Grantmaking Program: Grants for Underserved Communities

For Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2022.
Projects must take place by June 30, 2023.

Our Mission

The mission of the Sandler Center Foundation is to educate, inspire, enrich, and build our community and strengthen local arts organizations, and instill an appreciation of the arts in future generations. The Sandler Center Foundation works for change in three spaces: our home – the Sandler Center, in the community, and in the digital space.

The next Grant Application Cycle Begins January 1, 2023

Grants for Underserved Communities

Seeks to support underwriting of projects that provide access to arts education services for individuals and communities, with special emphasis on projects that provide services to individuals classified as low-income, or economically underserved, including those individuals with a disability.

Funding Priorities

The Sandler Center Foundation provides support to organizations that address the following priorities:

  • Embody the mission of the Sandler Center Foundation;
  • Have a track record of collaboration and successful partnerships; and
  • Can showcase a thorough marketing plan for helping to promote the funding partnership.

Eligibility to Apply

  • Nonprofit organizations that demonstrated tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service code 501(c)(3).
  • Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Resident Companies; or organizations with existing partnerships with the Sandler Center Foundation.
  • Other performing arts groups or touring performance organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require a Letter of Inquiry prior to applying for support.


  • Projects must take place at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, in the Coastal Virginia community, or provide accessibility to the arts utilizing digital tools and resources.
  • Projects must provide more than 50% of education services (project only, not organizationally) to low-income persons.


“Low-income person” means an individual whose family’s annual household income is not in excess of 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, as defined in this subsection below. For purposes of these guidelines, “household income” is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of income, which is used for computing poverty statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of household.

“Education services” means any of the following provided to low-income persons or eligible students with a disability: (1) scholastic instruction; (2) counseling or supportive services to elementary school, middle school, secondary school, or postsecondary school students or their parents in developing a postsecondary academic or career training plan, including college financing options for such students or their parents; or (3) scholarships (excluding waiver of tuition or program fees).


  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through June 30, 2022.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their application prior to submission.
  • Generally, grants will be awarded on a per project basis up to $15,000.
  • Organizations may submit multiple requests for project support.


The Sandler Center Foundation does not provide grants for:

  • Government agencies or individuals
  • Political campaigns or lobbying organizations
  • Endowments

Equality Statement

The Sandler Center Foundation does not discriminate against organizations or individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political affiliation or any other characteristic protected under law.

For More Information, contact:

Lisa Baehre, Executive Director at

Applications cannot be saved and submitted in sections. Prepare the narrative, required documents, and other materials in advance to upload and submit with the application.

Other Funding Opportunities

The Sandler Center Foundation also offers funding support for its pillars of the Education Program and Community Outreach. If you are interested in learning more about these programs, please visit the respective pages on our website for more information: