Fairs and festivals can be organized as community-based celebrations or large-scale events tailored for special interests. Various sources of funding include private, state and federal grant opportunities.
Private organizations, including national and local groups, typically provide funding for fairs and festivals centered around specific interests. Examples include the film festival grants awarded annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or the Festivals of Cedarburg Community Grant program awarded annually to groups in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Explore available grants online and through the local chamber of commerce.
Fairs and festivals serving broad populations or garnering significant revenue may become eligible for allocated state funding in the annual legislative budget. For example, West Virginia made event allocations of over $2.6 million in 2008. Investigate this possibility with the state representative or senator serving your local area.
Multiple federal agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture and the National Endowment for the Arts, provide funding for support of local and regional heritage tourism projects, many of which can include fairs and festivals as a component. Funding is awarded annually with guidelines and restrictions varying by program. Explore these possibilities through a web search for "federal tourism funding."
- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Film Festival Grant Recipients
- Festivals of Cedarburg: Community Grant Program
- West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals: The Importance of Fairs and Festivals to the State of West Virginia
- West Virginia Fiscal Year 2008: Legislative Funding for the Arts
- American Council on Heritage Preservation: Federal Programs That Can Support Heritage Tourism
Jennifer Meade is an “information specialist” with more than 20 years of administrative experience including eight years in research and communications. Her education includes undergraduate studies in government and geography with graduate studies in communications, regional analysis and public policy. Meade currently writes from her home in Kentucky.