Applications are reviewed and funding adjudications are made using the following criteria to evaluate each application:
- Artistic Excellence (20%) – Quality of artist/company
- Project’s Artistic Merit (35%) – Quality of project
- Audience Development/Community Involvement (20%) – Quality and degree of audience development efforts and community participation
- Accessibility (10%) – Quality and degree of facility and program accessibility
- Organizational Capacity/Evaluation (10%) – Presenter’s ability to carry out and evaluate the project
- Readiness Plan (5%) – Quality (content, comprehensiveness, and currency) of planning
This sample application from a past grantee demonstrates a clear, succinct, and well-organized application that was evaluated very highly in the review process. Download Sample (PDF) >>
This is the tool used by panelists to score applications. Download Evaluation Rubric/Matrix (PDF) >>
This is the tool used by staff to score readiness plans. Download Evaluation Rubric/Matrix (PDF) >>
(Maximum 500 characters including spaces) Provide a one-sentence description of the project which South Arts will use in publicity if a grant is awarded, e.g. “XYZ Ballet Company will conduct a three-day residency, with two master classes, two workshops for older adults, a Q&A with the artistic director and local choreographers, and a public evening performance at the ABC Theatre.”
(Maximum 1,250 characters including spaces, approximately ¼ page) List the chronological schedule of activities during the project including what, when, where, who, with/for whom; include ticket prices where applicable. NOTE: If your schedule is not complete at this time, provide as much detail as is known about how many activities will take place, and which community members or groups will be involved.
Artistic Excellence (20%)
Work samples should represent the quality/type of work the artist/company will perform during your engagement and should be no more than three years old. Promotional videos, montages and poor video quality will prevent the reviewers from being able to make an assessment on this criterion and may result in a low score. NOTE: No narrative response is necessary. Evaluation on this criterion is based on the submitted work samples (i.e., audio, video, and history/biography).
Project’s Artistic Merit (35%)
(Maximum 5,000 characters including spaces, approximately 1 page) Describe the project; include a detailed description of the performance and explain why this artist/company was chosen. Explain why this project is important to your community. The educational and outreach component is the requirement that participants be engaged in learning activities that have lasting impact. Describe the educational and outreach component and any additional community activities; describe the anticipated impact for participants.
Audience Development and Community Involvement (20%)
(Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page) Audience development includes assessing audience and community needs, cultivating audiences, creating a plan for engagement, and developing effective partnerships. Describe the audiences and community segments that you are targeting and engaging with this project. Explain why they were selected for involvement in this project, how they are involved in planning, and what community partners are involved. Describe any plans to broaden or diversify your audiences and any additional efforts to reach those that lack access to arts programs, services, or resources. Describe your marketing plan for target audiences.
(Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page) Grantees are required to ensure accessibility to funded programs to people with disabilities. Beyond these minimum ADA requirements, describe actions you will take for programmatic and communications accessibility (e.g., planning/advisory committees include people with disabilities, large print programs/labels, American Sign Language interpretation, audio description, specific marketing strategies, etc.). Provide specific strategies on how you will reach those that lack access to the arts due to disability for this project specifically (not your organization’s work in general). See an example >> View accessibility presentation slides >>
Organizational Capacity and Evaluation (10%)
(Maximum 2,500 characters including spaces, approximately ½ page) Describe your organization’s ability to carry out the proposed project. Provide a summary of your organization’s presenting history. Describe the project goals and the anticipated outcomes. Describe the evaluation methods you have in place to learn how you are, or are not, achieving your goals.
Readiness Plan (5%)
South Arts is committed to making business continuity planning a priority in the arts, and encourages all arts organizations to develop and maintain readiness plans to ensure their sustainability. A readiness plan is a combination of documents, processes and training that formulate what your organization will do should the unexpected occur. If you have a readiness plan, please attach a narrative (up to two pages) describing your plan and how/when you update it. Learn more about readiness planning and how it will impact your grant application >>
- The engagement of a Southern artist or ensemble/company based in the South is a requirement! Our new strategic plan has an increased focus on supporting the careers of artists from our region. Need help finding a Southern artist? >>
- Readiness plans are required! South Arts is committed to making business continuity planning a priority in the arts, and encourages all arts organizations to develop and maintain a readiness plan to ensure their sustainability. A readiness plan is a combination of documents, processes and training that formulate what your organization will do should the unexpected occur. The quality of your organization’s readiness plan will be evaluated and included in the overall scoring. If you do not submit a description of your readiness plan, your application will not be accepted. Learn more about readiness planning and how it will impact your grant application >>
- The review criteria has changed! Audience Development/Community Involvement represents 20% of your score.