Arts Grant Program

The City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts—which administers the City's Art Grants—works in partnership with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts to invite and review applications from organizations and individuals. Support is awarded through a competitive grant evaluation process. Applications must be submitted through the online portal by the last Friday in February; mailed or hand delivered applications will not be accepted.

Page updated on Mar 28, 2019 at 2:29 PM

Office of the Arts Soliciting for Fiscal Year 2019 Creative Partnership Grant Proposals

The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts is soliciting for Fiscal Year 2019 Creative Partnership Grant proposals. The deadline for submitting online grant applications is Friday, April 12, 2019, 11;59 p.m. 

Creative Partnership Grants will be awarded up to $2,500, applicants will be required a 2:1 cash match.  Funding is for Alexandria nonprofit organizations or businesses to engage artists to create new art-centered projects in a variety of media which benefit the community.  Nonprofit organizations that have received a grant for Fiscal Year 2019 from the Office of the Arts are not eligible to apply. 

Project should completed either on or before September 30, 2019. To request a link for a community engagement click here.

Only online applications will be considered as eligible.  Online applications need to be submitted by Friday, April 12, 2019, 11:59 p.m.     

For additional information or questions, contact Cheryl Anne Colton, Regional Program Director, at 703.746.5565 or, or Diane Ruggiero, Deputy Director, at 703.746.5590 or, or visit 

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact or 703.746.5565, Virginia Relay 711.

dances around the world    family art night dad and son 2

Office of the Arts - Arts Grant Program 

Fiscal Year 2020

Since 1985 the City of Alexandria has been funding local arts grants to help ensure access to quality arts programs and events for its residents and visitors.  The Office of the Arts staff are stewards of the Arts Grant program. Annually, a Grant Task Force is established, comprised of Arts Commissioners, arts administrators, and grant professionals. The Task Force reviews and scores the eligible grant applications.   

The amount of grant funding is based on the annual budget.  Please be sure to review the grant application and guidelines carefully before applying.

Arts Grants Goals

  • To strengthen Alexandria's creative capacity by providing its residents with diverse opportunities to meaningfully engage with the arts;
  • To improve the capacity and stability of Alexandria-based arts organizations to create, perform, and present works of artistic excellence and innovation through organizational support and program funding;
  • To create a vibrant urban environment by supporting diverse individual artists, organizations, and other entities in the creation, performance, and presentation of high-quality works of art across the City of Alexandria. 

Eligibility Requirements

Review Before You Begin the Application, review the Arts Grant Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions.

City agencies, employees, or volunteers (defined as any agency under the direct control of an elected official, or which reports directly to the City Manager), may not apply for an Arts Grant; they may only play a supportive role in a program proposed by an organization or group. 

How to Apply:

The online grants portal will be live on the Friday, February 1, 2019. Online applications must be submitted by the March 29, 2019.  Mailed or hand delivered applications will not be accepted. There will be no exceptions to this policy.


Application for Operating Support

Applications are accepted from 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organizations. 
Grants made through this category are up to $10,000 and shall not exceed 25% of the "cash" operating budget; a cash match 1:1 is required.
Organizations may only apply for one grant (Operating Support or Program Support)

Operating Support grants provide unrestricted operating funds for Alexandria-based nonprofit arts organizations’ regular programming activities and administration.  (Fiscal Year 2020 will be the final year of Operating Support grants).           

             Word Doc: Operating Support Application 

             Request Link for Operating Support Grant application

Application for  Program Grants 

Applications are accepted from 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organizations.
Grants made through this category are up to $10,000 and shall not exceed 50% of total program budget; a cash match 1:1 is required.

Organizations may apply for only one grant (Operating Support or Program Support).

Program grants support an ongoing or short-term arts program performed or presented in the City of Alexandria to substantially engage or benefit the residents of the City of Alexandria.           
Word Doc: Program Application

          Request Link for Program Grant application.

NOTE: To save time and minimize errors, applicants are urged to review the preview application and budget forms before completing the online submission form. Applicants should consider using a word processing program to compose their responses to grant questions and when ready, cut and paste the drafted responses into the online application form.  

Applicant Funding and Reporting Responsibilities



A 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organization is awarded $5,000 from the City of Alexandria for a programs that is estimated to cost $12,000. The program now has $10,000 in funding—$5,000 from the City and $5,000 that must be raised by the organization as a "match." Acceptable "match" funds may include but  are not limited to

  1. donations from individuals,
  2. ticket sales,
  3. general operating budget, and
  4. foundation support.

The arts organization must indicate on the final report how it raised the "match" of $5,000 and the sources of the funds, i.e., $2,000 from ticket sales and $3,000 from donations from individuals.

No in-kind donations of volunteer time, goods, or services can be applied towards the match. The cash match must be met prior to submitting a Final Report, but no later than June 12, 2020.  Other funding from the City of Alexandria such as, but not limited to, the Alexandria City Public Schools, Department of Community and Human Services and  other City  Departments, cannot be used for the cash match.  

Additional Responsibilities All Grantees

  •  THE GRANT CONTRACT: The approved application form represents an agreement between the City of Alexandria and the applicant. The applicant will comply with all conditions set forth in the application form and any other documents furnished to the applicant related to the grant. Every recipient of a grant is required to respond in a timely manner to all requests for information required by the Office of the Arts. Two signatures will be required for the application and certification forms, preferably from the board treasurer and president.
  • CONDUCT OF THE GRANT SUPPORTED ACTIVITY: Activities that receive an arts grant from the City of Alexandria shall take place within the dates for which the grant was awarded, unless otherwise approved by the Office of the Arts.
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT: All grant recipients are required to credit the Office of the Arts and the City of Alexandria and use approved logos when appropriate, for its support in all appropriate printed public relations materials relating to activities supported by the Arts Grant program. 
  • PARTICIPATION IN LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL ARTS STUDIES: During the grant period, the Office of the Arts may request grantees to participate in local, regional, or national arts studies. The studies may be related to, but are not limited to: audience spending, organization management, or facility usage. All grantees are required to participate in these studies.
  • FINAL REPORTS: At the completion of the project a Final Report is required. Grant recipients must submit a final report within 30 days after the completion of the project/activities, but no later than required deadlines. If an applicant fails to complete a satisfactory final report form or has an outstanding final report form or issue from a previously-awarded grant, the applicant will not receive a grant for the next grant cycle, even if the grant has been awarded.
  • All grantees must submit program performance information as part of their request for funding in Fiscal Year 2020, and an articulation of how they advance the goals of the Arts and Culture Plan for the City of Alexandria. 

The Grant Process

  • Application Submission: The grant application is the document upon which recommendations and decisions to award financial support will be made. The application consists of:
    1. a completed application form, with appropriate attachments, signed by a representative of the organization/individual authorized to act on behalf of the applicant;    
    2. work samples and documentation of previous arts activities.
  • The completed application must be completed online grants portal by the stated due date above. No exceptions. 

  • Staff Review: Office of the Arts staff reviews each application for completeness and eligibility. The Office of the Arts staff then prepares all eligible applications for review by the Grant Task Force. 

  • Grants Task Force: A Grants Task Force—comprised of Arts Commissioners, artists, community members, and patrons—review all relevant applications submitted for review by the Office of the Arts and completes a standardized scoring sheet for each application. The Grants Task Force will meet to discuss and finalize their recommendation for funding consideration. This meeting will be open to the public. Applicants are invited, but are not required to attend the Grants Task Force meeting. The Office of the Arts staff facilitates the Grants Task Force meeting.  
  • Funding Guidance: The Grants Task Force does not provide a funding allocation, but rather scores each application utilizing the criteria rubrics.  Scores received by Grants Task Force are considered final. —Funds are awarded to applicants are based on the percentage of scores as the formula.  Applications scoring  below 75% will not be recommended for funding.

  • Changes to Programs/Activities: Applicants are required to notify the Office of the Arts of any additional substantial changes in its program(s) and other activities in writing prior to such a change that represents a reduction or reductions in the organization's program(s), project(s) and other activities. The requested changes must be approved in advance by the Office of the Arts.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Applications are reviewed by a Grants Task Force comprised of Arts Commissioners, Artists, Community Members and Patrons.The Grants Task force evaluates each application based on the guidelines and criteria specific outlined in the score sheets for each grant program.  Score sheets will be noted below when available: 
  • FY 2020 Operating Support Grant Score sheet
  • FY 2020 Program Grant Score sheet

Fiscal Year 2020 Grant Workshop and Webinar Opportunities:

The Office of the Arts will conduct a series of grant workshops and webinars to assist interested applicants in preparing their grant applications.  New applicants - arts organizations and artist(s) - along with applicants who have not submitted an application in the past 2 years are required to attend. If they do not attend, they will be considered as ineligible.  Due to changes in the granting process, other applicants are urged to attend these free workshops and webinars. 

Grant Workshops/Webinars

Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St:

Thursday, February 7, 6 p.m.

Monday, February 25, 7 p.m.  

Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m.  

Friday, March 15, 11 a.m.

 Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St.

Tuesday, February 12, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., Durant Arts Center, 1108 Jefferson St.

Registration for the webinars is required.  Log-in information will be sent upon registration. Send registration request to 

The Fiscal Year 2020 Grant Workshops/Webinars PowerPoint presentation is available here to review.  If questions about this presentation, call or email Cheryl Anne Colton 746.5565,

Key Dates for the Fiscal Year 2020 Arts Grant Cycle

  • Friday, February 1: Applications go live
  • Monday, March 18: PLAN AHEAD: Last day to request unique URL link to online application 
  • Friday, March 29: Applications due
  • April 1 - 5: Staff review applications for completeness
  • April 6-May 5: Fiscal Year 2020 Task Force review and scoring
  • Monday, May 6: Grant Task Force meeting, Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson Street (NEW DATE/LOCATION)
  • Tuesday, May 21, 7 p.m.: Alexandria Commission for the Arts receives funding recommendation, 1108 Jefferson Street (NEW LOCATION) 
  • July: Award letters sent   

Information or Assistance

If you have questions about the City's Grant Program review the "Fiscal Year 2019 Frequently Asked Questions."  If applicants have additional questions, need assistance, or wish to inquire about available workshops/webinars, please contact anyone at the City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts, or email  If reasonable accommodations are needed, please call Cheryl Anne Colton, Regional Program Director, (703) 746-5565; TTY (703) 838-4902.  

Fiscal Year 2019 Grant Recipients