Biennium Grants

Funding for organizations supporting programs and projects that advance the arts, culture, and the humanities in the lives of the people of Hawaiʻi.

About Biennium Grants

The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) provides public funds through Biennium Grants to support projects designed to promote, perpetuate and preserve culture and the arts in Hawaiʻi.

The legal provisions of the Biennium Grants are in Sections 9-11 through 9-18 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes. The Grants budget is contingent on the State fiscal biennium and appropriations from the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Grants are subject to available funding.

Grant Categories

There are four grant categories that align to the SFCA Strategic Priorities 2019-2023. Applicants may submit an application to one of these categories for either or both years. Category and project can be the same or different for each year.

  • Heritage/Preservation (culture)
  • Community Arts, Community Development, Arts and Healing (engagement)
  • Arts Education (education)
  • Presentation/Performing Arts (the arts)

Grant Amounts

Biennium Grant requests must be in the range of minimum $5,000 to maximum $15,000 per application.

About the Biennium Grants Program Application Process

The grant program is facilitated on a biennial basis and consists of two grant cycles: Year One and Year Two.

An Intent to Apply (eligibility documents):

  • Must be submitted for each grant cycle year that funding is requested by the organization.
  • Must be submitted by the established deadline to complete an application.

The Intent to Apply will not be accepted after the deadline. The application cannot be accessed without first submitting the Intent to Apply.

All eligible applications received by the deadline are considered. Grant Panels, consisting of individuals with backgrounds in relevant arts, culture, and humanities fields, review the eligible applications and submit their recommendations for award. The SFCA Board of Commissioners take into consideration the panel’s recommendations and have the final approval of applications awarded a Biennium Grant.

Hawaii Go Smart

Application must be entirely completed and submitted via the Hawaii GO Smart online application system (

Drawing of hands in different colors


SFCA Community Arts Coordinator
Brittany Rakowitz


Applicants are subject to meeting Chapter 9 eligibility requirements and policies established by the SFCA.

See Organization Legal Eligibility PDF.

Application Requirements

  • Non-profit arts or culture organizations, 501(c)3 exempt from federal income tax by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Applicant must have at least one year of experience with project to request grant support.
  • Only one application per applicant grant cycle.
  • Application must be entirely completed and submitted via the Hawaii GO Smart online application system ( No applications will be accepted by email or hard copy.
  • Project must take place in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Application Instructions

Biennium Grants 2023 Intent To Apply will open August 1, 2021 on

  • File the Intent to Apply on Intent to Apply for 2023 will be open August 1 – September 30, 2021. The Intent to Apply is the first step in the application process and must be submitted to complete the application.
  • Biennium Grant 2022 applications opened  February 1, 2021 and closed Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
  • Biennium Grant 2023 applications will open September 1, 2021 and close on Sunday, October 31, 2021.
  • Download the Biennium Grants Application Instructions 2022-2023  (PDF). Revised April 7, 2021.


The biennium grants program supports eligible applicant organizations with public funds to implement projects designed to promote, perpetuate, and preserve culture in Hawaiʻi.

  • A new online application system called GO Smart.
  • Required National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) data questions and activities/locations list for final reporting.
  • There will be NO mailing or delivering of any hard copy documents, materials or items. All required and necessary documents will be submitted via GO Smart.
  • There will be no revised proposals.
  • Awarded grants will receive the requested amounts in priority ranking.

An applicant must be a nonprofit organization, exempt from federal income tax by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The following documents are due at the time of application:

  • A copy of the organization’s tax exempt status letter from the IRS; and
  • A copy of the organization’s bylaws and/or policies which must include:
    • A description of the manner in which business is conducted;
    • A prohibition against nepotism; and
    • Procedures for managing potential conflict-of -interest situations.
    • A statement from the organization affirming that the members of it’s governing board have no material conflict of interest and serve without compensation.

Eligibility/Legal PDF packet – all applicants will submit one compiled PDF packet via GO Smart consisting of the organization’s legal documents in the following order:

  • IRS Letter of Determination for non-profit status
  • Articles of Incorporation (State of Hawaiʻi)
  • Bylaws
  • Corporate Resolutions/Corporate Policies
  • Simplified grant request and budget fields. Minimum $5,000 to maximum $15,000 per request.
  • Based on the recent funding patterns, we receive approximately 60 applications and are able to fund an average of 36 grants per year.
  • The grant awards are $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000.
  • An applicant must have at least one year’s experience with the project for which the request for a Biennium Grant is being made.
  • Grant project must take place in the State of Hawaiʻi.
  • Only one application per organization can be made to either or both fiscal years.
  • There are four (4) grant categories – Arts Education, Community (Community Arts, Community Development, Arts & Healing), Heritage & Preservation, Presenting & Performing Arts. These grant categories are aligned with the SFCA Strategic Priorities 2019-2023.
  • Application must be entirely completed and submitted via the GO Smart online application system for Biennium Grants by the application deadline.
  • Project implementation periods are typically effective from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.
  • Work evidence (formerly known as supplemental materials) – we will not accept hard copies or material items. All optional work evidence that supports the project proposal will be submitted via GO Smart.
  • Application certification by the authorizing official will be via GO Smart with an esignature. There will be NO mailing or delivering of hard copies to the SFCA office.

Items Not Funded

  • Building, renovation, maintenance of facilities, or other capital expenditures
  • Activities that are not completed within the project period
  • Fellowships, scholarships, theses, or dissertations
  • Fund raising
  • Grant management fees or indirect cost rates
  • Commissioning visual artists to execute professional works of art
  • Costs for food and/or refreshments
  • Perquisites
  • Equipment purchases and/or long-term rentals for more than one year of any two year biennium
  • Foreign travel
  • Subgrants or regrants
  • Interest payments, insurance, or similar finance costs
  • Utilities costs (water, electricity, or telephone)
  • Un-itemized miscellaneous
  • Accounting costs, including audits
  • Maintenance costs of any kind
  • Technology-related expenses, including but not limited to computer hardware or software, Internet, website, or E-mail, or contracted assistance to design or maintain such services

Workshop Recording

January 22, 2021 recording with closed captions of the Biennium Grants 2022/2023 Grants Workshop. This presentation gives an overview of the Biennium Grants program, the application process, and navigation of the SFCA website and the Hawaiʻi Go Smart system.