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Creative Communities Program (CCP) Grants - Arts Education

Grants to Wisconsin Nonprofits and
Schools for K-12 Arts Education Projects

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Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB)

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Deadline Date:

02/01/18 3:00 PM Electronic Receipt and Postmarked by Date


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​​​​​​Grants ranging between $1,500 and $6,000 to Wisconsin nonprofit community groups and schools to promote high-quality arts educational experiences for K-12 students within the state. Initial applications are due January 26. Consideration will be given to a range of projects, including artist-initiated projects. Applicants will have the opportunity to select artists of their own choosing.

The goals of the Arts Education Component are:
-To involve students and teachers in the exploration of the creative process of the selected art form;
-To provide broad cultural and geographic access to quality arts experiences; and
-To assist and support artists working in arts education, and arts educators.

The Arts Education component provides funds to schools and/or community organizations that bring in professional or traditional artists to work with K-12 students.

Examples include:
-Traditional residencies;
-Short term artist visits;
-Assembly programs;
-Teacher workshops;
-After-school or summer school projects; and
-Projects that encourage arts organizations and schools to work together to develop necessary and/or innovative programs that enhance the established curricula, for the benefit of the students. For example, a local symphony’s members could teach string instrument lessons at schools that have no string program and no available resources to establish one.

General Requirements for the Creative Communities Program:

Project Definition:

All proposals must involve a specific project.

​​​​​A project is a collaborative endeavor that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim within an identified community, and is either:

a) not more than three years old (this means that the project itself must have been in existence for less than three years, not that the project has received WAB funding for less than three years)​​


b) a newly expanded dimension of an existing project (this means that the grant application must be for support of those new elements).

A project should be distinct from the organization's regular, ongoing programs/services.​

​Examples of Eligible Activities:
-​​A community center presents a series of participatory arts activities for adults and/or youth.
-A neighborhood organization organizes a summer arts festival.
-A school plans a three week artist residency wherein the artist (a potter) works with students in their chemistry class, their world history class, and their literature class, as well as in the art studio.
-A local museum or historic society programs performances and workshops on and with local folk and ethnic heritage arts and artists.
-A heritage organization develops a focus on foodways as a new theme for their annual festival.

Articulating the Public Value of Creative Communities Grants:

​If awarded a grant, the grantee organization agrees to tell its legislators about the value of state and federal investment in the arts to the community that the grantee serves. Please note: This validation will occur in the form of education, not lobbying. To do so, the grantee will:

-Send a letter to the organization’s State Representative, State Senator, and the Governor describing specifically how this Creative Communities grant has allowed the organization to provide a valuable activity in the community it serves. Keep a copy of these letters in the organization’s files.
-Send personal invitations to the organization’s State Representative and State Senator to attend, participate in programming, or interact with audiences and staff of the organization. Keep a copy of these invitations in the organization’s files.

Please note: The above requirements help educate legislators and do not constitute lobbying. Grantees should call Arts Board staff with any questions about this distinction.

Public Service Activity Requirement:

Section 44.56 of the Wisconsin Statutes requires that each Arts Board grant recipient perform a public service. The public service should increase the public’s awareness of Wisconsin’s artists and artistic resources, artistic cultural heritage, the economic impact of the arts, the importance of formal K-12 arts education for our children, or the importance of life long learning in the arts.

To fulfill this requirement, organizations must:
-Make a public announcement of the activity that reaches the largest possible number of community members
-Ensure that the activity relates clearly to the project supported by the Creative Communities grant
-Conduct the activity within Wisconsin in a public facility that is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Public service activities include, but are not limited to the following: an exhibition, a performance, a publication, a lecture/demonstration, a workshop, a residency, or a media presentation. A fee for admission or publication may be charged.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150486

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants will range from a minimum of $1,500 to a maximum of $6,000. A 1:1 match, half of which must be cash, is required from the applicant for these funds. (The amount of the grant request cannot be more than half the overall budget of the project.)

Term of Contract:

Awarded projects may begin July 1, 2018.

Each Arts Board grant recipient perform a public service no earlier than July 1 and no later than June 30 of the fiscal year for which the grant is awarded.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations that fulfill the general eligibility requirements are eligible to apply. This may include public or private K-12 schools or community groups. Artist-initiated projects are welcome, provided applicants fulfill the general eligibility requirements.

In addition to the activities listed below​, the following are examples of projects not funded through the Arts Education component:
-O​operating expenses of existing, recurring and annual school programs; e.g., a spring concert or school play; or
-Projects restricted to private participation, including classes held in artist, company or private studios.

Basic Eligibility Requirements:

​​​The following conditions must apply for an application to be eligible for funding through the Creative Communities grants program:
-The applicant is the most appropriate sponsor for the proposed activities;
-The applicant (or its fiscal receiver) must be incorporated in and conduct business in Wisconsin in order to apply for support;
-The applicant must have been doing mission-related work for three years prior to application;
-The project or activities must benefit the general interested public and demonstrate community participation in the program planning; and
-The project must be either less than three years old (this means that the project itself must have been in existence for less than three years, not that the project has received WAB funding for less than three years) – or be a new, expanded activity that is distinct from regular, ongoing services.

​Note: Applicants may apply to only one component within Creative Communities per year. Applicants may apply to either the Creative Communities program or the Creation and Presentation program per year.

In addition to the above, organizations must meet one of the following conditions to be eligible for this program:
-​The applicant must hold tax-exempt status from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
​-The applicant must be part of a larger nonprofit institution, or a unit of state or local government including public K-12 schools; or
-If none of the above are applicable, applicants may apply using a separate nonprofit organization as a fiscal receiver. Refer to the Fiscal Receiver definition in theGlossary of Terms at the end of these guidelines.

For Colleges, Universities, and Units of Tribal or Local Government including Public Schools: The Arts Board does support projects that fall under the auspices of these organizations, provided those projects involve the local community in planning, execution, and participation. These applicants must demonstrate that the project reaches the general public in addition to an academic audience. This can be shown through financial support from sources beyond the school such as local corporations, businesses, individuals and foundations; through its audience/participant evaluation statistics; through board, advisory or steering committee composition that includes community members; etc. No administrative fee for this grant may be charged to the grant or to the program’s budget by the university/college/school.

If an applicant can show it has applied for, but not yet received a DUNS number prior to the Arts Board’s application deadline, the Arts Board will accept its grant application for review pending receipt of that number. Please note: Dun and Bradstreet sales people may follow up and seek to sell their products and services to your organization. Applicants are under no obligation to purchase anything; this is simply standard procedure on their part.​

In general, the Arts Board does not fund the following nor can the match for Arts Board funds be used for these expenses:
-​​​Capital equipment (items costing more than $5,000 with a useful life of more than one year) or capital expenditures, e.g., renovation of existing facilities;
-Benefit/fundraiser activities;
-Prizes or awards;
-Deficits incurred from past activities;
-Individual tuition;
-Activities for which academic credit is given;
-Out-of-state travel;
-Hospitality expenses, i.e. entertainment, refreshments or food at receptions, parties, gallery openings;
-Activities that have already been completed by the beginning of the grant period;
-Activities that have a religious purpose;
-General operating expenses;
-Curriculum expansion;
-Activities not open to the general public (Activities conducted in public schools are considered to be public).

Pre-proposal Conference:

A phone-in Q&A session for Phase 1 applicants is scheduled for January 25, 2018, 12:30 PM. Attendance is not required.

A second phone-in Q&A session will be held for Phase 2 eligible groups only. The session is scheduled for February 28, 2018, 12:30 PM.

Pre-Application Information:

The applicant must match each dollar of Arts Board support.

For Arts Organizations: A Federal Identification Number, assigned by the Internal Revenue Service, and a DUNS number are required before a grant can be made. Please allow 6 weeks (30 business days) for a number to be assigned via the internet at no cost.

​Applicants submit their Phase 1 applications by February 1, 2018 at 3:00 PM.

Arts Board staff reviews Phase 1 applications to determine compliance with basic eligibility requirements.

Panelists receive copies of the Phase 1 applications to review and rank according to the evaluation criteria noted in the Phase 1 guidelines.

Panelists determine the minimum rank score that is required for an applicant to be invited to submit a Phase 2 application.

WAB invites eligible applicants on February 19, 2018 to begin a Phase 2 application in eGrant.

​It is mandatory to apply to the Arts Board online using the eGrant system. Applicant organizations that have never filled out an eGrant application in the past must register by creating an eGrant account. To do so, please contact Dale Johnson via email or phone at 608/264-8191.

Application calendar for FY19:
-January 25, 2018: phone-in Q&A for Phase 1, 12:30 PM (not required)
-January 26, 2018 – Applicants that have not previously applied to WAB’s Creative Communities program notify the Arts Board of their intent to apply.
-February 1, 2018: DEADLINE - Creative Communities Phase 1 application deadline, 3 pm
-February 19, 2018: Eligible applicants receive invitation to continue into Phase 2
-February 28, 2018: phone-in Q&A for Phase 2, 12:30 PM (Phase 2 eligible groups only)
-March 21, 2018: DEADLINE - Only applicants that received the panel's invitation to apply to Phase 2, submit eGrant application and Dropbox materials, 3:00 PM. This is also postmark deadline for hard copy.
-April 2018: Separate panels meet in Madison to review applications to the Arts Education, Folk Arts and Local Arts components.
-May 4, 2018: Wisconsin Arts Board meets to consider recommendations from panels
-July 1, 2018: Awarded projects may begin

Peer review meetings are held at the Wisconsin Arts Board’s office in Madison and are open to the public. All applicants are encouraged to attend. The Arts Education meeting is scheduled for April 12, 2018.

Arts Education Program Guidelines:

Project Definition:

Basic Eligibility Requirements:

Public Service Activity Requirement:

Phase 1 Application Process:

Phase 2 Application Process:

Using a Fiscal Receiver:

Glossary of Terms:


DUNS Number Information:

eGrant Help:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Phone-in Q&A:
-Dial toll-free 1(888) 291-0312
-Access Code: 8928952#

Complete a Phase 1 Application (no eGRANT registration required):

Dale Johnson​

Karen Goeschko, Assistant Director for Programs & Services

​Kaitlyn Berle, Folk and Traditional Arts Specialist

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin