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 advancing to the review panel.
Panel Review
Culture Works and MCACD will identify an independent review 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 the applications, supporting materials, and artistic samples in advance of panel discussions. It is their responsibility to review materials in advance.
Panelists will score applications in advance based on the criteria identified in these guidelines. The highest possible score an applicant can receive is 25.


Proposal Discussion and Scoring
During a public discussion, applicant scores will be shared with panelists. Panel members will discuss the scores and resulting ranking of the applicants. 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.


Ranking and Funding Recommendations
After scoring, a master list of all applicants will be ranked from highest to lowest regardless of program category and artistic focus. Funding recommendations will be made based on these ratings and the funding that is available.