Artist Opportunity Grant Criteria


All proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Artistic Merit: The professional capabilities of the applicant; the artistic strength, quality, vision, originality of the applicant’s work as demonstrated in the application, previous, work, and artist’s statement.
  • Work is of compelling artistic vision and singular voice
  • Work is inventive, imaginative, substantive in form and content
  • Work is self-reflective/critical, demonstrating internal development and willingness to take risks, as appropriate
Potential Impact of the proposed project to advance/further the applicant’s work/career.
  • Opportunity is unique and not a repeat of past experiences (i.e. is it juried selectively, time-sensitive, prestigious for the artist’s field, a “first” for the artist?)
  • Potential for the opportunity to facilitate subsequent creative work
  • Potential impact of the proposed opportunity on the professional development of the applicant, i.e. clearly defined, realistic, attainable goals based on the artist’s level of achievement.
Quality of Proposed Project: The artistic strength, quality, vision and originality of the proposed project.
  • Artist demonstrates an understanding and awareness of professional practice and standards in his/her field
  • Artist has demonstrated capacity to be self-directed and is well positioned to take full advantage of the opportunity the grant affords
  • Work is well-executed and well-produced, demonstrating control of craft/materials/production values and technique, as appropriate and clear intentionality of purpose
  • Work reflects awareness of the history and contemporary practice of its field and its relationship to both
Administrative Capability: The feasibility of the proposed project as determined by the applicant preparing and clearly articulating a logical, well-conceived project plan that can be reasonably executed, clear goals, and an accurate budget.
  • Professional resume, including education, artistic training, and level of achievement and/or evidence of commitment to personal artistic development as demonstrated through efforts to attain performances, exhibits, etc.
  • Artist has a history of active engagement in creating artwork and presenting it to the public, with a record of professional accomplishment appropriate to career stage
  • Completeness and clarity of the application. The reasonable likelihood that the project can be completed based on the itemized budget and proposed timeline. The grant cannot be the sole source of funding for the project. Other funds, regardless of the amount, may come from personal savings or income, other grants, gifts, etc. No specific dollar amount or percentage is required. However, personal investment by the artist demonstrates his/her commitment.
Public Benefit: The applicant seeks to increase access to and direct participation in high-quality arts and cultural resources that celebrate diversity and foster creativity within Montgomery County.
  • The applicant is actively involved in the arts and cultural community.
    The applicant has experience sharing his/her work through public exhibition/performances and plans to do the same with this project.
  • Applicant has capacity or is actively seeking to share through exhibits, performances, readings, marketing, local artist organizations, personal website, newsletter or advocacy.
  • Applicant has identified ways to share about this opportunity with the public.



All applications will be reviewed by staff for completeness and eligibility before being submitted to an independent grant panel for consideration.
Grant Panel
Culture Works and MCACD will identify an independent panel consisting of artists, arts administrators, educators, and community leaders who understand and have an appreciation for the careers and professional development of artists. Every effort is made to avoid conflicts of interest.
Panelists are provided online access to eligible applications, supporting materials, and artistic samples. Panelists review the applications independently and assign scores based on the criteria outlined above. The highest possible score an applicant can receive is 25.
Panelists then discuss eligible applications, assign final scores, and make funding recommendations at a public panel meeting.


Public Panel Meeting and Funding Recommendations
The panel meeting will be open to the public and will begin with introductions of everyone in the room. The audience will be given a brief overview of the grant review and scoring process.
Each application will be reviewed using the following process:
a) The first reader (discussion leader) will lead the panel in a general discussion of the application.
b) After all panelists have had a chance to comment, the panel facilitator will draw the discussion of the application to a close and each panelist will have an opportunity to adjust their scores if necessary.
When desired, panel members will be given the opportunity to review an artist’s application and/or documentation. This is done for clarification purposes. As a result of the panel discussion or further review of an applicant’s application or documentation, panelists may change their scores. Because materials will have been previously reviewed by panelists, they may or may not ask to review the same materials for every applicant.
After all applications have been discussed and final scores have been submitted, the panel will enter a closed session to review a master list of all applicants, ranked from highest to lowest regardless of program category and artistic focus. Funding recommendations will be made based on these rankings and the funding that is available.