Applications for General Operating Support: Sustaining for Large Groups are now closed.
About this grant
This grant offers two-year funding to support the day-to-day costs of arts organizations in their work of providing creative experiences with and for the people of Washington State.
Funding amounts: Applicants can request up to $12,000 split across two years for general operating expenses. If awarded, grant amounts may vary depending on panel recommendations.
- Application open: April 11, 2023 – May 23, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
- Notification of application results: August 11, 2023
- Funds distributed after expenses are incurred.
- This is a reimbursement grant, meaning that payments will be made after the grant recipient expends funds, and after expense documentation and invoice forms have been submitted to and approved by ArtsWA.
- Half of the award must be distributed in Fiscal Year 2024 (between July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024) and half must be distributed in Fiscal Year 2025 (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025)
- Two final reports due:
- Fiscal Year 2024 Final Report due July 31, 2024
- Fiscal Year 2025 Final Report due July 31, 2025
Applicants must have:
- A published mission that includes art and creativity as a primary focus.
- An annual operating budget over $350,000.
- Publicly accessible programming.
- At least one year of programming history.
- Be located in Washington State.
Applicants must be one of the following:
- 501(c)(3) nonprofit
- 501(c)(3)s should have current state corporate nonprofit status and current federal tax-exempt determination under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Local Arts Agency
- Local Arts Agencies are officially designated by a local government to provide art services to the public on behalf of the local government. Learn more here.
- Tribal Government
Who is not eligible?
- For-profit or religious organizations
- Government agencies, universities, colleges, academic departments, and K-12 schools
- Full list of what ArtsWA can and cannot fund as a state agency.
Gather your documents
- IRS Letter of Determination.
- Your organization’s annual operating budget. You can use this operating budget template if you need.
- Work samples of your past projects or programs. Work Sample Guidelines
Gather your identification numbers
- Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) from SAM.gov. Learn more about getting your UEI (SAM) here. For fiscally sponsored groups, we will need your fiscal sponsor’s UEI.
- IMPORTANT: As of April 2022, recipients of grants using federal funds are required to have an UEI number. The UEI replaces the DUNS Number. If you don’t have one yet, you should apply now. You may apply for this grant without one but cannot receive funds until you have a UEI.
- Federal Tax ID (EIN).
- Statewide Vendor (SWV) number. If you receive a grant, you will need to have an SWV number to receive payment from the state. Learn more about the SWV number here.
Draft your application
- Review “What’s in the application?” below to prepare your answers. We recommend drafting answers to the narrative questions in a Word document before applying in Submittable. Click here to download a word document version of the application (for drafting purposes only).
Apply in Submittable
- Organization and relevant staff contact information
- Legal status:501(c)(3), Local Arts Agency, or Tribal Government
- Your organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN), Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), and Statewide Vendor (SWV) number.
- Disclose if your organization or project has a conflict of interest with ArtsWA. This is for transparency only. You can read our full Conflict of Interest Policy here.
- Give a short, one-sentence description of your organization.
- Select the creative practices and the communities your programs serve.
- Narrative Question #1: Give a brief description of your organization’s programs. Things to consider: What programs are you most excited to provide in 2023-2025? What past programs do you consider your most successful? How did you know they were successful?
- Narrative Question #2: How does your organization engage people and encourage belonging? Things to consider: Who is your community? How do they access and experience your programs? How are your programs culturally relevant and responsive to the people you serve? Does your organization explicitly serve people negatively impacted by structural inequity*, and if so, how is your organization suited to serve your intended audience?
- *Structural inequity refers the widespread and long-standing negative impacts of historically exclusive or discriminatory institutional policies and practices. In the context of arts funding, governmental and private funders have historically designed grant programs for and uplifted European/European-American art for able-bodied, cis/straight groups, often in urban settings, for example. Learn more about the National Endowment for the Arts’ Equity Plan here. For a FAQ on Civil Rights for applicants and to ensure your organization complies, click here.
Operations & Budget
- Narrative Question #3: Briefly describe how your organization plans to sustain and operate through 2025. Things to consider: What are your organization’s goals for the next two years? Who is involved in creating those goals? How does your organization plan for sufficient funding through 2025? How does your organization ensure staff or volunteer capacity to carry out programs through 2025?
- Share a copy of your last completed annual operating budget.
- Share 3-5 Work Samples of your organization’s past programs. You may upload images, video, audio, or other documents in any combination. Work Sample Guidelines.
- Your organization’s IRS Letter of Determination. This is the document that confirms you have 501(c)(3) status. Does not apply to Local or Tribal Governments.
The panel will be considering the criteria below as they review your application:
- Creative Impact (20 points possible)
- Your programs reflect and support the organization’s mission. They provide meaningful opportunities for people to participate in arts experiences. They demonstrate a positive impact on your community and/or local economy.
- Public Benefit (40 points possible)
- Access: Your organization is engaging and accessible. There are focused actions that aim to increase access to your programs for communities negatively impacted by structural inequity.
- Relevance and Responsiveness: Your application describes responsiveness, relationship, and/or accountability to your organization’s community. Your organization is suited to serve your intended audience. Programs are culturally relevant to the people your organization serves.
- Organization Planning (40 points possible)
- Budget and Operations: Your organization’s budget and funding strategy is appropriate to stated programs and goals. Operations goals are appropriate to staff capacity.
- Inclusive Planning: Staff, artists, and community are meaningfully included in strategic planning. There is clear financial support for personnel. Programs include staff, artists, or contractors with relevant expertise for the art programming and communities served.
Screening for Eligibility: Staff will screen your application to make sure your application meets eligibility requirements.
Panel: All applications are reviewed and scored by a panel. Panelists help ensure that people from across Washington State are an integral part of distributing public money. After the application window closes, panelists representing a variety of geographic locations, creative fields, and backgrounds will review applications and make recommendations for funding to ArtsWA’s Board of Commissioners.
Board Approval: Recommendations will go to the ArtsWA Board for approval on August 2, 2023.
Notification: Notification of award or decline will go out the week of August 11, 2023. Awarded applicants can expect their contract and instructions on how to receive funds in the next weeks after notification. Learn more about managing a grant here.
Federally funded projects must be accessible to people with disabilities. You can use this accessibility checklist when planning your programs. You do not need to check all boxes to be eligible for funding; this is simply a worksheet and resource for your organization.
All applicants for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are required to certify that they are following the civil rights statutes that govern nondiscrimination in Federally assisted programs. For a FAQ on Civil Rights for applicants and to ensure your organization complies, click here.
Unsuccessful applicants can appeal in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 30.12.036, found here.
ArtsWA is the Washington State Arts Commission. The Washington State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts fund our programs. Grants are contingent on available state and federal funding. ArtsWA complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning civil and human rights. For more information regarding Washington State Arts Commission’s policies on Accessibility, Diversity, and Nondiscrimination, click here.
Word document version of application – for drafting purposes only
Ready to apply?
Applications must be submitted through our online grant platform, Submittable. Applications are accepted until 5:00 p.m. on May 23, 2023.