Do I need to be a non-profit to apply?

Specifics vary from application to application.

Non-profit status is not required to apply for General Operating Support Grants at certain levels, Community Projects Grants, Arts Education Grants, or Rental Assistance Grants.

Individual artists are welcome to apply for Professional Development Grants, Community Projects Grants, Arts Education Grants, and Rental Assistance Grants.

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Must an organization be headquartered in Boulder to be eligible?

It varies depending on the grant.

For General Operating Support Grants the organization must demonstrate that they are headquartered in Boulder.

For all other grants, projects must have a significant component of public programming that takes place within the city limits of Boulder. This programming must meet the criteria described in the Chapter 14-1-2 of the City of Boulder Revised Code. Also, though anyone may apply, preference is given through the panel process to organizations that are based in, or focused on, the Boulder community.

The term “city limits of Boulder” is defined in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. For additional information on the planning area and Comprehensive Plan visit this link. As a shorthand, office staff use addresses with the zip code starting with 803— to determine if it is in the acceptable area.

How much detail is required for the organizational information such as board members and budget documents?

The required documents and information in the organizational information section of the application is used to give the commissioners an understanding of your organization: what you do, how you do it, and who is involved. Make sure your details are complete, and convey the necessary information, but not protracted. An article and examples of budget documents can be found on the Creative Capital website.

Who is on the panel?

The panel consists of the seven City Council-appointed Boulder Arts Commissioners.

How does the panel come to their decision?

Specifics vary from application to application.

For General Operating Support and project grants, the panel will read through your background information to understand your organization or project; they will then provide scores in two sections:

First, the panel members provide scores on the information you provide in the “Panel Questions” section. Panel members provide a score of 1 to 8 for each panel question. Second, the panel members provide additional points on two focus areas: 1) for Boulder-based organizations and 2) for encouragement points. A maximum of 4 additional points is available to the panel members for the encouragement points section, and 6 additional points for the Boulder focus section.

The scores for each panel member are added together to establish a preliminary score for the application. All questions are weighted equally. Those preliminary scores are averaged across all the panel members to establish a preliminary score. This score is used to rank your application for consideration. For each grant category, the Arts Commission will establish a threshold score over which an application is considered eligible for an award. Please note that meeting the threshold score does not automatically approve an application for funding.

In addition to providing a score, the commissioners will include questions or comments for each applicant. We will provide these comments to you before the second round of scoring. You will have the opportunity to offer a one-page statement answering the questions raised, or further informing the panel about your application.

After your one-page response is completed, the panel will rescore your application. Once this rescore is complete, the applications are re-ranked. In the case of a tie, the category scores are used in the order of the scoring system. At the decision meeting, the members of the Boulder Arts Commission then deliberate to decide final approval of the applications which will receive a grant. The Arts Commission may a) accept the top scores in the ranking, b) choose to adjust the ranking, or c) ask the panel to reconsider specific scores.

The complete scoring system and rubric can be found here.

If I am awarded a grant, may I apply for other opportunities?

Only one Professional Development Sponsorship and one Venue Affordability Grant is awarded per applicant annually. There are no other restrictions on applying for multiple grants.

Does the Boulder Arts Commission have an appeals process?

Yes. The appeals process can be found here.

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