We present the 2020 Community Grants – an invitation for YOU to think beyond the traditional grant application process. To apply for an idea that might not fit within the “confines” of what is normal in the grant world. The thoughts that come to mind that you want to explore if you had extra funds. The application is open NOW and closes on Sunday, Nov 29 (midnight ET).

We remain dedicated to our core mission “to create accessible spaces for healing through direct engagement in participatory art, political action, or holistic modalities”. We recognize that accessible space for healing can look very different in a post-COVID world, a world of racial justice uprisings. To that end, we are launching this grant program to invest funds into local community projects, rather than a large scale vigil.

This Community Grant is open to both individuals and organizations. What does that mean? Anyone living or doing work in the DMV (DC / Maryland / Virginia) is eligible to apply, and “organizations” can be informal (e.g. not legally incorporated). Those with marginalized identities, long-time residents of the DMV, and those who may not have ready access to conventional funding streams for their work are to be prioritized.

We would love to prioritize ideas that will have an impact in this current historical moment, and projects that create sustained community impact. This community grant is a chance for us to show solidarity and support to you. 

Our goal is to make the program as accessible for applicants as possible, through the following steps:

  • Short, simple application; multiple ways to receive funds
  • Rapid timeline – we expect to distribute all funds within a month of applying
  • All submissions should align with “creating accessible spaces for healing,” interpreted in broad, flexible and creative ways
  • Minimal follow-up – we expect grantees to report back a brief summary of how funds were spent within 2-3 months of funding, with 1-2 photos if relevant

Grants for individuals will be up to $250. Grants for organizations will be up to $1,000. In total, we plan to grant around $8,000 through this program.

So you need some ideas about what a Community Grant could be? Well we want you to be creative but here are some thoughts to get you thinking: 

  • creating accessible digital gathering spaces like skillshares, teach-ins or healing circles
  • art or experiences that can be accessed virtually
  • projects that exist in or impact outdoor public space
  • projects related to housing or land for marginalized communities to live or gather
  • ideas that queer our typical conceptions of power, impact, and justice, or explore alternatives to the current consensual reality


  • Fri, Nov 13: The Community Grant application opens
  • Sun, Nov 29 Midnight ET: The grant application  closes
  • Dec 11: Grant applicants are notified of decisions
  • Dec 14 – 18: Grant funds are dispersed

Decision process: Applications will be reviewed by a panel of folks who have been working at the intersection of art, political action and healing in the DMV area, all of whom are femme or non-binary people of color (including a mix who have been involved with Catharsis and who have not). They will make funding decisions based on the criteria and priorities outlined above.

(Top Photo: Catharsis 2019, photo by UrsaLee)

(Middle Photo: “Piercing the Veil” by Voyager, photo by Victoria Pickering)

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