The Grant Program Process (DRAFT)

Page updated on Dec 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM

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Guide to Funding: Arts Operational Grant | Guide to Funding: Individual Artist(s) | Guide to Funding:Organizations

The Grant Program Process (DRAFT)

Completion of the Grant Application

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

  • A completed application form, with appropriate attachments, signed by a representative of the organization/individual authorized to act on behalf of the applicant.
  • Work samples and documentation of previous arts activities. The Office of the Arts offers grant preparation workshops each grant cycle.

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. One or more of the Arts Commissioners chair the Resource Panels. Panel members, also volunteers, include professional artists, art administrators, educators and others who have discipline-specific background or knowledge.

Resource Panel Review
Each Resource Panel member reviews all relevant applications submitted to that Panel and completes a critique for each application. Critiques focus on specific areas of performance (varying by grant program) using a weighted method. Each Panel then meets individually with each applicant to discuss their application. Following the meetings with the applicants the Panel prepares a Panel recommendation for funding based upon composite critique scores and group discussion. If necessary, reports differing from the Panel recommendation may also be prepared. 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.

Goal Tracking
As part of the Resource Panel meeting with the applicant, the parties will discuss and identify a measurable goal. This mandatory goal will be included in the Summary Report and tracked from year to year. The Commission will use this information as a tool to provide historical perspective and assess the organization’s/individual’s growth.

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. If an applicant wishes to address the Commission for the purpose of providing new or supplemental information in support of his application he must call the Office of the Arts staff for an appointment time. The Chair will generally permit three minutes of testimony per applicant. 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.

Post-Hearing De-briefings
The Panel Summary Reports will be mailed to the grant applicants after the Arts Commission’s Public Hearing. It is important that the applicants understand that the Summary Reports contain only the remarks from the Resource Panel Review, not those from the full Arts Commission’s Review/Public Hearing. Applicants are strongly encouraged to request a de-briefing meeting with the Panel Chair and a member of the Arts Commission, or Office of the Arts staff. This meeting must be in compliance with the City’s requirements for open meetings. A formal report from the meeting will be prepared and presented at the next Commission meeting and will become part of the applicant’s grant file.

It is recognized that circumstances occurring during the conduct of the project may necessitate changes from the initial proposal. If an organization or individual seeks to change their project/activity after its approval the following guidelines apply:

  1. The grant recipient must communicate its intended action to the Arts Commission in writing to the Office of the Arts. The Arts Commission will review the issue at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
  2. If the Arts Commission chooses to consider a substantive change in the project/activity it may request in writing, that the grant recipient submit multiple copies of a complete grant application. Within 14 days of the mailing of the Arts Commission’s letter, the grant recipient will submit a new application that fully details the new project. The recipient will use the applicable guidelines for the grant year for which the original grant was made. The Arts Commission will distribute and review the grant applications to the appropriate panel(s). It is anticipated that the Arts Commission will make a determination approximately 90 days after the Arts Commission sends the grant recipient a letter acknowledging the receipt of the request for the change.
  3. Under some circumstances the Arts Commission may decline to approve a proposed change and may void a previously approved application.