PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS: How to Prepare and Submit an Application

These application guidelines provide all of the information that you need to submit an application. We urge you to read these instructions in their entirety before you begin the application process. If you wish to print a copy, see "Printing Tips." You also may want to keep these instructions open in a window in your computer as they contain helpful links to information that you will need as you complete your application.

In addition to these instructions, you should periodically check the Grants.gov blog or the Grants.gov homepage for tips, updates, and alerts.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Electronic application through Grants.gov is MANDATORY.

  1. The Grants.gov system must receive your validated and accepted application no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on October 1, 2014. Renew/verify your registration with Grants.gov at least two weeks before the deadline.

  2. Verify that you have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by Grants.gov installed on your computer before you download your new application package from Grants.gov. 

  3. Submit your application no later than 10 days prior to the deadline to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems that you might encounter. You take a significant risk by waiting until the day of the deadline to submit.
    • The Grants.gov Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (Phone: 1-800-518-4726.)
    • Submit your application outside of Grants.gov’s hours of heaviest usage, generally 12 noon to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
    • The Arts Endowment will not accept late applications.

On- and Off-Year SAA and RAO Applicants

The Arts Endowment uses staggered, multi-year review for Partnership awards. The organizations listed below (on-year applicants) are required to submit full-scale applications including a plan and application narrative:

SAAs

Alabama
Arkansas
District of  
   Columbia
Georgia
Guam
Idaho

 

Illinois
Indiana
Kansas Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Mississippi

 

Nevada
New York
Ohio
Oklahoma
Puerto Rico
South Dakota

RAOs

Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
New England Foundation for the Arts
South Arts

National Services

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

All other SAAs and RAOs have simplified requirements.

Nonprofit Organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts will follow the Grants.gov instructions below and submit material as detailed later in these instructions.

Using Grants.gov

Renew/Verify Your Registration [Back to Top]

NOTE: Applicants are required to change their Grants.gov passwords every 60 days. See www.grants.gov for more details on requirements for Usernames and Passwords.

Renew your registration with the System for Award Management (SAM). Also verify your registration with Grants.gov and make sure it is current before you apply.

If you have problems with registration:

  • SAM Federal Service Desk: Call 1-866-606-8220, send a message through the website at www.sam.gov, or see the information posted on the SAM website at SAM User Help.

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: Call 1-800-518-4726, e-mail support@grants.gov, or consult the information posted on the Grants.gov website at Applicant Resources. The Grants.gov Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Download the Application Package [Back to Top]

  1. Verify your software:

    You must have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by Grants.gov installed on your computer before you download your application package from Grants.gov. Non-compatible versions of Adobe Reader or other Adobe products will lead to errors and prevent you from submitting your application. If more than one computer will be involved in the preparation of the application package, ensure that the same version of Adobe Reader is used.

    Please go to "Adobe Reader Compatibility" to see the compatible versions of Adobe Reader or to download and install Adobe Reader.

  2. Access the application package on Grants.gov by clicking on the link below:

    DOWNLOAD

    [Funding Opportunity Number 2015NEA04PA]

    This will bring you to the "Selected Grant Applications for Download" screen.

    Download the application package and follow the instructions below. It is not necessary to download the instructions from Grants.gov as you will merely be directed back to the instructions in this document.

  3. When you download the application package, the Grants.gov "Grant Application Package" screen will open. Click on the "Save" button and save the application package to a location on your computer or network where you can find it readily. Save your application each time you work on it. You will get the message: "The File already exists. Replace existing file?" Click "Yes" to ensure that you always save the most recent version.

  4. You can access each Mandatory form by clicking on it OR you can scroll down your screen and you will come to each form in succession.

    The forms are:

    • Application for Federal Domestic Assistance (SF-424 Mandatory): This form asks for basic information about your organization and application. Complete this form first. Data entered here will populate fields of other forms where possible. See instructions for completing this form below.

    • Project/Performance Site Location: This form collects information about the primary site location where the project will be performed. See instructions for completing this form below.

    • Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL): See instructions for completing this form below.

    • Attachments Form: This is not a form in the conventional sense, but rather a place to attach additional items (e.g., your application narrative and strategic plan) that must be included for your Grants.gov application package to be considered complete. See instructions for completing this form below.

Submit Your Electronic Application [Back to Top]

  1. Check the size of your electronic application. The total size should not exceed 10 MB.

  2. To begin the submission process, click the Save & Submit button. [This button will not become active (and turn from light to dark gray) until you have saved your application with all required fields completed. Clicking this button will prompt you to save your application package one last time. When asked if you want to replace the existing file, click “Yes.” You will then be reconnected to Grants.gov and the Internet.] You will be prompted to provide your Grants.gov Username and Password that you obtained during registration.

  3. Click the "Login" button. This will bring you to the "Application Submission Verification and Signature" screen, which provides a summary of the Funding Opportunity for which you are applying. If everything looks accurate, click the "Sign and Submit Application" button to complete the process. Be certain that you are satisfied with your application before you click this button. No revisions to your application are possible through Grants.gov once it is submitted.

    If you have difficulty submitting, go to Adobe Reader Error Messages or Applicant Resources for several tools and documents to help you.

  4. Ensure that your application was validated and accepted by the Grants.gov system. Go to Track My Application to track the validation and progress of your application submission through Grants.gov. After the Arts Endowment retrieves your application from Grants.gov, log in to the Grants.gov system by using your Username and Password to receive your Agency Tracking Number (this will be the Arts Endowment-assigned application number).

NEW THIS YEAR: After submitting your application to Grants.gov, the optional work samples for applicants requesting support to strengthen state/regional support of the folk & traditional arts must be submitted electronically through the NEA GrantsOnline™ System (NEA-GO). This system is being administered for the NEA by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF).  Mailed work samples will not be accepted.

Additional Help

For additional help on how to use Grants.gov, please see the Grants.gov website at Applicant Resources. You also can send e-mail to the Grants.gov Contact Center at support@grants.gov or call them at 1-800-518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For specific help on how to complete your application, please review the instructions in these guidelines or contact the State & Regional staff: Andi Mathis at mathisa@arts.gov or 202/682-5430.

Detailed Instructions

For a complete application, follow Steps 1-6 below

A complete application for SAAS, RAOs, and National Services applicants consists of the following. (Off-year applicants do not have to submit items that are asterisked.)                       

 

A complete application for nonprofit organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts consists of the following:                               

Materials for Panel Review:  Not all of the items that constitute a complete on-year application will be reviewed by Partnership Agreements panelists. Panelists will review the following items:

  • Narrative with links to online support materials
  • SAA/RAO Statements
  • Board Membership List
  • Strategic Plan
  • Staffing List
  • Resources Page (RAOs Only)

Application narratives should not refer panelists to any other application materials that you submit.

NOTE FOR THE GRANTS.GOV FORMS THAT FOLLOW:  All asterisked (*) items and yellow fields on the Grants.gov forms are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit. Do not type in all capital letters when completing the forms. Enter information directly into the forms. Do not copy from an old application package or another document and paste into the forms.

Step 1: Fill out the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/SF-424 Mandatory [Back to Top]

1. Items 1a-d default to certain selections; do not change them.

2. Date Received: This will be filled automatically with the date that you submit your application; leave blank.

3. Applicant Identifier: This is for your own use or you can leave blank.

4., 5., and 6.: Leave blank.

7. Applicant Information:

a. Legal Name: The name provided here must be the applicant's legal name as it appears in the current IRS 501(c)(3) status letter or in the official document that identifies the organization as a unit of state or local government. (Do not use your organization's popular name, if different.)

b. Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN): Enter the 9-digit number that was assigned by the Internal Revenue Service; do not use a Social Security Number.

c. Organizational DUNS: All organizational applicants for federal funds must have a DUNS number, which is recognized as the universal standard for identifying organizations worldwide. The number that you enter here must agree with the number (either 9 or 13 digits) that you used with SAM (System for Award Management) as part of your Grants.gov registration. Otherwise, your application will not be validated by Grants.gov and will be rejected.

d. Address:

Use Street 1 for your street address or post office box number, whichever is used for your U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street 2 is not a required field and should be used only when a Suite or Room Number or other similar information is a necessary part of your address. Do not use Street 2 to give a second address for your organization.

In the Zip/Postal Code box, organizations in the United States should enter the full 9-digit zip code that was assigned by the U.S. Postal Service. If you do not know your full zip code, you may look it up at www.usps.com/zip4/.

e. Organizational Unit: Leave blank.

f. Name and contact information of person to be contacted on matters involving this application: Provide the requested information for the individual who should be contacted on all matters involving this application and the administration of any grant that may be awarded.

8a. Type of Applicant: Select the item that best characterizes your organization from the menu in the first drop down box. An additional description is optional.

9. Name of Federal Agency: This has been pre-populated.

10. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: This has been pre-populated.

11. Descriptive Title of Applicant's Project: Enter "Partnership Agreement"

12. Areas Affected by Funding: Leave blank.

13. Congressional District Information:

a. Applicant: Enter the number of the Congressional District where the applicant organization is located. Use the following format: 2 character State Abbreviation-3 character District Number. For example, if your organization is located in the 5th Congressional District of California, enter "CA-005." If your state has a single At-Large Representative or your territory has a single Delegate, enter your 2 character state/territory abbreviation and "-000." If you need help determining your district, please visit the House of Representatives website at www.house.gov and use the "Find Your Representative" tool.

b. Project: Leave blank.

14. Funding Period: Enter the beginning and ending dates for your requested period of support, i.e., the span of time necessary to plan, execute, and close out your Partnership Agreement. The start date should be the first day of the month, and the end date should be the last day of the month. The Arts Endowment's period of support may start on or after July 1, 2014. Generally, a period of support of up to one year is allowed.

15. Estimated Funding:

a. Federal: Enter "0."

b. Match: Leave blank.

16. State Executive Order 12372 Process: Applicants should contact the State Single Point of Contact for Executive Order 12372 to determine whether this application is subject to their state’s intergovernmental review process. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) maintains a list of official State Single Points of Contact designated by the States to review and coordinate proposed federal financial assistance and direct federal development. See www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc. (Nonprofit organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts should check box c: "Program is not covered by E.O. 12372.")

17. Is the Applicant Delinquent on Any Federal Debt?: Examples of relevant debt include delinquent payroll or other taxes, audit disallowances, and benefit overpayments. If your response is "yes," click on the "Yes" box and include an explanation with your application.

18. Authorized Representative: Enter the requested information for the AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) who will be submitting this application to Grants.gov. The AOR must have the legal authority to obligate your organization. By clicking the "I Agree" box at the top of Item 17, this individual will be certifying compliance with relevant federal requirements on your organization's behalf. (These requirements can be found in the Assurance of Compliance section of these guidelines.) The "Signature of Authorized Representative" and "Date Signed" boxes will be populated by Grants.gov upon submission of the application.

Stop after item 17. Do not add attachments.

Step 2: Fill out the Project/Performance Site Location Form [Back to Top]

This form collects information about the primary site location where the project will be performed.

SAAs should complete the top section, “Project/Performance Site Primary Location,” only. Enter your agency’s address. For the “Project/Performance Site Congressional District,” SAAs should enter their state’s 2 character State Abbreviation followed by “-all”; for example: “CA-all." This will indicate that the project impacts all districts in a state.

RAOs should enter information related to their organization address. For Congressional District information, use a 2 character State Abbreviation-3 character District Number; for example, “CA-005” for the 5th Congressional District of California. Identifying any additional sites is optional.

Nonprofit organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts should follow the instructions above for either SAAs or RAOs as appropriate to the scope of their project.

Step 3: Fill out the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) [Back to Top]

Items 1-3 default to certain selections; do not change them.

4. Name and Address of Reporting Entity: Provide the requested information for the reporting entity. Include Congressional District, if known.  (Nonprofit organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts should enter their own name and address.)

5. If Reporting Entity in No. 4 is Subawardee: Leave blank.

6. Federal Department/Agency: Enter "National Endowment for the Arts."

7. Federal Program: This has been pre-populated.

8. Federal Action Number, if known: Leave blank.

9. Award Amount, if known: Leave blank.

10. a. Name and Address of Lobbying Registrant: Provide the requested information for the registrant under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 engaged by the reporting entity identified in item 4 to influence the covered federal action. If not applicable, enter "N/A" in the fields for First Name and Last Name. (This item is not applicable for nonprofit organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts.)

b. Individual Performing Services: Enter the name of the individual performing services, and include an address if different from 10 (a). If not applicable, enter "N/A" in the fields for First Name and Last Name. (This item is not applicable for nonprofit organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts.)

11. Authorized Representative: Provide the requested information for the AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) who will be submitting the Partnership Agreements application to Grants.gov. The "Signature" and "Date" boxes will be populated by Grants.gov upon submission of the application.

Step 4 for SAAs, RAOs, and National Services Applicants: Complete and Attach Required Items to the Attachments Form [Back to Top]

The "Attachments Form" is not a form in the conventional sense. Rather, it is a place to attach documents that you have completed and saved elsewhere on your computer.

  1. Attachments 3 (Revenue Sources Information for RAOs only) and 8 (Project Budget Form for SAAs/RAOs applying for folk & traditional arts strengthening) are fillable forms; you will find a link to each. These forms can be filled in, saved to your computer, and attached without the need for special software or conversion to PDF.

    Please be sure you are using Adobe Reader (version 9 or higher) when filling out our PDF forms.

    Note to Mac users:  Your computer may be set to open PDF files using Preview (you can tell which program is being used to view a PDF file by looking at the left-most item in the menu bar).  Please verify that you are using Adobe Reader and not Preview.  If you don’t have Adobe Reader installed, you can download it here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

  2. All other attachments are documents (e.g., narratives, lists) that you will develop in accordance with the instructions provided. These items must be submitted as PDF (portable document format) files.

    Do not create PDFs of your electronic documents by scanning. Do not embed non-printable media files (video and/or sound) in your PDF documents. Static images (e.g., pictures) are acceptable. Please do not enable any document security settings or password-protect any PDF file you submit to us.

    No attachment should be more than 2 MB.

  3. For non-form documents, label pages clearly with the name of the item (e.g., Staffing List) and your organization's legal name. Leave a margin of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Do not reduce type below 12 point font size. Do not type in all capital letters. Number pages sequentially; place numbers on the bottom right hand corner of each page. Excess pages will be removed and will not be reviewed.

  4. Name your files as indicated below and attach them in the proper order. Limit file names to 50 characters and use only the following characters when naming your attachments: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, and period. Please note that you cannot change the name of a file on the Attachments Form. Therefore make certain that each file is named correctly before you attach it. Your agency name (or acronym) must be included in each file name (e.g. "ABCArtsCouncilStaff.pdf").

When you open the Grants.gov Attachments Form, you will find 15 attachment buttons. By clicking on a button, you will be able to choose the PDF file from your computer that you wish to attach. Please attach the proper file to the proper button as listed below.

The Attachments

ATTACHMENT 1: STAFFING LIST

For both on- and off-year SAAs and RAOs: To this button, attach a one-page Staffing List. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Staff.pdf" (e.g., "ABCArtsCouncilStaff.pdf").

Label the page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Staffing List." Set your page up with two columns with these headings: 1) Name, and 2) Position Title/Area of Responsibility.

Provide the requested information on all professional staff. Include both salaried and contractual personnel (including Arts Education and Folk & Traditional Arts staff, and Poetry Out Loud Coordinators), with the exception of artists who spend more than 50% of their working time away from your offices.

  • Place "(504)" in parentheses by the name of the staff member who serves as your agency's 504 coordinator.

  • Indicate by asterisk (*) personnel who are one or more of the following: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Black or African American, or Hispanic or Latino.

Example:

Name Position Title/Area of Responsibility
Jane Doe * Executive Director
John Smith (504) Director for Education

ATTACHMENT 2: BOARD MEMBERSHIP LIST

For both on- and off-year SAAs and RAOs: To this button, attach a one-page Board Membership List. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Board.pdf."

Label the page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Board Membership List." Set your page up with four columns with these headings: 1) Name, 2) Occupation, 3) City, and 4) Arts Interest/Affiliation.

Provide the requested information on all board members.

  • Indicate by asterisk (*) members who are one or more of the following: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Black or African American, or Hispanic or Latino.

  • Indicate by a cross (+) members who also are office holders.

Example:

Name Occupation City Arts Interest/
Affiliation
Mary Smith + Lawyer Springfield Board, ABC Dance Company
Bill Doe * Business Owner Sunnyvale Visual Arts Patron

ATTACHMENT 3: REVENUE SOURCES INFORMATION FORM
            [DOWNLOAD FORM]

For both on- and off-year RAOs: To this button, attach the Revenue Sources Information form. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Revenue.pdf."

ATTACHMENT 4: APPLICATION NARRATIVE

To this button, attach an Application Narrative. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Narrative.pdf." Label each page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Application Narrative."

Do not include information on Poetry Out Loud as part of your Application Narrative. This information is requested separately as Attachment 9. If you are requesting support to strengthen state or regional support of the folk & traditional arts, details on that activity are requested in Attachment 7 and should not be repeated here.

  • For off-year applicants, submit a narrative update of up to one page that describes your organization’s activities for the last year and outlines any changes in your organization, plans, or process.

  • For on-year SAAs and RAOs, submit a narrative not to exceed 10 numbered pages including the budget chart. Follow the narrative instructions for either state arts agencies or regional arts organizations.

    Provide electronic links to support material in your narrative. (We no longer accept hard copies of support material.)

ATTACHMENT 5: STRATEGIC PLAN

For on-year SAAs and RAOs: To this button, attach a single file that includes the two items below. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Plan.pdf." Label each page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Strategic Plan."

  1. A one-page Executive Summary of your organization’s most current Strategic Plan. This summary should highlight the major goals, focus, and direction for your agency as outlined in the plan.

    Indicate the time period covered by your current plan (e.g., 2011–2015) and where your organization is in its planning cycle. Examples may include: at the beginning of a new plan, mid-way through the existing plan, closing out an existing plan and preparing for a new plan, or extending the existing plan for one or more years.

  2. The Strategic Plan document (not to exceed 25 numbered pages). The plan should convey your agency’s mission, vision, goals, objectives, major strategies, and evaluation plans. More detailed work plans or program implementation plans are not required. If your agency has just completed a new plan, and your accomplishments relate to an earlier plan, attach the new plan here. You will have an opportunity to link to the former plan in your narrative.

    If your complete plan exceeds 25 pages, attach here the 25 pages that you want the panel to review. Include within your narrative a link to your full plan if it exceeds 25 pages. If you have an agency work plan or program implementation plan developed to complement your Strategic Plan, please provide a link,

ATTACHMENT 6: CHANGES IN CONFLICT OF INTEREST/APPEALS

For both on- and off-year SAAs and RAOs: If applicable, to this button attach your Changes in Conflict of Interest/Appeals document. Submit this item only if there has been a change in your conflict of interest policies or appeals process since you last applied for a Partnership Agreement. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Changes.pdf." Label each page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Changes in Conflict of Interest/Appeals."

ATTACHMENT 7: FOLK & TRADITIONAL ARTS INFORMATION

For both on- and off-year SAAs and RAOs: If you are applying for support to strengthen state or regional support of the folk & traditional arts, to this button attach information as detailed below. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Folk.pdf." Label each page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Folk & Traditional Arts Information." Your narrative can be a maximum of four pages, but keep in mind that reviewers prefer succinct descriptions. Provide the following information:

See Step 6 below for details on submitting these materials electronically.  

  • At the beginning of your narrative, a brief one-paragraph summary of your proposed project including the amount you are requesting.

  • The details of your proposed activities to strengthen the folk & traditional arts. Note whether your proposal is for a one-time project or part of a recurring program. If part of a recurring program, describe your experience with the program thus far. Explain how your project will benefit all participating partners.

  • How the project relates to your organization's overall state or regional plan, including how the project helps to fulfill the plan’s goals and objectives.

  • Efforts that your agency is making to engage in multi-year planning for future folk & traditional arts strengthening activities.

  • The qualifications of the key personnel.

  • Your plans for documenting and evaluating the program. Note how the measures will provide evidence of results addressing state or regional priorities and the NEA outcome of Engagement.

  • For professional folk arts positions, how the position will be supported independently of the NEA within three years. If you are requesting second or third year support for a position, provide a status report on the activities that have been funded thus far and your plans for continuing the position beyond the period of the Arts Endowment’s support.

  • On the last page, provide a description of any work sample(s) that you are submitting. In addition to the material that you submit electronically through Grants.gov, you have the option of providing:

    • Two media work samples and/or
    • Two publication work samples.

ATTACHMENT 8: FOLK & TRADITIONAL ARTS BUDGET INFORMATION

For both on- and off-year SAAs and RAOs: If you are applying for support to strengthen state or regional support of the folk & traditional arts, to this button attach the Project Budget Form, Pages 1 and 2. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "Folk Budget.pdf."

                  CLICK TO DOWNLOAD [FORM] [INSTRUCTIONS]

Your budget should include the following as appropriate to your proposed activities to strengthen the folk & traditional arts: Income such as state arts agency funds, support from foundations or other partners (please identify), and in-kind support (please identify the source); and Expenses such as salaries, artists’ fees, travel, administrative/space/equipment costs, documentation, design fees, etc.

ATTACHMENT 9: POETRY OUT LOUD PLAN

For both on- and off-year SAAs involved with Poetry Out Loud: To this button, attach your Poetry Out Loud Plan. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "PoetryOutLoud.pdf." Label each page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Poetry Out Loud Plan.”

Submit no more than two pages. Describe the activities proposed for 2014-2015including the anticipated geographic reach and timetable. List the name, position/title, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of your Poetry Out Loud coordinator. If program coordination is contracted out, list both the contractor's information and the name of the main SAA supervisor/contact. For more information about running a statewide Poetry Out Loud program, please see Poetry Out Loud State Partnership Agreement Information.

Step 4 for Nonprofit Organizations Applying for State/Regional Strengthening of the Folk & Traditional Arts: Complete and Attach Required Items to the Attachments Form [Back to Top]

When you open the Grants.gov Attachments Form, you will find 15 attachment buttons. By clicking on a button, you will be able to choose the file that you wish to attach. Attachment 2 (Project Budget Form) is a fillable form; you will find a link to it. The other attachments should be created, saved to your computer, and converted to PDF before attaching. Follow all instructions on formatting and PDF Conversion that appear above (under Step 4 for SAAS, RAOs, and National Services). Please attach the proper file to the proper button as listed below.

ATTACHMENT 1: DETAILS OF THE PROJECT NARRATIVE

To this button, attach your Details of the Project narrative. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "DetailsofProject.pdf."  Label each page clearly with your organization's legal name and "Project Narrative." Your narrative can be a maximum of four pages, but keep in mind that reviewers prefer succinct descriptions. Provide the following information:

  • At the beginning of your narrative, a brief one-paragraph summary of your proposed project including the amount you are requesting.
  • The details of your proposed activities to strengthen your state or region's support of the folk & traditional arts. Note whether your proposal is for a one-time project or part of a recurring program. If part of a recurring program, describe your experience with the program thus far. Explain how your project will benefit all participating partners.
  • How the project relates to your state or region's overall plan, programming, and strategies for strengthening support of the folk & traditional arts.
  • Efforts that your organization and collaborating SAA(s)/RAO are making to engage in multi-year planning for future folk & traditional arts strengthening activities.
  • The qualifications of the key personnel.
  • Your plans for documenting and evaluating the program. Note how the measures will provide evidence of results addressing state or regional priorities and the NEA outcome of Engagement.
  • Some specific examples of previous activities that: 1) demonstrate your organization's ability to carry out the proposed project, and 2) document your organization's three-year history of programming prior to the application deadline.
  • For professional folk arts positions, how the position will be supported independently of the NEA within three years. If you are requesting second or third year support for a position, provide a status report on the activities that have been funded thus far and your plans for continuing the position beyond the period of the Arts Endowment’s support.
  • On the last page, provide a description of any work sample(s) that you are submitting. In addition to the material that you submit electronically through Grants.gov, you have the option of providing:
    • Two media work samples and/or
    • Two publication work samples.

      Details on submitting this material electronically are in Step 6 below. 


ATTACHMENT 2: PROJECT BUDGET FORM, PAGES 1 and 2

To this button, attach the Project Budget form, Pages 1 and 2. The file name should indicate the name of your organization or a recognizable acronym followed by "ProjectBudget.pdf."

     CLICK TO DOWNLOAD [FORM] [ INSTRUCTIONS ]

Your budget should include the following as appropriate to your proposed activities to strengthen the folk & traditional arts: Income such as state arts agency funds, support from foundations or other partners (please identify), and in-kind support (please identify the source); and Expenses such as salaries, artists’ fees, travel, administrative/space/equipment costs, documentation, design fees, etc.

ATTACHMENT 3: SAA/RAO STATEMENTS:

To this button, attach a statement(s) from the relevant state arts agency(ies) or regional arts organization that reflects their support for and involvement in the project as the state or region's only application for this type of project. Statements should discuss how the project will relate to the state or region's overall plan for support of the arts. Each statement should include the name, phone number, and email address of the individual who provided it.

You do not have to fill the remaining Attachment buttons.

Step 5: Submit Items in Steps 1-4 above electronically through Grants.gov [Back to Top]

Follow the detailed instructions under “Submit your electronic application” above.

 

Step 6: Electronic Submission of Work Samples [Back to Top]

Folk & Traditional Arts Material (OPTIONAL)

In addition to the material that you submit through Grants.gov, both on- and off-year SAAs and RAOs, and nonprofit organizations, applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts have the option of submitting work samples. You will use the NEA GrantsOnline™ System (NEA-GO), which is being administered for the NEA by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). Do not submit work samples through Grants.gov or send hard copies.

This will proceed as follows:

  1. You will complete the Grants.gov application process as detailed through Step 5 of the instructions above.

  2. On October 14, 2014, NEA will email you the login information (URL, User name, and Password) for accessing NEA-GO.

  3.  NEA-GO will be open for you to submit application material and work samples beginning on October 14, 2014.

    You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on October 17, 2014, to upload, preview/check, and submit your work samples electronically.

  4. You will access NEA-GO for detailed instructions and to upload your work samples.

    The NEA-GO system is optimized for use with the following web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. Internet Explorer will also work, but you must have at least version IE 8.

NEA staff will be available to answer any questions that you have.

You should prepare your work samples well in advance of the deadline and have them fully ready to upload once NEA-GO becomes available to you.

Work Sample Preparation

Work sample(s) – if provided – should demonstrate artistic quality and/or technical ability, as appropriate to your project.

You may submit:

  • Two media work samples and/or
  • Two publication work samples and/or
  • Supplementary material (12 page maximum).

Acceptable Formats
You will be able to upload samples in the formats described below. There is a limit of 250 MB for all of your work samples combined.

Video Samples
You may submit a link to a video sample, or upload a video sample directly to NEA-GO.

If you submit a link:

Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any necessary information on required plug-ins, passwords, or navigation paths.

If you upload directly to NEA-GO:

Acceptable file types are avi, flv, mov, mp4, mpeg, rm, and wmv. Your video sample must be in one of these acceptable file types. File types such as VIDEO_TS.BUP, VIDEO_TS.IFO, and VIDEO_TS.VOB will not work.

In order to be uploaded, videos must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Resolution: At least 480 x 360
  • Frames per second (fps): At least 12

You can often check the resolution of a video as follows. In Windows environments, find the file on your computer, right click it, and select "Properties."  On a Mac, hold the Control key, and click on the file name. Select "Get Info" and the information should display. Most videos are a standard 29 frames per second. 
 
While the above requirements are the minimum, submitting your video in the mp4 (H.264) format at 640 x 480 with mp3 audio will allow for efficient uploading while showing your clips to best advantage. There is a file size limit of 250 MB. (Note, however, that there is a limit of 250 MB for all of your work samples combined so choose your video samples carefully.)

If you are submitting more than one video sample, you will upload each individually, in a separate file.

Documents (Publications, letters of support, maps, brochures, etc.)
Upload each document individually, in a separate file. Each file has a size limit of 5 MB and 12 pages. All documents should be submitted as PDF files.

If you have to scan material, please follow the guidance below:

  • Scan images at a resolution of 300 dpi. Resolutions over 300 dpi will result in unnecessarily large files.
  • Experiment with the JPEG quality settings. Saving the document as a "medium quality" or "low quality" JPEG will reduce the file size, and is not likely to reduce readability.
  • When you have scanned the images, combine them into a single PDF file. Submit a single file for each document; do not submit a separate file for each scanned page.

Websites
Do not submit your organization's general website. Only submit a website that is an essential part of the project.

Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any necessary information on required plug-ins, passwords, or navigation paths.

  • NOTE: If you provide links to works samples -- such as video samples or publications – the same limits on work samples uploaded directly to NEA-GO apply to those provided via links:  Video samples: No more than two selections.
  • Documents: Two publications and up to 12 additional pages of supplemental materials.

Work Sample Information
For each work sample that you upload electronically, you will find a descriptive field into which you will enter the following information, as appropriate:
Title box:

  • The title of the work or organization represented by the work sample. Title each work sample with a unique name. This title must not contain an apostrophe.

Description box:

  • Name of the designer(s), artist(s), or key individuals involved.
  • Title of work/image/activity (if different from first bullet).
  • Date of work/image/activity.
  • No more than one sentence describing the work and its relationship to the project for which you are requesting support.
  • For video, length of the sample.

[Applicants submitting multiple images on a PDF should include the relevant information from above with each image in the PDF. The descriptive field for the file should provide a brief overview of the group of images as a whole.]

Application Form Part II

Following review of applications, each SAA and RAO will be informed of the dollar amount that is recommended for its Partnership Grant. With these dollar recommendations, agencies will receive the Application Form Part II and instructions for providing budget information for their Partnership Agreement.

Nonprofit organizations applying for state/regional strengthening of the folk & traditional arts will be informed of the need for a revised budget, as necessary.

Narrative for State Arts Agencies

Panelists will apply the Review Criteria for State Arts Agencies when examining your Application Narrative, as well as your Plan.

Provide an Application Narrative that:

  • Is a maximum of 10 pages, including the budget chart.
  • Follows the bold faced headings and letters/numbers below. This will assure that your Narrative directly addresses the criteria that the panelists will use when reviewing your application.
  • Follows all formatting instructions, including the requirements for a font size of at least 12 points and margins of at least 1 inch.
  • Includes electronic links to support/supplementary material that is referenced in your Narrative. We no longer accept support material via attachments or in hard copy. Panelists recommend that URL links be used in moderation. Links that direct the reader to supplemental materials rather than to additional narrative content are most appropriate.

At the start of your narrative provide a link to the enabling legislation, executive order, or comparable documentation that shows that your agency is officially designated the State Arts Agency responsible for:

  1. Developing a statewide arts plan and establishing arts and cultural policy with statewide impact; and
  2. Coordinating and administering all financial support received from the NEA and the State in conjunction with the SAA Partnership Agreement.  

A.  Overview

Describe major developments or conditions in your state – e.g., economic, cultural, demographic, educational, geographical, political – that have an impact on your agency's planning and operations. Identify those constituencies your agency defines as "underserved."

B. Quality of the planning process

  1. Describe your agency’s most recent planning process. Describe the structure and design of the process; efforts undertaken to invite and include the perspectives of all constituents in the process (including artists, arts organizations, educators, state agencies, community groups, businesses, and the regional arts organization serving  your state); the degree to which members/representatives of underserved communities were involved in designing, developing, and participating in the planning process; and efforts undertaken to engage constituents through a variety of means such as public meetings, surveys, interviews, and the use of media as relevant to the constituent body.

  2. Summarize the recommendations and priorities for your state plan that resulted from the public meetings* and other forums.

  3. Describe your agency’s response to these recommendations*, and the way in which the response was communicated to the public-- including but not limited to references in the state plan.

*Information required by Section 5(g) of the Arts Endowment’s legislation.

C. Quality of the plan

Include a link to your strategic plan here in addition to including it as Attachment #5. Panelists evaluate the vision, mission, clarity of the plan, appropriateness of the goals and strategies, adaptability of the agency, and centrality of the arts to the agency’s work. Do not address this information in your narrative.

D. Quality of accomplishments and implementation in relation to the plan

Address the following:

NOTE: You will be attaching your current/new plan as one of the required elements of your application. If your accomplishments relate to a previous plan, please provide a link to the previous plan in this section of your narrative so that panelists can see the alignment of your accomplishments with the earlier plan.

  1. Describe your agency’s most significant programs, activities, and accomplishments in service to your state’s current or most recent strategic plan. Organize the description of your programs, activities, and accomplishments in relation to the goals and objectives of your strategic plan.
    • Describe programs and special initiatives in which your state agency is exercising leadership.

    • Describe the public and private partnerships that enable you to deliver these programs and initiatives.
    • Where relevant, indicate how these programs, activities, and accomplishments align with the NEA outcomes of Creation, Engagement, Learning, Livability, and/or Understanding. (Identify the applicable NEA outcomes in brackets at the end of your description of each program, activity, or accomplishment.)  

  2. Arts learning programs, activities, and accomplishments often align with multiple strategic goals and objectives. If this is the case with your strategic plan, please concentrate your description of the programs, activities, and accomplishments your agency has undertaken to strengthen arts learning (pre-K through 12 arts education and lifelong learning) into this section of your narrative. (Poetry Out Loud program information is requested separately in Attachment 9. Do not address it in your narrative.)

    • Describe the programs and special initiatives in which your state agency is exercising leadership.

    • Describe the public and private partnerships that enable you to deliver these programs and initiatives.

    • Indicate whether pre-K through 12 programs and activities align with curriculum standards at the state and/or national level. 

    • Identify the applicable NEA outcomes, in addition to Learning, in brackets at the end of your description of each program, activity, or accomplishment.  

  3. Programs, activities, and accomplishments designed specifically to reach underserved communities often align with multiple strategic goals and objectives. If this is the case with your strategic plan, please concentrate your description of the programs, activities, and accomplishments your agency has undertaken to engage underserved communities into this section of your narrative.

    • Identify the programs and special initiatives in which your state agency is exercising leadership.

    • Identify the public and private partnerships that enable you to deliver these programs and initiatives.

    • Identify the applicable NEA outcomes in brackets at the end of your description of each program, activity, or accomplishment.  

  4. Describe the metrics your agency uses for measuring progress in relation to your state plan. Note how these metrics will provide evidence of achieving state priorities and, where relevant, the NEA outcomes of Creation, Engagement, Learning, Livability, and/or Understanding.  

    • Describe how those served, including underserved groups, are included in the evaluation process.

    • Note if, and how, outside experts are involved in your evaluation activities.

    • Describe any changes that your agency plans to make based on evaluation of your programs and services.

    • Where outcomes, goals, or objectives were not met or were only partially met, explain why. Include here how changes in your operating environment may have affected your ability to achieve outcomes, goals, and objectives.

E.   Budget Chart

On the last page of your narrative, provide a one-line description of each of your agency’s categories, programs, or initiatives for the first fiscal year of the proposed agreement, with projected dollar allocations (include federal and non-federal sources). To help panelists understand the relationship between the budget and the application narrative, identify with a “Y” those categories for which allocations are determined by your legislature or that relate to arts education or underserved areas. (Do NOT enter a dollar figure for such allocations.) You may use footnotes to explain the use of funds in support of Poetry Out Loud activity, as relevant.

Please use the budget chart format below.

Name of Category, Program or Initiative 1-line Description Total
$ Amount
Allocation Legislatively Determined? Expended on Arts Education? Expended on Underserved?
           
Include sub-categories and sub-totals as necessary to demonstrate the connection between budget allocations and your application narrative.     For these 3 columns, use a "Y" to indicate yes, otherwise leave blank. Do not enter dollar amounts.
   
   
   
   
   
   
           

Narrative for Regional Arts Organizations

Panelists will apply the Review Criteria for Regional Arts Organizations when examining your Application Narrative, as well as your Plan.

Provide an Application Narrative that:

  • Is a maximum of 10 pages, including the budget chart.
  • Follows the bold faced headings and letters/numbers below. This will assure that your Narrative directly addresses the criteria that the panelists will use when reviewing your application.
  • Follows all formatting instructions, including the requirements for a font size of at least 12 points and margins of at least 1 inch.
  • Includes electronic links to support/supplementary material that is referenced in your Narrative. We no longer accept support material as attachments or in hard copy format. Panelists recommend that URL links be used in moderation. Links that direct the reader to supplemental materials rather than to additional narrative content are most appropriate.

A.  Overview

Describe major developments or conditions in your region – e.g., economic, cultural, demographic, educational, geographical, political – that have an impact on your organization's planning and operations.

B.  Quality of the planning process

Describe the structure and design of your organization’s planning process including:

  • Efforts undertaken to engage member state arts agencies in the RAO's planning process.

  • Efforts undertaken to engage other constituent groups, including those the RAO defines as underserved.

  • Ways in which the RAO responded to constituent priorities that surfaced during the planning process.

C. Quality of the plan

Please include a link to your plan here (in addition to providing the plan as Attachment #5). Panelists will evaluate the vision, mission, clarity of the plan, appropriateness of the goals and strategies, adaptability of the organization, and centrality of the arts to the organization’s work. Do not address this information in your narrative.

D.  Quality of accomplishments and implementation in relation to the plan

Address the following:

  1. Describe your organization’s most significant programs, activities, and accomplishments in relation to the goals and objectives of the current or most recent strategic plan. 

    NOTE: If your accomplishments relate to a previous plan, please provide a link to the previous plan in this section of your narrative so that panelists can see the alignment of your accomplishments with the earlier plan.

    • Describe the range of programs and special initiatives in which your regional arts organization is exercising leadership.

    • Describe the public and private partnerships that enable you to deliver these programs and initiatives.

    • Identify the programs, activities, and accomplishments associated with the NEA Regional Touring Program, including educational activities and community partnerships. Describe the process by which NEA Regional Touring funds are awarded including the criteria used and the expertise involved in adjudicating grants, and the provisions for ensuring that an appropriate proportion of activity takes place in underserved communities.

    • National Services applicants should address efforts to provide leadership at the national level including training, planning, coordination, and information services that increase accountability and transparency.

    • Where relevant, indicate how these programs, activities, and accomplishments align with the NEA outcomes of Creation, Engagement, Learning, Livability, and/or Understanding. (Identify the applicable NEA outcomes in brackets at the end of the description of each program, activity, or accomplishment.)  

  2. Describe the metrics used for measuring progress in relation to the RAO plan. Note how these metrics will provide evidence of achieving regional priorities and, where relevant, the NEA outcomes of Creation, Engagement, Learning, Livability, and/or Understanding.  

    • Describe how constituents, including underserved groups, are included in the evaluation process.

    • Note if, and how, outside experts are involved in your evaluation activities.

    • Describe any changes that your organization plans to make based on the evaluation of your programs and services.

    • If outcomes, goals, or objectives were not met, or were only partially met, explain why. Include here how changes in your operating environment may have affected your ability to achieve outcomes, goals, and objectives.

E.  Resource Development and Management

  1. Discuss the health of your organization's development efforts (grants, contributions, earned income). What strategies are you employing to secure and enhance future revenues? 

  2. Describe the steps that your organization is taking to maximize the cost effectiveness of its operations.

F.  Budget Chart

On the last page of your narrative, use the budget chart below to provide a one-line description of each category, program, or initiative for the first fiscal year of the proposed agreement, with the projected Partnership Agreement and non-Partnership Agreement dollar allocations. Identify with a "Y" those categories for which NEA Regional Touring Program funds would be used.  (Do not provide dollar amounts for these Regional Touring funds.)

Please use the budget chart format below.

Category, Program, or Initiative Description Projected Partnership Agreement Funds Projected Non-Partnership Agreement Funds Total Funds Uses NEA Regional Touring Funds
Include sub-categories and sub-totals
as necessary to demonstrate the connection between budget allocations
and your application narrative.
      Use a "Y" to indicate yes; otherwise leave blank. Do not enter dollar amounts.