Vibrant Communities


FY2019 Arts Access Assistance Grant Program

Application Deadline: Jan. 16, 2018

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the guidelines before accessing the application.

Like all programs of the arts council, the Arts Access Assistance program is guided by the agency’s core values. Successful applications will embody these core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting an application.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

The purpose of Arts Access Assistance is to support quality arts programming for underserved populations in the Commonwealth in environments where arts are not the primary emphasis. Grant projects are based on a specific, timely theme that changes with every grant cycle.

FY2019 Theme

For fiscal year 2019, arts access assistance grants will benefit families with children who have a parent or other primary member in an institutional setting. Although any eligible organization may apply, activities must benefit families with members in correctional facilities or reformatory programs (e.g., half-way houses); long-term care facilities and nursing homes, mental health facilities, treatment and rehabilitation facilities (residential or outpatient); or social service agencies with resident populations.


Who May Apply

Contact the program director to verify your eligibility before beginning an application.

Program Description

Arts Access Assistance grants support arts programs that serve populations whose opportunities to experience the arts may be limited by age, geographic location, ethnicity, economic status, disability, or other factors, by increasing the resources of organizations that may currently serve them in other capacities. Each grant cycle, a timely theme focusing on a specific underserved population is chosen, and eligible projects are limited to those that address the fiscal year’s theme. The involvement of professionally trained, experienced artists and/or an arts organization is essential. Artists and arts organizations should be fairly compensated through grant funds.

Performance Expectations

Applications will be assessed using the following performance expectations.

  1. Planning and Communications (40%)
  1. Artistic Quality/Public Value (30%)
  1. Implementation (30%)

You may wish to refer to the Panelist Assessment Sheet to better understand how your application will be evaluated.

Grant Amounts and Matching Funds

Grants are available for up to $8,000. The requested grant amount may not exceed 75 percent of the total expenses in the project budget, as this grant category requires a 25 percent cash match.

For example, if the total project budget expenses equal $8,000, the grant request would be $6,000 and the cash match would be $2,000. If the maximum amount of $8,000 is requested, the total expenses of the project budget must be at least $10,666. The cash match must be at least $2,666.

Matching funds may come from the applicant, sponsoring organizations, businesses, community partners, other grant funding or a combination of the above. Letters of commitment from sources of secured-cash matching funds are required.

In-kind contributions may be included in the budget, but they do not count toward the 25 percent cash match. In-kind contributions are valuable in showing commitment and partnership, but they have no dollar equivalent for the purposes of this grant program.

Supporting Materials

Applicants may submit relevant supporting materials such as letters of support, organizational brochures, event flyers, sample programs, reviews and feature articles, and web address links, which provide the panel with an understanding of your program, organization, community and proposed grant activities. Please be sure that each item has your organization's name clearly marked.

Printed supporting materials must be limited to 10 pages/pieces of any combination of the above. Letters of support, reviews and other photocopied materials must be on standard-size (8 ½ by 11 inch), single-sided, white paper only. Applicants should carefully prioritize and select supporting materials. Excessive supporting materials will not be forwarded for panel review.

All supporting materials submitted should be clearly labeled with the applicant’s name and an explanation of the material’s significance. Supporting materials will not be returned.

Work Samples and Index

Work samples are the primary way that panelists assess the artistic and professional quality of artists and arts organizations involved in your activities. Include three work samples with your application that demonstrate the artists’ and/or arts organization’s artistic excellence. Consider your choice of work samples carefully in relation to the program performance expectations. Be sure to describe important points about the quality, scope and depth the artists’ work in the application narrative. All work samples should be recent (within the last three years) and support the selected discipline(s) or medium (media) for the project (e.g. visual artists should include digital photographs of art, literary artists should include excerpts from written text, and performing artists should include audio or video samples).

Videos, music, photos and other media must be accessible through a website with a URL address. The arts council will not accept original artwork, printed photographs, CDs, DVDs or USB data storage devices. Media can be accessible though YouTube videos, Flickr photos, iTunes music samples, blogs or other websites or web-based services as long as the URL address is made available in the work sample index. Use shortened URLs for addresses longer than 50 characters.

Printed work samples such as book excerpts must be on standard-size (8 ½ by 11 inch), single-sided, white paper only. Online text accessed through a URL address is preferred. Do not include entire bound, published books. All samples should be indexed. Work samples will not be returned.


Organizations receiving general operating support from the Kentucky Arts Council may not apply. Organizations whose primary mission is emphasis on the arts or arts programming may not apply. Kentucky Arts Council funds may not be used for the following purposes:

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 Kentucky 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 grants funds may be spent.

How to Apply

Program Timeline

Application deadline

Review of applications by panel

Arts Council board reviews panel recommendations

Applicant notification

Use of grant funds may begin

Use of grant funds must conclude

Public value report due

Jan. 16, 2018

May 2018

before June 30, 2018

approximately July 3, 2018

July 15, 2018

June 30, 2019

30 days after project end date (July 30, 2019 being the latest deadline)

Application Deadline

Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 16, 2018 or hand-delivered to the Kentucky Arts Council no later than 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on that date. Print and sign the application in red ink and mail or hand-deliver it to the arts council, with any required documents and supporting materials, in accordance with the program guidelines. The application must be: 1) officially postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service, or 2) delivered by a shipping service (e.g., UPS, Federal Express, etc.) with a paid receipt on or before the deadline date, or 3) hand-delivered to the arts council office no later than 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date. If the arts council does not receive the printed and signed application with attachments by the deadline date via one of the three delivery options above, your application will be considered ineligible. Packages dated with internal postage meters and applications sent by FAX or email will not be accepted. Please be aware that your post office may not automatically use a dated postmark. It is highly recommended that you request hand cancellation with the date included.

Note: Due to postal regulations, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces must be given directly to a postal clerk at a post office — not dropped in a postal box.

Program Support

The arts council offers the following support to ensure program standards and goals are met:

Panel Meeting

A panel of arts professionals and other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the performance expectations. Please be aware that panels are comprised of people 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 applicants and other interested people may, and are encouraged, to monitor the panel meeting and listen to panelists' deliberations via conference call. The arts council will send notification of panel dates and conference call arrangements to applicants after the application deadline.

Arts Council Board Meeting

The panel’s recommendations are forwarded to the arts council’s governing board for approval.

Grant Agreements

Applicants 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 public value 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 expended solely for the activities described in the approved supplication unless specific approval has been received in writing. Any funds granted but not spent must be returned to the arts council as soon as possible before July 1, 2019.

Grant agreements must be signed and returned within 30 days.

Public Value Reports (Final Reports)

All arts council grantees must submit a public value report within 30 days of completion of the grant period. Public value reports for the AAA grant program are due 30 days after the project end date, July 30, 2019, being the latest possible deadline. Requests for extensions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be granted if a written request is submitted before the due date of the public value report.

If a grantee fails to submit the required final report for any grant, the Kentucky Arts Council will accept no future applications until an acceptable public value report is received.


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

Applicants must initiate a formal appeal within 30 calendar days of the date of the award notification letter. Upon receipt of this award notification letter, applicants should first consult with the appropriate program staff 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 appropriate program staff within the time limitation, the applicants must still submit a written appeal postmarked within the 30-day time 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 Kentucky Arts Council board will review all appeals. Should the committee recommend a change in applicant's funding, the arts council board shall act upon the committee's recommendations at its next regular or special meeting. The ruling of the arts council shall be the last administrative remedy and there shall be no further right of appeal.

For More Information

The Kentucky Arts Council welcomes all questions regarding this program and application. For more information on this program, please contact:

Todd Cremeans
Community Arts and Access Director
888-833-2787 (toll free)

Page last updated: October 16, 2017
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