New arts grant opportunity

2023 Spark Grant

NOW OPEN: The Spark Grant is a new program funded by Hotel Occupancy Tax allocations for events and projects that directly enhance tourism in San Marcos that have not previously received City of San Marcos Arts and Cultural grant funding.

Funds may be requested to initiate art and/or cultural activities; events, exhibits, etc. Funds may not be used for venue operations or administrative salaries.

Awardees will receive 90 percent of their grant after the official notification and execution of a grant contract; the final 10 percent will be released upon completion of a final report to the Arts Coordinator of the City of San Marcos.

The Arts Commission will review eligible Spark Grant applications during their regular monthly meetings. For more information, see the application here.


Annual Arts and Cultural Grants

There are two opportunities annually for receiving arts grants from the San Marcos Arts Commission - the Arts and Cultural Tourism Grant and the Community Arts Grant. The application window opens in August each year and closes in September. 

Grant structure

Two separate grants – since Hotel Occupancy Tax funding has more stringent requirements mandated by the state, we are now separating it from grants supplied by the City’s General Fund. Each project application must be for one or the other grant; we are no longer “mixing and matching” funding sources:

  • Arts and Cultural Tourism Grant – Larger of the two grants, but stricter state requirements. This grant is funded by Hotel Occupancy Tax. State law sets the rules on how this money may be spent; HOT funds must be used to directly benefit tourism and business in San Marcos. Ten percent of the grant request must be used for paid advertising outside of San Marcos City Limits. Grant recipients must provide paid advertising receipts in their final reports.
  • Community Arts Grant – Smaller pool of funding, but no requirement to draw tourism. This grant, supported by City’s General Fund, is available for projects that have artistic and cultural value but may not attract overnight visitors. Examples include youth summer camps and virtual events. Diversity Funding is also available for programs that serve historically under-represented groups or cultures in our community or that celebrate a diverse ethnic and cultural heritage of our community and beyond.

Only non-profit organizations and individual artists are eligible for this program. 

Contact Arts Coordinator Trey Hatt at for any questions about the grants or the application process.