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    Syracuse Festivals Fund

The Syracuse Festivals Fund was established to provide support for festivals and events that were negatively impacted by the pandemic. Festivals and event programming contribute to a vibrant community and enhance the platform on which a variety of cultures and generations are able to connect and explore the spaces around them. By bringing communities together, we are able to contribute to a vibrant city center and surrounding community, alive with arts, entertainment and cultural experiences. This creates a destination that is attractive for residents, employees, employers and visitors by activating public space, improving quality of life, and enhancing attractions to support retention and new interest from existing and prospective employers.

The Downtown Syracuse Foundation will administer the Syracuse Festivals Fund, established by Mayor Walsh and the Syracuse Common Council using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, designed to reimburse organizers for eligible expenses associated with awarded festivals and events. Funding is intended for festivals and events that will be held from approximately May 2022 through September 2023.  A current round of funding is underway for events scheduled between June 1 – September 30, 2023.  Applications may be submitted for up to $3,000 in support and will be reviewed based on a number of factors, including how the festival or event is likely to attract visitors/tourists, especially to distressed neighborhoods or commercial business corridors economically disadvantaged during the pandemic.

Festivals or events eligible for funding are intended to be celebratory events centered on a specific theme that are free for the public to attend (no ticket purchase is required or involved), held in public spaces, and provides entertainment and/or activities for patrons. 




To be eligible, organizations must:

  • Be a certified not-for-profit 501c3 or 501c4 entity
  • Submit applications at least 15 days prior to the event/program date
  • Provide information such as date, location, and a description of the event
  • Provide information regarding how the event will be promoted, sources of additional funding, expenses and the grant amount requested from the Downtown Syracuse Foundation
  • Please note, to be eligible for consideration, the event: must be held within the city of Syracuse, may not have received previous funding from the Syracuse Festival Fund, and must take place between June 1 – September 30, 2023


Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and accepted via mail or e-mail through 11:59 pm with the following due dates: June 1 and July 1, 2023.  Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an application by June 1, as grants may only be made based on funds available.  Applicants may submit for amounts up to $3,000.

Please send applications to Laurie Reed, via email or mail. Click here to download the application. This is a fillable PDF document. You may save it to your desktop, fill it out and email it to the Downtown Syracuse Foundation, or print it to fill out by hand and send it to the Downtown Syracuse Foundation by mail.

Email Address:

Mailing Address: 
Laurie Reed 
C/O Downtown Syracuse Foundation 
115 West Fayette Street  
Syracuse, NY 13202



Applications opened Tuesday, May 16, 2023 and will be accepted on a rolling basis, with two (2) due dates noted below. Event organizer(s) are very strongly encouraged to submit an application by June 1, 2023 to receive the most favorable opportunity for funding consideration as awards will be made based on funds available.

  • Applications are due by 11:59 pm on June 1, 2023 

  • If unallocated funds remain after June 1 applications are reviewed and awarded, the next application due date will be 11:59 pm on July 1, 2023. 

Applications may be submitted for grant amounts up to $3,000. The Downtown Syracuse Foundation will notify applicants and announce fund distributions within two weeks of the application deadlines noted above.