Revising our local guidelines is on our agenda for our next public meeting on July 20, 2011, 7:00-9:00 pm, Medford City Hall, Room 207. If you have feedback or suggestions, please come to the meeting or post a comment here! (Council members cannot post our opinions here about what we should do, because that discussion must take place during our public meetings. But we can answer questions about how our guidelines work.)
The decisions we make will affect our 2012 grant cycle. The deadline for 2012 grant applications is October 15, 2011.
Medford Arts Council local guidelines
Our local guidelines and funding priorities are at www.medfordartscouncil.org/apply.html along with a link to our scoresheet.
Decisions to make: Should we add, change, or remove any of our local guidelines and funding priorities? Should we change our scoresheet?
Revised state guidelines
For 2012 grants, the state has revised several guidelines. You can see an explanation of these changes at www.medfordartscouncil.org/2012/revised_guidelines.pdf.
Here are the areas the state has revised:
- Clarifying who can serve on a council
- Clarifying how our funds must be managed
- Clarifying the timeframe for eligible projects
- Clarifying that religious and non-profit schools are eligible to apply for funding for cultural programs that do not advance religion (subject to the same criteria and restrictions as public schools). For-profit schools continue to be ineligible
- Revising the "no substitution" criteria
- Removing the "no dependency" criteria
- Creating a new reconsideration process
- Clarifying the reimbursement timeframe
- Creating a new process for handling incomplete projects
- Changing the guidelines and applications for cultural field trips (no longer called PASS grants)
Timeframe for eligible projects
The state guidelines continue to say that the broadest allowable timeframe for LCC programs is from July 1 preceding the application deadline to December 31 of the following year. The state also says that local councils can define a shorter timeframe. The Medford Arts Council's local guidelines have said that programs must take place during the calendar year following the application deadline.
Decision to make: Should we change our timeframe for eligible projects?
Funding projects over many years
LCC grants have never been meant to be a fixed source of funding for projects occurring year after year. The previous guidelines advised LCCs that a good rule of thumb was a three year cap on funding for the same project. In response to LCC and applicant feedback, this guideline has been removed entirely as a state review criteria, however…
Councils are encouraged to develop local guidelines regarding matching funding or funding limits over time so that new projects can receive funding and the council can continue to meet the community's needs. Councils that want to continue to use Non-Dependency as a review criteria must publish this in their local guidelines before September 1.
The Medford Arts Council has considered the non-dependency guideline in the past, and has given some priority to new projects in our local guidelines and in our scoresheet.
Decisions to make: Should we revise our local guideline (which currently says that 20% of our funds go to new projects) or our scoresheet (which gives some extra points to new and evolving projects)? Should we establish a local guideline which limits funding to long-term projects in some way?
Cultural field trips (formerly known as PASS)
Changes have been made to this type of grant, but the core goal remains the same--to send children on cultural field trips. Local councils may choose to fund cultural field trips for children, grades pre-K through 12, by subsidizing the cost for children to attend programs in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences (including performances, educational tours and exhibits). Based on community input, each local cultural council may determine whether or not they accept requests for field trips, and if so, what types of expenses are eligible (student ticket cost, transportation, chaperone tickets, guide fees, etc.).
The Medford Arts Council has local guidelines based on community input which state that we do not fund transportation for field trips, and that up to 7% of the Council's funding will be granted to the schools for field trips.
Decisions to make: Should we revise our local guidelines for field trips?