Creative Industry

Kentucky Arts Partnership (KAP) Grant Program

FY2024 Grant Guidelines

Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2023

Grant Period: July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the Kentucky Arts Partnership guidelines before accessing the online application. Successful applications to the Kentucky Arts Partnership program embody the Kentucky Arts Council’s core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before applying.

Program Description

The Kentucky Arts Partnership Grant Program provides support for the general operating costs of Kentucky arts and cultural organizations whose primary mission is to provide Kentuckians with year-round arts programming.

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Kentucky Arts Partnership Grant Program is to ensure year-round participation in the arts is available to the people of Kentucky by providing operating support to arts organizations.


  • To develop and maintain strong arts organizations.
  • To increase arts participation statewide.
  • To promote diverse arts and culture.
  • To help build an efficient arts delivery system across the state.

Program Timeline

Application deadline: Feb. 15, 2023

Review of applications by panel: May 2023

Arts council board reviews panel recommendations: June 16, 2023

Applicant notification: As soon as possible after board approval of panel recommendations

Use of grant funds may begin: July 1, 2023

Use of grant funds must conclude: June 30, 2024

Final report due: July 30, 2024

Who May Apply

If this is your organization’s first time applying to the Kentucky Arts Partnership Grant Program, call the program manager to determine your eligibility before beginning an application.

  • Applicant must be a free-standing arts group independent of any other organization. Government units that are local arts agencies are also eligible for Kentucky Arts Partnership funding. (State or other agencies supported primarily with state or federal funds are ineligible.)
  • Internal programs of academic institutions that serve, feature, produce or present professional artists may apply. (The KAC will only accept one application supporting one program per academic institution. Applicant must be responsible for its own programming).
  • Applicant must currently have, and maintain during the grant cycle, IRS tax-exempt status.
  • Applicant must be legally chartered in Kentucky and have its headquarters and home season, or activities equivalent to a home season for non-producing organizations, in Kentucky.
  • Applicant must provide a significant amount of year-round public arts-based activity and programming that impacts Kentuckians and their communities.
  • Applicant must have a board approved long-range plan covering at least the current and next fiscal years.
  • Applicant must demonstrate ongoing fiscal responsibility through an audit or financial review conducted externally by a certified public accountant (CPA) or an internally created financial balance statement for its most recently completed fiscal year at the time of application. All applications must include board approved financial documentation as stated below:
    • Organizations with prior year expenses of $500,000 or more must provide an audited financial statement performed by an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for FY2021 or FY2022. An audited financial statement includes confirmation with outside parties who have tested selected transactions by examining supporting documents, completing physical inspections and observations and considering and evaluating the internal control system of the organization. The selected CPA must have no other connection to the organization.
    • Organizations with prior year expenses of $250,000 to $499,999 must provide a financial review performed by an independent CPA for FY2021 or FY2022. A financial review includes confirmation from outside parties and will include cash, receivables, inventory, fixed assets, intangible assets, notes payable and accrued expenses, long-term liabilities, contingencies and commitments, equity and revenue and expenses. The selected CPA must have no other connection to the organization.
    • Organizations with prior year expenses of under $249,999 must provide an internally prepared balance sheet that includes assets and liabilities and an income statement showing income and expenses along with the resulting net income or loss for FY2021 or FY2022.

Scoring Criteria

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria. Applications receiving a total score of 49 points or fewer, out of 100 possible points, will not receive an award. For more information about scoring, consult the scoring rubric.

  1. Delivery (40 points) - This section asks the organization to describe planning, decision making, partnerships, data collection, and program assessment that leads to quality programs and services.
  2. Capacity (20 points) - This section asks the organization to describe financial health, fiscal responsibility and development strategies.
  3. Value and Role of the Arts (30 points) - This section asks how the organization determines and responds to community needs while articulating their value to potential audiences and authorizers.
  4. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (10 points) - This section asks how the organization is making efforts to build diversity, equity, inclusion and access both internally and externally.

Grant Amounts

Funding ranges are pre-set and based on several factors, including eligible operating revenue. Awards vary from year to year and are contingent on appropriation of funds by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Kentucky Arts Partnership Grant Program funding formula will be based on the following:

  • Available funds for the program
  • Applicants' scores by the review panel based on the criteria
  • Organizations' operating revenues with funding caps* for the following tiers

Operating revenues for arts programs

Funding caps

$5,000,000 and more

1.5%, maximum $59,999

$2,500,000 - $4,999,999


$1,000,000 - $2,499,999


$500,000 - $999,999


$100,000 - $499,999


less than $100,000

6.5%, minimum $1,000

*Funding caps represent ideal agency appropriations. Kentucky Arts Council budget reductions have an impact on funding caps when determining Kentucky Arts Partnership awards.

The definition of operating revenues used to compute the funding formula includes the following:

  • Earned revenue
  • Unrestricted contributions
  • Sponsorships and underwriting revenue used in the applicable fiscal year
  • Dividends and interest on investments not from endowments
  • Endowment withdrawals in the applicable fiscal year
  • Grants from government, corporate and foundation sources


State or other agencies supported primarily with state or federal funds are ineligible. Kentucky Arts Partnership grant funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Purchase of equipment, property, library holdings or acquisitions
  • Capital improvements, facility construction, structural renovations and restorations
  • Publications or recordings for commercial purposes
  • Scholarships or other activities related to academic credit or degrees
  • Activities intended primarily for fundraising
  • Food, beverages or other refreshments
  • Requests designed to reduce or eliminate existing deficits
  • Interest on loans, fines, penalties and/or litigation costs
  • Expenses incurred before the starting date of the period covered in the grant request
  • Investments of any kind
  • Performances not available to the general public
  • Programs that have sectarian purposes
  • Indirect costs unless 1) per a current federally-negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (official documentation required), or 2) "de minimus" indirect costs not to exceed 10 percent of total modified direct cost
  • The application of new artistic work to historic buildings or structures unless approved by the state historic preservation office as being in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (contact the Kentucky Heritage Council at 502-564-7005 or visit Kentucky Heritage Council).

No arts council funds may be used to match another grant from the arts council. In addition, the same matching funds may not be used for more than one arts council grant. In some cases, arts council grants may be used to match National Endowment for the Arts or other federal grants; call staff for clarification before committing funds for such purposes. The arts council also reserves the right to make special stipulations on how specific grant funds may be spent.

Organizations that receive line-item funding through the Governor’s Executive Budget are ineligible for Kentucky Arts Council operational support, up to the amount designated through line-item funding, in the same fiscal year for which the funding is to be received.

Program Support

The arts council staff is available to offer the following support, with prior notice and no later than two weeks before the deadline, to ensure program standards and goals are met:

  • Assistance from arts council program directors in selecting appropriate program categories, and in answering questions about programs
  • Consultation regarding applicant eligibility, competitiveness for funding, budget issues, etc.
  • Referrals to potential partners for programs
  • Advice in locating appropriate technical assistance to evaluate and increase applicants’ accessibility and arts participation

Accessing the Application

Applications for this program are made through the Kentucky Arts Council GO Smart online grant system located at When first accessing the GO Smart application system, applicants must create a profile, including a username and password for use whenever the account is accessed. The Kentucky Arts Council does not maintain username and password information. If you forget or lose your username or password, open the application, click on Login and use the prompt to reset your login information. The Kentucky Arts Council strongly advises applicants to review all guidelines and instructions included in this document.

General Application Instructions

  • The arts council recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox to complete your application. Internet Explorer users may experience problems with the application program.
  • To begin the application, login and click on Current Programs & Applications. Go to Kentucky Arts Partnership 2024 and select “Begin Application.” Applicants who have started their application and logged out will login and then select “Edit.”
  • When working through the application, save each page before moving to the next page. Failure to save pages will result in the loss of information.
  • To navigate through the application, use either page links (to move around within the application) or the Previous/Next buttons (to move one page at a time).
  • Use the PDF button at the bottom of the page to view the application as the panelist will view it. Remember to use headers and numbers corresponding to questions in responses that contain more than one response. Skipping a space between responses will also be helpful to panelists reviewing applications.
  • Use the Data Field Explanation to complete the Profile (organization type, applicant status and applicant discipline) and Demographics sections.
  • In the Demographics section, the Amount Requested must include a number (other than 0) in order to proceed, however the Kentucky Arts Partnership does not accept requests for funding for this program (see Grant Amounts in the guidelines above).

Application Deadline

The deadline to apply is Feb. 15, 2023, no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern and 10:59 p.m. Central. Submissions received after that time will be ineligible for consideration. Note: The application can take several minutes to upload. The arts council strongly advises that applicants not wait until the final hour to submit. Following the deadline, each application will be reviewed by the program director, who may contact the applicant if clarification is needed.

Kentucky Vendor Number

All applicants must be registered with the Kentucky Vendor Registration system at the time of application, and the address associated with vendor number must match those associated with the organization’s profile and grant agreement form.

To register for or modify your free Kentucky Vendor Number, complete the EZ Kentucky Vendor Registration application at and email it to the Customer Resource Center at

Narrative Questions

Delivery (40 points)

  1. Describe how your organization plans and assesses its programs. Your response should include:
    • When and how programs are planned
    • Who is involved in the planning process, including relevant partners
    • How and by whom decisions are made
    • Criteria used to determine and ensure artistic and/or programming quality
    • How artists, particularly Kentucky artists, are involved and considered in this process
    • Strategies for measuring success and who is involved in the assessment of your programs
  2. Describe your arts education programs or services and their benefit to students and/or educators. Include any partnerships with schools, districts, home school groups, etc.
  3. Describe your communications strategies. Your answer should include the following:
    • How you distribute information about your programs
    • Your marketing and branding
    • How you reach new or niche audiences
    • Relevant partnerships in media, local tourism, etc.
  4. Describe how your organization evaluates its delivery. Your response should include:
    • Audience, patron, and or participation data collection tools and methods
    • Methods used to evaluate quantitative and qualitative data collected
    • Plans to respond to data findings

Capacity (20)

  1. Describe your policies and procedures for ensuring fiscal controls and financial responsibility, including board involvement.
  2. Describe your development strategy. Your response should include:
    • Consistent and reliable sources of funding
    • Efforts your organization will make to obtain new sources of funding
    • Planned fundraising activities such as benefit events, “gives days” participation and membership drives
    • Relevant partnerships and relationships that support your development strategy.

Value and Role of the Arts (30 points)

  1. Describe how the organization provides public value. Your response should include the following:
    • Your community’s arts-based needs and preferences
    • Your community’s non-arts needs, challenges and opportunities
    • Methods used to you determine these needs, challenges and opportunities
    • How you respond to arts and non-arts needs through your programs and services
    • Partnerships that that help maximize resources and fulfill needs
    • Specific example of your impact on the community in areas like cultural enhancement, community identity, economic development, etc.
  2. Describe your organization's arts advocacy strategy. Your response should Include the following:
    • How your organization communicates regularly and effectively with local officials, including state legislators
    • How you involve your public officials in the activities of your organization in ways that demonstrate your value to the community
    • How your staff and board stay informed about issues and public policy as they apply to arts and arts education
    • How you educate local officials about arts issues and public policy as they apply to arts and arts education
    • How your organization talks about and shares arts experiences with people whose support can influence positive change
    • Relevant partnerships and memberships with local, state and national arts advocacy groups that support your advocacy strategy

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (10 points)

  1. Describe your efforts to build diversity within the organization and among program participants. (Diversity, as understood by the arts council, should promote positive relationships among the state's various communities and provide equitable arts program delivery to marginalized communities, including, but never limited to: people of minority ethnic and racial groups; people with disabilities; geographically or economically isolated communities; disadvantaged and at-risk people; older adults; institutionalized people; women; and the LGBTQIA+ communities.) Your response should include the following:
    • Process the organization used to develop its cultural equity plan, including any notable progress.
    • Relevant arts and non-arts partnerships that help fulfill equity plan goals
    • Internal activities meant to grow cultural competency among the staff, board and volunteers, including trainings, facilitated conversations, etc.
    • How the organization has promoted and will promote diverse arts and culture, including programming plans for inclusion of, and outreach to, underserved populations and people with disabilities.
    • Specific examples of successful programs or services that took your artistic product to new or broader audiences (e.g., touring, partnerships, special programming, residencies, etc.).

Required Documents

The following documents must be uploaded as a PDF file in the relevant sections of the application. (PDF portfolios are not permitted, but multi-page PDFs are acceptable.) Note: * denotes a required document for all applicants.

  • *IRS Determination Letter: must include date of determination and FEIN #, must match organization legal name provided on the application, and must remain valid through the entire grant period.
  • *Event Information: provide examples of your programming that demonstrate the year-round nature of your activities, include the event name, date and attendance.
  • Membership Information: required only if your organization has members/subscribers; indicate the membership categories, the cost of belonging in each category and how many members are in each category.
  • *Long-Range Plan: must include FY2022 and FY2023 and must be approved by the applicant’s board of directors.
  • *Board List that must include the following information for each board member:
    • Name
    • City, State
    • Occupation and organization/business name
    • Community affiliations (list examples of other organizations with which the board members are affiliates either as volunteers or in a governing capacity)
    • Board title (chair, treasurer, secretary, etc., as applicable)
    • Length of time served (including previous terms)
    • Current board term
    • Board committees (including artists advisory, community advisory, advocacy, civil rights, accessibility, fundraising, etc.)
  • *Staff List that must include the following information for key administrative and artistic staff:
    • Name
    • Title/area of responsibility
    • Employment status (full-time, part-time, contract, volunteer)
    • Brief bio (one paragraph)
  • Organizational Chart: required for organizations with more than two paid (full or part time) staff positions. Provide an organizational chart demonstrating the relationship between the board, board committees, staff, organizational teams, etc.
  • Eligible Revenue Statement required for organizations with Total Revenue figures on audits or financial statements that include in kind contributions, donations to endowment, capital funds for new construction, and/or earnings not drawn down. If your Total Revenue and Eligible Revenue figure are the same, this document is not required.)
  • *FY2021 or FY2022 audit or financial review prepared by an independent CPA or a financial statement prepared internally as required in the “Who May Apply” section above
  • *FY2023 Operating Budget
  • *Accessibility Check List
  • *Cultural Equity Plan

Support Materials

Support materials are not required but may be uploaded to the application as PDF. Each category requires that like items be scanned together or combined and uploaded together. Do not include multiple copies of promotional materials as one (e.g., three performance programs are three separate items, not one example of performance programs. PDF portfolios are not permitted, but multi-page PDFs are acceptable).

  • Letters of Support: up to three letters
  • Promotional Material: up to five pieces (including flyers, brochures, programs, posters, printed versions of webpages, etc.)
  • Reviews: up to five reviews written since Jan. 1, 2020
  • Annual Report: one from either 2021 or 2022
  • Work Sample Video URL: linked video may include a compilation of images, video, audio, etc. of applicant activities and events from the most recently completed and current season; not to exceed five minutes in length; video must be accessible to panelists without use of a password

Panel Meeting

A panel of arts professionals and other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the criteria. Be aware that panels are comprised of individuals from both inside and outside Kentucky who may be unfamiliar with the state's organizations, artists and/or communities.

The arts council conducts an open panel review process for this program. This means that applicants and other interested people may, and are encouraged to, monitor the panel meeting and listen to the panelists' deliberations via conference call. The arts council will send notification of panel dates and conference call arrangements to applicants prior to panel meetings.

Arts Council Board Meeting

The panel's recommendations are forwarded to the arts council’s governing board for approval at the June 2023 board meeting.

Grant Agreements

Applicant organizations that receive a favorable recommendation enter into an agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Agreements cannot be altered without prior approval from the arts council's appropriate program manager. Grantees are required to promptly notify the arts council in writing of any changes in their grant activity. If grantees do not notify the arts council about changes before they file a final report, future funding will be jeopardized. Grants are for the period specified in the approved application. Funds must be spent or committed for activities taking place within the period stated unless an extension has been approved in writing. Funds spent before the period starts are not eligible and must not be included in the budget.

Funds granted must be used solely for the activities described in the approved application, unless specific approval has been received in writing. Any funds granted but not spent must be returned to the arts council at the conclusion of the grant period.

Grant agreements must be signed and returned within 30 days. Grant agreement forms received later than 30 days will cause a delay of the first payment, which will then be combined with the second payment and released after Jan. 31, 2023. Grant funds must be dispersed by the arts council by June 30, 2023. Funds are not available after this time.

Affirmative Duty to Report Major Organizational Change

All grantees must promptly notify the Kentucky Arts Council in writing of any significant changes in the organization’s structure, leadership or financial circumstances or to the organization’s physical or mailing address, phone numbers or email addresses that could affect services provided under the grant contract resulting from this application.

Crediting Requirement

Grantees must clearly acknowledge support from the Kentucky Arts Council in their promotional material including publications, websites, social media, etc. Such acknowledgement should clearly indicate that funds were provided for artistic excellence and merit. Additional acknowledgment requirements may be provided later.

Grant recipients may download the Kentucky Arts Council logo from:

The acknowledgment line for the Kentucky Arts Partnership program is:

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to {NAME OF ORGANIZATION} with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Funding for the KAP grant program comes from the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. KAP grantees are responsible for contacting their state senators and representatives and Congressional representatives to let them know the importance of these public funds to your organization’s work. Copies of each letter must be sent to the Kentucky Arts Council by email or through the U.S. Postal Service no later than Aug. 31, 2023. We ask that you also share the news of your award with your local media.

Final Report

All arts council grantees must submit a final report within 30 days of completion of the grant period. The final report may be accessed through the online grant system.

If a grantee fails to submit the required final report for any grant, the arts council will accept no future applications from the grantee organization until an acceptable final report is received. In addition, any grant money payable to the organization will be held until after the required final report is submitted.

Information from final reports will be used to meet the arts council’s reporting requirements to the National Endowment for the Arts and to create both a state-wide public value report and a public value report specific to each KAP grantee.


Applicants may appeal adverse grant decisions if they can demonstrate any of the following:

  • The review of the application was based on criteria other than those appearing in the arts council guidelines.
  • The final decision was unduly influenced by a panelist with undisclosed conflicts of interest.
  • Required application information submitted by the appropriate deadline was withheld from the review panel or the arts council.

Applicants must initiate a formal appeal within 30 calendar days of the date of the award-notification letter of the arts council decision. Upon receipt of this award-notification letter, applicants should first consult with the program director to review the considerations that went into the arts council’s decision. If, after such consultation, applicants wish to pursue an appeal, they must do so in writing to the arts council’s executive director. If applicants are unable to consult with the program director within the time limitation, the applicants must still submit a written appeal, postmarked within the 30-day period.

In the executive director's response to a formal appeal, a deadline date for submission of all material supporting the appeal will be established. No such deadline date will be set earlier than seven days or later than 21 days from the date of the executive director's letter. Failure by applicants to meet any deadline date in the appeals process will result in the loss of the right to appeal.

An ad hoc committee of members of the arts council board will review all appeals. Should the committee recommend a change in the applicant's funding, the arts council board at its next regular or special meeting shall act upon the committee's recommendations. The ruling of the arts council board shall be the last administrative remedy, and there shall be no further right of appeal.

If I have questions, who can help me?

Sarah Schmitt
Arts Organization & Access Director
888-833-2787 (toll free)