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Building for the Arts

Building for the Arts was created by the Legislature in 1991 to award grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit performing arts, art museum, and cultural organizations. The program awards grants to performing arts, art museum, and cultural organizations for up to 20 percent of eligible capital costs for acquisition, construction, and/or major renovation of capital facilities.

Funding Availability Information

The 2015-2017 Building for the Arts (BFA) Grant is now open!
Workshops are being held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on May 19, 2014 at the Community Colleges of Spokane and on May 29, 2014 at the Red Lion Hotel Seattle Airport.
The application deadline is Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Applications are available online using the ZoomGrants system:
Also now available are the 2015-2017 BFA Guidelines.
Project Qualifications


This is a reimbursement-style grant and operating costs are ineligible. The grants are funded by the sale of state bonds only. Awardees are selected through a competitive grant application process held every two years.

To apply you must create a ZoomGrants account. This is a free service for our applicants.
When in doubt, ask us questions! The ideal time to begin talking to us is before you start writing your application. Please call our staff at (360) 725-3075, or email us at with any program questions you may have.
For technical assistance with your ZoomGrants application (uploading documents, etc.) please contact or call 866-323-5404 x2.
Grant applications are screened by staff and then ranked by an advisory board of building for the arts experts.
There is a maximum grant award amount of $2,000,000.
Ranking  criteria  include:
  • Ability  to  complete  the  project  expediently.
  • Organizational  capacity  to  run  the  facility  effectively.
  • Community  need.
  • Availability  of  other  funding  sources.

The  state’s  investment  in  these  local  projects  provide:

  • Temporary  construction  jobs.
  • Permanent  arts-related  jobs.
  • Improved  quality  of  life  for  residents.
Please join our listserv to get all the latest information on upcoming BFA Grant Workshops:

The grants are funded by the sale of state bonds (no federal funds are involved). Projects are selected through a competitive grant application process conducted every two years by the Department of Commerce. An advisory committee evaluates and ranks the project applications. Commerce sends the list of recommended projects to the Governor for consideration in the upcoming capital budget. 

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