The Audience-Building Project

exciting new grant opportunities for NYS Presenters

Congratulations to the awardees!

The application period is now closed. Thank you for your submissions.

Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) is thrilled to announce exciting new grant opportunities for Presenters in New York State!

LPCA, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), will administer a large-scale statewide regrant program focused on audience-building for the 2023/2024 presenting season. Designed to support organizations as they recover from the COVID-19 and racial justice pandemics, these programs enable Presenters of all sizes to undertake projects to grow and diversify their audiences through the support of risk-taking programs aimed at developing deep, sustainable relationships within their communities.

LPCA will distribute a pool of $650,000 to Presenters across New York State – with grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 – with a focus on Presenters in underserved regions.

Presenting, at its core, connects artists with audiences. Experienced Presenters and those newer to the field develop engagements and strategies designed to reach their core audiences. Yet there are segments of the population that remain unengaged. Many Presenters struggle to mitigate the financial challenges inherent in the risk-taking that could grow a new audience and reach an identified target community. The Audience-Building Project aims to assist with these challenges through different grant opportunities that will allow Presenters to engage and grow new audiences. 

Applicants must be a New York State nonprofit OR a group, collective, tribal organization or other unincorporated entity applying through a fiscal sponsor.

We anticipate applicants will be a mix of presenting organizations, university presenters, concert venues, or theatres. If you fall outside of these categories, please reach out for help determining eligibility.

Grant opportunities fall into two programs. The project period for both programs is September 1st, 2023 – August 31st, 2024.

Presenters may apply to both programs.

There are two opportunities under Building Audiences. Presenters may submit one application for Reignite the Field or two applications for Risk-to-Reward as long as the applications are for different projects.

  • Reignite the Field
    Presenters may request $5,000 to be applied toward any presenting activity during the project period.

  • Risk-to-Reward
    You may have a “wish list” of programs or artists you would love to engage in order to build new audiences or develop deeper relationships with specific communities. However, the financial risks to the organization, which relies heavily upon ticket sales to cover artist fees, are often preventative. Risk-to-Reward seeks to bridge that gap.

    You identify the risk and share how it will help grow your audience. It may be an artist typically above your price point, an artist that engages an underserved segment of your community, an artist-in-residence program, or simply something new for you.

    For Risk-to-Reward, Presenters may request up to $10,000 per project. Should funding remain, organizations that apply to Risk-to-Reward and are unawarded may receive Reignite the Field funding.

The artists you select may be based in the U.S. or visiting international artists. Additionally, we welcome the opportunity to support more expensive engagements that receive additional financial support through various funding programs including Mid Atlantic Arts, international governments, foundations, or local philanthropy.

Project Period: September 1st, 2023 – August 31st, 2024

Traditional presenting is inherently transactional: Artists arrive at a venue. Audiences arrive at a venue. Audiences experience the artists’ work. They both depart. The time an artist spends in a community is frequently limited.

Artists in Communities is designed to lengthen and strengthen that connection, providing Presenters with the resources to engage artists within communities 2 to 4 days prior to an already established presentation.

This additional funding is to be allocated for the all-inclusive costs of additional community engagement activities only (not for the public performance aspect). Presenters may apply funding to all costs related to the community engagement including the artist’s hotel, travel, per diem, and education staff.

The performance engagement must be confirmed and not contingent upon receiving grant money from Building Audiences opportunities (Reignite the Field or Risk-to-Reward).

Presenters may request up to $10,000 – not to exceed 50% of the artist’s performance fee – to allow a visiting artist to provide community engagement opportunities prior to their scheduled performance.

Project Period: September 1st, 2023 – August 31st, 2024

The application period opens Wednesday, February 1th and closes Friday, March 10th at 5 PM Friday, March 24th at 5 PM.

A panel process will be used to evaluate applications. A panel of six arts professionals from across New York State will be convened to evaluate these applications. Consideration will be given to ensuring equitable representation on the panel so that historically underserved communities, including those who serve specific racial and/or ethnic populations and geographically isolated locations, are represented. Based on NYSCA’s established evaluative rubric, each application will be scored independently by panel members in advance of a virtual panel meeting where applications will be discussed, scores reviewed, and final funding recommendations confirmed. Funding amounts will then be finalized by LPCA’s Board of Directors based upon these final scores and recommendations.

Awards will be announced in June 2023.

All funded applicants will be required to submit a final report, including audience breakdowns, no later than 60 days following the engagement.

The Audience-Building Project is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

January 16th – Guidelines announced
January-February – Statewide outreach
February 1st – Application period opens
March 10th – Application period closes at 5 PM EXTENDED!
March 24th – Application period closes at 5 PM
March-May – Project evaluation and scoring
June – Awards announced 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Regrant Team Tara Palen ([email protected]) and Tyler Nye ([email protected]).

We hope you’ll share these exciting opportunities with Presenters in your community and help us spread the word! Please find all graphics and approved copy/paste text for social media platforms, emails, and newsletters at:

Join us for a discussion about the The Audience-Building Project grants process and learn how to apply. Let us answer your questions and walk you through the application process.

Monday, February 6th
5:30-6:30 PM

Wednesday, February 22nd
1-2 PM

Thank you for joining us for our webinars. To access a video recording, please reach out to us.

  • Only organizations in New York State are eligible. Do the artists have to be from NYS as well?
    No. Artists can be from anywhere on the planet.
  • Does the presentation need to be public?
    For Building Audiences: Yes. The event/performance must be marketed to the public and open to general audiences. It may not be a benefit event or activity restricted only to school audiences or an organization’s membership.

    For Artists in Communities: We would strongly recommend planning at least one public component to the engagement – although more than one is advisable. You may design an engagement that targets specific goals, but the ultimate aim of the program is to build new audiences and deepen relationships with current ones. We anticipate engagements that do not include at least one component open to the public will not be scored as favorably by the panel as those that do.
  • The Artists in Communities grant is specifically for community engagement activities, not the performance aspect. Does the performance need to be confirmed?
    Yes. The performance engagement must be confirmed and not contingent upon receiving grant money from Building Audiences opportunities (Reignite the Field or Risk-to-Reward).
  • Can the presentation be a work “in process?”
    Yes, as long as there is a public presentation/component (see above). The work does not necessarily need to be “tour-ready.”

    If you are applying with a work “in process,” we would suggest articulating your goals – especially those pertaining to the audience. We understand the tremendous value to these types of engagements for artists, but The Audience-Building Project is focused on the intersection of artists and audiences. Telling us how this would impact your audience will give the panel insight into your thinking.
  • Can my organization team up with another organization to present the same artist(s)?
    Yes. Highlight this in each organization’s individual application, clarifying that you have worked together to present the same artist(s). Each organization will be scored individually and could potentially receive funds individually (up to $10k!).

    Collaboration is important, but please make sure each application addresses the specific value to your individual community. We would not recommend “cutting and pasting” the same answers into each application.
  • Will you be funding 100%?
    Yes. Our goal is to fund projects entirely, as much as possible. There is no organizational match.
  • I am an artist. Can I apply?
    The Audience-Building Project is designed to support Presenters; the grants must go to a nonprofit organization. We encourage you to reach out to a nonprofit organization and collaborate for grant funding!
  • I’m having trouble finding a fiscal sponsor. What should I do?
    Please reach out to us. We may be able to help.
  • I am at a New York State educational institution. Can I apply?
    Yes! This partnership allows us the ability to reach Presenters that NYSCA is unable to fund directly. If you have a 501(c)(3) as a part of your institution, you may apply through that organization. Or you may apply through a fiscal sponsor.
  • I receive other NYSCA funding. Am I still eligible?
    Yes. As long as The Audience-Building Project funds are not used to support another project receiving NYSCA funding, you are absolutely eligible! The financial support must be going to different projects.

About LPCA

Founded in 1972, the LPCA is a year-round community arts organization located in New York’s North Country that serves a mission to present and foster arts programs that inspire, enrich, educate, and entertain people of all ages. To accomplish that mission, the organization has historically focused its work in four programmatic pillars: Presenting, Arts Education, Visual Arts, and Services to Artists and Arts Organizations.

Nestled in an Olympic village, the Lake Placid Center for the Arts is a year-round treasure to residents and visitors of the Adirondacks and is the premier art and cultural hub of the region. Orchestrating quality programming, performances, rotating art exhibitions, and education experiences to residences and visitors alike, the LPCA provides an ensemble of offerings in music, theatre, and dance, and supports local, regional, and national artists in its Fine Arts Gallery. At the heart of this hub is hands-on learning experiences for children exploring their creativity and adults finding new passions. As a leading organization, the LPCA collaborates with other Adirondack nonprofit partners to build, support, and cultivate the arts community. Inspiring excellence in the arts for generations, the LPCA continues to thrive today at its unique and captivating Lake Placid campus.


About the New York State Council on the Arts

NYSCA preserves and advances the arts and culture that make New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit. The Council upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life. To support the ongoing recovery of the arts across New York State, NYSCA is awarding record funding in Fiscal Year 2023, providing support across the full breadth of the arts.

NYSCA further advances New York’s creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources. Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the Council is an agency that is part of the Executive Branch. For more information on NYSCA, please visit, and follow NYSCA’s Facebook page, Twitter @NYSCArts and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts.