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FY19 Curatorial Grant Program (CGP)

Grants to Washington, DC Individual Curators
for Visual Art Exhibitions for Public Audiences

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/27/18 4:00 PM EDT


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Grants of up to $25,000 to Washington, DC artists and arts professionals with prior curatorial experience to develop and present visual art exhibitions. In addition to cash funding, this program provides access to a contemporary exhibition venue. The purpose of this award is to benefit District residents by presenting compelling exhibition concepts of resident curators.

CAH is soliciting grant applications from qualified individual visual arts curators for exhibition proposals intended for presentation in CAH’s 200 I Street Galleries, lobby gallery located in a District-owned goverment facility at 200 I (Eye) Street, SE Washington, DC, 20003.

Two (2) exhibition proposals will receive grants for curation and installation during FY19 (see schedule below). This grant is competitive with funding authorized from Neighborhood Arts Projects – Curatorial Grant Program.

Applicants may only submit one (1) proposal and must indicate which of the two exhibition dates (below) they are available. (Applicant may indicate one or both periods.)

By making these Curatorial Grant awards, CAH endeavors to meet the following goals and an applicant’s submission should offer consideration to these goals:
-Provide curators residing in the District of Columbia with a public exhibition space accessible to diverse audiences and provide grant funding to facilitate presentation of curatorial ideas.
-Provide the opportunity to develop innovative and educational art exhibitions with high artistic, cultural and/or conceptual merit for presentation in public space.
-Increase awareness of, and access to, unique exhibitions and programs for District residents who may not otherwise be regular museum or gallery visitors.
-Further CAH’s tenets of I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) through the expansion of CAH grant opportunities and public programming.
-Encourage the presentation of exhibitions that incorporate participation from emerging and underrepresented District resident artist(s) who may not otherwise have the opportunity to exhibit regularly in the District or metropolitan area.

Successful CGP applicants shall, in their respective grant applications:
-Present a visionary idea with a clearly defined curatorial concept that speaks to a chosen theme or focus. Proposal should clearly communicate the curator’s reasons for selecting participant artists and explain how their selected artworks relate to the theme and to each other.
-Provide a comprehensive detailed description of all aspects of the exhibition, including the art selection, installation and de-installation processes, public programming, marketing, and educational print material (including explanatory wall text and/or printed collateral materials).
-Each phase of the project must also be outlined within a timeline that includes all steps in the execution of proposed exhibition, including educational components and all programming events.
-Include artworks of consistent quality when evaluated in comparison with other artworks proposed for the exhibit. Images of all selected artwork including sketches of prospective newly commissioned artworks are required documents.
-Include renderings of the exhibition as designed for installation in the I Street Galleries that utilizes gallery images provided in Addendum A to illustrate the exhibition layout.
-Provide a detailed budget of all projected expenditures involved in the presentation of the exhibition and programming.
-Describe the curator’s public engagement plan while taking into account the specific gallery open hours, Monday-Friday (9am-6pm).
-Specify the type(s) of technology that may be required to present aspects of the exhibition and/or programming. Specification takes into account the locations of the electrical outlets in the I Street Galleries.
-Consider accessibility from various perspectives, including but not limited to language, physical ability and age.
-Reflect grant program goals, in response to each question. All questions must be answered thoroughly answered and submitted with all mandatory documents uploaded prior to the submission of the application.

Program Specifics include:


Two- and three-dimensional works including, but not limited to prints, drawings, mixed media compositions, paintings, photographs, ceramics, video works and sculptures in the round can be accommodated within the CAH Gallery. Both pre-existing works and commissioned works for this exhibition can be intermixed as the curator deems appropriate. However, sketches of works that have not yet been created are required at the time of application submission. Final works that deviate from the original sketch are subject to review and may be disapproved if the difference is deemed substantive and deviates from the proposed exhibition theme. A site visit to CAH’s gallery at 200 I (Eye) Street is highly recommended when considering prospective artwork for inclusion as well as for familiarity of the exhibit space. Artwork must be able to load-in through the front entrance (site visit required to obtain entrance dimensions) and works greater than 100lbs must be pre-approved for load-bearing capacity (for walls and floor). Curator(s) must utilize the exhibition space in its current state, requiring no additional construction or lighting.

Installation and Deinstallation:

Coordination of the exhibition installation by an insured professional art handler, installer and/or artist(s) is the responsibility of the Curator(s). CAH will assist Curator(s) with access to the gallery. Security clearance is required for access to the gallery due to its location within a District-owned building. All artwork should be labeled on the back or bottom with the artist name, artwork title and contact information. If sculpture in the round requires a pedestal, it is the curator’s responsibility to procure plain white matte pedestal(s) of appropriate size with grant funds. CAH will not be held responsible for any failures of the pedestal to adequately support the work. Installation and deinstallation must take place during gallery hours.

Gallery Hours for Installation/De-installation of Exhibition:
-Monday to Friday, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm Gallery Hours for Public Viewing of Exhibition:
-Monday to Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Weekend hours are not available due to the security restrictions of the District office building.

Examples of “Allowable Costs” Related to the CGP Grant:
-Curatorial fee (not to exceed 20% of budget);
-Artist fees/artistic personnel (for work specifically commissioned for the exhibition, including site specific works). To ensure fair compensation, curators can consult national standard pay schedules for artists and arts professionals. A source to consider for this information is linked here;
-Equipment, technological resources, materials, supplies and services directly related to the fabrication, installation and/or de-installation of exhibited artwork;
-Methods of exhibition presentation (framing, pedestals, wall text and labeling, staging, etc.);
-Delivery and return of artwork (shipping/transportation between the CAH gallery and place of origin);
-Programmatic expenses (opening reception and other activities, such as artist talks and/or closing reception to be held at the CAH gallery);
-Space rental for storage of exhibition;
-Consultants related to the exhibition;
-Travel directly related to exhibition project implementation; and,
-Documentation of the exhibition and supporting programming (video, still, printed catalogue).

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access:

CAH believes that all District residents should be able to access arts and humanities experiences for their benefit. To facilitate this vision, CAH has adopted a cultural equity policy known as I.D.E.A. (inclusion, diversity, equity, access). By incorporating I.D.E.A. across grants programs, CAH seeks to help grantees develop programs that are inclusive of diverse populations and provide equitable accessibility to those populations.

In addition to detailed plans for its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.), each applicant must demonstrate how the project will be inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible throughout the District of Columbia, beyond participants with disabilities. Successful applications will consider a broad definition of “accessibility” by addressing financial, geographic, demographic, cultural and developmental access.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182451

Estimated Size of Grant:

Individuals may request up to $25,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period is from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. CAH restricts a grantee’s grant-funded activity expenses that are beyond the grant period.

Applicant may only submit one (1) proposal and must indicate which of the two exhibition dates (below) they are available. Applicant may indicate one or both periods.

Spring Exhibition: April 15 to May 24, 2019 (with installation from April 8 - 12, 2019 and de-installation from May 27 - 31, 2019).

Summer Exhibition: August 5 to September 13, 2019 (with installation from July 29-August 2, 2019 and de-installation from September 16-20, 2019).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Individuals may apply having met the following eligibility requirements at the time of application:
-Be artists or arts professionals (e.g., presenters, producers and educators), aged 18 or older;
-Be legal District of Columbia residents for at least one (1) year prior to the application deadline, and must intend to maintain primary residency during the entire funding period (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019);
-Have a permanent District of Columbia land address, as listed on legal identification and tax returns. The address provided on all application materials must match exactly the address provided on the submitted IRS W-9 form. Post office boxes cannot be used as a demonstration of the applicant’s primary address;
-Be in good standing with CAH, which is demonstrated by the applicant’s complete or non- delinquent reporting due to CAH from any prior CAH funding program, as of 4:00 pm on Monday, October 15, 2018. Applicants in poor standing are ineligible to apply and therefore, receive any additional grant award (in any category of grant funding) from CAH in FY 2019; and,
-Abstain from any use of a secondary party that acts on its behalf (“fiscal agent”) in the performance and execution of financial duties.

Exhibition Requirements and Parameters:
-Curators shall not include their own artwork in the exhibition.
-Artwork should adhere to general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public consistent with The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act, as amended in 1990. Representations of nudity, sexual conduct, violence, and overt political agenda will be assessed for appropriateness by CAH with respect to the gallery’s location within a District government facility. Children and families are regular visitors of the building and should be considered by curator(s).
-Curators must provide proof of insurance of at least $2 million in general liability coverage and/or exhibition insurance riders, to cover any potential personal injury or loss/damage of the artwork during the installation, exhibition, and deinstallation periods. CAH is not responsible for any damage, theft or photography of work by gallery visitors. Visitor photography outside of the opening reception is strictly prohibited and will be enforced to the extent possible by building security.
-Curators are solely responsible for planning, promoting and hosting an opening reception and other exhibit-related programs, such as artist talks or closing reception, if desired. Those plans must be clearly outlined in the proposal, and if application is selected, those plans are subject to final approval by CAH. Only for receptions or exhibit-related programs will CAH consider a modification or extension of the building hours. Proposals may indicate preferred time for reception(s) or exhibit-related programs. CAH will provide building policies and procedures.
-Obtain certification of “Citywide Clean Hands” (CCH) from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue.
-Be in good standing with CAH. (Note that applicants with incomplete or delinquent reports from any prior funding program, as of October 15, 2018, are ineligible to receive additional funds from CAH in FY 2019).
-Curators are required to provide documentation of artists’ consent to participate in the proposed exhibition at the time of submission.
-Content, photographs, permissions and writing of accompanying exhibition catalogue must be submitted for CAH review prior to distribution.
-Curators are responsible for implementing communication strategies for the exhibit. Curators must coordinate with CAH staff regarding all public relations, promotions and any media interviews in advance and throughout the exhibition. CAH must review all promotional materials prior to any public distribution.
-Curators shall ensure that CAH has the right to use exhibition-related images for any promotion or archival purpose that it may require. Although images of the artwork and installation shots of the exhibition are subject to CAH use, images will not be replicated for commercial use under any circumstance.

Applicant Restrictions (non-eligibility):
-Individuals that require “fiscal agents;”
-Non-District residents;
-Nonprofit organizations;
-For-profit (commercial) entities;
-Tax-Exempt organizations other than 501(c)(3) designated entities;
-Private foundations;
-Civic organizations;
-Political organizations;
-Foreign governments;
-Colleges or universities;
-District of Columbia Government and Federal Government agencies, including DC Public Schools;
-Organizations submitting an application whose content is combined with the application of another organization. Proposed projects must be “stand-alone” projects.

Examples of “Unallowable Costs” Related to the AHEP Grant:
-Food and beverages (inclusive of receptions and programs);
-Sub-granting or re-granting of funds from CAH;
-Tuition and scholarships;
-College tuition expenses;
-Funds that are provided to universities, service organizations, foreign governments or District of Columbia government agencies, including DC Public Schools.
-Costs related to fundraisers and off-site special events; and
-Travel or other expenses not directly related to executing the proposed exhibition.

Pre-proposal Conference:

CAH staff members are available to assist grant applicants through group or individual technical assistance. CAH staff members will not write applications for applicants. However, CAH staff members are available by appointment (up to thirty (30) minutes) to review application drafts on government business days from application release date through one (1) week prior to the grant application deadline. Applicants may contact CAH at (202) 724-5613 to schedule an application review meeting.

CAH conducts free workshops for participants to learn useful information about the agency’s funding opportunities and how to submit a grant application. Workshop dates, times and locations listed below are subject to change. All workshops are free and open to the public; however, participants are strongly encouraged to register to attend the workshop. Valid photographic identification is required to enter DC government offices.

Workshop calendar may be found here:

Pre-Application Information:

All applications must be submitted online by 4:00 PM EDT, Friday, July 27, 2018.

CAH will notify applicants of this grant program as to the results of their application by Monday, October 1, 2018.

Key Dates:
-Release Date: Monday, April 30, 2018
-Application Deadline: Friday, July 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm ET
-Grant Period: October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019

Contact Information:

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

Grant Application Portal:

Zoma Wallace

Government of the District of Columbia
Commission on the Arts and Humanities
200 I (Eye) Street, SE, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20003

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington, DC