Arts Learning

Grant Guidelines

For activity occurring between July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012

Electronic Application Only. Submission Deadline: 10 pm, May 2, 2011

Before you begin an application, first review these guidelines.
Click the log in with the button to the left to create a profile or enter your existing log in information.
Then select "Current Programs and Applications" to begin.

Oregon Arts Commission: Values Statement
The arts and culture are touchstones of community and civic life and it is essential to preserve,
stabilize and develop their central role to benefit Oregonians and Oregon’s quality of life.

The Oregon Arts Commission believes:
• Art brings people together, strengthening communities.
• Art is critical for our students.
• Art adds value to Oregon's economy.
• Art is fundamental to a healthy society.

The Commission's role is:
• To lead through advocacy, policy development and planning.
• To seek funding for and make grants to arts organizations and artists.
• To build coalitions and encourage collaborations among the public and private sectors, arts and culture organizations and artists.
• To ensure the arts touch the lives of all Oregonians.

To ensure that:
• Oregonians have wide access to the arts.
• Oregon arts organizations across the State have the skills and resources to offer high quality programs.
• Public and private support for arts and culture is increased and leveraged.
• Oregonians have access to quality arts learning opportunities.
• Oregon artists are supported in creating work of acknowledged high quality.

Purpose of the Grants for Arts Learning
Grants for Arts Learning support projects that:
• Expand opportunities for children and youth to participate in and increase their skills, understanding and knowledge of the arts.
• Provide professional development opportunities so Oregon’s teaching artists, arts professionals, and teachers have increased capacity to teach the arts.
• Advocate for the arts as basic to the education of children and youth in grades pre-K–12.
• Support teaching and learning in and about the arts in K-12 schools and communities.
• Promote the arts as an integral part of K-12 education.

Requests for Grants for Arts Learning may include support for the following:
• Regional or statewide work with schools and communities to develop, implement and deliver substantive arts education programs for students and teachers;
• Advocacy work and networking among teachers, artists, students and communities to make the arts an integral part of learning.
• Clearinghouse services providing information about research, programs, services and issues in arts education.
• Professional development for teachers including institutes, conferences and workshops.

While the focus of Arts Commission support is arts education projects within schools, meaningful co-curricular or extracurricular activities also are important. These can take place as part of an extended school day or other after-school program, during vacation periods, and in cultural organizations.

Funding Priorities
In selecting applications for Arts Learning funding, the Arts Commission gives priority to regional and statewide arts learning program providers who offer a variety of the above services on a sustained basis. The most competitive proposals from discipline-based arts groups will provide students with depth of experience, link program plans and desired outcomes to Oregon curriculum standards, and offer unique or specialized services in a community or region.

Priority for funding will be given to applicants that offer sustained and substantive arts education programs for students and teachers rather than single events or stand-alone activities.

The Oregon Department of Education offers an online summary of Oregon’s content standards.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria for Grants for Arts Learning funding:
• have IRS 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status;
• have corporate, non-profit status in the state of Oregon;
• operate within a mission statement that describes the arts as the primary purpose of the organization;
• have been in existence for a minimum of two years;
• be current with all reports if a prior Oregon Arts Commission grantee.

Individual public, private, and parochial schools may not apply, but may be included in a grant proposal as a participating partner.

Access Compliance
Any entity that provides services to the public must certify that it complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42, USC Sec. 12101, et seq. and agrees not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, marital status, political opinion, familial status, national origin, age, gender, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, military status, gender identity and source of income or disability status. The Arts Commission provides assistance to Oregon arts groups on issues of access. Contact Shannon Planchon, Assistant Director, (503) 229-6062 or, for information or assistance. TDD assistance is available at (800) 735-2900.

Grants for Arts Learning will not fund:
• Capital construction;
• Tuition assistance for college, university, or other formal courses of study;
• Projects that have already been completed;
• Events whose primary focus is to raise funds for a non-arts purpose.

Review Criteria
The following criteria will be used to evaluate Grants for Arts Learning applications:

Organizational Capacity (25 points) The applicant’s ability to initiate programs and manage and sustain the organization; key accomplishments in arts learning throughout the organization’s history; skills and capacity of paid professional staff.

Quality of Services and Outcomes (40 points) The degree to which the applicant has assessed arts learning capacities in the region or discipline(s) to be addressed or served. How the proposed programs/plans address the demonstrated arts education needs and issues in the areas served. How the proposed programs and activities are linked to Oregon’s content standards in the arts. The degree to which the applicant demonstrates the use of quality professionals and resources to accomplish goals.

Evaluation (20 points) How the applicant measures achievements in arts learning as well as program progress and impact. The degree to which the applicant clearly states the desired outcomes of the proposed activities and outlines a plan for measurement, including the use of evaluation findings.

Resource Development (15 points) Resources and/or partnerships that have been developed to support and sustain the arts education services proposed and/or delivered.

Scoring Guide
The following scoring guide will be used to evaluate Grants for Arts Learning applications:

High Scoring Application—
(100-66 points)

Mid-Level Scoring Application—
(65-33 points)

Low Scoring Application—
(32-0 points)

Organizational Capacity—

(25 points possible)

• Applicant clearly identifies resources (financial and otherwise) to sustain programs for the long term.
• Applicant demonstrates significant accomplishments in arts learning programs and service delivery.
• Paid, professional staff is highly qualified and organization is appropriately staffed to manage programs.

• Applicant demonstrates some ability to initiate programs and appears sustainable in the future.
• Applicant demonstrates some level of accomplishment in arts learning.
• Paid, professional staff has a reasonable level of skill, but applicant lacks some FTE to manage programs .

• Applicant does not demonstrate ability to initiate programs or sustain the organization.
• Unable to determine applicant’s accomplishments in arts learning.
• Applicant lacks qualified, paid, professional staff members, or has insufficient FTE to manage programs.

Quality of Services and Outcomes—

(40 points possible)

• Applicant clearly and specifically defines the needs of the region served by the applicant.
• Proposed project realistically addresses defined needs.
• Outline of project is clearly articulated.
• Project is aligned with specific Oregon curriculum standards.
• Highly qualified personnel deliver services.
• Applicant clearly demonstrates ability to achieve stated outcomes.

• Application identified regional needs broadly, but lacks clarity.
• Additional assessment is required to determine benefits of proposed project.
• Project lacks specificity.
• Project is vaguely connected to Oregon curriculum standards, but connection is weak or not compelling.
• Personnel are moderately qualified, but need additional training.
• Applicant’s ability to achieve outcomes is questionable.

• Application does not articulate regional needs or lacks adequate assessment of those needs.
• Unable to determine alignment with Oregon curriculum standards.
• Proposed activities are not connected to defined needs.
• Qualifications of personnel cannot be determined from application.
• Applicant fails to demonstrate ability to achieve stated outcomes.


(20 points possible)

• Evaluation plan clearly and thoroughly addresses achievement, progress and impact.
• Project outcomes are clear and aligned with evaluation tools.
• Specific plan for use of evaluation findings is stated..

• Evaluation plan addresses achievement, progress and impact, but is somewhat general in scope.
• Project outcomes are stated, but not well aligned with evaluation tools.
• Evaluation findings will be minimally used, if at all.

• Evaluation plan does not effectively measure achievement, progress or impact.
• Project outcomes are not clearly stated or are unrelated to evaluation tools.
• No plan for use of evaluation findings can be determined from the application.

Resource Development—

(15 points possible)

• Meaningful partnerships sustain and enhance proposed project.
• Sufficient resources and multiple funders clearly support project over the long term.

•Applicant demonstrates some level of resource development, but on-going support of the project is uncertain.
• Partnerships lack depth or collaboration.

• Applicant does not demonstrate sufficient resources or partnerships to sustain the proposed project.

Grant Amounts
The Arts Commission will award a variety of grants at differing levels depending on the scope and nature of the proposed arts learning project. Grants for Arts Learning will generally range from $4,000 to $15,000. There are limited resources, and not all eligible applicants will receive funding.
Application budgets should include all administrative, personnel, and program costs, with the exception of capital expenditures.

Matching Requirements
Oregon Arts Commission grants must be matched at least dollar-for-dollar with earned, contributed or in-kind support. The most competitive applications typically show some amount of cash match committed by other funders.

All applications for Grants for Arts Learning must be submitted electronically online.
Applications for FY12 funding must be submitted before and no later than 10:00 p.m., May 2, 2011.

The application must be completed electronically on-line. It is best to type your answers in a word processing program, then save as a text file to limit the amount of file corruption. Character counts vary from software to software, so be aware that an answer may be cut off if the count is exceeded. You may print a PDF as you go along to check your work. The application will be evaluated based on the text that prints on the PDF. You must save every page before you move on to the next, or you will lose information and data.

Technical Assistance
Assistance from the Arts Commission staff is available to applicants. Contact the Oregon Arts Commission office at (503) 986-0082 or with questions. Copies of these guidelines are available from the Arts Commission or on-line at the Commission website All final applications must be completed online.

Deborah Vaughn, Arts Education Coordinator, is available to answer questions prior to the application deadline at or (503) 986-0085.

Application Review Process
Arts Commission staff will review submitted applications for eligibility, completeness, and budget accuracy.

Each eligible application is referred to a panel of arts professionals for review. Panel meetings are open to the public and all applicants will receive advance notice of the meeting time and place. The panel reviews and rates each application. Scores are provided to the full Commission, which will consider the panel ranking as well as the geographic and programmatic services provided when making its grant awards. Applicants are notified of the Commission’s decision by mail following the Commission meeting.

Final Reports
The Arts Commission documents the impact of the arts in Oregon. To help the Commission discuss the results of public funding, arts organizations receiving grants must complete a final narrative and budget report. Final financial reports must reflect the application budget as submitted or revised to the Arts Commission. Grant reports must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the completion of the grant period. All grantees are subject to periodic monitoring by the Oregon Arts Commission and must retain fiscal records for a period of three (3) years following completion of the grant period.

Organizations that have been previously funded by the Arts Commission must fulfill final reporting obligations before new grant funds will be distributed. Grant funds will be withheld until outstanding prior final evaluations have been completed and filed with the Commission.