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Youth Arts Project Grants:
For Extended Arts Learning
Deadline: April 18, 2014 (for projects between August 1, 2014-September 30, 2015)

Grant Coordinator: Catherine O'Brian
(603) 271-0795

These FY15 Grant Guidelines are valid for fiscal year July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Youth Project Grants fund high-quality arts and cultural programs that encourage creativity, develop new arts skills and foster success for young people beyond the normal school day. Recognizing that opportunities to experience and engage in the arts, such as music, dance, theater, visual arts, crafts, photography and creative writing, may be limited in classrooms, this grant provides funding for artists to work directly with young people after regular school hours, in the summer or on weekends, in or outside of the school. The overall goal of this grant category is to afford all young people opportunities to engage in the arts so that they can develop creative problem solving skills, positive forms of personal expression, and become more engaged in their communities through the arts.

To foster deeper connections with community, applicants are encouraged to establish partnerships between schools, arts organizations and community organizations that provide high quality arts learning experiences for youth in under-served communities throughout the state. For the purposes of this grant category, an under-served community is considered one in which individuals lack regular access to arts programs due to economic conditions; cultural, ethnic or geographic isolation; or physical or mental disabilities.

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Engage New Hampshire artists as mentors in arts learning and community projects.
  • Connect the resources of arts and cultural organizations that are located in the more populous areas of New Hampshire to schools and community organizations in the more rural areas of the state.
  • Design the program with input from the youth who will be benefitting from the project.
  • Learn about and incorporate, if possible, the National Standards and/or NH Curriculum Frameworks for the Arts.
  • Engage students in projects that encourage creativity and innovative learning.
  • Utilize new media and technologies in arts projects.
  • Develop projects with arts integrated approaches to interdisciplinary studies that include other subjects, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), history and social studies.

Maximum Grant Request
Requests may be for $1,000 - $4,500.

Funding Disclaimer: All grant categories and amounts are subject to change, depending upon availability of state and federal funds for any fiscal year.

Required Match
At a minimum, grants must be matched on a one-to-one basis. EXTENDED! FOR FY2015: In-kind contributions may comprise one half of the required match and will also be considered by the reviewers as evidence of support and commitment by the community and/or partner organization. State Arts Council funds may not be matched by other State Arts Council or National Endowment for the Arts funds.

Who May Apply
Not-for-profit organizations with incorporation in New Hampshire and a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, schools, school districts or SAUs, who also meet the following conditions:

  • Make all their programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities;
  • Have submitted all required reports on past State Arts Council grants; and
  • Are in good standing with the NH Secretary of State’s Office and the NH Attorney General’s Office.

For FY2015, organizations and/or schools may APPLY for ONE grant in the following categories:

Please consider carefully your project and the grant that best suits it. If you have questions, please contact the grant coordinator listed for any questions.

This grant does not support:

  • Projects already receiving funding from another State Arts Council grant category;
  • General operating expenses not directly related to the project;
  • Any cost item listed in the glossary under “ineligible expenses."

Sample Projects
Examples can be found at NH Arts Learning Network under "Resources".

Application Review Process
A panel with expertise in the focus area of the grant category meets to review and rank applications according to the funding criteria listed. Whenever possible, a State Arts Councilor facilitates the meeting. After discussion and review of work samples submitted, applications are ranked by the panel. Funding recommendations are forwarded to the State Arts Council for review and approval. If the organization’s cumulative total of grants received from the State Arts Council for that fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) is $5,000 or more, the grant recommendation must also be submitted to the Governor and Executive Council for approval. Errors and omissions may affect a panel's evaluation of your application, so please prepare your application carefully and follow instructions.

Funding Criteria
The following criteria are used by reviewers to rank applications:

Quality of Arts Programming

  • Artistic quality of participating artist(s).
  • Experience of artist(s) in educational and youth development work.
  • Clearly defined process for the selection of the artist(s) and evidence of planning with the artist.
  • Use of NH artists, including those living in the community.
  • Project designed with youth participation.
  • The level of engagement in quality arts learning.

Administrative Capacity

  • Well-designed project plan with realistic timetable.
  • Appropriate qualifications of project staff.
  • Detailed publicity plan to attract audience/participants.
  • Realistic budgetary projections. Please see the glossary for a list of ineligible costs.
  • Ability to meet cash and in-kind match.
  • Evidence of providing programmatic access to persons with disabilities and to underserved populations.

Strength of Partnership

  • Clearly defined roles of partners in work plan.
  • Evidence of commitment from partner organizations.

Documentation and Evaluation

  • Clear method of evaluating the effectiveness, outcomes and/or success of the project with a focus on assessment of students’ arts learning and art work, using a variety of methods (exhibits, portfolios, writing samples). Use of new media, film and new technologies is encouraged.
  • A plan for documenting the project/activities.
  • Samples of age appropriate evaluation tools appropriate for youth participants.

How to Apply
Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with the grant coordinator listed for this category before writing their applications. Draft applications may be reviewed if submitted at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline. First time applicants are especially encouraged to submit draft copies. When sending in a draft, please clearly indicate DRAFT FOR REVIEW in BOLD letters on your submission. Applicants should also review the legal and reporting requirements relevant to State Arts Council grants.

Submitting the application:

Errors and omissions may affect a panel’s evaluation of your application, so please prepare your application carefully and follow instructions.

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Narrative Questions
Please answer the following narrative questions on no more than four typed pages. Margins (not less than 1”), fonts (not smaller than 12 point) and spacing should provide easy reading for the panelists. Please number and respond to the following questions in the order in which they appear. Be sure your organization's name and title of grant are included on each numbered page.

INTRODUCTION: Tell us about your organization

  • Provide a profile of your organization including its mission and goals. Please keep in mind that some panelists may not be familiar with your organization or its importance to the arts in New Hampshire.
  • If entering into partnerships, attach a Partner Information Form for the lead applicant and each partner included in the project. PDF
    On these forms be sure to note who will be responsible for: fiscal management; administrative oversight; source of community information/publicity; project staff and volunteers; cash contributions; non-cash resources and in-kind contributions; day-to-day operational assistance; project documentation and project evaluation.

1. Why do you want to undertake this project?

  • Explain the goal(s) and intended outcome(s) of the project/activities.
  • How the artists were selected for this project.
  • How the arts project contributes to youth development and quality arts learning.

2. What are you planning to do?

  • What are the activities, programs or services you are planning?
  • When will the project/activities occur?
  • Where will the project/activities occur?
  • Who are the participating artists* and cultural advisors you will be working with? (Note: If you have not fully identified them, name as many as you can.)
  • Who is/are your targeted audience(s) and/or participants?

* Note: Resumes and work samples must be included unless participating artists are listed on the Council’s Artist Roster or the Traditional Arts and Folklife Listing, are NH Fellowship or Governors Arts Awards recipients, or have served as NH Artist or Poet Laureate; however, you are encouraged to print their biography from the Arts Council website for panelist’s review.

3. How are you going to accomplish your project?

  • What is the timeline for the planning and implementation of the project?
  • Include the name and qualifications of the Project Director who will be responsible for this project/activity and attach his/her resume.
  • Describe your marketing/promotion plan or other methods you will use to attract participants or audiences. How will youth be selected if there are limited spaces in the project/activity?  Include a plan for crediting the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting projects that are funded.
  • Describe how you plan to meet the cash and in-kind match. (Note: For FY2015 half of the 1:1 match may be in-kind goods or services.) Helpful hint: Make sure that the project costs outlined on the budget forms correspond with the activities you have described. Attach a financial statement for your most recently completed fiscal year (lead applicant organization only).
  • Identify the ways you will provide access to people with disabilities and senior citizens so they may benefit from this project (i.e., physical access, programmatic access via large print programs and signage, sign language interpretation, assistive listening devices, transportation, etc.).

4. How you will evaluate and document your project?

  • Describe the evaluation methodology you will use to measure the outcomes of this project (e.g., initial and exit interviews with participants, questionnaires, audience or parent feedback forms, academic achievement pre and post project, attendance, etc.) Please include a sample of your evaluation tools in Support Materials, if available.
  • How will you assess each participant's learning in the arts?
  • How do you plan to document the project/activity (i.e., photography, video, web site)?

Required Support Materials
Six sets (original plus five copies)

  • One page resume or biography of Project Director.
  • Resume or brief biography for artists not on NH Artist Rosters or Directories.
  • Samples of evaluation forms, assessments or rubrics.
  • Partner information forms (as applicable).
  • Letters of support from partners (up to three).

One copy of

  • List of current board members of Lead Applicant Organization including addresses and occupations.
  • Board-approved financial statement for most recently completed fiscal year of Applicant Organization.
  • An arts organization embedded within an institution (i.e., an art gallery within a university) should submit an income statement for the past two years and other financial documents, approved by a financial officer of the supervisory institution. This income statement should detail how much support the arts organization has been receiving from internal and external sources, as well as where those funds have been going. These organizations should submit a balance sheet, if available.
  • Work samples for artists who are not already juried by the State Arts Council.
  • First-time applicants only: Tax exempt status letter from the IRS and a copy of the Letter of Good Standing that was received upon registering with the Attorney General's office.

NOTE: Registration of IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofits is required every five years, for the years ending in 0 or 5. This registration may be done on-line at

How to Prepare the Application Package
1. Fill out and sign the original application & budget form and make 5 copies.
2. Complete and make five copies of the answers to the narrative questions.
3. Collate the original signed application form and copies to result in six sets. Each set should contain the following items arranged in the order in which they are listed:

  • Signed application (the original application should be with the first set)
  • Narrative questions
  • Letters of support from partners (up to three)
  • Project Director biography or resume
  • Background on outside contractors
  • Partner information forms (if applicable)
  • Samples of evaluation form(s), if available

4. Include with your first set (original signed application):

  • Board-approved financial statement
  • List of board members or arts advisory committee members

First-time non-profit organization applicants only (municipalities and schools are exempt from this requirement):

  • One copy of IRS letter certifying 501(c)(3) status
  • One copy of the Letter of Good Standing that was received upon registering with the NH State Attorney General’s office

IMPORTANT: If applying for more than one grant include only one IRS letter and one Letter of Good Standing and make a note in your packet that you have submitted these with another application.

5. Include work samples of artists if not on NH Artist Roster (AIE). See submitting work samples for instructions on preparing work samples.
6. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for any materials that need to be returned.
7. Please do not use binders, folders, or protector sheets for the 6 separate sets of materials. Staples or clips are acceptable. Separate large envelopes may be used to contain the collated materials. It is helpful if you use post-it notes or label the application cover sheets to indicate original set, 1,2, 3 etc.
8. Make one copy of everything for your files.
9. Put everything together in one package, putting the set with the application with the original signature on top. Mail or hand deliver to: NH State Council on the Arts, 19 Pillsbury Street, 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301.

Why all these copies?
The original is for the State Arts Council files. Additional copies are for the panelists who will review your application prior to discussion at the panel meeting.

Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the NH State Council on the Arts office at 19 Pillsbury Street, 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301 by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date noted above. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The office is closed all state and most federal holidays. Late applications will not be accepted. The Council cannot accept applications transmitted by facsimile (FAX) or email and is not responsible for applications lost in transit. Errors and omissions may affect a panel's evaluation of your application, so please prepare your application carefully and follow instructions.

Applicants will be notified of their application status within approximately ten weeks of the application deadline.

The NHSCA disburses funds appropriated from public sources, both federal and state. Checks are issued by Administrative Services of the State of NH, not the Department of Cultural Resources or the State Arts Council. Upon receipt of properly executed grant forms, the State of New Hampshire generally pays grants under $5,000 to grantees within 4 to 6 weeks. If an organization is awarded $5,000 or more or has received other State Arts Council funds which brings the cumulative total received for that fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) to $5,000 or above, grant needs to be approved by Governor and Executive Council; consequently payment can take up to ten weeks. All awards are subject to availability of state and federal funds. Therefore, we ask grantees to plan cash flow accordingly.


  • All grant agreements must be returned by January 15 of the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) they are awarded. Failure to return the grant agreement by that date could result in the cancellation of the grant and reallocation of funds.
  • Payment of a grant will be withheld if the final reports for previous grants are not in compliance with policy below.

Grant Period & Reporting Requirements
The grant period is July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. A final report for each year’s project is due 30 days after the completion of your project, but no later than October 31, 2015. An extension of up to three months may be requested. The request for extension must be made in writing, before the deadline for filing has passed to the grant coordinator responsible for administering the grant and should briefly note why the extension is necessary and the date the report will be submitted.

Failure to submit the final report by the required date will result in the organization becoming ineligible to apply for NHSCA funding for two years. Additionally, failure to submit the final report may result in a withholding of funds from any currently awarded NHSCA grant.

Click here for the Final Report Download Center.






Last updated: March 6, 2014

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