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Populus Fund // $10,000 Project Grants

Applications for 2022 Populus Fund Project Grants Are Now CLOSED

Populus Fund was founded in 2020 to provide essential support for artists through emergency funds during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. In 2022, we will turn our focus to funding projects that exemplify new ways of working in, for, and with the public. Individuals who applied for and/or received a Populus Fund Emergency Grant in 2020 or 2021, ARE eligible to apply for a 2022 project grant.

In 2022, Populus Fund will award a total of six $10,000 grants for projects with a visual arts component proposed by artists or artist groups that provide experiences, content, materials, activities, platforms, etc. that engage and connect with the community through art.

Populus Fund grant recipients will receive funding for projects that promote collaboration with the public and are radically accessible. Funds can be used for the research, development, and creation of public-facing new work, a project, or performance. Public engagement can occur via process, presentation, production, or publication. This may include exhibitions, performances, events, lectures, workshops, screenings, readings, publications, residencies, programming at artist-run-spaces, online projects, etc. Projects cannot be presented at art museums or commercial galleries.

To be eligible, artists must be able to say “yes” to ALL of the following:

  • I live within a 80 mile radius of the Omaha metro;
  • I am 18 or older;
  • I can provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) once selected to receive an award;
  • I am not a staff, board, or immediate family member of The Union for Contemporary Art;
  • I am not applying on behalf of a 501(c)3, academic institution, or LLC created for commercial enterprise


The Union recognizes that harmful systems of racism, homophobia, and ableism continue to show up in the arts. Projects that support inclusion, diversity, equity, and access will be prioritized. We encourage BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled artists to apply for this funding. Projects that engage the public must incorporate COVID-19 safety protocols that prioritize the health and safety of participants and community.


February 23, 2022 Applications open

March 5, 2022, 1pm – Virtual info session + Q+A

April 5–9, 2022 – 1:1 application feedback sessions w/ Union staff

April 24, 2022, 11:59pm – Applications close

Mid June, 2022 – Awardee announcement

June, 2022 – June, 2023 – Project timeframe: awardees begin and implement proposed projects


Union staff will remain neutral in the selection process. We will have a short vetting process to ensure our selected awardees meet our eligibility criteria. Awarded projects will be selected by a jury composed of the following:

  • Artist, arts professional, or community organizer from out of state (1 juror)

  • Two artists, arts professionals, or community organizers working within the 80-mile radius of The Union (2 jurors)

  • An artist working in the visual arts in a public facing way (1 juror)

  • Arts professional working for one of the original 16 re-granting organizations funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation (1 juror)

Follow the link below to view the 2022 Populus Fund Scoring Matrix that will guide jury decisions.
Populus Fund Scoring Matrix


The Union has created a sample budget as an example of possible use of funds for Project Grants. You can view or download the sample budget at the link below.

(Note: the link provides a "View Only" spreadsheet, if you would like to edit and personalize this budget for your project proposal, please download or make your own copy.)

View / Download Budget

Populus Fund Info Session

The Populus Fund Info Session (above) was recorded on March 5, outlining eligibility requirements for the grant program and answering the questions of artists who attended regarding the application process.

** Please note, one bit of program logistics has changed since the recording of this video. Projects do NOT need to be complete by December 2022. See the full FAQ page for further details on project timelines.

Scoring Matrix + Sample Budget Walkthrough

The video above provides an outline at the Populus Fund jury scoring matrix and a sample budget for proposed projects. Both the matrix and sample budget can be found at links above.


Curious about something that is not answered above or on the FAQ page? Drop us a question at populusfund@u-ca.org.

Please reach out to The Union team if you have any questions about eligibility or would like assistance reading or filling out your application at populusfund@u-ca.org.


If you are interested in expanding our support for artists by contributing to the Populus Fund to, please contact our Manager of Individual Giving Caitlin LaVelle, caitlin@u-ca.org.

  • More Funding Opportunities for Omaha-area Artists

    Omaha nonprofit Amplify Arts promotes unity, innovation, and progress in the arts to build strong and vibrant communities. This work includes an Artist Grants program for area artists of many disciplines.

Populus Fund is a regranting initiative organized by The Union, through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, supporting innovative artist projects throughout Omaha–Lincoln metros.


In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the foundation has given over $218 million in cash grants to over 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.

Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Logo - two-tone portrait of Warhol and his signature - 4