The mission of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone is to sustain the economic revitalization of all communities in Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments, and small business assistance. 

In addition to the categories listed below, UMEZ is proud to announce the UMEZ Arts Engagement Grant, a program designed to enhance the diversity and frequency of cultural presentations in Upper Manhattan. To administer this program, UMEZ is partnering with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), which is the Manhattan-based regrantor of funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information on the UMEZ Arts Engagement Grant, click here

Potential applicants are invited to learn more about the Cultural Investment Fund and the grant-making process by attending a UMEZ information session. For available dates, click here

Capacity Grants are multi-year, matching grants for organizations that  are expanding their staff and operations, based on a strategic plan for  growth. Requests may be made to execute selected portions of an  organization’s strategic plan or other long-term effort to expand and  strengthen the organization’s resources. Funding in this category may  support new, non-program staff positions and consultancies; components  of new fundraising, marketing, and/or earned income initiatives; and  capital projects.  

For technical support, contact Submittable at  
For general inquiries, contact the UMEZ Cultural Investments team at

Infrastructure Grants are multi-year grants to improve an aspect of an  organization’s operations without requiring the addition of new staff  positions. The project request should be driven by a business or  strategic plan. Funding in this category may support a software upgrade  (e.g., fundraising, financial, or marketing analytics), hardware, web  site upgrade, marketing campaign, redesign brand image, sales and  inventory management, capital improvements, and accessibility improvements,  among other examples, as well as the implementation costs associated  with the project. 

For technical questions, contact Submittable at
For general inquiries, contact the UMEZ Cultural Investments at

Technical Assistance Grants allow organizations to work with a  consultant to address a specific issue or challenge. Technical  Assistance Grant projects are self-determined; organizations may seek  expertise in fundraising, marketing, governance, business plan  development, or similar critical needs. A Technical Assistance Grant may  prepare the recipient to apply for a Capacity Grant or Infrastructure  Grant.

Organizations seeking a Technical Assistance Grant will work with  UMEZ staff to develop a consultant proposal based on the organization's  specific needs, and to make a selection from among a list of  pre-approved consultants.

For technical assistance, contact Submittable at
For general inquiries, contact the UMEZ Cultural Investments team at

A Catalyst Grant is a one-time matching grant to support a major cultural project undertaken by partnering organizations and/or artists in Upper Manhattan. Eligible cultural projects must have the potential to attract major visitorship and build visibility for Upper Manhattan. Catalyst Grants may support participating organizations’ and artists’ marketing, public relations, audience development, and data capture expenses, as well as administrative and artistic fees associated with the project. Partner organizations do not have to be located in Upper Manhattan, but only UMEZ-eligible organizations will be eligible to receive UMEZ funds.

For technical questions, contact Submittable.
For general inquiries, contact the UMEZ Cultural Investments team at 

Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone