The application period for FY2025 Creative Capacity Grants is now closed.

Creative Capacity Grants (CCGs) provide general operating support to nonprofit organizations whose primary mission is to produce, present, teach, or serve the arts.

Who is it for?

Organizations that may apply for Creative Capacity Grants, Levels 1-5

  • are based in Arizona,
  • are incorporated as a nonprofit organization* with tax-exempt status, or are a unit of municipal or tribal government,
  • have a primary mission to produce, present, teach, or serve the arts,
  • have a minimum annual budget of $4,000 and a maximum of $399,999, and
  • will incur eligible expenses during the funding period (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025).

*Unincorporated organizations that are otherwise eligible and whose annual budget is below $200,000 may apply through a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.


Download/Print Grant Guidelines

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Organizations that may apply for Creative Capacity Grants at levels 6 Р8…

  • are based in Arizona,
  • are incorporated as a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status, or are a unit of municipal or tribal government,
  • have a primary mission to produce, present, teach, or serve the arts,
  • employ a full-time executive, managing, music, or artistic director,
  • have a minimum annual budget of $400,000, and
  • will incur eligible expenses during the funding period (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025).

Multidisciplinary and Multipurpose Organizations

Multidisciplinary or multipurpose organizations are eligible to apply if they meet the above requirements and can demonstrate that over 51% of their public programming and budget is devoted to the arts. Multidisciplinary or multipurpose organizations should contact Arts Commission staff to discuss eligibility before applying.

Application Limits

Across grant programs, the Arizona Commission on the Arts limits the number of applications an organization may submit to one application per funding period. Organizations applying for a CCG in Fiscal Year 2025 may not apply for any other Arts Commission grants (e.g., Festival Grants, Youth Arts Engagement Grants, etc.).

CCG funds are intended to support general day-to-day operating costs, such as the following:

Salaries and Personnel Expenses

Creative workers (e.g., artists, tradition bearers, designers, educators, curators, program administrators, service providers, etc.), production staff, administrators, teachers, contractors, consultants

Artistic/Production Expenses

Supplies, materials, equipment, venues, royalties, licensing

Administrative Expenses

Office space and supplies, insurance, professional services like accounting or payroll, fees for banking, online services and platforms, training and education, marketing and promotion

Organizations apply for CCGs at one of eight grant levels. An organization’s grant level is determined by the adjusted annual revenue for their most recently completed fiscal year (for example, Fiscal Year 2023). For the purposes of this program, Adjusted annual revenue is defined as the organization’s total annual revenue minus the monetary value of any in-kind support.

Award ranges are determined based on the agency’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the Arts Commission’s funding priorities, and an organization’s panel review ranking (low, medium, or high).

As the agency’s budget is not known until well after grant guidelines are published, the amounts below are only projections of what may potentially be possible.

Award projections for FY2025 are as follows:

Adjusted Annual Revenue

Award Projections
(Based on Panel Review Ranking)

Low

Medium

High

Level 1

$4,000 ‚Äď $19,999

$200

$300

$400

Level 2

$20,000 ‚Äď $49,999

$400

$590

$790

Level 3

$50,000 ‚Äď $99,999

$790

$980

$1,180

Level 4

$100,000 ‚Äď $199,999

$1,180

$1,450

$1,750

Level 5

$200,000 ‚Äď $399,999

$1,750

$2,150

$2,550

Level 6

$400,000 ‚Äď $999,999

$2,500

$3,000

$3,500

Level 7

$1,000,000 ‚Äď $4,999,999

$3,000

$4,000

$5,000

Level 8

$5,000,000 and above

$4,000

$5,000

$6,000

How Reliable are Award Projections?

In 2012, the Arizona Commission on the Arts was removed from the State’s General Fund as an ongoing budget line-item. Since that time, the agency’s annual grantmaking budget has been especially volatile, dependent on one-time legislative appropriations, which have ranged from $0 Р$5 million. The agency’s grantmaking capacity for Fiscal Year 2025 will not be known until the State’s budget is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. This typically happens in late spring.

The award ranges listed above are based on a potential grantmaking budget of $0.5 million. Depending on what happens in the Legislature, actual award amounts may be significantly different. Applicants are strongly encouraged to budget conservatively.

For more info on Arts Commission funding, visit https://azarts.gov/about-us/who-we-are/budget/.

Multi-year Funding

The CCG program operates on a multi-year funding cycle. Organizations submit a full application once every three years, according to the schedule below. In their two ‚Äúalternate‚ÄĚ years, grantees submit only a brief status update and Funder Report and are not subject to panel review.

In consideration of the limited funding projected for FY2025, all applicants who received CCG funding in FY2024 will be placed in alternate year status for FY2025. In lieu of a full application, alternate year applicants submit only a brief status update and Funder Report and are not subject to panel review.

(Applicants who did not receive CCG funding in FY2024 are still required to submit a full application and undergo panel review.)

This is an adjustment to the previously established multi-year funding cycle, which would have required full applications from Level 4 & 5 organizations.

Grant Level
FY2025 FY2026 FY2027
Level 1, 2, & 3 Alt. Year Application Alt. Year Application Full Application
Level 4 & 5 Alt. Year Application Full Application Alt. Year Application
Level 6, 7, & 8 Alt. Year Application Alt. Year Application Alt. Year Application

For FY2025 funding, Organizations will submit a full or alternate year application according to the table below:

Full Application

  • Organizations that did not apply for a CCG in FY2024
  • Organizations that were not awarded a CCG in FY2024

Alternate Year Application

  • Organizations that were awarded a CCG in FY2024

Changing Grant Level
Organizations that are scheduled to submit an Alternate Year application and would like to be considered at a higher grant level than indicated by their previous application are required to submit a full application and undergo panel review. Please note that alternate year organizations automatically maintain their previous fiscal year panel review ranking, but the corresponding award amount may change if the financial data in their forthcoming Fiscal Year 2025 application indicates a lower annual budget than previously recorded. If you have questions or concerns about determining your forthcoming grant level, please contact Hanna Spence-Schehr at [email protected].

Grantee Requirements

Match CCG Award

Grantees must be able to match their CCG award with cash, dollar for dollar, by the end of the funding period (June 30, 2025). Matching funds may be earned (e.g., ticket sales, participation fees, etc.) or contributed (e.g., private donations, other grants, etc.).

Submit a Final Report

To remain eligible for future grants, grantees must submit a final report to the Arts Commission at the conclusion of the funding period.

Awards are paid out over the course of the Arts Commission‚Äôs fiscal year (July 1 ‚Äď June 30) on a predetermined schedule. Typically, payments begin with Level 1 grantees in the second quarter of the agency‚Äôs fiscal year (October – December) and end with Level 8 grantees receiving payment in the fourth quarter (April – June).

Levels 1-5

We encourage applicants to do the following prior to beginning their application:

Request Accommodations

If you require accommodation in completing the application or otherwise participating in the grant application process, please contact Hanna Spence-Schehr at [email protected].

Create or Update the SurveyMonkey Apply Account for Your Organization

You will submit your application through an online submission platform called SurveyMonkey Apply. Prior to applying, all new applicants will need to register their organization at https://azarts.smapply.io/.

If your organization already has an account, we encourage you to confirm that all information is up to date and add/remove any team members as needed.

For instructions on how to create or update your account, visit our applicant resources page: https://azarts.gov/grants/applicant-resources/.

Create or Update SMU DataArts Profile

DataArts’ Cultural Data Profile (CDP) is a free and secure online survey that collects financial and programmatic data from nonprofit arts, culture, and humanities organizations. Organizations can then produce a variety of reports based on this data, including the DataArts Funder Report submitted with the CCG application.

Log-in or register at https://da.culturaldata.org/.

If you are new to using DataArts, you can find a video tutorial for getting started at https://culturaldata.org/what-we-do/for-arts-cultural-organizations/the-cultural-data-profile/. For additional assistance, contact the DataArts Support Center: https://culturaldata.org/contact/.

Obtain a Fiscal Sponsor Letter of Agreement (if applicable)

Unincorporated organizations applying with a fiscal sponsor will need to upload a Fiscal Sponsor Letter of Agreement. This official letter, signed by authorizing officials from both the applicant organization and the fiscal sponsor, must state that the fiscal sponsor agrees to receive grant funds on behalf of the applicant, deliver them to the applicant, and maintain appropriate financial records. Additionally, the applicant should be prepared to provide a fiscal sponsor contact and indicate the fiscal sponsor’s administrative fee. (The fiscal sponsor’s administrative fee is the percentage of any potential grant funding that would be retained by the fiscal sponsor to cover administrative costs associated with their sponsorship.)

If you are unable to obtain a Letter of Agreement before the application deadline, please contact Hanna Spence-Schehr at [email protected].

Prepare Narrative Responses

Some applicants find it helpful to develop their responses using word processing software, outside the application platform. This allows them to draft responses with team members and monitor their word counts for each question. Download a Word document version of the narrative questions.

When you‚Äôre ready, click on the ‚ÄúApply Now” button below. You do not have to complete the application in one session; at any point you can save a draft of your application and complete or submit it later.

APPLY NOW

Organization Overview

Information collected in this section of the application is used for internal and reporting purposes only. You will be required to upload an IRS determination letter in the ‚ÄúOrganization Type‚ÄĚ section. (Units of government are exempt from this requirement.)

  • Organization Name and DBA (if applicable)
  • Organization mailing address
  • County: In which Arizona county is your organization based?
  • Federal Congressional District: In which federal congressional district is your organization located? To look up your congressional district by address visit: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
  • State Legislative District: Which state legislative district is your organization located in? To look up your legislative district by address visit: https://azredistricting.org/districtlocator
  • Secondary contact info (the primary contact will be the person submitting the application)
  • ADA Coordinator contact info
  • Year established
  • Primary Disciplinary Category: Applicants can select the discipline that best applies from dropdown menu options.
  • Is this your organization‚Äôs first time applying for any grant through the Arizona Commission on the Arts?
  • Organization type (choose from nonprofit, unit of government, or applying with a fiscal sponsor)
  • Upload: Federal Tax Exemption Letter* if a nonprofit 501(c)3 or a Fiscal Sponsor Letter of Agreement, if applicable

*This is the IRS determination letter granting nonprofit 501(c)3 status, not the letter assigning a Federal Tax ID Number

Narrative Questions

Narrative questions will be reviewed by the review panelists.

  • Provide your organization‚Äôs mission statement. (150 word max)

Your responses to the following will be reviewed by the panelists:

  1. Describe your organization’s programs or services in relationship to its mission. (300 words max)
    The values expressed in a mission statement speak to an organization’s unique vision, purpose, and goals. Consider how these values are reflected in specific programs, services, events, workshops, community activities, or internal practices.
  2. Describe what goes into the development of your programming. (300 words max)
    Consider how your organization approaches decision-making, determines program goals, and engages with creative workers (i.e., artists, tradition bearers, designers, educators, curators, program or service administrators, and other creative contributors).
  3. Describe your organization’s administrative structure. (250 words max)
    For example, what does your organizational chart look like? How are administrative and programmatic tasks managed? What kind of leadership model does your organization have

Questions 4 & 5 request information regarding your executive leadership. For the purposes of this grant, executive leadership are the people on your staff who have the most deciding power. Examples include executive director, CEO, president, artistic director, directors of larger departments, etc.

  1. How many people serve the organization in an executive leadership capacity?
  2. Please describe the composition or makeup of your organization’s executive leadership:

Questions 6 & 7 request information regarding your governing board. This should be board members who are part of the governance structure of the organization and have a role in voting. This includes those who only vote if there is a tie. If you are a 501(c)3, this would be the board members who are indicated on your 990 filing with the IRS each year.

  1. How many people serve the organization on the governing board?
  2. Please describe the composition or makeup of your organization’s governing board:
  3. How many governing board members overlap with your organization’s executive leadership?

Responses to questions 5 and 7 can include any of the following categories that may apply:

  • Age Group (youth, adult, senior)
  • Artists,
  • Disabilities (physical, neural, cognitive)
  • Gender
  • Geography (rural, metro)
  • Heritage
  • Income Status
  • Health Status
  • Military Status
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation

Depending on their mission, organizations engage their communities in very different ways. Some are established to engage individuals that share a particular demographic, social, or cultural commonality (e.g., a youth theater, gay men’s chorus, or a rural Latinx art gallery). Others take a broad approach, designing their programs/services to engage a more general community of participants, (e.g., a community arts center). Question 9 asks you to identify your organization’s primary approach and answer questions specific to your choice.

  1. Choose the statement below that best describes your organization:
  • Our organization takes a broad approach, serving a general, non-specific population.
  • Our organization centers a specific community or intersection of cultural communities.

If you chose broad approach, answer the sub-questions below:

  1. How does your organization ensure an accessible and inclusive environment for participants of varying ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities, etc.? (350 words max)
    Consider how your organizational structure, programming, professional engagement of creative workers, community interaction, etc. reflect or respond to diverse populations.
  2. How does your organization use public input and feedback from the communities it serves. (300 words max)

If you chose specific community, answer the sub-questions below:

  1. In what ways do your organization’s operations, programs, and/or services reflect or respond to the specific community or intersection of communities you engage? (350 words max)
    Operational aspects could include programming, leadership, organizational culture, staffing, professional engagement of creative workers, community interaction, etc.
  2. How does your organization engage the indicated community or intersection of communities in the development, implementation, and evaluation of your operations, programs, and/or services? (300 words max)

Please provide the following information for each indicated community:

  1. What percentage of your executive leadership identifies as ___?
  2. What percentage of your governing board identifies as ___?

Your responses to the sub-questions to the left will be specific to the communities your organization’s mission and programming specifically focus on.

You will select all that apply from the list below:

  • Age Group
  • Disabilities
  • Geography
  • Gender
  • Health Status
  • Heritage
  • Income Status
  • Military Status
  • Race & Ethnicity (Choose from Black, Latine, Middle Eastern/North African, Native American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White/European, Not Listed)
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation Asian

  1. What are some of the expected benefits for those who participate in your organization’s programming and how do you gauge your success in delivering these benefits? (350 words max)
    Every organization approaches the feedback from, the documenting of, and the learning outcomes of its specific programming or activities differently; consider what approaches or methods your organization uses to better understand the effects that its work has on participants.
  2. How does your organization adapt programming, communications, or services to ensure that programming, facilities, virtual platforms, and activities support the participation of and access for people of all abilities? (300 words max)
    Consider any efforts currently being employed or plans in place to ensure that all organizational programming, facilities, virtual platforms, and activities support the participation of and access for people of all abilities beyond required ADA compliance.
  3. Describe the various resources your organization relies on to do its work and how they are allocated for maximum impact in pursuit of your mission and in service to your community? (300 words max)
    Consider your resources broadly. An organization’s resources may include funding, in-kind or volunteer contributions, administrative and artistic labor, partnerships, and more.
  4. What are your organization’s long-term goals for growth or improvement and how do you track your progress toward these goals? (300 words max)
    An organization’s long-term goals may relate to audience numbers, fiscal stability, accessibility practices, community engagement, specific programming/services, funder support, internal capacity-building, etc.

Financial Documentation

This DataArts Funder Report and Funder Report Narrative will be reviewed by the panel and evaluated as part of the Fiscal Practices & Viability criterion.

If applying with a fiscal sponsor, all fiscal year and financial information reported in this section should be for the applicant organization, not for the fiscal sponsor.

For this section, applicants will need to enter relevant financial and participation data for the required fiscal years into the DataArts platform and then generate a Funder Report, selecting the most recent fiscal year as the reporting year. (See FAQ for more info.)

Fiscal Year and Adjusted Annual Revenue

  • Start and end date (month and year) of your organization‚Äôs most recently concluded fiscal year (ex., July 2022 – June 2023).
  • Fiscal Year Adjusted Annual Revenue
    This is the figure labeled ‚ÄúTotal Revenue Unrestricted Less In-kind Unrestricted‚ÄĚ found at the top of the first page of your DataArts Funder report.

DataArts Funder Report

Upload an SMU DataArts Funder Report for your organization’s two most recently concluded fiscal years (for example, fiscal years 2022 and 2023).

Funder Report Narrative

This is your opportunity to bring your Funder Report to life, as if you were explaining aspects of it to the review panel.* (300 words maximum)

* The Funder Report examined by the review panel will not display any of the notes you left for yourself during the data entry process within DataArts.

Your organization’s application materials will be reviewed by an independent panel according to the following criteria. Please note: need is not a criterion. Application merit is based upon strength of response in relation to the review criteria.

Creative Capacity

Application demonstrates a strong understanding of the organization’s capacity to realize its mission and describes effective strategies for achieving current and long-term goals.

What panelists will be thinking about: Is the scope of the organization’s work in alignment with its mission and its capacity to deliver intended benefits? Does the application articulate a clear process for developing and implementing programming consistent with the organization’s mission and values?

Quality of Programs & Services

Application demonstrates creative and responsive programming, strong evaluation methods, and mission-aligned engagement practices.

What panelists will be thinking about: Does the application describe mission-aligned programming and engagement practices? Does the organization demonstrate robust and authentic engagement with Arizona’s creative workers and other key stakeholders in their programming and services? How does the organization engage the community(ies) it serves in the development and evaluation of its programs?

Integrity & Public Benefit

Viewed as a whole, the application demonstrates alignment between the organization’s mission, operational practices, goals, programming, and a strong understanding of the community(ies) served.

What panelists will be thinking about: Are the organization’s mission and values evident in their programming and operations? How does the organization’s programming reflect or respond to the community(ies) served? Does the organization demonstrate an ability to make its programming or services accessible?

Fiscal Practices & Viability

Viewed as a whole, the application describes sound fiscal practices and demonstrates alignment between these practices and the organization’s mission, values, and strategic goals.

What panelists will be thinking about: Are the organization’s practices around the administration and use of resources aligned with their mission and values? How do the organization’s practices around the administration and use of resources ensure their work remains viable and their goals achievable?

All applications are subject to a public review process. First, Arts Commission staff review each application for completeness and eligibility. Applications that are incomplete or submitted after the due date are considered ineligible for panel review and funding. Eligible applications are then evaluated by independent review panels made up of individuals from communities throughout the state who work in or adjacent to the arts. They evaluate each application on its own merits and solely on the basis of the published evaluation criteria.

Panelists first review applications individually. They then meet as a body to discuss the applications and finalize assessment as a group. This meeting is open to the public and while applicants are not permitted to participate in the discussion, they are encouraged to attend or listen-in online. Applicants being reviewed will be notified when panel dates are set. At the conclusion of their deliberations, the panel submits their funding recommendations to the Arts Commission’s Governor-appointed board of commissioners for approval.

Grant funds can only be used for the allowable expenses outlined in the guidelines. Additionally, this program does not fund the following:

  • Applicants that received Arts Commission funding in Fiscal Year 2024, but failed to file a final report by Monday, September 16, 2024.
  • Organizations not dedicated to producing, presenting, teaching, or serving the arts as their primary mission (the arts must comprise over 51% of public programming and budget to be eligible)
  • Any division of local, state, tribal or federal government except arts and cultural organizations from Tribal Nations and Local Arts Agencies (including arts councils and arts commissions)
  • Applications submitted by for-profit organizations
  • Schools, including public, private, and charter
  • Botanical gardens, parks, zoos or science centers
  • Auxiliary/affiliate organizations
  • Religious institutions or religious group-sponsored organizations not open to participation by non- congregants
  • Religious institutions or religious group-sponsored organizations whose primary purpose is the religious socialization of individuals or whose arts programming exists as parts of religious sermons or services
  • Debt reduction
  • Regranting, unless permission is received
  • Grant administration, overhead, or processing fees taken by an umbrella/parent organization as a percentage of the total award, with the exception of fiscal sponsors
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Expenses related to the construction of facilities
  • Food and beverage for receptions and hospitality functions
  • Fundraising projects
  • Scholarships and awards
  • Equipment or capital expenditures (basic computer devices and other such items that cost less than $5,000 are considered supplies and are eligible expenses)
  • Indirect costs

This list is not comprehensive.

Additionally, according to the Arts Commission‚Äôs enabling statutes, ‚ÄúNotwithstanding any other law, no monies from the Arizona Commission on the Arts may be spent for payment to any person or entity for use in dese- crating, casting contempt on, mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, trampling, or otherwise dishonoring or causing to bring dishonor on religious objects, the flag of the United States or the flag of this state.‚ÄĚ Recipients of Arts Commission support are further instructed to ‚Äútake into consideration general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public‚ÄĚ within funded programs.

Levels 6-8

We encourage applicants to do the following prior to beginning their application:

Request Accommodations

If you require accommodation in completing the application or otherwise participating in the grant application process, please contact Hanna Spence-Schehr at [email protected].

Create or Update the SurveyMonkey Apply Account for Your Organization

You will submit your application through an online submission platform called SurveyMonkey Apply. Prior to applying, all new applicants will need to register their organization at https://azarts.smapply.io/.

If your organization already has an account, we encourage you to confirm that all information is up to date and add/remove any team members as needed.

For instructions on how to create or update your account, visit our applicant resources page: https://azarts.gov/grants/applicant-resources/.

Create or Update SMU DataArts Profile

DataArts’ Cultural Data Profile (CDP) is a free and secure online survey that collects financial and programmatic data from nonprofit arts, culture, and humanities organizations. Organizations can then produce a variety of reports based on this data, including the DataArts Funder Report submitted with the CCG application.

Log-in or register at https://da.culturaldata.org/.

If you are new to using DataArts, you can find a video tutorial for getting started at https://culturaldata.org/what-we-do/for-arts-cultural-organizations/the-cultural-data-profile/. For additional assistance, contact the DataArts Support Center: https://culturaldata.org/contact/.

Prepare Narrative Responses

Some applicants find it helpful to develop their responses using word processing software, outside the application platform. This allows them to draft responses with team members and monitor their word counts for each question. Download a Word document version of the narrative questions.

When you‚Äôre ready, click on the ‚ÄúApply Now‚ÄĚ button below. You do not have to complete the application in one session; at any point you can save a draft of your application and complete or submit it later.

APPLY NOW

Organization Overview

Information collected in this section of the application is used for internal and reporting purposes only. You will be required to upload an IRS determination letter in the ‚ÄúOrganization Type‚ÄĚ section. (Units of government are exempt from this requirement.)

  • Organization Name and DBA (if applicable)
  • Organization mailing address
  • County: In which Arizona county is your organization based?
  • Federal Congressional District: In which federal congressional district is your organization located? To look up your congressional district by address visit: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
  • State Legislative District: Which state legislative district is your organization located in? To look up your legislative district by address visit: https://azredistricting.org/districtlocator
  • Secondary contact info (the primary contact will be the person submitting the application)
  • ADA Coordinator contact info
  • Year established
  • Primary Disciplinary Category: Applicants can select the discipline that best applies from dropdown menu options.
  • Is this your organization‚Äôs first time applying for any grant through the Arizona Commission on the Arts?
  • Organization type (choose from nonprofit or unit of government)
  • Upload: Federal Tax Exemption Letter* if a nonprofit 501(c)3

*This is the IRS determination letter granting nonprofit 501(c)3 status, not the letter assigning a Federal Tax ID Number

Narrative Questions

Narrative questions will be reviewed by the review panelists.

  • Provide your organization‚Äôs mission statement. (150 word max)

Your responses to the following will be reviewed by the panelists:

  1. Describe your organization’s programs or services in relationship to its mission. (300 words max)
    The values expressed in a mission statement speak to an organization’s unique vision, purpose, and goals. Consider how these values are reflected in specific programs, services, events, workshops, community activities, or internal practices.
  2. Describe what goes into the development of your programming. (300 words max)
    Consider how your organization approaches decision-making, determines program goals, and engages with creative workers (i.e., artists, tradition bearers, designers, educators, curators, program or service administrators, and other creative contributors)
  3. Describe your organization’s administrative structure. (250 words max)
    For example, what does your organizational chart look like? How are administrative and programmatic tasks managed? What kind of leadership model does your organization have?

Questions 4 & 5 request information regarding your executive leadership. For the purposes of this grant, executive leadership are the people on your staff who have the most deciding power. Examples include executive director, CEO, president, artistic director, directors of larger departments, etc.

  1. How many people serve the organization in an executive leadership capacity?
  2. Please describe the composition or makeup of your organization’s executive leadership:

Questions 6 & 7 request information regarding your governing board. This should be board members who are part of the governance structure of the organization and have a role in voting. This includes those who only vote if there is a tie. If you are a 501(c)3, this would be the board members who are indicated on your 990 filing with the IRS each year.

  1. How many people serve the organization on the governing board?
  2. Please describe the composition or makeup of your organization’s governing board:
  3. How many governing board members overlap with your organization’s executive leadership?
  4. How does your organization explore meaningful collaborations with different stakeholders to better achieve its mission? (250 words max)
    Consider any partnerships, interactions, and/or outreach strategies that advance (or are advanced by) your programs and services.

Responses to questions 5 and 7 can include any of the following categories that may apply:

  • Age Group (youth, adult, senior)
  • Artists,
  • Disabilities (physical, neural, cognitive)
  • Gender
  • Geography (rural, metro)
  • Heritage
  • Income Status
  • Health Status
  • Military Status
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation

Depending on their mission, organizations engage their communities in very different ways. Some are established to engage individuals that share a particular demographic, social, or cultural commonality (e.g., a youth theater, gay men’s chorus, or a rural Latinx art gallery). Others take a broad approach, designing their programs/services to engage a more general community of participants, (e.g., a community arts center). Question 9 asks you to identify your organization’s primary approach and answer questions specific to your choice.

  1. Choose the statement below that best describes your organization:
  • Our organization takes a broad approach, serving a general, non-specific population.
  • Our organization centers a specific community or intersection of cultural communities.

If you chose broad approach, answer the sub-questions below:

  1. How does your organization ensure an accessible and inclusive environment for participants of varying ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities, etc.? (350 words max)
    Consider how your organizational structure, programming, professional engagement of creative workers, community interaction, etc. reflect or respond to diverse populations.
  2. How does your organization use public input and feedback from the communities it serves. (300 words max)

If you chose specific community, answer the sub-questions below:

  1. In what ways do your organization’s operations, programs, and/or services reflect or respond to the specific community or intersection of communities you engage? (350 words max)
    Operational aspects could include programming, leadership, organizational culture, staffing, professional engagement of creative workers, community interaction, etc.
  2. How does your organization engage the indicated community or intersection of communities in the development, implementation, and evaluation of your operations, programs, and/or services? (300 words max)

Please provide the following information for each indicated community:

  1. What percentage of your executive leadership identifies as ___?
  2. What percentage of your governing board identifies as ___?

Your responses to the sub-questions to the left will be specific to the communities your organization’s mission and programming specifically focus on.

You will select all that apply from the list below:

  • Age Group
  • Disabilities
  • Geography
  • Gender
  • Health Status
  • Heritage
  • Income Status
  • Military Status
  • Race & Ethnicity (Choose from Black, Latine, Middle Eastern/North African, Native American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White/European, Not Listed)
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation Asian

  1. What are some of the expected benefits for those who participate in your organization’s programming and how do you gauge your success in delivering these benefits? (350 words max)
    Every organization approaches the feedback from, the documenting of, and the learning outcomes of its specific programming or activities differently; consider what approaches or methods your organization uses to better understand the effects that its work has on participants.
  2. How does your organization adapt programming, communications, or services to ensure that programming, facilities, virtual platforms, and activities support the participation of and access for people of all abilities? (300 words max)
    Consider any efforts currently being employed to ensure that all organizational programming, facilities, virtual platforms, and activities support the participation of and access for people of all abilities beyond required ADA compliance.
  3. What are your organization’s current budget priorities? How do you manage and allocate fiscal resources in alignment with these priorities and track that they are being met? (300 words max)
    Consider how your internal fiscal practices reflect your immediate priorities, values and short-term
    goals.
  4. What are your organization’s long-term goals for growth or improvement and how do you track your progress toward these goals? (300 words max)
    An organization’s long-term goals may relate to audience numbers, fiscal stability, accessibility practices, community engagement, specific programming/services, funder support, internal capacity-building, etc.

Financial Documentation

This DataArts Funder Report and Funder Report Narrative will be reviewed by the panel and evaluated as part of the Fiscal Practices & Viability criterion.

For this section, applicants will need to enter relevant financial and participation data for the required fiscal years into the DataArts platform and then generate a Funder Report, selecting the most recent fiscal year as the reporting year. (See FAQ for more info.)

Fiscal Year and Adjusted Annual Revenue

  • Start and end date (month and year) of your organization‚Äôs most recently concluded fiscal year (ex., July 2022 – June 2023).
  • Fiscal Year Adjusted Annual Revenue
    This is the figure labeled ‚ÄúTotal Revenue Unrestricted Less In-kind Unrestricted‚ÄĚ found at the top of the first page of your DataArts Funder report.

DataArts Funder Report

Upload an SMU DataArts Funder Report for your organization’s two most recently concluded fiscal years (for example, fiscal years 2022 and 2023).

Funder Report Narrative

This is your opportunity to bring your Funder Report to life, as if you were explaining aspects of it to the review panel.* (300 words maximum)

* The Funder Report examined by the review panel will not display any of the notes you left for yourself during the data entry process within DataArts.

Your organization’s application materials will be reviewed by an independent panel according to the following criteria. Please note: need is not a criterion. Application merit is based upon strength of response in relation to the review criteria.

Creative Capacity

Application demonstrates a strong understanding of the organization’s capacity to realize its mission and describes effective strategies for achieving current and long-term goals.

What panelists will be thinking about: Is the scope of the organization’s work in alignment with its mission and its capacity to deliver intended benefits? Does the application articulate a clear process for developing and implementing programming consistent with the organization’s mission and values?

Quality of Programs & Services

Application demonstrates creative and responsive programming, strong evaluation methods, and mission-aligned engagement practices.

What panelists will be thinking about: Does the application describe mission-aligned programming and engagement practices? Does the organization demonstrate robust and authentic engagement with Arizona’s creative workers and other key stakeholders in their programming and services? How does the organization engage the community(ies) it serves in the development and evaluation of its programs?

Integrity & Public Benefit

Viewed as a whole, the application demonstrates alignment between the organization’s mission, operational practices, goals, programming, and a strong understanding of the community(ies) served.

What panelists will be thinking about: Are the organization’s mission and values evident in their programming and operations? How does the organization’s programming reflect or respond to the community(ies) served? Does the organization demonstrate an ability to make its programming or services accessible?

Fiscal Practices & Viability

Viewed as a whole, the application describes sound fiscal practices and demonstrates alignment between these practices and the organization’s mission, values, and strategic goals.

What panelists will be thinking about: Are the organization’s practices around the administration and use of resources aligned with their mission and values? How do the organization’s practices around the administration and use of resources ensure their work remains viable and their goals achievable?

All applications are subject to a public review process. First, Arts Commission staff review each application for completeness and eligibility. Applications that are incomplete or submitted after the due date are considered ineligible for panel review and funding. Eligible applications are then evaluated by independent review panels made up of individuals from communities throughout the state who work in or adjacent to the arts. They evaluate each application on its own merits and solely on the basis of the published evaluation criteria.

Panelists first review applications individually. They then meet as a body to discuss the applications and finalize assessment as a group. This meeting is open to the public and while applicants are not permitted to participate in the discussion, they are encouraged to attend or listen-in online. Applicants being reviewed will be notified when panel dates are set. At the conclusion of their deliberations, the panel submits their funding recommendations to the Arts Commission’s Governor-appointed board of commissioners for approval.

Grant funds can only be used for the allowable expenses outlined in the guidelines. Additionally, this program does not fund the following:

  • Applicants that received Arts Commission funding in fiscal year 2024, but failed to file a final report by Monday, September 16, 2024.
  • Organizations not dedicated to producing, presenting, teaching, or serving the arts as their primary mission (the arts must comprise over 51% of public programming and budget to be eligible)
  • Any division of local, state, tribal or federal government except arts and cultural organizations from Tribal Nations and Local Arts Agencies (including arts councils and arts commissions)
  • Applications submitted by for-profit organizations
  • Schools, including public, private, and charter
  • Botanical gardens, parks, zoos or science centers
  • Auxiliary/affiliate organizations
  • Religious institutions or religious group-sponsored organizations not open to participation by non- congregants
  • Religious institutions or religious group-sponsored organizations whose primary purpose is the religious socialization of individuals or whose arts programming exists as parts of religious sermons or services
  • Debt reduction
  • Regranting, unless permission is received
  • Grant administration, overhead, or processing fees taken by an umbrella/parent organization as a percentage of the total award, with the exception of fiscal sponsors
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Expenses related to the construction of facilities
  • Food and beverage for receptions and hospitality functions
  • Fundraising projects
  • Scholarships and awards
  • Equipment or capital expenditures (basic computer devices and other such items that cost less than $5,000 are considered supplies and are eligible expenses)
  • Indirect costs

This list is not comprehensive.

Additionally, according to the Arts Commission‚Äôs enabling statutes, ‚ÄúNotwithstanding any other law, no monies from the Arizona Commission on the Arts may be spent for payment to any person or entity for use in dese- crating, casting contempt on, mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, trampling, or otherwise dishonoring or causing to bring dishonor on religious objects, the flag of the United States or the flag of this state.‚ÄĚ Recipients of Arts Commission support are further instructed to ‚Äútake into consideration general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public‚ÄĚ within funded programs.

  1. My organization is eligible for other Arts Commission grants. Can I apply to those too?
    No. Across grant programs, the Arts Commission limits the number of applications that may be submitted by a given organization or unit of government to one (1) application per funding period (July 1 ‚Äď June 30 of the following year). While an organization or unit of government may be eligible for more than one grant program, they may only apply for one of them in a given funding period. As an example, an applicant who applies to the Capacity Grant program in FY2025 may not apply for a Festival Grant or a Youth Arts Engagement Grant that same year.
  2. How do I generate a DataArts Funder Report?
    In order to generate a DataArts Funder Report, organizations enter financial and programmatic data into the Cultural Data Profile (CDP), a free and secure online survey. In an effort to make data entry easier for arts and cultural organizations, the CDP was significantly streamlined in December 2020. You can find resources on preparing your data for entry at https://culturaldata.org/what-we-do/for-arts-cultural-organizations/the-cultural-data-profile/. And you can find an overview of how to run or produce a Funder Report at https://culturaldata.secure.force.com/Resources/articles/Article/How-do-I-run-a-Funder-Report/.
  3. Does this grant fund or focus on new projects or new work?
    No. The production or generation of new projects is not a requirement of the CCG program. CCG provides unrestricted general operating support, meaning that organizations may use CCG funds for many different types of operating expenses. However, there are some expenses which cannot be funded with public dollars; please be sure to check the funding restrictions list before determining how you will apply the grant funds.
  4. If I requested Panel Comments for our FY24 Application, where do I find them?To view your requested Panel Comments, log into your azarts.smapply.io account and select your organization‚Äôs FY24 application. In the application view, select the ‚ÄúReviews‚ÄĚ tab and then click the icon that looks like the one below.
  5. Okay, I‚Äôve made an organizational account, how do I start my application?From your organization‚Äôs home page (indicated by your organization‚Äôs name in the white bar on the left side of the screen) select Programs‚ÄĚ from the ribbon at the top of the screen. Scroll to Creative Capacity Grant and select ‚ÄĚApply‚ÄĚ.
  6. What is Asset Vs. Deficit Language and why is it important?
    How can we address various inequalities in our narrative? Asset-based language focuses on the unique attributes the participants bring to the project (passionate, capable, thriving) as opposed to deficit-based language that define people and places by perceived insufficiencies (like at risk, lacking, marginalized, underserved). Let’s not define people and places by their deficits. This reinforces negative stereotypes and is not conducive to the type of arts learning this grant program seeks to support. Deficit-based language also contributes to a dynamic where learners are not seen as partners, but as objects of charity. If you’re talking about a problem, use language that reflects that systematic disparities and community wide problems in fact have systemic causes, that these are not self caused problems, and explicitly describe those systems whenever possible.

For additional applicant resources please visit https://azarts.gov/grants/applicant-resources/

Applicant Resources

Applicant Info Sessions

Leading up to the application due date, the Arizona Commission on the Arts will present webinar-style information sessions and workshops to help prospective applicants in preparing competitive applications.

Recordings of each session will be posted here the following business day.

Thursday, March 14, 2024
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Thursday, March 28, 2024
10:00 am – 11:00 am

REGISTER

Virtual Office Hours

Have questions about your CCG application? Jump onto an open zoom call with Organizational Program Coordinator, Hanna Spence-Schehr.

Friday, March 1, 2024
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

JOIN

Monday, March 25, 2024
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

JOIN

How do I register on behalf of an organization?

  1. Go to https://azarts.smapply.io/
  2. Click the “Register” button at the upper-right corner of the window. (If you are using a mobile device, tap the “Sign Up” button.)
  3. Choose the option to “Register as an Organization”
  4. Enter your name, email address, and a password. (The person who registers the organization in SMApply becomes the organization’s first “member” and the administrator of the organization’s account. Additional members may be added later and/or made an account administrator.)
  5. Click/tap the “Create Account” button
  6. Enter the requested information about your Organization, such as the organization’s name, mailing address, and general contact information.

Video Walkthrough


How do I add members to my Organization?

Once you have created your organization you can add additional members to assist with applications and account maintenance.

  1. Go to https://azarts.smapply.io/
  2. Login as an organization administrator
  3. Click “Manage Organization” in the top right corner
  4. Click “Members”
  5. Click the “Add Member” button
  6. Enter the First Name, Last Name, and Email Address of the member
  7. Select whether the member will have Administrative or Non-Administrative Access
  8. Click the box to “Notify member by email” (This is useful if the user does not already have an account in the system as they will receive an invitation email and be able to create a password to log in.)
  9. Click “Add”

For instructions on adding members in bulk, click here.

How do I update my Organization’s Profile?

  1. Go to https://azarts.smapply.io/
  2. Login as an organization administrator
  3. Click on “Manage Organization” in the top right corner
  4. Click “Profile”
  5. Update your profile information
  6. Click “Save”

Additional Guides

SurveyMonkey Apply provides a comprehensive FAQ for applicants; in addition to the “how tos” above you can find more information and resources on accounts, completing an application, and managing your organization at¬†https://help.smapply.io/hc/en-us/articles/360032514674-General-Account-FAQ.