In partnership with the Howard Gilman Foundation, the New York City Small Theatres Fund is a two-year general operating support grant to New York City-based theatre companies with annual budgets below $250,000. The fund provides multi-year grant awards between $5,000-$10,000 each year, with a granting period between July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2026. Grantees will be required to report on the grant in the summer of each year during a meeting with an A.R.T./New York team member. 

The NYC Small Theatres Fund application occurs in two parts: an open initial application submitted through the Fall 2023 common application, then a second invited application in early 2024 for approximately 40 applicants. 

Applicants to the NYC Small Theatres Fund are NOT required to be members of A.R.T./New York. Non-member applicants who receive funding through this program will receive a free year of membership as part of their grant award
This grant aims to support a wide range of theatrical aesthetics, methods of production, and artistic communities throughout the five boroughs, engaging their artists and audiences in meaningful, exciting, and committed creation and production. We aim to fund a group of applicants who reflect the diversity of New York City theatre-making and increase opportunities for theatres and artists who have been historically under-resourced due to barriers associated with racial, economic, disability, gender, and/or sexual identity and/or geographic location.
Application Closed as of October 17th, 2023 at 5:00 pm ET

 Large Print Application Guide Available Here.   

**All Applications are submitted through our open-water grant portal.        

Application Process

The application process for the NYC Small Theatres Fund will occur in two parts:

Application Round 1 - Open Application

The first stage of the application process is completing the Fall 2023 A.R.T./New York common application. If eligible, completing this application will also submit the applicant for the Creative Opportunity Fund. The deadline to apply to the NYC Small Theatres Fund is Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET.

The applications from round one will be paneled by a group of NYC-based theatre-makers and administrators in November and December 2022. All applicants will be notified about the status of their application by January 29, 2024

Application Round 2 - Invited Application

Based on the scores and discussions of the panel from round one, a group of 40 applicants will be invited to submit a final application in January and February 2024. The round two application process will include a brief interview with the applicant. All applicants will be notified of the funding decisions by April 3, 2024. Applicants who submit an application in the final round but are not selected for funding will receive a stipend of $500.

General Eligibility

To be eligible for the FY25 Small Theatre Fund, applicants must:

  • Be a theatre company, organization, or artist collective creating, developing, or presenting theatre for at least two years;

    • Applicant may be a 501c3, fiscally sponsored, or unincorporated entity that is “non-profit in spirit.”

    • A.R.T./New York has an expansive definition of “theatre” as a discipline of live performance. If you call your art theatre, then you are eligible to apply for this grant! However, keep in mind as you write your application that a panel of theatre-makers will be evaluating your application for this theatre-based grant.

  • Have annual expenses totaling $250,000 or less for its most recently completed fiscal year (excluding any regrants or artist relief the theatre may have distributed);

  • Be primarily producing, developing, or presenting work in the five boroughs of New York City;

    • Companies that create work in New York City and then tour nationally and internationally are eligible for this grant program.

  • Not be funded directly by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

If you have questions about any of these eligibility requirements or how they may apply to your theatre, please get in touch with the grants team at [email protected].

Grant Assistance & Technical Support

Information sessions

A.R.T./New York will hold live and virtual info sessions covering the Creative Opportunity Fund and NYC Small Theatres Fund programs. The info sessions are led by A.R.T./New York staff and will cover the evaluation criteria, eligibility, and application process. Attendees can also ask questions about the application and are encouraged to review the grant website and application before attending the info session.

A recorded info session is available here on YouTube. The recorded info session is captioned, and all slides are audio-described. Automatic captioning is available on all virtual info sessions. 

Office hours 

A.R.T./New York staff offers technical assistance in virtual "office hours." All applicants will be able to schedule a 25-minute session, during which they’ll be happy to discuss your responses to the questions in the grant application, look over potential work samples you're considering, talk through questions on your budget and/or budget notes, and answer any other questions regarding the grant and your application you might have. All appointments will be held virtually through Google Meet or Zoom between August 29, 2022 - October 13, 2023.

Please be sure you have reviewed the grant application, eligibility requirements, and evaluation criteria before your meeting. You do not need to have completed responses to the application questionnaire before your meeting, but we encourage all meeting participants to be prepared; the more you have prepared, the more substantial feedback our team can provide.

Grant Panels 

The grants administered by A.R.T./New York are adjudicated by peer panels of New York-based arts administrators, artists, and theatre-makers. If you know someone who would make a great panelist, nominate them. You can also nominate yourself!


A.R.T./New York is committed to making our grantmaking and funding programs accessible to disabled theatre-makers, artists, and administrators. Our Application Guide and Tips & Tricks/FAQ documents are available in large print. Office hours and virtual information sessions offer automatic captioning through Zoom and Google. Additional accommodations, including ASL interpretation, live captioning, audio description, etc. are available upon request. Please submit requests to Adam Mummery at [email protected] at least five business days in advance. 

Narrative questions can be submitted in writing or by submitting an audio or video file of a company member answering the questions. If you need additional support in applying to any of A.R.T./New York's grant programs, please contact Adam Mummery & Erica Wray Barnes at [email protected]. 

Featured Image In Header:  New York City Small Theatres Fund Recipient. LubDub Theatre Co’s On The Lawn Workshop Production at Georgetown University. PC: Leslie E. Kossoff