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Arts Grants Program

Grants to Alexandria, Virginia Arts Nonprofits
for Projects and General Operating Support

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City of Alexandria - Office of the Arts and Commission for the Art

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Grants of up to $7,500 and grants of up to $12,500 to Alexandria, Virginia nonprofit arts organizations to support arts programming and projects for the benefit of the local community. New applicants are required to attend a workshop or webinar. Workshops and webinars take place during January and February. All applicants must request a link to the application by February 19.

Applications are accepted from nonprofit organizations that demonstrate artistic excellence in presenting artistic and cultural programs that include: music, dance, literature, theatre, the visual arts, and/or combinations thereof.

Operating Support grants provide unrestricted operating funds for Alexandria-based nonprofit arts organizations’ regular programming activities and administration.

Program grants support an ongoing or short-term arts program performed or presented in the City of Alexandria to substantially engage or benefit the residents of the City of Alexandria.

Arts Grants Goals:
-To strengthen Alexandria's creative capacity by providing its residents with diverse opportunities to meaningfully engage with the arts;
-To improve the capacity and stability of Alexandria-based arts organizations to create, perform, and present works of artistic excellence and innovation through organizational support and program funding;
-To create a vibrant urban environment by supporting diverse individual artists, organizations, and other entities in the creation, performance, and presentation of high-quality works of art across the City of Alexandria.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168365

Estimated Size of Grant:

Operating Support: Grants made through this category are up to $12,500 and shall not exceed 20% of the "cash" operating budget.

Program Support: Grants made through this category are up to $7,500 and shall not exceed 50% of total program budget.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are accepted from 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organizations.

For Operating Support Grants:
-Must have as its primary mission the exhibition, presentation, production or performance of, and/or education in, an arts discipline;
-Must have been in existence as an incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization for three years prior to applying for a grant;
-Must be an arts organization based in the City of Alexandria; evidence of this claim will be a City of Alexandria address on the organization’s IRS 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax;
-At least 50% of the organization’s public artistic activities must have been held in the City of Alexandria during the last year and at least 50% are projected to be held in the City of Alexandria for the grant year;
-Must be able to provide (as part of the application) a minimum of one full year of financial history completed prior to the grant deadline;

For Program Grants:
-Must have as its primary mission the exhibition, presentation, production or performance of, and/or education in, an arts discipline;
-Must have been in existence as an incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization for one year prior to applying for a grant, or have provided evidence that the organization has applied for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status;
-All program activities for which the organization is seeking support must take place in the City of Alexandria and must include substantial participation from or benefit to the City’s residents;
-Must be able to provide (as part of the application) a minimum of one full year of financial history completed prior to the grant deadline;

City agencies, employees or volunteers (defined as any agency under the direct control of an elected official, or which reports directly to the City Manager, may not apply for an Arts Grant; they may only play a supportive role in a program proposed by an organization or group.

Not Eligible:
-Applicants in default of payment to any agency of the City of Alexandria.
-Applicants that do not complete the grant application in full, or fail to supply information or documentation when and where required.
-Applicants that, during either of the last two fiscal years, failed to complete the ACA-funded program/project according to the terms of the grant application, without full permission and consent of the Commission.
-Applicants that failed to complete a final report form or have an outstanding final report form or issue from a previously-awarded grant from the Commission.
-Applicant’s grant request is for an event or activity not considered by the Commission to be an artistic event. (Note: An ethnic festival, as defined by the City of Alexandria, is not considered to be an artistic event, however artistic activities included in, part of, or sponsored by an ethnic festival may be eligible for project grants.)
-Colleges, universities and libraries may not receive grants for arts.

Not Funded:
-Activities intended to influence, either directly or indirectly, the actions of any public official or body, elected or appointed, on any existing or proposed legislation.
-Activities restricted, entirely or substantially, to the membership of the organization.
-Activities completed prior to the beginning of a granting period.
-Activities that take place outside the city limits of Alexandria.
-Activities associated with a school’s internal arts programs such as in-school student performances, the purchase of art supplies, or cash awards for student arts competitions and purchases of publications
-Capital expenditures associated with improvement in facilities and/or purchases of equipment in excess of $1,000.
-Expenses related to reduction of accumulated deficits or debts.
-Expenses related to fund-raising events.
-Expenses related to social functions, whether an integral part of the project funded by the Commission or not.
-Expenses associated with cash awards, prizes, tuition, or to purchase gift cards.
-Programs or projects those are essentially rehabilitative or therapeutic in nature.
-Programs or projects designed to achieve goals that are primarily political, religious or social.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Office of the Arts will conduct a series of grant workshops and webinars to assist interested applicants in preparing their grant applications.

New applicants - arts organizations and artist(s) - along with applicants who have not submitted an application in the past 2 years are required to attend. If they do not attend, they will be considered as ineligible.

Due to changes in the granting process, other applicants are urged to attend these free workshops and webinars.

The free workshops and webinars will cover topics such as, but not limited to:
-Drafting narrative responses
-Preparing budgets
-Organizing and choosing attachments
-Navigating the online portal

Grant Workshops:
-Thursday, January 25, 2018, 12 p.m. (noon): Charles E. Beatley Library, 5005 Duke St.
-Monday, February 5, 2018, 7 p.m.: Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St.

-Monday, January 8, 2018, 7 p.m.
-Friday, February 2, 2018, 8:30 a.m.
-Thursday, February 15, 2018, 11 a.m.

Webinars are live and held at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St.:

Registration for the webinars is required. Log-in information will be sent upon registration. Send registration request to Cheryl Anne Colton (see contact details below).

Pre-Application Information:

A 1:1 cash match is required for all grants.

The online grants portal will be live on the Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Online applications must be submitted by the last Friday in February; mailed or hand delivered applications will not be accepted. There will be no exceptions to this policy.

Key Dates for the Fiscal Year 2019 Arts Grant Cycle
-Tuesday, January 2: Applications go live
-Monday, February 19: PLAN AHEAD: Last day to request unique URL link to online application
-Friday, February 23: Applications due
-February 26-March 2: Staff review applications for completeness
-Friday, March 2, 9:30 a.m.: Fiscal Year 2019 orientation for Grant Task Force
-Monday, April 9, 8:30 a.m.: Grant Task Force meeting
-Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m.: Alexandria Commission for the Arts develops funding recommendation,
-May: City Council Approves Fiscal Year 2019 City Budget
-July: Award letters sent

Contact Information:

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

Request link for Operating Support Grant Application:

Request Link for Program Grant Application:

Cheryl Anne Colton
(703) 746.5565

TTY: (703) 838-4902

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Virginia: City of Alexandria