The Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation is nearing its application deadline for this year’s round of Economic Opportunity Fund grants.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 30. The grant period falls between Dec. 1, 2011, through July?31, 2012.?

The grants are available to individual cultural economy workers such as artists; businesses such as galleries, frame-shops or restaurants; and nonprofits.

Maximum grant awards will be $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for cultural nonprofits and businesses.

Individuals, businesses or nonprofits not based in Louisiana are not eligible.

Also not eligible are students, government bodies and grant recipients awarded in the previous grant round. (Those will be eligible again in the next round of grant funding.)

Also, the grants cannot be used toward day-to-day operating expenses.

The grants do not require a match, and can be used for equipment purchases, marketing, professional services and other uses provided the expense helps fund a “unique opportunity” — an idea or project that’s outside the normal scope of daily business and will potentially create a new stream of income.

The Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation is a private nonprofit launched as a result of then-Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu‘s Cultural Economy Initiative in late 2005. Its first two years of service were dedicated to disaster relief and recovery of cultural economy workers affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, with almost $1 million distributed for their support. ??

For more information about the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, go to, http://www.culturaleconomy.org.