Grant Application Process

Organizations or individuals applying to the Council for the first time are encouraged to submit a draft version of their application to be reviewed by a program manager. Draft applications should be submitted for review no later than three to four weeks before the deadline.

Grant Review: Grant applications received by the Council are reviewed by a panel of Alabama residents and sometimes out-of-state experts. Artists, arts administrators, arts educators, arts volunteers, and community representatives make up the panels that evaluate applications based on the review criteria. Panelists do not make actual funding decisions. Instead, they provide recommendations and feedback to the Council on the quality of each application.

A Public Hearing session is held for each deadline. Applicants have the option to present at the hearing, but it is not required. Presenting applicants are allocated five (5) minutes to speak to the Council's Grants Review Committee concerning their project request.

After reviewing the grant applications, panelist recommendations, and recommendations from the Grants Review Committee, the entire board of the Council determines the final grant awards. The amount of the grant awards depend upon the availability of grants funds. Seldom are project requests fully funded. On average, requests are funded at around 55% of the requested amount.

The Council notifies applicants of its funding decision by email and the public through press releases. After receipt of the award letter, a Grant Agreement is provided to the grantee. The form must be completed within 30 days.

Final reports are due 30 days after the funded project is completed, except for projects with a September ending date. If the project contract has a September ending date and the project activities and/or expenditures will not be completed by September 1, a Request for Advance or Reimbursement Form must be completed and submitted to the Grants Office before September 15. It is important to remember that your organization must submit the final report through the grant portal by October 10.

It is the responsibility of your organization to remember when final reports are due and submit them on time. Delinquent final reports may result in grant cancellation and forfeiture of any grant balance.

If you have problems submitting your final report, encounter a problem with your project that changes it from the scope of the project proposed in your application, or anticipate that your organization will not complete the project or request the full amount of the grant award, you must communicate with the appropriate program manager immediately.