Chequamegon Bay Arts Council Arts Initiative Grant | 2022 General Information


The Chequamegon Bay Arts Council (CBAC) is a non-profit member organization that supports, develops, and promotes art and artists in northern Wisconsin. As such, CBAC annually awards grants to artists and non-profit organizations in Bayfield and Ashland counties in order to deepen and expand the success of the arts in the Bay, foster artistic growth, initiate quality artistic endeavors, and create additional arts opportunities throughout the area.

Arts Initiative Grants fund project based activities such as public exhibitions, performances, publications, touring productions, commissioned art and educational activities. Artistic disciplines include dance, theater, music, folk arts, literary arts, video, film and visual arts.

Arts Initiative grants include a new category – the  Jim Ramsdell Soaring Spirit Fund.  These funds are intended for Arts Initiative grant applications that are… “dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the natural world around us and fostering a reverence for all its creatures.” (Jim Ramsdell).  These funds were made available as a memorial for Jim to further his work.

Grant Amounts and Eligibility

How much can I apply for?

  • An Arts Initiative Grant request can range from $250 to $3,000. Total available funding is $15,000.
  • Soaring Spirit grants range from $250 to $2,000. Total available funding is $2,000.


Who can apply?

  • An individual or organization residing in Ashland or Bayfield County.
  • An artist whose proposed project primarily serves or is related to the residents of Ashland or Bayfield County.
  • All projects must include a public component that is open to the public and will draw visibility to the artists’ work. Closed or private art functions cannot be funded.
  • Individuals or organizations that have received funding in any previous year and did not file final reports are not eligible.
  • Special Note: Because of the pandemic, many 2020-21 Arts Initiative grant recipients were unable to complete their projects. CBAC and the Wisconsin Arts Board have granted extensions, but ask that 2020-21 funding is first accounted for before applying for more grant monies.


Can I apply for both Arts Initiative and Soaring Spirit funding?

  • No, you must apply for one or the other.
  • Soaring Spirit funds are reserved for those projects which educate or inspire others about the importance of the natural world, preserving ecosystems and species, sustainability issues, or other connections between nature and the arts.


Evaluation Criteria

How are applications evaluated?  Applications will be evaluated in four areas using a point system totaling a possible 100 points in the following categories:

  • Artistic merit (0-30 points):
    • The proposal should have clear, reasonable, and achievable goals and outcomes.
    • The project must exhibit a high level of artistic quality.
    • The budget must be able to support the activities described in the narrative.
  • Artistic Development (0-20 points):
    • The project should demonstrate artistic development for the artist or other project beneficiary, such as a student or audience member.
    • If your application is similar to a previously funded grant, you should show how this year’s proposal moves in a new direction, shows innovation, adds a new element, or reaches a new audience in order to score more highly in this category.
  • Community Benefit (0-30 points):
    • Projects that reach a broad audience or have significant impact on a more specified audience will score higher than projects with a limited understanding of their audience.
    • Projects need to include clear plans for promoting their projects and involving community participation.
  • Ability to Succeed (0-20 points):
    • Include supporting documents like: resumes of artists; work samples; letters of support from project partners.
    • Examples of prior success, etc. can support your intentions and the likelihood of success.
    • Schedules should be clear and appropriate to the project.
  • Please Note: applicants for Soaring Spirit grants must demonstrate the connection between their project and “raising awareness of natural world around us and fostering a reverence for all its creatures” in each section of their application (See the website for more information on Jim Ramsdell and his philosophy).



When do I apply?

  • Applications are available beginning December 1, 2021 at The application period ends at 11:59pm on February 14, 2022.
  • First time grant applicants are required to contact the Grant Coordinator for an initial discussion regarding their project.


How do I apply?

  • We encourage applicants to apply via the form located below.
  • You may also mail your application by downloading the application form and taking the following steps:
    • Four (4) copies of a completed application must be submitted to be considered for review.
    • Applications must be postmarked by February 14, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.
    • Mail applications to: CBAC| PO Box 25 | Washburn, WI 54891

What is the review process?

  • All applications will be screened by a four-member panel.
  • Regular Arts Initiative applications will be reviewed during a public meeting. Applicants will be informed of the time and place of the meeting.  Attendance at the meeting can be beneficial but is not required.
  • The results of the panel review will be forwarded to the CBAC Board of Directors for their consideration and approval at their monthly meeting on March 14, 2022.
  • Soaring Spirit grants will not be reviewed during the public meeting. The panel will make recommendations with final approval made by Jim’s life partner, Lori Schneider.                                                    
  • Award letters and contracts will be mailed by March 21, 2022.
  • All funded projects are required to submit final reports on their projects. Reports are due within 30 days after the project is completed.


What if I need help?

  • Grant writing assistance is available by contacting CBAC Grant Coordinator, Chris Lindsey, at or 715-209-5774 .
  • If requested by an applicant, the Grant Coordinator will review a draft of the application for purposes of suggesting improvements if the draft is submitted before February 7, 2022 . (Call to make arrangements for this.)


Project Budget Requirements

Are there any special budget requirements? Yes.  Grant amount cannot exceed $3,000 or half the total project costs. Applications must consider the following:

  • Match: Applicants are required to match requested funds dollar for dollar. At least half of the matching funds must be cash; the other half may be cash or “in kind” (donated time or materials).
  • In-kind (donated) services and materials:
    • The market value of donated space rental, art supplies, tools, printing costs, etc. can be used as an in-kind contribution.  
  • Volunteers that are using their professional skill (artist, graphic designers, writers, accountants, carpenters, etc.) to contribute to the outcome of a project can use their time as an in-kind contribution. Check the Independent Sector ( for the most recent value of volunteer time for the state of Wisconsin.
  • Matching Funds From Other Sources
    • When additional project funds are coming from other sources, applicants must demonstrate the ability to acquire all funds needed to complete the project in a timely manner. Letters or other documentation of outside support are encouraged.
    • No other Wisconsin Arts Board funds may be applied toward the project. This includes Wisconsin Arts Board funds distributed by other regional organizations such as the LaPointe Center.
  • Paying Artists: Grant funds may be used to pay an artist, in fact CBAC and the Wisconsin Arts Board value paying artists, it’s their profession! In the budget section, detail the value of the artist’s work as an hourly wage multiplied by an estimate of the number of hours required for the project.
  • No funds may be used to reimburse any costs incurred prior to the grant award, and a project may not have a start date that is before the grant award.
  • Ineligible expenses:
    • General operating funds
    • Purchase or construction of repair of permanent equipment
    • Fundraisers
    • Competitions
    • Deficits incurred from past activities
    • Prizes
    • Conference fees
    • Tuition
    • Rental fees for property owned by applicant
    • Activities not open to the general public (activities in public schools are considered to be public)


Please Note:  Grants awarded to individuals are considered taxable income.  Individuals are encouraged to work with a 501(c) (3) organization to act as a fiscal receiver on their behalf.

2022 CBAC Arts Initiative Grant Application

Step 1 of 3

Grant Application Primary Information

If applicant is an organization rather than an individual.
If different from applicant
Are You Applying for the Jim Ramsdell Soaring Spirit Fund?(Required)

Grant Request Details

MM slash DD slash YYYY
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Please enter a number from 0 to 3000.
Has You or Your Organization Received CBAC Grant Money in a Previous Year?(Required)