Art Grant

In order to partner with the businesses and property owners within the Great Falls Business Improvement District (BID) towards our shared vision of downtown revitalization, the BID offers an incentive program to promote downtown art projects. Murals are a great asset to any neighborhood! They add beauty, reduce or eliminate the incidence of graffiti, attract visitors, instill community pride and liven up blank walls.  The goal of this program is to encourage property owners within the BID to improve the exterior appearance of their commercial properties with the installation of art.  Preservation of ghost signs may be considered on a case by case basis. This grant is not a rebate program for projects that have already started or completed. No funds will be paid out on work done prior to receipt of application.

Please note: Projects will be reviewed on a case by case basis and awarded based on the annual budget.

After reviewing the grant packet, contact the BID and meet with the staff to ensure that all elements of the program are understood. The BID is available to coordinate the project on your behalf and has a listing of local artists or you may choose to work with an artist of your choice. All proposed art projects must be submitted to the BID for approval through the Downtown Art Committee before permission will be granted for implementation.  Artwork must be original and may not be work that has been sold or reproduced in any way.  If the design is to include text, it must be included with the design concept. Murals may not be used for advertisement or to promote a business, product or viewpoint.  Murals may not include any breach of intellectual property, trademarks, brands, or images of illegal activity.  Because this program aims to deter graffiti vandalism, murals should not mimic or take the style of graffiti.  The finished artwork will be in the public domain and therefore may be subject to vandalism.  Accordingly, artists should be thoughtful about having large open areas in the design – for example, large areas of a single color might give a vandal the perfect spot to deface the work.  Submit your completed grant application to the BID office. You will receive written approval from the BID once they have reviewed & approved the application. Any deviations from the original proposal may forfeit payment of grant.  After completion, paid bills for the total project must be presented to the BID. The BID will review the finished project to ensure that it conforms to the submitted plans before any grant funds will be released. Funds will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. If grant funds are exhausted for the fiscal year payment of your grant may be postponed until the funds are available.  To protect and extend the life of the mural, the BID requires that all mural projects be sealed.

The BID reviews art grant applications in reference to the following goals:
1. Creation of appealing, attractive art works.
2. Increase the number of people shopping, working, and/or living downtown.
3. Encourage projects that have a visible and beautifying effect.

A complete BID Grant Program Application will include the following:
Download Art Grant Application
1. The Grant Program Application
2. Project description
3. Photo of the building in its current condition
4. Photos or sketches of the proposed art project. Include plans/renderings of the project.  The plans must represent the project to scale, including all colors and be drawn to the level of detail that will allow full understanding of how the project will look when completed. Included with this should be a one page typed letter briefly describing the project.
5. Cost breakdown – A one page summary of the estimated project costs – all costs must be included, including final sealant utilizing Golden Artists Soft Gel Gloss and MSA Varnish (proven to withstand our changing weather patterns).
6. Eligibility Checklist

Project criteria and eligibility:
1. Project must be within the boundaries of the BID (a map is available upon request).
2. The building owner must be current on all property taxes in Great Falls.
3. Any tenant applying for an art grant must have the owner’s written permission attached to the application.
4. Properties are eligible for 50% of the projected costs at time of application or 50% of actual costs, whichever is less, up to a maximum of $1,250.
5. Staff must review the finished project before the grant payment is given.
6. Upon approval of grant, applicant has six (6) months to begin project or the grant will be rescinded and applicant must re-apply.   
7. All art grant projects must be completed within 6 months of approval. The BID must approve any extension beyond 6 months.
8. Each eligible property may only obtain one art grant every five years.

Please note: Projects will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and awards will be approved based on the annual budget. In addition, the BID reserves the right to offer, deny or suggest changes of the proposal requesting grants for any reasons not specifically listed in this documentation.