Grant Information

Arts & Community Access Grant

Applications for the Arts & Community Access Grants will be accepted from April 1st, 2024 through September 1st, 2024. Autistic people are encouraged to apply. Grants will be awarded based on available funds.

Grant Qualifications:

  • Grants are available to non-profit 501C-3 organizations
  • Individuals may partner with non-profits to apply
  • Grants may be used for a wide range of projects (including arts-related), but must improve the lives of people impacted by autism
  • Any funds granted must be used within one year
  • The minimum request is $1,000 and the maximum award is $5,000

If you are unable to view or complete the application online, please email or call us for assistance. • 917-475-4580

How Are the Grants Awarded?

The advisory board will oversee the granting of funds raised at the Arts For Autism benefit concert. They will meet after the application deadline and award grants based on a review of the applications received.  Grant awards will be announced in Novmember.

Members of the Advisory Board:

Christine Biernacki | Attorney & mother of autistic children 

Deborah Bonomo | Speech Language Pathologist 

Andrew Duff | Autistic actor from the TV series As We See It

Jill Frutkin | Actor & creator of theater curriculum for Stages on the Sound

Kelvin Moon Loh | Broadway Actor

Andy Paris | Emmy nominated actor and writer known for The Laramie Project & Uncommon Sense

View Grant Recipients by Year

Announcing the Recipients of the 2023 Arts for Autism Access Grants:

Click on the recipient's name to visit the website and learn more about the organization.

EPIC Players | Brooklyn, NY | $5,000

EPIC holds two musical cabarets per year that feature vocalists living with and without disabilities. Directed by Broadway professional Scott Evan Davis, EPIC's cabarets take place at several established venues in the city, primarily Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, 54 Below, and Lincoln Center. These cabarets are a musical showcase designed to shine a spotlight directly on neurodivergent talent and to elevate the need for inclusive hiring and casting practices. Neurodivergent artists employed by EPIC share the stage with a handful of neurotypical peers as well as special Broadway guests, with whom they perform duets and group numbers.

Families United in Newton (F.U.N) | Sandy Hook, CT | $3,250

Families United in Newton will be using their Arts for Autism Access Grant to help fund their monthly family-friendly social events. These events offer a variety of activities to engage special needs students in a safe and encouraging environment. This funding will support twelve family events throughout the year including a "Dancing in the Streets" event, pj pancake breakfast, and prom.

Mississippi Children's Museum | Jackson, MS | $5,000 

The Mississippi Children's Museum will be using their Arts for Autism Grant to sustain and expand their Sensory Sessions programming through staff training, necessary modifications, and marketing efforts.

Rock Autism | Buffalo, NY | $5,000 

Rock Autism serves youth and adults living with autism in Western New York. Funds donated to Rock Autism directly support creative workshops that give individuals living with autism access to industry-level software and technology to grow skills in music composition, film animation, sound engineering, photography and graphic design. Their goal is to spark the pursuit of higher education and ignite an entrepreneurial spirit within the Buffalo autism community. Funds received from their Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant will go towards 12 interns, and partiality to instructors in music/sound, film/lighting/acting, and a theatre director.

First Stage Milwaukee | Milwaukee, WI | $5,000 

Founded in 1987, First Stage is one of the nation’s most acclaimed children’s theaters and the second largest theater company in Milwaukee. First Stage will be using their Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant to support their Next Steps program. Guided by the Theater Academy’s philosophy of teaching life skills through stage skills, Next Steps allows students to experience the joy of theater with a team of teaching artists and special education professionals, and uses curriculum and content  designed to meet the needs of youth on the autism spectrum and with developmental disabilities.

Our Time to Shine | Burlington, NC | $5,000 

Our Time to Shine is a weekly dance program offering free dance classes to differently-abled dancers in Burlington, North Carolina. The classes are taught by Kim Black, experienced dance teacher and owner of Miss Kim's Children's Dance and Arts in Burlington. The funds from the Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant will allow Our Time to Shine to create a safe and inclusive environment by installing a raised floor and safety wall pads, as well as contribute towards more diverse experiences such as performances and trips. 

Little House of Neurodiversity | Hillsboro, MO | $1,650 

Little House of Neurodiversity currently serves over 200 families in Jefferson County, Missouri, by supporting, educating, and advocating for neurodiverse individuals and their caregivers.  provide resources to give individuals a platform to interact with the community on their terms. In turn, we work to educate the community around them so that the individuals will be fully seen and accepted. Funding will be for scholarships for lower-income families to attend.

Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD | $1,650

Imagination Stage envisions a future where theatre experiences are a fundamental aspect of children’s lives, nourishing their creative spirit, inspiring them to embrace the complexity and diversity of their world, and helping them overcome their challenges with hope, courage and, above all, creativity. Imagination Station will be using their Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant to support the expansion of their programming, including accessible main stage performances, arts education opportunities, and conservatory training experience for students 14-21 with cognitive and/or physical disabilities.

Mulberry Tree Group | Minneapolis, MN | $1,650

The Mulberry Tree Group is a Minneapolis based non-profit arts organization that was formed in 2015. MTG has worked with performers and craftspeople in films and TV to increase access to opportunity, mentorships, and employment. They will be using their Arts Access Grant to help fund a website and database of neurodiverse talent. MTG will employ members of the neurodiverse community to continue the work on the website and database.

Grant Manier | Fond du Lac, WI | $1,650

Grant Maniér (maun-yay) found his passion through art and illustration, which he has used as a way to express himself, heal, and demonstrate that he is not defined by autism. He is also an enthusiastic conservationist who uses his work to promote the motto "reduce, reuse, recycle".  Grant has merged his creativity and desire to raise awareness about protecting the environment into an award-winning series of children's books, Grant, the Jigsaw Giraffe and Friends. He will be putting the funds from his Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant towards converting his children's book series into audiobooks. His goal for the project is to hire autistic people to voice the characters.

Jackson Tucker-Meyer | NYC | $1,650

You may recognize Jackson Tucker-Meyer as the keynote speaker for the 2023 Arts for Autism concert. You can read about his work here. He will be using his Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant to stage a full production of his original play "The Perfection of the Donut" at The Tank in February 2024. The play deals with socioeconomic class, neurodivergency, and queerness in a most unusual way. Jackson says, "I wrote this play because I wanted to tell a story in which neurodivergent queer people save the day by unashamedly embracing who they are." The play will be produced in collaboration between the Brick Theatre and the Tank.

Interact Center for the Performing Arts | Saint Paul, MN | $1,650

Interact Center’s mission is to create art that challenges societies' views of disabilities and to push the boundaries of traditional art forms by including the unique perceptions of the artists. They plan to use their Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant to compensate four autistic actors who will appear in their original show, Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano. The work will be performed by Interact's company of neurodiverse artists living with disabilities along with featured guest artists. The show will premiere in October 2024 at the Guthrie Theatre or the Luminary Arts Center.

Trusty Sidekick has been crafting original theater for young people for over a decade. Their internationally renowned production Up & Away was commissioned by Lincoln Center and created specifically for audiences on the autism spectrum. Trusty Sidekick's most recent production, A Perfect Party for Trees was a first-of-its-kind immersive outdoor performance created for neurodiverse audiences and their families. TSTC will use their Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant to help fund the production of a new, original play called Frolic, which will premiere in December 2023. Frolic is an immersive, multi-sensory experience created for neurodiverse audiences that explores a magical underground world throughout the four seasons. Using music, puppetry, dance and more, audiences will be transported to a place where there is no wrong way to play.

Young Actors Theatre | Tallahassee, FL | $1650

Young Actors Theatre will be using their Arts for Autism Arts Access Grant to pilot an Autism-Friendly Theater Program. The program aims to make live theater performances accessible and enjoyable for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. The program will include sensory-friendly performances, pre-show guides, and post-performance engagement sessions, allowing individuals on the autism spectrum to engage with and appreciate the magic of live theater in a comfortable and supportive environment. Yound Actors Theatre plans to implement this new program by their showing of Find Nemo Jr. in April 2024. 

United Sound, Inc. | Mesa, AZ | $1,650

United Sound, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to remove barriers and foster social change through music. Partnering with existing music programs on school campuses around the country, United Sound is a peer mentoring program that pairs students with and without disabilities in the band and orchestra setting. United Sound, Inc. will be using their Arts for Autism Access Grant to help fund their peer mentoring programs.

Presented By

Educational Travel Adventures (ETA) Believe NYC

Contact Us


Connect with Us