Arts Grant Program

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.

Page updated on Jan 20, 2016 at 4:30 PM


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The City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts administers the City's Art Grants in partnership with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. Organizations and individuals are invited to apply for an arts grant. Funding of grants is awarded through a competitive grant evaluation process.  


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 diverse individual artists, organizations, and other entities in the creation, performance, and presentation of high-quality 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. Online applications must be submitted by the last Friday in February; mailed or hand delivered applications will not be accepted. 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 $12,500 and shall not exceed 20% of the "cash" operating budget; a cash match 1:1 is required.
Organizations may only apply for one grant (Operating Support or Program Support)

Operating Support grants provide unrestricted operating funds for Alexandria-based nonprofit arts organizations’ 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. 

             Application Instructions: Application instructions

             Word Doc: Operating Support Application 

             Request Link for Operating Support Grant application here 

 

APPLICATION FOR PROGRAM SUPPORT-ORGANIZATIONS 

Applications are accepted from 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organizations.
Grants made through this category are up to $7,500 and shall not 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 presenting artistic and cultural programs that include: music, dance, literature, theatre, the visual arts, and/or combinations thereof. 

          Application Instructions: Application instructions 
          Word Doc: Program Support Application

          Request Link for Program Grant application here

 

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 $2,500 and there is no cash match required.      

          Application Instructions: Application instructions 
          Word Doc: Special Opportunity Grants Application
  

          Request Link for Special Opportunity Grant application here



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

Example:

A 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organization is awarded $5,000 from the City of Alexandria for a programt that is estimated to cost $12,000. The program 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  are not limited to

1.     donations from individuals,

2.     ticket sales,

3.     general operating budget, and

4.     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 12, 2017.  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 12, 2017.  If an applicant fails to complete a satisfactory final report form or has an outstanding final report form or issue from a previously-awarded grant, the applicant will not receive a grant for the next grant cycle, even if the Arts Commission  awarded the grant.


Additional Requirements for All Grantees:

The City has 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 2017, 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 the link to the City Manager's Performance Plan for implementation of the City's Strategic Plan: https://www.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 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.


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 will not be  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 the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. 

Grants Task Force: A Grants Task Force—comprised of Arts Commissioners, artists, community members, and patrons—review all relevant applications submitted for review by the Office of the Arts and completes a standardized scoring sheet for each application. The Grants Task Force 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 Task Force meeting. The Office of the Arts staff facilitates the Grants Task Force meeting.  

Funding Guidance: The Grants Task Force does not provide a funding allocation, but rather scores each application utilizing the criteria rubrics.  Scores received by Grants Task Force are considered final. —Funds are awarded to applicants are based on the percentage of scores as the formula.  Applications scoring  below 75% will not be recommended for funding. —The Arts Commission will consider the staff’s recommendations and develops their recommendation for funding to applicants.  This is done at  public meeting. 

Changes to Programs/Activities: Applicants are required to notify the Office of the Arts of any additional substantial changes in its program(s) and other activities in writing prior to such a change that represents a reduction or reductions in the organization's program(s), project(s) and other activities. The requested changes must be approved in advance by the Office of the Arts.

 

Evaluation Criteria:

Applications are reviewed by a Grants Task Force comprised of Arts Commissioners, Artists, Community Members and Patrons.The Grants Task force evaluates each application based on the guidelines and criteria specific outlined in the scoresheets for each grant program.  Scoresheets are noted below: 

FY 2017 Operating Support Grant Scoresheet

FY 2017 Program Grant Scoresheet

FY 2017 Special Opportunity Grant Scoresheet


Fiscal Year 2017 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  


The workshops are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 12:00 pm, Individual Artists Grant Workshop, (Brown Bag Lunch), Sister Cities Suite, City Hall, 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA
  • Thursday, January 21, 2016,  12:00 pm and Monday, February 8, 2016, 7:00 pm, Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA  

The webinars (Live) are scheduled for:

  • Monday, January 11, 2016, 7 pm; Wednesday February 3, 2016, 8:30 am; and Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 11:00 am, Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA

Registration for the webinars is required.  Log-in information will be sent upon registration. Send registration request to cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov 

To preview the Fiscal Year 2017 Grant Workshops/Webinars click here.


Key Dates for the Fiscal Year 2017 Arts Grant Cycle:

  • Monday, January 4: Applications go live
  • Monday, February 22: PLAN AHEAD: Last day to request unique URL link to online application 
  • Friday, February 26: Applications due
  • February 29-March 4: Staff review applications for completeness
  • Friday, March 4, 9:30 am: Fiscal Year 2017 orientation for Grant Task Force
  • Monday, April 11, 8:30 am: Grant Task Force meeting, City Council Workroom, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 301 King St, Alexandria
  • Tuesday, April 19, 7 pm: Alexandria Commission for the Arts develops funding recommendation, City Council Workroom, 2nd Floor,  City Hall, 301 King St, Alexandria 
  • May: City Council Approves Fiscal Year 2017 City Budget 
  • 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 artsgrant@alexandriava.gov.  If reasonable accommodations are needed, please call (703) 746-5588; TTY (703) 838-4902.  



Congratulations to the Fiscal Year 2016 Grant Recipients: 

  

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