2023 Community Festival Support Application For Funding

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Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is proud to support the vibrant festivals and events that help make Monroe County an exciting place to live, work, and visit.  This year, for the first time, Monroe County is offering dedicated funding to support local festivals and events.  This funding is part of the County Executive’s continued commitment to support the arts and cultural sector that fuels our creative economy. 

Monroe County’s 2023 Budget allocated at least $200,000 for Community Festival Funding. This is on top of expanded commitments to mid-sized arts organization, tourism and municipally owned event spaces, and larger arts, cultural, and educational entities. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When are applications due?

Applications will be open from February 3, 2023 through March 3, 2023 

When are awards announced? 

Award decisions will be announced in April 2023. If an organization is selected to receive funding exceeding $20,000, funding will be contingent upon legislative approval.

What festivals or events are eligible for this funding?

Festivals or events seeking Community Festival Support must meet the following guidelines:

  • Festival or event that fits into one or more of the following categories:
    • Events or festivals related to armistice, memorial, or other recognized national patriotic observance (This may include festivals that recognize Independence Day, veterans, or celebrations of state, territorial, or national pride, among others);  
    • Events or festivals that commemorate historical events of county-wide interest and concern (This may include festivals that recognize the historical contributions of individuals or cultural organizations, or milestone anniversaries for organizations relevant to Monroe County, among others);
    • Events or festivals that provide for the maintenance and operation of a professional symphony or philharmonic orchestra, musical festival, or vocal, dance, drama, or performing arts troupe, group or activity of any kind or nature (This may include festivals that showcase music, arts, or other performances, among others); 
    • Events or festivals that publicize the advantages of the County (This may include festivals that highlight the unique features of Monroe County or encourage tourism within Monroe County, among others) 
  • Festival or event must have a free component for the public.
  • Festival or event will take place between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023.
  • Festival or event will serve at least 1,000 people. 
  • Festival or event must be located in Monroe County, New York. 

What festivals or events are NOT eligible for this funding?

The following types of festivals or events are not eligible for funding:

  • Parades 
  • Block parties 
  • Trade shows, conventions, conferences, workshops, etc. 
  • Indoor-ticketed concert, show, theatrical performance, exhibit, etc. 
  • Annual luncheon, conference, holiday party, etc.
  • Class or family reunions. 
  • Sports tournament, school or athletic league, etc. 
  • Events hosted by other municipalities and governmental districts.

Can I have a fiduciary organization apply on behalf of my organization?

No. All organizations must have their own legal standing.

How much funding is available for festivals and events? 

There is a minimum of $200,000 in funding available.

Can I apply for in-kind support?

Yes, in addition to funding, you can apply for waived or reduced rental fees for a lodge or shelter in a Monroe County park.

How much money can my organization receive?

Organizations may request funding at any level. However, final allocations will be determined by a review committee and depend upon a number of factors, including the number of organizations that apply. Any award above $20,000 will require approval by the Monroe County Legislature.

If you have questions regarding this application kindly reach out to BJ Scanlon at  [email protected] or (585) 753-1026.

If you need assistance filling out this application in a language other than English, you can contact  [email protected] for assistance with language accommodation.

Important Dates & Instructions

Application Launch. The Community Festival Support application will launch on Monday February 3, 2023

Application Deadline.  Electronic submissions are due no later than noon on March 3, 2023.

Internal Review.  March 2023 to April 2023

Funding Decisions Announced. April 2023 

Essential Information

  • Events applying under this cycle must take place between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023, which is the County’s fiscal year.
  • Events applying for support shall use this application and abide by its deadlines.
  • NOTE: The County has limited public resources available and is the steward of those limited funds.
  • It is within the County’s sole discretion to determine which events to fund, whether to approve recurring events and to determine the level of support for every event.


  • All proposals SHALL be submitted via electronic submission on the County portal by the above deadline, including the proposal, budget form, and Community Festival Support summary form. 
  • Any submission that includes an incomplete application or insufficient supporting documentation may be eliminated from consideration.

Types of Support the County Can Provide

  • County support will be a reimbursement grant, which shall be paid after the event has been held and upon submission of paid receipts. Applicants should be prepared to provide their own funding for expenses that must be paid before the event. Applicants may also apply for in-kind support through waived fees for using Monroe County park shelters or lodges. In-kind support is subject to application completion and venue availability. 

Reviewing Applications and Funding Awards

  • Before recommending events for approval, the Department may contact external stakeholders, including neighborhood organizations and community groups, the business community, and internally to other departments who will be impacted by the event, or participate in its coordination, including local law enforcement agencies and fire departments. 
  • All funding over $20,000 is subject to the County Legislature’s final approval.