WHAT IS DAF?
The Louisiana Decentralized Arts Fund Program (DAF), initiated in 1995, makes the arts available in every parish in the State of Louisiana by providing grant funding for artists, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and local government agencies.
Funding is allocated to each parish on a per capita basis utilizing U.S. census figures. It is based on population, not on any additional factors.
The Louisiana Division of the Arts (LDOA) oversees the program, disbursing funds to each of nine Regional Development Agencies (RDA’s), which in turn regrant those dollars to parishes in their region.
RDA’s develop arts programs to meet local needs, ensuring that decisions about cultural priorities are made locally; applicants compete for funding only with other organizations in their parish.
In most regions there is a Community Development Coordinator who administers the DAF program, providing advice and assistance in developing arts programming.
The Decentralized Arts Fund Program is designed to:
- Expand efforts to make the arts accessible to all parishes in Louisiana
- Award grants to eligible organizations located within the parish for which funds are designated
Goals of the Decentralized Arts Fund Program are:
- Strengthen arts organizations
- Encourage professional artists to undertake projects that have meaningful community involvement and build audiences for the arts
- Encourage a variety of nonprofit organizations to sponsor arts and cultural activities including classical, contemporary and traditional arts in eight artistic disciplines
- Leverage local support for the arts
- Make arts activities available to groups who have limited arts experiences
- Fund public arts and cultural activities
- Introduce standard grant-writing practices and develop familiarity with customary administrative practices.
The Louisiana Division of the Arts in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council is the catalyst for participation, education, development, and promotion of excellence in the arts by overseeing the DAF program and implementing plans of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor’s Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism.