• NOTE: Organizations applying for Project Grants may not apply for General Operating Support grants.


    To facilitate new and innovative art projects or services that engage the community and that have the potential to advance cultural presence, awareness and connections.

  • Description

    Project grant funds assist with the production of high quality creative arts activities, the creation of new work, operating support for new and emerging arts organizations, the expansion of successful arts programs, and services to the field. Projects can be in any artistic discipline and on any scale. There is a 1:1 required cash match for the grant. The Commission will not support the same project for more than three years.

  • Deadline

    Online application due March 2, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. for projects taking place between July 1, 2020, and June 15, 2021.
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  • Eligible Applicants

    This grant program is open to any Virginia not-for-profit organization, unit of government, or educational institution presenting the arts. These grants are designed to engage the community and encourage collaboration among other organizations with innovative artistic concepts. Each department of a college or university is considered to be a separate applicant.

    NOTE: Organizations receiving General Operating Support are not eligible for Project Grant funding. Project grant applicants may not apply for a regular General Operating Support grant in the same fiscal year. Generally, the Commission will not support the same project for more than three years.
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  • Eligible Activities

    • Commissions of new works of art
    • Operating support for new and emerging arts organizations (whose primary purpose is the arts, which have applied for 501©3 designation of the Internal Revenue code, are incorporated in Virginia, are five years old or less, and had a previous year’s income of less than $125,000)
    • New or expanded performances or exhibitions
    • Services to artists and arts organizations, such as research studies, shared administrative and/or technical services, professional development workshops, and shared promotional materials


    • General operating support or annual budgets for established organizations are not considered projects and are ineligible
    • Applications from colleges/universities should be for activities not otherwise available in the community
    • Projects from colleges that are primarily for academic credit are not eligible
    • Commission grants to any established arts organization in one year will total no more than 30 percent of that organization’s income for the previous year. Most grantees receive much less than 30 percent of their income in Commission grants.
    • Applications for Projects involving PreK-12 Students or adults, with identified learning goals, must be filed under the Artist in Education Program

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  • W-9 Form Requirement

    All organizations applying to the Virginia Commission for the Arts are required to provide a W-9. Download a W-9 form, HERE.

  • DUNS Number Requirement

    All applicants must include their DUNS number when applying for a grant. Obtaining your DUNS number is a free, straightforward process. For more information, click here.

  • Amount of Assistance

    Generally, the grant amounts will be between $1,000 and $5,000. Applicants may submit more than one application for a combined total of no more than $5,000 and must provide at least a one-to-one cash match of the requested grant. The Virginia Commission for the Arts will not grant more than 50% of the cash costs of any project.
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  • Criteria for Evaluating Applications

    • Artistic quality of the proposed project
    • Extent to which the proposed project meets the needs of the community
    • Management and cost effectiveness of the proposed project

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  • Fiscal Agents

    A not-for-profit, tax-exempt Virginia organization or government unit may act as fiscal agent for a Project Grant request by an individual or organization that is not tax-exempt or not incorporated in Virginia. The fiscal agent must sign the application and, if a grant is received, is legally responsible for the completion of the project and for the proper management of the grant funds. The Commission requires that a fiscal agent have a written agreement with the individual or organization that will actually administer the project, to avoid misunderstandings. The Commission requires a signed copy of the written agreement between the two parties as part of the application. The fiscal agent may not have a staff member affiliated with any of the project, either as an employee or in a policy making role such as serving on the board of directors.
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  • Application Review/Payment Procedure

    • Applicants submit the online information requested by the Commission each year. The Commission staff is available for consultation on applications, and to review drafts of applications until February 1, 2020. If assistance is needed, contact the Commission office at least four weeks before the deadline. Organizations planning to apply to the Commission should put the panelists and Commissioners on their mailing lists.
    • Applicants must complete and submit the online application by the deadline. NO EXCEPTIONS.
    • The Commission staff reviews each application for completeness and eligibility. Incomplete or ineligible applications will not be reviewed and will be returned to the applicant with an explanation.
    • Copies of the applications are sent to the members of the regional advisory panel.
    • The panelists independently review each application prior to the panel meeting.
    • The advisory panel meets with at least two members of the Commission staff. Commissioners will attend the panel meeting as observers. Applicant representatives may attend the panel meeting as observers but may not make a presentation to the panel. The panelists make their recommendations after group discussion. Names of Commissioners and advisory panelists, as well as dates and locations of Commission and the panel meeting, are available from the Commission office and on the Commission website. Applicants are encouraged to invite the panelists and Commissioners to their arts events for the public in advance of the panel meeting. Applicants are encouraged to attend the panel meeting.
    • Following the panel meeting, the Commission staff makes a recommendation on each application.
    • The board of the Commission then reviews the recommendations of the panel and staff and takes final action on the applications.
    • Applicants are notified of Commission action by email. The appeals process for applications not awarded funds can be found in the appeals section of the guidelines.
    • The Commission will generally pay 85 percent of each year’s grant amount by August 15th. The final 15 percent will be paid within 30 days after the Commission receives the final report on the grant. The Commission reserves the right to use an alternative payment schedule in special circumstances. Final reports must be submitted within 30 days of the completion of the project and no later than June 1st.

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  • Application and Final Report Forms