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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Office of the Arts
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Page updated Dec 18, 2014 10:27 AM

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 Arts Grant Program Application and Guidelines 


Youth Painting(1)The arts grant program is designed to encourage artistic excellence in the City by assisting Alexandria-based arts organizations in providing opportunities for the community to engage with the arts and providing local artists with opportunities to create, perform, and present their works.

The Arts Grant Program is administered by the Office of the Arts.  The Office of the Arts works in partnership with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts to solicit applications from organizations and individuals.  Each year, the Alexandria Commission for the Arts provides advisory support to the Office of the Arts, and advises City Council on the allocation of City funds designated for the arts in our community.   The grants are awarded on the basis of a competitive grant evaluation process and require a 1:1 cash match from the applicant.

For additional information, call the Office of the Arts at 703.746.5588.  


Goals of the Arts Grant Program include: 

  • Encourage artistic excellence in the City of Alexandria;
  • Ensure that Commission funded arts programs are accessible to all;
  • Assist Alexandria based arts organizations in improving their financial, administrative and management capabilities;
  • Provide individual artists with opportunities to create, perform and present their works;
  • Support the development of knowledgeable audiences by encouraging projects and programs to make the arts experience more rewarding and significant for its citizens;
  • Encourage arts organizations to undertake activities to increase earned income and to develop new sources of revenue to reduce the percentage of City funds as a portion of their income; and
  • Provide significant impact on the citizens of Alexandria and on the visibility of the Alexandria arts community.  

Fiscal Year 2016 Grant Workshop and Webinar Opportunities:

Stay tuned for future workshop and webinar info. in early November. 

Key Dates for the Fiscal Year 2016 Grant Cycle:

Monday, January 5, 2015: Applications go live

Friday, February 27, 2015: Applications Due

March 2015: Staff review for completeness 

March 2015: Fiscal Year 2015 Panel Orientation

April 2015 : ACA's Public Hearing/Formal Action Meeting for Fiscal Year 2016 applications

May 2015: Budget passes

July 2015: Award letters sent   

How to Apply:

Grant requests from artists and art organizations are solicited once a year.  Typically, the applications will be available by the first Monday of January. Applications will be due by the last Friday in February.  The application deadline, grant workshops and webinars, and, review dates are listed in the Key Dates for Fiscal Year 2016 Grant Cycle

To submit an application, potential grantees must submit their proposals using the Art Grant Program Online Application Form.   

If you missed the Fiscal Year 2016 Grant Workshops and Webinars, view the PowerPoint presentation.  If you have further questions, please call the Office of the Arts 703.746.5588.


On-line Grant Application Forms and Instructions: 

Coming Soon

NOTE: To save time and minimize errors, applicants are urged to review the preview application and budget forms before completing the online submission form.   

PDF VERSION:        Arts Operational Preview Application            Arts Project for Organizations Preview Application             Arts Project for Individual Artists Preview Application  

WORD VERSION:             Arts Operational Preview Application             Arts Project for Organizations Preview Application        Arts Project for Individual Artist Preview Application 

Applicants may consider composing their applications using a word processing program and cutting and pasting their answers into the online application form.     


Application Instructions: 

Application instructions for Organizations

 Application instructions for Individual Artist(s)   


Saving Online Grant Applications:

Steps for saving a grant application: 

 1)         On top of online grant applicaiton screen there is a bar "Save and Continue Grant Application.  Click on this bar.

 2)         You will be prompted to provide your email address

SurveyGizmo will then send a link to the application to the email address provided.  You can save the document each time you complete a portion of the grant.  You can share the link with a group, however, when saving and continuing later, you MUST use the same email address provided in the application.  If you do not receive the SurveyGizmo link to your grant, try checking your Junk folder.  Sometimes email systems are too strict about the email they receive and places notifications in the Junk folder. The application submitted at 11:59 pm on February 28 will be the one that the Panel and Arts Commissioners will review.

The Grant Program Process: 

Completion of the Grant Application. The Grant Application is the document upon which recommendations and decisions to award financial support will be made. 

Deadline for Application Submission. The completed application must reach the Office of the Arts office by the stated date and hour indicated on the grant application form. Late submissions are not accepted. No exceptions. 

Staff Review. Office of the Arts staff reviews each application for completeness and eligibility.  The Office of the Arts staff then prepares all eligible applications for review by a Resource Panel. 

Resource Panel Review. Each Resource Panel member reviews all relevant applications submitted to that Panel and completes a critique for each application. Each Panel then meets individually with each applicant to discuss their application.The Panel Chair prepares a Summary Report for each application and this report, any dissenting opinions, and copies of the grant applications are provided to all Commission members for review.

Alexandria Commission for the Arts Review/Public Hearing. Applicants are invited, but are not required to attend the Public Hearing and Formal Action Meeting of the Arts Commission.  It is at this meeting that the Arts Commission determines a proposed funding level for the application. Panel members will also be invited to attend the Public Hearing.

The detailed steps for the Grant Program Process can be reviewed by clicking here.  

Eligibility Requirements and Guides to Funding:

Eligibility projects must meet the goals of the Art Grant Program as defined above. 

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; or any board or commission where all its members are appointed by the Alexandria City Council) may not apply to the Art Grant Program; they may play a supportive role in a project proposed by an organization or group.

Basic Eligibility requirements for nonprofit organizations and individual artist(s) are outlined in the Fiscal Year 2016 Frequently Asked Questions.

The Office of the Arts and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts Commission issues annually the Guide to Funding containing detailed information on eligibility and instructions on application submission.  The Guide is considered an integral part of the grant application form.  Failure to follow instructions contained in this Guide will result in an ineligible proposal. Specific eligibility requirements can be found in the Guide to Funding for each Art Grant Program:

Guide to Funding for Arts Operational Grant                   Guide to Funding for Arts Project Grant for Organizations                    Guide to Funding for Arts Project Grant for Individuals     


Applicant Funding and Reporting Responsibilities:

Applicants must secure a cash match for the Art Grant Program award at a ratio of dollar to dollar (1:1).  No in-kind donations 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, 2015.  Other funding from the City of Alexandria such as, but not limited to, the Marketing Fund, Alexandria City Public Schools and from other Departments, cannot be used for the cash match.

All Art Grant Program grantees also have the following responsibilities:

The Grant Contract: The approved application form represents an agreement that the applicant will comply with all conditions set forth in the application form and any other documents furnished to the applicant related to the granting program. 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 Commission. 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 receiving 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 Commission.

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. 

City Council Letters: 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 program or project, and the community impact of the event.  A copy of all letters to City Council must be included in the final report.

Surveys: During the grant period, the Office of the Arts may request grantees to complete surveys. The surveys 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 surveys.

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 of Alexandria will be aligning its resources and services towards achieving results that the community values most. 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 2015, 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:  

More detailed information can be found in the letter from the Office of Management and Budget to All City of Alexandria Arts Grant Applicants.  


Evaluation Criteria:

Applications are reviewed by a diverse panel of community members including artists, arts administrators and patrons. 

The panel evaluates each application based on the guidelines and the following criteria:
• Artistic excellence and quality of the proposed annual program or project.

• Public benefit to the City of Alexandria including but not limited to community engagement and outreach to, and participation by, a diverse audience; developing of local and regional talent; and attracting of audiences outside of Alexandria.

• The applicants ability to plan, manage and implement the annual program or project. 

• Stability and fiscal responsibility of the organization. 

• Marketing and fundraising efforts to support the annual program or project.   

For more information or assistance:

If applicants have questions, need assistance, or to inquire about available workshops, please contact anyone at the City of Alexandria Office of the Arts or  If reasonable accommodation is needed, please call (703) 746-5588; TTY (703) 838-4902.  

Congratulations to the Fiscal Year 2014 Grant Recipients: 


1108 Jefferson St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703.838.6344

Office Hours
8 am - 5 pm

James B. Spengler