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FY 2022 Public Art Building Communities (PABC) Grant Program

Grants to Washington, DC Artists, Arts Professionals, and Nonprofits
for the Creation and Installation of Publicly Accessible Works of Art

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/16/21 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to Washington, DC artists, arts professionals, nonprofit organizations, and business-improvement districts for the creation and installation of publicly accessible works of art. Applicants must arrange a hearing and solicit a letter of community support prior to applying. The purpose of this program is to connect artists and their artwork with local communities by providing project funding.

The Public Art Building Communities (PABC) grant program supports individual artists and organizations in their effort to design, fabricate and install new temporary or permanent works of public art that connect artists (and their artwork) with communities. 

For the purposes of this grant, public art is defined as artwork in a variety of media sited and installed onto locations that are accessible to the public (without cost) and in exterior (outdoor) locations free of encumbrances. Permanent public art is defined as existing for a duration of at least five (5) years (without regular maintenance), and Temporary projects must demonstrate duration of less than two (2) years with a deinstallation plan. Artwork must be sited and installed onto locations that are accessible and viewable from public space. Materials should be sustainable, low maintenance and protected by graffiti resistance coatings.

Examples of Public Art include, but are not limited to: sculptures, mosaics, artistic streetscapes, murals, paintings in outdoor plazas, mixed media, paving pattern, media/digital installations, landscape designed projects, custom benches, stained glass installations, and artistic arches, gates or railings. 

By making its PABC grant awards, CAH endeavors to:

  • Encourage the creation and installation of original high-quality public art works within the District of Columbia.
  • Develop meaningful opportunities to connect artists to communities.
  • Provide exposure and participation to the community in the public art making process.
  • Further learning or discovery opportunities that may be present through public art installations.
  • Support the creation of public art by DC resident artists.
  • Promote robust and diverse artistic expression that resonate with residents of the District of Columbia.
  • Contribute to the District of Columbia’s public art collection in the built environment.

For examples of allowable costs, see here:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179396

Estimated Size of Grant:

Award amounts vary:
- Individuals may request up to $75,000
- Organizations may request up to $125,000
- Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) may request up to $150,000

Term of Contract:

CAH grant funds must be spent within CAH’s Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 2022) (October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant Eligibility and Restrictions:

Individuals must (at the time of application):
- Be experienced artists or arts-related professionals (e.g., presenters, producers, and educators), over the age of 18.
- Provide a valid government-issued identification or tax return to demonstrate evidence of legal residency in the District of Columbia of at least one (1) year prior to the application deadline. DC post office boxes may not be used as a primary address.
- Maintain residency in the District of Columbia throughout the grant period.
- Be in good standing with CAH. Applicants with incomplete or delinquent reports from any prior funding program, as of October 15, 2021 (or otherwise as determined by CAH), are ineligible to receive additional funds from CAH in FY 2022.

Organizations must (at the time of application):
- Be incorporated as a nonprofit with a federally-designated tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code, as evidenced by an IRS determination letter that is dated at least one year prior to the application deadline date or be a recognized District of Columbia Business Improvement District (BID);
- Be registered with, and authorized to do business in, the District as either a “Domestic” entity (that is, an entity that was incorporated in the District) or a “Foreign” entity (that is, an entity that was incorporated in another state);
- Ensure that at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the organization’s activities occur within the District of Columbia;
- Have an active Board of Directors;
- Demonstrate a partnership with a visual artist to design, fabricate and install (deinstall if temporary) the proposed application work-of-art in a public space.
- Obtain certification of ”Citywide Clean Hands” (CCH) from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue;
- Be in “good standing” with CAH. Note: a CAH grant applicant that has failed, as of October 15, 2021, to comply with all applicable CAH-related mandates (e.g., failed to submit to CAH required reports related to prior CAH funding), is not in “good standing” with CAH and, accordingly, is ineligible to receive additional funds from CAH in FY 2022); and
- Have a principal business office address that is located in the District of Columbia, subject to on-site visit. (Note: CAH will not allow post office boxes or the addresses of board members or volunteers as evidence of the principal business address).

Performance art-based projects, previously created works of art and public art projects that previously received CAH funding are ineligible for funding in this grant program.

For Applicant Restrictions, see

For Unallowable Costs, see

Pre-proposal Conference:

DCArts Teletownhall | Grants for FY 2022
Friday, May 7, 2021 | 10 am — 12 pm via Webex (Click here to register:

Pre-Application Information:

Submission Deadline: Friday, July 16, 2021, 11:59 PM
Notification: Tuesday, October 1, 2021 (approx.)

Prior to application submission: All applicants must submit a letter of support from the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) in which the proposed project will be installed.
- Obtain an ANC letter of support by requesting a hearing before the ANC to present and discuss the final designs of the proposed project to neighborhood stakeholders. Please note that due to COVID-related restrictions, monthly meetings are being held virtually.
- Promote public awareness to community members with the goal of inviting members of the public to attend the ANC meeting and soliciting input on the applicant’s project. Applicant will distribute (electronic) flyers announcing the ANC meeting presentation date. Applicants are advised to communicate that funding for the proposed project is subject to a CAH grant award. Applicants can use their existing communication networks (newsletter distribution lists, community list serves, and social media) to inform the community about the project on the ANC agenda.
- Following this presentation and upon ANC approval of the project, applicants are required to obtain a letter of support from the ANC. Applicants must submit a copy of that approval letter with their PABC grant application by the deadline. Applicants are advised to plan early and contact the ANC for their meeting schedule and procedures.

Applicants may submit one (1) Public Art Building Communities (PABC) grant application per fiscal year cycle.

Applicants may not request or receive funding for the same activities through more than one CAH program or grant category. Multiple applicants may not apply for funding for the same scope of work, whether through the same or different grant programs.

CAH public art staff is available to assist grant applicants through group or individual technical assistance. CAH public art staff are available to review draft applications for thirty (30) minute appointments, on government business days up to one (1) week prior to the grant application deadline. Applicants should contact CAH to schedule a meeting by emailing Alissa Maru.

CAH does not accept mailed, emailed or hand-delivered copies of grant applications and/or their required attachments. However, CAH will accept reasonable accommodation requests from applicants with disabilities to submit grant applications via mail, email or hand-delivery. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Travis Marcus.

Individuals: The grant request is intended to cover the full cost of the project budget. If the total project budget exceeds the $50,000 grant maximum, you must demonstrate financial ability to complete the project. (IE sponsorship or non CAH grants)

Organizations/BIDs: the 1:1 match has been temporarily lifted (FY21 PABC only) except for the following circumstance:
• If the total budget is higher than the maximum grant amount allowed for organizations or BIDs respectively, the organization/BID is required to show their financial commitment to fund the difference to complete the project. In-kind contributions of goods and services and other CAH or District of Columbia government funds may not be used to satisfy the full cost of the project. CAH grant funds must be expended within CAH’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021).

Contact Information:

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

Register and apply online:

Staff Contact: Alissa Maru, Public Art Program Coordinator:

Travis Marcus: 202-724-5613 or

Government of the District of Columbia
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
200 I Street, SE, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 724-5613
Fax: (202) 727-4135
TTY: (202) 724-4493

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington, DC

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