Arts Grant Applications and Guidelines
The City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts—which administers the City's Art Grants—works in partnership with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts to invite and review applications from organizations and individuals. Support is awarded through a competitive grant evaluation process. Applications must be submitted through the online portal by the last Friday in February; mailed or hand delivered applications will not be accepted.
The City of Alexandria
seeks to meet the following goals through the Arts Grants:
To strengthen Alexandria's
creative capacity by providing its residents with diverse opportunities to
meaningfully engage with the arts;
- To improve the capacity and stability of Alexandria-based arts organizations to create, perform, and present works of artistic excellence and innovation through organizational support and program funding;
- To create a vibrant urban environment by supporting individual artists, organizations, and other entities in the creation, performance, and presentation of works of art across the City of Alexandria.
Eligibility Requirements—Please Review Before You Begin the Application
Eligibility requirements for nonprofit arts organizations and individual artist(s) are outlined here.
City agencies, employees, or volunteers (defined as any agency under the direct control of an elected official, or which reports directly to the City Manager, may not apply for an Arts Grant; they may only play a supportive role in a program proposed by an organization or group.
How to Apply:
The online grants portal will be live on the first Monday after January 1st. Applications must be submitted through the online portal by the last Friday in February; mailed or hand delivered applications will not be reviewed. There will be no exceptions to this policy.
On-line Grant Application Forms and Instructions:
APPLICATION FOR OPERATING SUPPORT-ORGANIZATIONS
Applications are accepted from 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organizations.
Grants made through this category are up to $15,000 and shall not exceed 20% of the "cash" operating budget; a cash match 1:1 is required.
Organizations may only apply for only one grant (Operating Support or Program Support).
Operating Support grants provide unrestricted operating funds for Alexandria-based nonprofit arts organization's regular programming activities and administration. Applications are accepted from nonprofit 501(c) 3 organizations who demonstrate artistic excellence in in presenting artistic and cultural programs that include: music, dance, literature, theatre, the visual arts, and/or combinations thereof.
Operating Support Application
APPLICATION FOR PROGRAM SUPPORT-ORGANIZATIONS
Applications are accepted from 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organizations.
Grants made through this category are up to $10,000 and shall not to exceed 50% of total program budget; a cash match 1:1 is required.
Organizations may apply for only one grant (Operating Support or Program Support).
Program grants support an ongoing or short-term arts program performed or presented in the City of Alexandria to substantially engage or benefit the residents of the City of Alexandria. Applications are accepted from 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organizations who demonstrate artistic excellence in in presenting artistic and cultural programs that include: music, dance, literature, theatre, the visual arts, and/or combinations thereof.
Program Support Application
APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY GRANTS
Applications are accepted from individual artists and artists' teams to encourage innovative, thought-provoking projects that engage residents and visitors in Alexandria's public spaces. Grants made through this category are up to $5,000 and there is no cash match required.
Special Opportunity Grants Application
NOTE: To save time and minimize errors, applicants are urged to review the preview application and budget forms before completing the online submission form. Applicants should consider using a word processing program to compose their responses to grant questions and when ready, cut and paste the drafted responses into the online application form.
Applicant Funding and Reporting Responsibilities:
APPLICANTS MUST SECURE A CASH MATCH AT A DOLLAR TO DOLLAR (1:1) RATIO
A 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organization is awarded $5,000 from the City of Alexandria for a project that is estimated to cost $12,000. The project now has $10,000 in funding—$5,000 from the City and $5,000 that must be raised by the organization as a "match." Acceptable "match" funds may include but is not limited to
- donations from individuals,
- ticket sales,
- general operating budget, and
- foundation support.
The arts organization must indicate on the final report how it raised the "match" of $5,000 and the sources of the funds, i.e., $2,000 from ticket sales and $3,000 from donations from individuals.
No in-kind donations of volunteer time, goods, or services can be applied towards the match. The cash match must be met prior to submitting a Final Report, but no later than June 15, 2016. Other funding from the City of Alexandria such as, but not limited to,1) the Marketing Fund, 2) Alexandria City Public Schools and 3) other City Departments, cannot be used for the cash match.
ALL GRANTEES ALSO HAVE THE FOLLOWING RESPONSIBILITIES:
• THE GRANT CONTRACT: The approved application form represents an agreement between the City of Alexandria and the applicant. The applicant will comply with all conditions set forth in the application form and any other documents furnished to the applicant related to the grant. Every recipient of a grant is required to respond in a timely manner to all requests for information required by the Office of the Arts and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. Two signatures will be required for the application and certification forms, preferably from the board treasurer and president.
• CONDUCT OF THE GRANT SUPPORTED ACTIVITY: Activities that receive financial support from the City of Alexandria shall take place within the fiscal year for which the grant was awarded, unless otherwise approved by the Office of the Arts and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.
• ACKNOWLEDGMENT: All grant recipients are required to credit the Commission and the City of Alexandria and use their logos when appropriate, for its support in all appropriate printed public relations materials relating to activities supported by the Commission.
• LETTERS TO CITY COUNCIL: Applicants are required to write their City Council to invite them to the funded program(s) or to thank them for appropriating grant funds. The letter should provide information about how grant funds were used to support your organization or program, and the community impact of the event. A copy of all letters to City Council must be included in the final report.
• PARTICIPATION IN LOCAL, REGIONAL, AND NATIONAL ARTS STUDIES: During the grant period, the Office of the Arts may request grantees to participate in local, regional, or national arts studies. The studies may be related to, but are not limited to: audience spending, organization management, or facility usage. Grantees are required to assist the Office of the Arts by completing these studies.
• FINAL REPORTS: At the completion of the project a Final Report is required. Grant recipients must submit a final report 30 days after the completion of the project/activities, but no later than June 15. Failure to submit a Final Report could result in the delay or loss of the final grant payment, or loss of eligibility for future grants from the Commission.
Additional Requirements for All Grantees:
The City has developed a performance management system called Results Alexandria. Results Alexandria includes changes to how the City aligns strategic planning, budget, human resources, performance data monitoring, and more.
All grantees must submit program performance information as part of their request for funding in Fiscal Year 2016, and an articulation of how they advance the goals of the City. This requirement is identified in the "Public Benefit to the City of Alexandria" of the grant application. Below is link to the City Manager's Performance Plan for implementation of the City's Strategic Plan: http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/performance/CityManagersPerformancePlanFY14-16.pdf
More detailed information can be found in the letter from the Office of Management and Budget to All City of Alexandria Arts Grant Applicants.
The Grant Process:
Application Submission: The grant application is the document upon which recommendations and decisions to award financial support will be made. The application consists of: 1) a completed application form, with appropriate attachments, signed by a representative of the organization/individual authorized to act on behalf of the applicant; 2) work samples and documentation of previous arts activities. The completed application must be completed within the grants portal by the stated due date above. Late or "hard-copy" submissions are not accepted. No exceptions.
Staff Review: Office of the Arts staff review each application for completeness and eligibility. The Office of the Arts staff then prepares all eligible applications for review by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.
Grants Taskforce: A Grants Taskforce—comprised of Arts Commissioners, artists, community members, and patrons—reviews all relevant applications submitted for review by the Office of the Arts and completes a standardized scoring sheet for each application. The Grants Taskforce will meet to discuss and finalize their recommendation for funding consideration. This meeting will be open to the public. Applicants are invited, but are not required to attend the Grants Taskforce meeting. The Office of the Arts prepares a Summary Report for each application and this report, any dissenting opinions, and copies of the grant applications are provided to all Arts Commission members for review.
Alexandria Commission for the Arts Conditional Grant Award Recommendation: Applicants are invited, but not required, to attend the meeting where the Alexandria Commission for the Arts will develop their grant award recommendation. It is at this meeting that the Arts Commission votes to determine the conditional grant award for each applicant. Grant Taskforce members are required to attend this meeting.
Changes to Programs/Activities: It is recognized that circumstances occurring during the programming year may necessitate changes from the initial proposal. If an organization or individual seeks to change their program/activity after its approval, the following guidelines apply:
- The grant recipient must communicate its intended action in writing to the Office of the Arts. The Office of the Arts will review the issue and if necessary will bring it up at the next regularly scheduled Arts Commission meeting.
- If the Office of the Arts and the Arts Commission chooses to consider a substantive change in the program/activity, they may request in writing, that the grant recipient submit multiple copies of a complete grant application. Within 14 days of the mailing of the letter, the grant recipient will submit a new application that fully details the new program/activity. The recipient will use the applicable guidelines for the grant year for which the original grant was made. The Office of the Arts will distribute and review the grant application to the appropriate Arts Commission members. It is anticipated that the Office of the Arts and the Arts Commission will make a determination and 90 days after the letter is sent to the grant recipient a letter acknowledging the receipt of the request of the change.
- Under some circumstances the Office of the Arts and the Arts Commission may decline to approve a proposed change and may void a previously approved application.
APPLICATIONS ARE REVIEWED BY A DIVERSE TASKFORCE COMPRISED OF ARTS COMMISSIONERS, ARTISTS, COMMUNITY MEMBERS, AND PATRONS. The Grants Taskforce evaluates each application based on the guidelines and criteria specific to each grant program. Grant criteria may be found here.
FY16 Operating Support Grant Scoresheet
FY16 Program Grant Scoresheet
FY16 Special Opportunity Grant Scoresheet
Fiscal Year 2016 Grant Workshop and Webinar Opportunities:
The Office of the Arts will conduct a series of grant workshops and webinars to assist interested applicants in preparing their grant applications. New applicants - arts organizations and artist(s) - along with applicants who have not submitted an application in the past 2 years are required to attend. If they do not attend, they will be considered as ineligible. Due to changes in the granting process, other applicants are urged to attend these free workshops and webinars. The free workshops and webinars will cover topics such as, but not limited to:
• Drafting narrative responses
• Preparing budgets
• Organizing and choosing attachments
• Navigating the online portal
To view the Fiscal Year 2016 Grant Workshop and Webinar Powerpoint Presentation click here.
workshops are scheduled for:
January 14, 12:00 pm, Individual
Artists Grant Workshop, (Brown Bag Lunch), Sister
Cities Suite, City Hall, 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA
January 22, 2015, 1:30 pm and Monday,
February 9, 2015, 7:00 pm, Durant
Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA
webinars (Live) are scheduled for:
February 5, 2015, 7:00 pm and Wednesday,
February 18, 2015, 11:00 am, Lee
Center, 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA
for the webinars is required. Log-in
information will be sent upon registration. Send registration request to email@example.com
Key Dates for the Fiscal Year 2016 Arts Grant Cycle:
- Tuesday, January 6: Applications go live
- Monday, February 23: PLAN AHEAD: Last day to request unique URL link to online application
- Friday, February 27: Applications due
- March 2-6: Staff review applications for completeness
- March 5, 7 pm: Fiscal Year 2016 orientation for Grant Taskforce
- April 10: Grant Taskforce meeting
- April 21: Alexandria Commission for the Arts Conditional Grant Award Recommendation Meeting
- May: Budget passes
- July: Award letters sent
For more information or assistance:
If applicants have questions, need assistance, or to inquire about available workshops/webinars, please contact anyone at the City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If reasonable accommodations are needed, please call (703) 746-5588; TTY (703) 838-4902.
Congratulations to the Fiscal Year 2015 Grant Recipients: