The city of Farmington allocated $20,000 to the commission to host cultural, public events in the 2012 fiscal year, Assistant City Manager Bob Campbell said.
Already $7,000 will go to a symposium Farmington and the Navajo Nation are hosting in August. The commission will distribute the remaining funds to qualifying organizations.
All eligible activities must take place within Farmington city limits and be either rooted in traditional culture or include content relative to race relations in Farmington. Events can include a festival, lecture or public art project, for example.
The mayor's office routinely fields inquiries from organizations looking for city assistance to host events, Campbell said. But this is the first time the city is setting aside funds to promote cultural awareness.
"The whole idea behind the grant is to get the Community Relations Commission ... involved with the city and helping different groups do their activities," commission Chairman David John said. "We're trying to give something back to the city (to promote) our cultural diversity."
The commission voted to remove a condition in the grant proposal that requires 75 percent of the event's coordinating team and participants to reside in Farmington. Instead there will be a question about the residence of participants and organizers on the grant application.
The commission also increased the maximum amount of grant money an organization can receive from the proposed $800 to $1,500.
Community groups, nonprofit entities, individuals, neighborhood groups, school clubs and youth groups can apply for the grants. City, state and government agencies, for-profit entities, political parties, labor unions and churches cannot apply for the grants.
The commission specified that church youth groups and student clubs are eligible for grants even though churches and schools are not.
Organizations can start applying for the grants on July 1, the start of the 2012 fiscal year.