United Arts Council grant funds are awarded by decision of its Board of Directors. United Arts’ decision-making is guided by published evaluation criteria that require independent qualitative judgment on the part of the panelists and board members. An applicant may appeal an award decision if there is a question of policy or guidelines violation. Dissatisfaction with the denial of an award or with the award amount is not grounds for appeal. If an application remains incomplete at the time the panel convenes, the application will not be considered by the panel and is specifically denied any appeals process. Requests for appeals with supporting documentation must be received in writing within thirty (30) days of a funding award notification. United Arts' Board of Directors Chair, Chair-Elect and Immediate Past Chair will review the appeal and forward a recommendation to the United Arts Board of Directors for action at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The decision of the Board is final. If United Arts changes a funding decision as a result of an appeal, the timing of the payment of the funds shall be at the discretion of the President/CEO of United Arts.
Applicant Reserve/Endowment/Restricted Funds
United Arts considers it appropriate for arts/cultural organizations to have as much as 25% of current revenues in cash reserves and encourages applicants to create endowment and reserve funds.
Applicants with Similar Artistic Functions
Applications submitted by organizations with comparable missions are evaluated according to the stated criteria. United Arts may entertain applications from an unlimited number of organizations with comparable missions.
United Arts looks at diversity in its broadest sense, including all the attributes that make us individuals. These attributes include but are not limited to age, disability, education level, geographic location, household income, race/ethnicity, culture, gender, and sexual orientation.
Financial need of the applicant is neither a criterion nor a consideration in this process.
Free vs. Ticketed Events
United Arts has no policy stipulating that a proposed/funded program must be ticketed.
Consistently late return of paperwork for two consecutive years without approved extensions will automatically result in an organization losing good standing and make it ineligible for grant application in the following fiscal year. All requests for extensions must be made in writing to and approved by United Arts staff.
Open Grant Panel Policy
The grant peer review panel is open to the public. Open grant panel meetings make it possible for applicants and other constituents to observe the grant-making process and to gain a better understanding of grant-making policy. Observers, particularly first-time applicants, are encouraged to attend. The following policies have been established for observers.
- As a courtesy to others, observers are asked to enter only during breaks.
- Observers will be asked to identify themselves.
- Observers may not use cameras or sound or visual recording devices.
- Observers at panel meetings may not participate in the discussions or address the panel for any reason during the meeting and, to prevent the appearance of conflict of interest or persuasion, observers may not engage in informal discussions with panelists or other observers during breaks or before and after the panel meeting.
- Any observer not complying with these guidelines will be asked to leave by the panel chair.
Because applications have been reviewed prior to deliberations, some applications may not receive much discussion. The appropriations panel meeting is not open to the public.
United Arts funds may not be used for the following expenditures:
- Deficit reduction
- Contributions to cash reserves and/or endowment funds
- Loan repayments, interest and/or penalties, fines or litigation costs
- Capital expenses (e.g., buildings, roads, major immobile equipment, furniture, fixtures or musical instruments, artwork, etc.)
- Fundraising events and activities
- Food or beverage for hospitality or entertainment functions
- Private events closed to the general public and activities restricted to an organization’s membership
- Lobbying expenses
- Tuition for academic study
- Programs in the following areas: acrobatics, aerobic dance, art therapy, beauty pageants, clowning, comedy, cosmetology, face painting, fashion shows, gemology, juggling, karaoke, magic shows, martial arts, mineralogy, modeling, nature presentations, pageants, quiz bowl presentations, talent shows
- Scholarships and awards for use outside the applicant’s programming
- Projects of a religious nature designed to promote or inhibit religious belief and/or practice and which have no basic underlying secular theme or topics
- Competition prizes
Additional funding restrictions may apply in specific grant categories.