Festivals and Special Events (FEST) Grants Program

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Contact:  Adriana Pérez | (305) 375-5019 | asp@miamidade.gov

Deadline:  Friday, April 28, 2017, 4:00 PM

Maximum Request: 

  • Division A Applicants - $100,000
  • Division B Applicants - $80,000
  • Division C Applicants - $60,000

FY 2017-2018 Festivals and Special Events (FEST) Grants Program Guidelines (Interim Year)


The Festivals and Special Events (FEST) Grants Program is designed to support major annual festivals and special events taking place during the fiscal year between October 1 and September 30. The program provides significant funding in two categories and three divisions to organizations which have an established reputation for excellence and credibility, are capable of attracting visitors on regional, national and/or international levels, and have a significant and positive impact on the perception of Miami-Dade County as a dynamic cultural community.

DIVISION A (INTERNATIONAL IMPACT):
Applicant organizations must have:

  • a total average annual project budget of at least $1,000,000 for the festival/special event (including in-kind services support not to exceed 25% of total cash project budget) based on the last completed two fiscal years;
  • a minimum consecutive 3-year track record of producing the festival or special event;
  • at least one paid professional full-time administrator;
  • effective marketing strategies for regional, national and international markets, having a significant and positive impact on the perception of Miami-Dade County as a dynamic community and tourism destination;
  • a reputation for excellence and credibility, and be capable of attracting visitors on regional, national and international levels; and
  • matching funds from the private sector in a ratio of at least 3-to-1.

DIVISION B (NATIONAL IMPACT):
Applicant organizations must have:

  • a total average annual project budget of at least $400,000 for the festival/special event (including in-kind services support not to exceed 25% of total cash project budget) based on the last completed two fiscal years;
  • a minimum 3-year consecutive history of producing the festival or special event;
  • at least one paid professional full-time administrator;
  • effective marketing strategies for regional and national markets, having a significant and positive impact on the perception of Miami-Dade County as a dynamic community and tourism destination;
  • a reputation for excellence and credibility, and be capable of attracting visitors on regional and national or international levels; and
  • matching funds from the private sector in a ratio of at least 2-to-1.

DIVISION C (REGIONAL IMPACT):
Applicant organizations must have:

  • a total annual project budget between $150,000 and $400,000 for the festival/special event (including in-kind services support not to exceed 25% of total cash project budget) based on the last completed two fiscal years;
  • a minimum 2-year consecutive history of producing the festival or special event;
  • at least one paid professional part-time administrator;
  • effective marketing strategies for regional markets, having a significant and positive impact on the perception of Miami-Dade County as a dynamic community and tourism destination;
  • a reputation for excellence and credibility, and be capable of attracting visitors on regional levels; and
  • matching funds from the private sector in a ratio of at least 1-to-1.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR RETURNING APPLICANTS: The Department of Cultural Affairs is implementing a new application review policy for this grants program. Returning applicants will have the option to submit a completed application, including all required support materials, no later than one full calendar week in advance of the grant program’s published application deadline for a thorough “Courtesy Review” by the Program Administrator. Returning applicants who waive their option for a Courtesy Review and submit their applications by the grant program’s published deadline will receive a technical sufficiency review only. Applications received from first-time applicants by the grant program’s published application deadline will be reviewed by the Program Administrator and are exempt of meeting the program’s Courtesy Review deadline. For more information about the Courtesy Review policy, please refer to the DEADLINES section of the grant program guidelines.


FY 2016-2017 Festivals & Special Events Program Panel MembersFY 2016-2017 FEST Grantees List


FEST Grants Program Timeline*

Grant Funding Period October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018
Applications Available February 1, 2017
Consultation Period with Department Staff February 1, 2017 - April 21, 2017
Courtesy Deadline April 21, 2017
Deadline April 28, 2017, 4:00 PM
Application Comments / Corrections Issued May 12, 2017
Revised / Final Application Due May 19, 2017, 4:00 PM
FEST Panel Meeting June 20, 2017, 1:00 PM
Cultural Affairs Council Approval July 19, 2017, 12:00 Noon
Board of County Commissioners Approval September 2017
Award Notifications Issued October 2017
Availability of Grant Funds No earlier than December 2017

*Dates/time subject to change.

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It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To request materials in accessible format, sign language interpreters, and/or any accommodation to participate in Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs sponsored programs or meetings, please contact Francine Andersen 305-375-4634 / culture@miamidade.gov, five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).