The calendar below features upcoming Arts Commission deadlines, events, information sessions and workshop opportunities. Times, dates and event details may be subject to change. For more information, please email [email protected].

Public Meeting Notice

It is the public policy of this state that meetings of public bodies be conducted openly and that notices and agendas be provided for such meetings which contain such information as is reasonably necessary to inform the public of the matters to be discussed or decided. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 34-431.02, all public bodies are required to maintain a Notice of Public Meeting section on their website. All public meeting notices of the Arizona Commission on the Arts can be found at https://publicmeetings.az.gov/ and a link will be posted within the calendar entry below.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits the Arizona Commission on the Arts from discrimination on the basis of disability. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter, by contacting Stacey Wong at (602) 771-6527 or [email protected].

Persons who are deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired can contact the Arts Commission through the Arizona Relay Service, 1-800-842-4681 Voice; or 1-800-367-8939 TTY. Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to arrange the accommodation.


 

Jul
7
Thu
Deadline: Research and Development Grant
Jul 7 @ 11:59 am – 11:59 am

Update, June 6, 2022

New online information session dates have been added. Details and registration links can be found in the Workshops and Information Sessions section below.

Research & Development (R&D) Grants provide funding support to Arizona artists as they work to advance their artistic practice, expand their creative horizons, and deepen the impact of their work.

Who’s it For?

Artists working in any discipline who live and work in Arizona. Whether you’re just getting started or you have already experienced many career successes, the R&D Grant is available to help you take your artistic practice to the next level, including:

  • exploration of new techniques
  • experimentation with new materials or technologies
  • creation of new work
  • development of new strategies for engaging your community of practice

Award Amount

Applicants may request a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $5,000.

Up to 30 grants will be awarded this year.

Eligible Expenses

Grant funds may be used for any of the following (this list is not comprehensive):

  • Stipend to grantee
  • Stipends to collaborators
  • Materials
  • Travel costs

  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Space rental
  • Marketing costs

  • Production costs
  • Documentation
  • Rehearsal time
  • Registration fees

The funding period is January 2023 – January 2024. Proposed activities may be underway prior to the time of application but must be completed by January 31, 2024.

The R&D Grant application process is split into two stages so applicants don’t spend a lot of time doing unnecessary work. After your Stage 1 application materials are reviewed by a panel of independent arts professionals, applications determined to be most competitive according to evaluation criteria will move on to Stage 2.


Application: Stage 1

Proposal Narrative & Work Samples

Due 11:59 pm, July 7, 2022

Notification of Stage 2 Advancement

September 13, 2022

Application: Stage 2

Process Map, Experience List, & Expense List

Due 11:59 PM, October 13, 2022


Panel Review

November 18, 2022

Grants Awarded

December 15, 2022

Funds Delivered

No later than
April 7, 2023

Stage 1

Narrative Proposal Details

You can type up your proposal narrative (1200 words),

or

You can upload it in a video or audio recording (8 minutes in length).

  1. Describe the work you propose to do with the grant funds.
  2. What are your specific proposed activities?
  3. Tell us about your community of practice as it relates to (or is specific for) your proposed activities.
  4. How will the work you propose to do reflect, impact, or otherwise respond to your community of practice?
  5. How does this proposal relate to the work you currently do?
  6. How would receiving this grant deepen your overall artistic practice? If you have collaborators, who are they and how do they contribute to your proposed work? (Answer this question only if you are working with anyone else.)

Do not include URL links to external websites or video hosting platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo.

If you share your proposal narrative in a video or audio recording keep it simple and to the point. The recording should be just you, describing your proposal and answering the five questions listed above. Please do not include edits of your work samples or special effects. Production quality of this recording will not be considered in your review. Just make sure we can hear and understand you and keep editing and post-production embellishment to a minimum.


Work Samples

Submit work samples you’ve completed in the last 5 years. From the list to the right, please choose the most appropriate artistic work sample format to represent your discipline:

Artist Work Samples

  • 5 minutes of recorded audio
  • 5 minutes of recorded video
  • 10 images
  • 5 pages of double-spaced text
  • Combination of materials listed above. Please edit accordingly for no more than a total of 5 minutes of reviewing time (2 images=1 minute. 1 page = 1 minute.)

If you have collaborators you may include one work sample per person, for up to 3 collaborators:

Collaborator Work Samples

  • 1 minute of recorded audio
  • 1 minute of recorded video
  • 2 images
  • 1 page of double-spaced text or 1-2 poems
  • Combination of materials listed above: Please edit accordingly for no more than a total of 1 minute of reviewing time (2 images=1 minute. 1 page = 1 minute.)

Remember to test your work samples as you upload them. Please do not submit promotional materials, exhibition posters, event program, or published reviews as work samples. Do not include URL links to external websites or video hosting platforms.


Work Sample Descriptions

Provide a brief description explaining how the submitted work sample(s) relate to your proposal. Why did you choose them?

Include the following for each work sample:

  • Artist’s name
  • Title of the work
  • Date completed/premiered

If applicable:

  • Location/site of exhibition or presentation
  • Dimensions and medium of the work

Here’s what panelists will be thinking about as they review Stage 1 application materials:

Potential Impact to Artist
Does the application describe the potential impact to your personal craft and/or body of work in the narrative proposal details submitted?

Potential Impact to Artist’s Community of Practice
Did you clearly define your community of practice? Does the application describe how the proposed work will impact, reflect, or respond to your artistic discipline, audience, field of study, place-based community, or broader community?

Artistic Strength
Do the work samples you share reflect your distinct vision and originality? Does your work sample description convey a clear understanding of your craft—the techniques you use and the intention behind them—and commitment to artistic achievement?

When you’re ready to apply, click on the “Apply Now” button below. This will take you to a website called Submittable where you’ll submit the application materials described above.

Stage 1 application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Thursday, July 7, 2022.

CLOSED

Applicants will be notified whether or not their application will advance to Stage 2 no later than September 13, 2022.

Stage 2

All Stage 1 applications will be reviewed by a panel of independent arts professionals from communities throughout the state. Applicants whose applications are determined to be most competitive according to evaluation criteria will be invited to submit additional materials and move on to Stage 2 of the application process.

Applicants who advance to Stage 2 of review will be invited to submit additional information including a process map, an experience list, and an expense list. Panelists will review the application as a whole and convene for a public panel meeting to make final funding recommendations.

Process Map

Map the course of your creative process for this proposal by identifying 3 to 5 specific steps you will take during the funding period. These steps may include research, travel, activities or events, achievements, or anything else you will use to organize and track your artistic process and progress.

You will be asked to upload a 1-page Process Map (.jpg or .pdf) describing the specific steps you will take to complete your proposed work. You can provide a numbered list of steps, a timeline (with or without specific activity dates), a flow chart, drawing, sketch, other visual, or simply a written narrative.


Experience List

Provide 3 to 5 personal, professional, and/or community-based experiences you have engaged in within the past 5 years that are relevant to your proposal. You may include 1-2 experiences that took place more than 5 years ago so long as they are especially relevant to your current proposal.

Briefly describe how each experience has prepared you for the work you propose to undertake.

Collaborator’s Experience List (if applicable)

Provide 1 to 3 personal, professional, and/or community-based experiences that each of your collaborators engaged in the past 5 years.

Briefly describe how each experience is relevant to your proposal and has prepared your collaborators for the work you propose to undertake.

Please do not simply include a list of highlights or accomplishments from your CV or resume. Instead, include experiences that clearly demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skill set necessary to complete the activities you’ve proposed in your application.


Expenses List

List total eligible expenses (artist stipends, including your own artist stipend, materials, travel costs, equipment, space rental, production costs, documentation, marketing, rehearsal time, childcare, etc.) related to your proposal.

Please include expenses even if you are not seeking funding for them and tell us about any additional income in the Budget Narrative section below.


Grant Amount Requested

Indicate the grant amount you are requesting, between $3,000 and $5,000.


Budget Narrative

Describe anything in the expenses list that would benefit from additional clarification. For example, if your expenses exceed $5,000, please tell us how you will fund the rest of your proposed activities.

As you develop your application materials for Stage 2, consider that the panelists will be thinking about Stage 1 Application Materials and Evaluation Criteria in addition to the following:

Feasibility
Does the application demonstrate substantial evidence that the proposal will be realized within the funding period? Does the application include a reasonable expenses list for the scope and scale of your proposed activities? Do the process map and experience list provide evidence of your ability and capacity to realize your proposal? Are the experiences you describe relevant to the work you propose? Does the process map present a clear path to your goals?

Integrity of Proposal
Viewed as a whole, does your application demonstrate the integrity with which you approach your artistic practice and the community of practice you defined? Do your application materials demonstrate a commitment to high ethical standards and equitable professional practices in regard to proposed actions, values, methods, and goals?

Stage 2 application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Wednesday, October 13, 2022.

Applicants must be individuals and may submit only one application per year. Organizations are not eligible to apply. At the time an application is submitted, and the grant is awarded, an applicant must be:

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • not enrolled for more than three credit hours at a college or university;
  • and a resident of Arizona.

Recipients of the R&D Grant must wait 4 years to reapply and may receive a maximum of four (4) awards in their lifetime. This also applies to recipients of the previously-named Artist Research and Development Grant and previously-offered Artist Project Grant. Applicants who failed to submit a Final Report for a previous award are not eligible to apply.

This program does not fund the following:

  • Support for activities, or projects which would otherwise be eligible for another Arts Commission grant, such as: Career Advancement Grant; Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant.
  • Teaching artist residencies.
  • Documentation of existing arts projects.
  • Costs related to activities for which the applicant is employed or contracted.
  • Costs related to academic research or formal study toward an academic or professional degree.
  • Expenses incurred in the presentation of final work, such as self-publishing, promotion, catalogs published by the artist(s), exhibition expenses, and self-presenting. Such expenses may be one component of the proposal but cannot be the sole purpose of the requested funds.
  • Fundraising projects
  • Food and beverages for any purpose.
  • Scholarships, awards, and competitions.
  • Grant administration, overhead, or processing fees taken by an umbrella/parent organization.

This list is not comprehensive.

Kesha Bruce
Artist Programs Manager
Phone: (602) 771-6530
Email: [email protected]

Submittable Technical Support
(855) 467-8264, ext. 2
[email protected]
help.submittable.com

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 day after they occur.

June 15, 2022
5:00 – 6:00 pm

CLOSED

June 25, 2022
10:00 – 11:00 am

REGISTER

Information Session Recordings

The videos below were recorded in previous years. While the advice offered on the application process is still relevant, grant timeline dates stated in the videos are no longer applicable.

This information session was presented online on Thursday, June 15, 2022 and provides an overview of the Research & Development Grant application, eligibility requirements, and review process.

Grantwriting 101

Over the course of three sessions, previous R&D Grantees will share tips, tricks, and insights on crafting your best application.

Session 1: Proposal Narrative

Attendees will learn insider tips on crafting a compelling narrative that communicates who you are, what you do, and why it matters.

This session was presented on Thursday, June 10, 2020.

Session 2: Communities of Practice

Attendees will learn how to identify your communities of practice, tips for describing your community of practice in the R&D Grant application, and how thinking about your contributions to a community of practice can lead to more authentic and ethical engagement.

This session was presented on Thursday, June 17, 2020.

Session 3: Work Samples

Attendees will learn how to choose work samples that reflect your distinct vision; the best ways to convey the techniques you use and the intention behind them; and tips for putting your best foot forward and avoiding common mistakes.

This session was presented on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

Apr
6
Thu
Deadline: Festival Grant
Apr 6 @ 11:59 am – 11:59 am

Festival Grants support the presentation of quality arts and culture programming through festival activities, connecting artists and culture bearers (or their artistic work) with communities.

What does it fund?

Festival grants support in-person, virtual, and hybrid festivals.

For the purposes of this grant program, a festival is defined as a periodic celebration or gathering that…

  • happens in a condensed period of time,
  • features a varied and curated program of events, and
  • has an easily identifiable and unifying theme or specified focus.

Festivals eligible for Festival Grants must…

  • demonstrate a thematic emphasis on arts and culture in their programming,
  • last a minimum of one four-hour day, and
  • only span the duration of two consecutive weekends

Seasonal series of presented works, as well as freestanding productions or exhibitions, are not eligible activities for this program. Festival activities can include juried processes, but scholarships, pageants or standalone award ceremonies are also ineligible. Please see a more detailed list of ineligible expenses at the end of this document.

Award Amount

Applicants may request grant award amounts ranging from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000.

There is no cash match required for this grant opportunity.

Eligible applicants for Festival Grants include Arizona-based…

  • Nonprofit organizations* with tax-exempt status
  • Units of government (local or Tribal)
  • Local arts agencies
  • Tribal cultural organizations
  • University/college departments

*An unincorporated organization without tax-exempt status may apply through a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.

Grant funds may be used in the following categories:

Contracted Artistic Services and Artist Fees

Such as guest artist contractual fees including travel and lodging.

Production Expenses

Such as insurance, sound, lighting, and equipment rental and operation for the artistic project only.

Space Rental

Stage, space, or venue rental for the artistic project only.

Marketing/Promotion

Such as contracted graphic design services the purchase of advertising space and creation of digital and printed promotional materials for the entire event.

Accessibility Services

Includes closed captioning, interpretation, and translation services, visual enhancements, and listening guides.

Public Health and Safety Compliance

Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation services, and equipment/structuring to support distancing.

Digital Operations

Fees related to video live-streaming services, access to webinar and conferencing platforms, closed captioning, translation and interpretation services, and digital ticketing/event management systems.

Funds are delivered approximately 6-8 weeks after all necessary paperwork has been submitted by the grantee. This includes the award agreement, state W-9 and payment form.

Applicants are encouraged to do the following prior to beginning their application:

Request Accommodations

If you require accommodation in completing this application, or otherwise participating in the grant application process, please contact Organizational Programs Manager Brad DeBiase at [email protected] or (602) 771-6534.

Prepare Narrative Responses

You can type your proposal narrative or you can upload audio recordings of your responses. For each narrative question you will find a maximum word count (not character) and a maximum recording length. If you share your proposal narrative via audio recordings, keep it simple and to the point. Don’t worry about impressing the panelists with your recording technique, just make sure we can hear and understand you. All audio files must be uploaded as MP3 files (.mp3).

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. Click here to download a Word document version of the narrative questions.

Create an Account for Your Organization

In the interest of improving the user experience for applicants and reviewers, the Arizona Commission on the Arts has transitioned to a new submission platform this year. Prior to applying, all applicants will need to register their organization at https://azarts.smapply.io/. For instructions on registering your organization, visit our grantee resources page: https://azarts.gov/grants/applicant-resources/

 

When you’re ready, click/tap the “Apply 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.

CLOSED

The application portal will open on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.

Organization Information

  • Information collected in this section of the application is used for internal and reporting purposes only.
  • Organization name and (if applicable) DBA
  • Secondary contact info
  • ADA Coordinator contact info

Grants from the Arts Commission require compliance with the regulations of Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA Coordinator is the person who can answer questions about or facilitate requests for accessible programs and services; no special training or certification required.

  • Festival website
  • Nonprofit status (and file upload)

You will be required to upload an IRS determination letter OR a fiscal sponsor letter of agreement in the “Nonprofit Status” section. Units of government are exempt from this requirement.

Festival Overview

  • Festival name
  • One sentence description (150 words max)
  • Festival dates and times (or usual calendar placement)
  • Projected number of participants (or average annual attendance)
  • Organization mission statement (150 words maximum)

Festival Format

  • In-person
  • Virtual
  • Hybrid

In-person festivals that possess virtual components (e.g. livestreaming performances) would be considered “Hybrid”, and applicants should select the “Virtual” option if their festival activities will be produced and attended exclusively through digital platforms.

Narrative

  1. Describe your festival in its entirety. Be as specific as possible about the festival’s arts and culture programming and the artists and culture bearers who will be engaged. How are specific artists identified and selected, and what will participants gain, learn, and or access through the festival activities? (400 word limit, 4 minute audio limit)
  2. Provide an outline of your festival’s timeline, detailing your processes for planning, outreach, implementation, production, and post-production work. (300 word limit, 3 minute audio limit)
  3. What communities will you engage through your festival, and how? Please define these communities, considering “community” broadly, beyond simple age- or location-based groups. What demographics and sociocultural identities would you expect to be represented among festival producers, personnel, and participants? (400 word limit, 4 minute audio limit)
  4. Beyond ADA compliance, please describe how your organization will ensure that all festival programming, facilities, and venues are accessible to and support the participation of people of all abilities. (300 word limit, 3 minute audio limit) See the FAQ section below for additional details.
  5. Please describe how you will evaluate and define the success of your proposed festival activities. What methods will you use to assess community engagement, impact, public health and safety compliance, etc. (300 word limit, 3 minute audio limit)

Festival Budget

Grant Amount Requested

Enter the grant amount you are requesting. Applicants may request between $1,000 and $5,000.

Budget Form

The first column lists the Eligible Expense categories (see Eligible Expenses section above for the category list.)

In the second column, provide a brief description of your eligible expenses in each category.

In the third column, enter the dollar amount for each expense line. Estimates are permissible for the purposes of the application, but the more specific the better.

On the Income page, you will find preset income categories to outline the potential revenue sources supporting your festival activities.

Additionally, please thoroughly review the funding restrictions section below.

Budget Narrative

Please use this space to describe the festival budget, including eligible fees, any anticipated income, and any substantial in-kind support. This is your opportunity to bring your festival budget to life, as if you were explaining it to the grant review panel. You may also use this Budget Narrative section to explain how you have arrived at certain itemized dollar amounts. (300 words maximum, 3 minute audio limit) See FAQ for additional details.

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.

Quality Arts and Culture Programming

Application outlines a rich, thoughtful, and well-structured slate of arts and culture festival activities.

What the panelists will be thinking about: Does the application clearly describe the festival’s arts and culture programming and the artist/culture bearers who will be engaged? Does the application make a strong case for what it hopes to make available to festival participants and attendees and how? Does the application outline in detail the structure and timeline of the festival’s programming/activities?

Community Benefit

Application makes a strong case for how specific populations will take part in festival activities and planning processes.

What the panelists will be thinking about: Does the application define the communities the festival hopes to directly serve, interact, and engage with? Does the application clearly outline how this will happen? Does the application thoughtfully address access and participation for people of all abilities? Does the application explain how the festival attends to ongoing pandemic-related challenges?

Viability

Application demonstrates a strong project plan and appropriateness of budget.

What the panelists will be thinking about: Does the application demonstrate substantial evidence that the festival activities will be realized within the funding period? Does the proposed budget appropriately reflect the scope of work described in the application? Does the application clearly explain how project activities will be produced and delivered?

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.

This program does not fund the following:

  • Grantees that received Arts Commission funding in FY2022, but failed to file a final report by Monday, August 1, 2022.
  • Entities submitting an application for an FY2024 Creative Capacity Grant, Youth Arts Engagement Grant, or Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant (see FAQ for more information).
  • Applications submitted by businesses and for-profit organizations. School districts that would otherwise be eligible for Arts Learning grants.
  • An organization’s season or seasonal series of presented work.
  • Projects involving construction of facilities.
  • Debt reduction.
  • Food and beverages for receptions and hospitality functions.
  • Fundraising projects.
  • Scholarships, pageants or standalone award ceremonies.
  • Producing organizations to tour or present themselves.
  • Conferences, symposiums and the like.
  • Religious institution-led or religious group-sponsored projects not open to participation by non-congregants.
  • Religious institution-led or religious group- sponsored projects whose primary purpose is the religious socialization of individuals, or which exist as parts of religious sermons or services.
  • Equipment/capital expenditures.
  • Lobbying expenses.
  • College or university-sponsored projects not open to participation by the community outside the university setting.
  • Staff or board member salaries of the applicant organization.
  • Re-granting.
  • Indirect costs.
  • 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.
  • Any costs other than eligible fees.

This list is not comprehensive.

Additionally, according to the Arts Commission’s enabling statutes, “Notwithstanding 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 desecrating, 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.” Recipients of    Arts Commission support are further instructed to “take into consideration general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public” within funded programs.

  1. How can I be sure that my project is eligible for this program?

If you have reviewed the eligibility criteria listed earlier in this guidelines document and are still unsure if your festival is an appropriate fit for this program, we recommend that you reach out to the program manager to determine if your project is a good fit for the Festival Grant program. Arts Commission staff will provide consultation to determine if your proposed festival activities warrant submitting an application.

  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 – 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 Festivals Grant program in Fiscal Year 2023 may not apply for the Creative Capacity Grant program or a Youth Arts Engagement Grant that same year.

  1. What is meant by “a thematic emphasis on arts and culture” regarding programming?

While eligible applicant organizations may not have an expressly arts and culture-focused mission, eligible festival projects must include arts and culture programming as part of the festival’s main goals and objectives. Arts and culture programming must be centrally featured as part of your festival’s activities and should not be peripheral add-ons to the festival’s main emphasis.

  1. What is meant by “Beyond ADA compliance” in the fourth narrative question?

Applicants are encouraged to consider how their festival activities and venue create accessible programming beyond baseline needs related to physical mobility. How are intellectual, physical, sensory, and neurodivergent/cognitive needs being addressed for attendees of all ability levels and how is this reflected in your festival’s structure? Accessibility considerations may also attend to visual impairments, as well as bilingual services for printed materials.

  1. My festival utilizes a lot of in-kind volunteer support. How should I reflect this in our budget?

The Arts Commission recognizes the important role of volunteers at festival events. While you are not asked to itemize the dollar value of in-kind support in your budget, you are encouraged to discuss in your Budget Narrative how any substantial in-kind volunteer support helps offset other expenses and contributes to the overall viability of your festival. There are a variety of estimations regarding the dollar value of a volunteer work hour, and the Arts Commission suggests a range of $20.00 to $30.00 per hour based on your festival’s need for personnel and the scope of volunteer work. Please contact Arts Commission staff if you would like to further discuss how to account for in-kind support.

  1. My festival isn’t taking place until late in the funding period and we are still in a planning phase. Can we still apply for a Festival Grant?

Yes. If you are still in a planning phase for your festival activities and do not have certain specific details finalized at the time you are submitting your application, we advise that you offer insight as to how you are making your decisions, what your options may be for a particular unknown, and what your desired outcome(s) may be for items still in development. Offering a high level of detail surrounding your organization’s planning and decision-making will at least help a panel understand how your festival will likely come into existence even if certain logistics and details are still in development.

Applicant Resources

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.

Deadline: Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant
Apr 6 @ 11:59 am – 11:59 am

Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants support projects that foster meaningful arts learning experiences for adult learners of any age and/or intergenerational projects in community settings.


What does it fund?

Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants support projects that…

  • focus on learners across the aging spectrum,
  • occur in accessible community spaces, and
  • center arts learning practices.

Such projects should also…

  • provide opportunities for creative expression in safe and nurturing environments, and
  • utilize the assets of the community being served.

Projects may take place in…

  • arts venues,
  • community or senior centers,
  • residential facilities, and
  • other settings that serve adult learners of any age and/or intergenerational projects.


Arts learning projects feature sequential, hands-on learning through the arts to develop artistic skills, processes and creativity. Artistic and/or cultural discipline(s) may include, but are not limited to dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theatre, traditional and folk arts, and visual arts. Arts learning projects include specific objectives, outcomes and methods of evaluation that are well defined and relevant for the learners involved.

Award Amount

Organizations can request $5,000 to $7,500.

There is no cash match required for this grant opportunity.

Eligible applicants for Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants include:

  • Arizona nonprofit organizations* with tax-exempt status
  • units of government

See FAQ #1 in the FAQ section below for more information on eligible organizations.

*An unincorporated organization without tax-exempt status, may apply with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.

Application Limits

An organization may submit only one application per cycle and may receive only one Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant per fiscal year.

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 – 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. (See FAQ #7 for more information)

Additional Considerations for Teaching Artist

Individual teaching artists or arts organizations may be listed as partners on a maximum of three (3) funded arts learning grant applications (both Lifelong Arts Engagement and Youth Arts Engagement) in a given fiscal year. If the number of applications on which a given individual teaching artist or arts organization is listed as a partner in a single funding cycle exceeds the total number that may be funded for that fiscal year, they will be asked to advise the Arts Commission on which application(s) will be withdrawn from consideration. The Arts Commission requests that prospective applicants consider this restriction before applying.

Teaching artists are encouraged to seek out partnerships with eligible organizations or units of government. The entity you partner with will then serve as the direct applicant. When building a partnership with an organization, , or unit of government, make sure they are not applying to the Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant for a different project or to another grant program through the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Grant funds may be used for any of the following (this list is not comprehensive):

  • artist, consultant, and other fees
  • administrative costs related to the project
  • materials or supplies
  • in-state travel costs technology
  • documentation
  • evaluation

Grant funds cannot be used for any projects, or days of a project, that take place before the start date of the cycle in which they are submitted, and/or after the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2024). If your full project timeline starts before or ends after the funding period, you are still eligible to apply and should articulate the full timeline in your application, but should only request and use grant funds for project activities taking place within the funding period.

Cycle A

Application Due Date

April 6, 2023

Grant review panels convened

May 2023 (dates TBA)

Grantees notified

July 5, 2023

Funding Period

July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024

Cycle B

Application Due Date

September 14, 2023

Grant review panels convened

November 2023 (dates TBA)

Grantees notified

December 13, 2023

Funding Period

January 1 – June 30, 2024

Funds are delivered approximately 6-8 weeks after all necessary paperwork has been submitted by the grantee. This includes the award agreement, state W-9 and payment form.

Applicants are encouraged 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 the Director of Arts Learning, Elisa Radcliffe, by phone at (602) 771-6528 or by email at [email protected].

Prepare Narrative Responses

You can type your proposal narrative or you can upload audio recordings of your responses. For each narrative question you will find a maximum word count (not character) and a maximum recording length. If you share your proposal narrative via audio recordings, keep it simple and to the point. Don’t worry about impressing the panelists with your recording technique, just make sure we can hear and understand you. All audio files must be uploaded as MP3 files (.mp3).

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. Click here to download a Word document version of the narrative questions.

Create an Account for Your Organization

In the interest of improving the user experience for applicants and reviewers, the Arizona Commission on the Arts has transitioned to a new submission platform this year. Prior to applying, all applicants will need to register their organization at https://azarts.smapply.io/. For instructions on registering your organization, visit our grantee resources page: https://azarts.gov/grants/applicant-resources/

When you’re ready, click/tap the “Apply 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.

CLOSED

The application portal will open on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.

Organization/School Information

Organization/School information collected in this section of the application is used solely for internal and reporting purposes and will not be considered during the application review.

  • Organization/School Name
  • Organization/School Mission Statement
  • Secondary Point of Contact
  • Authorizing Official
  • IRS Letter of Determination (if applicable).
  • Fiscal Sponsor Letter of Agreement (if applicable).

Project Information

  • Project Title (10 word limit)
  • Project Summary (75 word limit)

Provide a brief snapshot of your project.

  • Proposed Start and End Date of Project
  • Partner Organizations (if applicable)

Please list any organizations that are collaborating on this project.

Narrative

Project Overview (300 word limit, 3 minute audio limit)

Provide a detailed description of your proposed arts learning project. This overview should help panelists understand the general outline for your proposed arts learning project. Focus on the who, what, where, and when of your proposed project. Include details of the arts learning project including what types of artistic disciplines will be at the center of the project, how long the program will be, how often the community of learners will meet and how long each class will be (e.g., The community of learners will meet weekly for eight weeks for 2 hours per week).

Community of Learners (300 word limit, 3 minute audio limit)

What specific population(s) of learners are central to this project? Describe their assets and what they bring to the project. (Review FAQ #2 “What is asset-based vs. deficit-based language?” for more information on definitions and best practices.) If your project requires a process of selection (i.e., an audition or application) and/or a cost to participate, how are you ensuring all learners can participate? Describe how the project is supporting all who are interested in participating. (200 word limit, 2 minute audio limit)

Integrity of Project (300 word limit, 3 minute audio limit)

How does the community of learners have a voice in the development and implementation of the project?

Project Team (300 word limit, 3 minute audio limit)

Who on your team, including teaching artists and/or partners, will lead this work? Describe their assets, qualifications, and what they bring to the project. Why are they a strong fit for the project and community of learners involved?

Project Learning Outcomes (200 word limit, 2 minute audio limit)

List three learning outcomes this project will achieve. Outcomes should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. If this is an ongoing project, describe how the project will build on or responds to previously conducted work.

Project Evaluation (200 word limit, 2 minute audio limit)

What method(s) will you use to evaluate how well the project achieved these outcomes? If there is previous evaluation work that has informed the proposed project, please share those results here.

Project Setting (150 word limit, 2 minute /audio limit)

Where is the work taking place? Describe how this location is accessible to the community of learners and why it is important to the proposed project.

Project Timeline Table

Use the table provided to create a detailed timeline for the activities that will occur within the proposed start and end date of the project. Activities can include planning the project, proposed project activities, and any evaluation or assessment.

Your timeline should convey a sense of the project’s arc from beginning to end. Note: while grant funds cannot be used for any project activities that take place outside the funding period of the cycle you are applying in, please articulate the full project timeline here.

Project Timeline Narrative (200 word limit, 2 minute audio limit)

The Project Timeline Narrative should correspond with and provide context for the Project Timeline Table. Be as specific as possible about how often and how long project activities will take place, along with proposed dates. Explain how your timeline will provide enough time to foster learning amongst the learners.

Project Budget

Grant Amount Requested

Enter the grant amount you are requesting for this project. Schools/organizations can request $5,000 to $7,500.

Project Expenses Table

In the first column, list all expenses related to the project.

In the second column, provide a short explanation of the expense.

In the third column, note what type of funding will cover the expense (LAE Grant, Other Grant Funds, Tax Credit, Cash, In-Kind, etc.).

In the fourth column, provide the monetary amount of each expense.

  • Please list only expenses related to your project. A full organizational budget is not needed.
  • Lifelong Arts Engagement grant funds can only be used for project activities taking place in the funding period (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024).

Additionally, please thoroughly review the funding restrictions listed on pg. 5 of these guidelines.

Project Expenses Narrative (200 word limit, 2 minute audio limit)

The Project Expenses Narrative should align with the Project Expenses Table. Be as specific as possible about the eligible expenses the Lifelong Arts Engagement grant would cover. This is your opportunity to bring your project’s expenses to life, as if you were explaining them to the grant review panel.

Other things to consider:

  • If your total project expenses exceed the grant amount requested, explain the additional funding sources you noted in the third column of the table.
  • If your project requires a cost to participate, explain how those fees will be used.
  • If your project starts before and/or ends after the funding period, explain how those expenses will be covered.

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.

Quality of Proposed Project

Application demonstrates a strong arts learning project and asset-based premise.

What panelists will be thinking about: Does the application clearly outline the important details of the project?

Integrity of Proposed Project

Application demonstrates an asset-based premise that centers the voice of the learners.

What panelists will be thinking about: Does the application articulate the specific assets and contributions of the community of learners and collaborators involved? Does the community of learners have a voice in the development and implementation of the project?

Potential Impact

Application centers expected benefit to learners.

What panelists will be thinking about: Are the objectives, outcomes, and methods of evaluation well defined and relevant for the learners involved?

Viability

Application demonstrates a strong project plan and appropriateness of budget.

What panelists will be thinking about: Does the application demonstrate substantial evidence that the proposal will be realized within the proposed project timeline? Do the expenses described appear appropriate to the proposed project?

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 arts learning specialist from communities throughout the state. 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.

This program does not fund the following:

  • Projects that take place during traditional school hours and seek to supplant arts programs, curriculum or arts educators.
  • Strictly field trip or performance-based activities. (See FAQ #3 for more information)
  • Producing organizations to tour or present themselves.
  • Support for individual professional development activities.
  • Support for projects which would otherwise be eligible for a Festival Grant.
  • Funding for insurance.
  • Food and beverages for any purpose.
  • Fundraising projects.
  • Awards and competitions.
  • Indirect costs.
  • Organizations and schools that received Arts Commission funding in Fiscal Year 2023, but failed to file a final report.
  • Applications submitted by for-profit organizations.
  • An individual may not apply to the Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant directly or as an individual with fiscal sponsorship.
  • 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.
  • Religious institution-led or religious group-sponsored projects not open to participation by non- congregants.
  • Religious institution-led or religious group-sponsored projects whose primary purpose is the religious socialization of individuals or which exist as parts of religious sermons or services.

This list is not comprehensive.

Additionally, according to the Arts Commission’s enabling statutes, “Notwithstanding 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 desecrating, 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.” Recipients of Arts Commission support are further instructed to “take into consideration general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public” within funded programs.

  1. What types of organizations can apply for Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants?
    Eligible organizations include: adult day centers, assisted living facilities, arts and cultural organizations, community-based service organizations, libraries, neighborhood centers, parks and recreation departments, retirement communities, rehabilitation centers, social service organizations, university/college departments and more. An organization without tax-exempt status, may apply with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.
  2. What is asset-based vs. deficit-based language? How can we address 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). Deficit-based language reinforces negative stereotypes and is not conducive to the type of arts learning this grant program seeks to support. It 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.
  3. Are field trips or strictly performance-based projects eligible for this grant?
    No. While a field trip or culminating performance may be a part of the project, it should not be the primary focus. This grant supports programs that seek to activate participant voices, narratives, and perspectives. It is important to articulate how a community of learners has a voice and agency in the development and implementation of the project. This grant values active participation over exposure or passive engagement.
  4. Can my organization apply for a Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant in multiple cycles?
    Organizations may only receive one Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant per fiscal year. For example, if an organization applies in Cycle A for Fiscal Year 2024 and IS funded, they may not apply again in Cycle B for that fiscal year. If the application is NOT funded, it can be resubmitted in the next cycle.
  5. Can my organization apply for a Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant and a Youth Arts Engagement Grant?
    No. Though an organization may be eligible for more than one arts learning grant program, the Arts Commission limits the number of applications which may be submitted by an applicant to one arts learning grant program within the same funding period. An applicant who applies to the Youth Arts Engagement Grant program in Fiscal Year 2024 may not apply for a Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant that same year.
  6. I’m an arts organization, am I eligible to apply directly and serve as a partner in another project?
    Yes. As outlined above, as a direct applicant an arts organization may only receive one Lifelong Arts Engagement grant per fiscal year. Those arts organization may still serve as a partner in a different project, but all applications, including the one submitted directly, count toward the total partner limit of 3 arts learning applications (both Lifelong Arts Engagement and Youth Arts Engagement) per fiscal year. This is to address the competitive nature of this grant program.
  7. My organization is eligible for other Arts Commission grants. Can I apply to those?
    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 – 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 Creative Capacity Grant program or the Festivals Grant program in Fiscal Year 2024 may not apply for a Lifelong Arts Engagement Grant that same year.

Applicant Resources

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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023
4:00pm – 5:00pm

REGISTER

Thursday, March 9, 2023
11:00am – 12:00pm

REGISTER

The following videos walk applicants through the key components of the applications for both Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants and Youth Arts Engagement Grants.

Applicant Guide: Narrative

Applicant Guide: Project Timeline

Applicant Guide: Project Budget

Applicant Guide: Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

Coming Soon…