or established artists that are committed to a career in the arts. Available to artists in any discipline, these grants are awarded for career development purposes to Hillsborough County artists with successful experience on local, national or international levels. The total amount to be awarded in 2019 is $20,000. 

Artist Grants, Arts Council of Hillsborough County2019 Grant Program

Beginning this year, the Arts Council is using an online system for all grant proposal applications. All application forms are filled out online with certain documents and current work samples uploaded to us through the online system.

Artists may apply for up to $2,000 for one of two purposes:

  • Education Experience – residency, workshop, conference
  • Equipment – Permanent, non-disposable equipment 

The PDA grant program is reimbursement-based, meaning you must be able to pay for your proposal expenses and receive reimbursement after submitting paid receipts. 


  • An active literary, performing or visual artist with commitment to your art career
  • Able to show successful experience as an emerging or established artist
  • Must be 21 years of age or older
  • Permanent resident of Hillsborough County since December 1, 2017 and remain so throughout the funding period
  • Have not received any type of artist grant from the Arts Council within the last three years (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Full-time, arts-related faculty in higher education are not eligible
  • Applicants and recipients may not enroll in, or be currently enrolled in, any undergraduate or graduate degree program during the time their funded project is in progress.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

READ THIS: 2018-19 Professional Development for Artists Grant Program Guidelines & FAQ – What the grants will pay for, who can apply, deadlines, commonly asked questions about the grants.

Scoring Rubric: How applications are scored – These are the things judges will be looking for.

Apply for a Grant – Log on, create an account and take the eligibility quiz. Get started on your application and come back later to finish.

When You Apply

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications must be completed and all required files uploaded before 4 pm on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. There will be no deadline extensions.

No paper applications will be accepted. When you fill out the application you will need to have ready:

  • Dated proof of residency (drivers license, property tax statement, first page of income tax return, utility bill)
  • Current work samples that have been created within the last two years (see the Program Guidelines for the number of samples you need).
  • A professional artist resume. Please note this is DIFFERENT from an employment resume. Download these documents for tips on creating yours:
  • The costs of attending the education experience or purchasing the equipment in your request. 

Please note you may start, stop, and save your application to come back to it at another time. You do not have to complete the entire application in one session.

Grant Panel Review

The Grant Panel Review meeting for the 2019 program will take place Tuesday, January 29, 2 pm at Hillsborough County’s Entrepreneur Collaborative Center in Ybor City. The panel will discuss applications and announce their scores. The review panel meeting is open to the public and all current applicants and any artists considering applying for a grant in the future are strongly urged to attend. Listening to panel comments is a great way to develop your grant writing skills.

The applications are scored using a detailed matrix by a panel of professionals with experience in the arts. They are selected based on their overall knowledge of the arts, their backgrounds and familiarity with grant-making. 

Key Changes in the Program from Previous Years

There are several important changes to our artist grant program (now called Professional Development Grants for Artists) that differ from past years’ programs. Some of those are: 

  • All aspects of the application are online. No paper applications will be accepted.
  • Now open to emerging AND established professional artists. Past programs only allowed accomplished professional artists.
  • Residency requirement: Must be a resident of Hillsborough County for 12 continuous months before application. This decreased from 24 months to 12 months.
  • Lifetime limit on number of grants you can receive has been removed.   
  • Grant purpose/project: The new grant program only supports two types of “projects:” an education experience that will grow the artist’s career OR non-disposable equipment that will advance the artist’s skills. 
  • Work samples: Simplified requirements for all disciplines. 


For Our Grantees: Logos, Credit for Funding

Arts organizations and artists receiving funding must display the Arts Council logo and Hillsborough County logo on all promotional materials and give proper credit for funding (as stated in the grant contract) to increase awareness of local funding for the arts and its importance. Artists must display credit for funding on their website, in social media, printed and electronic collateral by displaying the logos and/or a text statement such as: 

Proud recipient of a 2019 Professional Development for Artists Grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. 

 Download logos from this page. 

The Arts Council’s grant programs are possible thanks to funds from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. We are grateful for their continued support.