The Virginia Commission for the Arts builds and strengthens the cultural infrastructure through supporting Virginia’s individual artists, arts entrepreneurs, businesses and institutions.
The Virginia Commission for the Arts serves as a responsible steward of the public trust and the Commonwealth’s expressed mandate to “protect, conserve and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources”.
- General Operating Support Grants
To assist organizations of artistic merit in fulfilling their missions by providing funds to maintain their stability and encourage their advancement, these grants provide general operating support to Virginia arts organizations to continue, strengthen, and expand their programs.
- Technical and Organizational Development Assistance Grants
To assist arts organizations in improving their artistic quality, community service, or management, these grants are designed to provide outside help for arts organizations on particular problems. The Commission staff will help organizations find the appropriate consultants or workshops for their needs, if requested.
- Project Grants
To increase access to high quality arts for all Virginians; to increase opportunities for artists to
create and present their work; and to expand arts education opportunities for young people,
this grant program is open to any not-for-profit organization, unit of government, or educational
institution presenting the arts. Generally, the Commission will not support the same project for
more than three years.
- Local Government Challenge Grants
To encourage local governments to support the arts, The Commission will match, up to $5,000, subject to funds available, tax monies given by independent town, city, and county governments to arts organizations. The money, which does not include school arts budgets or arts programming by parks and recreation departments, may be granted either by a local arts commission/council or directly by the governing board.
- Performing Arts Touring Assistance
To increase opportunities for Virginians to experience high-quality performing arts events, This grant program supports touring by Virginia performing artists and ensembles within the state. The touring activities are restricted to those listed in the Commission's annual Tour Directory. Any not-for-profit organization meeting the Basic Eligibility criteria can apply to receive a touring assistance grant to support these activities. Grants are made to the presenter, not to the touring artist(s). Touring artists apply to be listed in the Tour Directory with a set dollar amount reserved to support their touring as outlined below. To be eligible for funding, performances must take place in Virginia but outside of the performer’s home base. Any activity underwritten with Commission touring assistance funds must be open to the public, and the presenter must provide community-wide publicity. Elementary and secondary schools, senior living facilities, correctional facilities, and hospitals are exempt from this Commission requirement.
- Artists in Education (PreK-12) Grants
To provide opportunities for young people throughout Virginia to participate in and learn about the arts by working with high quality professional artists, these grants provide elementary and secondary students and teachers opportunities to work with professional artists either in a school setting or through after-school or summer activities. These grants support educational programs in the arts that enhance arts instruction in the school curriculum. In addition, the grants will support the training of professional artists to work with
elementary and secondary students.
- Artist Fellowship
To recognize the creative excellence of individual Virginia artists and to support their pursuit of
artistic excellence, A limited number of fellowships are available to professional creative artists living in Virginia. Funding in this category is highly competitive. In past years less than 10% of the applicants have
received funding. Specific arts disciplines will be eligible for support each year on a rotating basis, depending upon the amount of state and federal funding available to the Commission. Artists should confirm with the Commission staff the categories to be funded each year.