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Grant Review

Review meetings of the Arts Advisory Panel are held via Zoom approximately one month after each grant deadline. These meetings are open to the public and attendance by applicants is encouraged. Meeting times are distributed to applicants and posted on our Calendar as each meeting date approaches.

Review Criteria

At the Grant Review meeting, the Arts Advisory Panel reviews all eligible proposals and scores each based on the following criteria.

1. Artistic merit and quality of the project or program. Considerations used to address this criterion may include:

  • How well do the resources such as qualifications of artistic personnel, facilities, activities, etc., meet the project goals?
  • How well does the project meet or advance the goals of the artist or organization?
  • How does the project contribute to the artistic development of the respective art form and/or audience?
  • How does the project increase the number and variety of arts opportunities in the community or attempt new approaches to existing arts programs?

2. Demand or need for the project or program by the applicant or by the constituents served. Considerations used to address this criterion may include:

  • Community involvement and support for the project.
  • Whether the project is duplicated and if so, does it improve upon an existing program?
  • The method used to determine that the project is needed.

3. Ability of the applicant to accomplish the project or program they describe or the organizational goals as presented. Considerations used to address this criterion may include:

  • The planning process used to develop the project format.
  • Qualifications of the artistic and administrative personnel to be used in the project.
  • Feasibility of the budget.
  • Marketing and publicity efforts.
  • Evidence of the applicant or host organization’s fiscal responsibility.
  • Previous successful efforts.

Review Process

The main function of the Arts Advisory Panel is to advise the Board of Directors on the merits of the grant proposals SEMAC receives. When reviewing the applications, each panelist gives three numerical scores to each application, one corresponding to each of the three review criteria. The scores range from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). When tallied, the scores are weighted and the total of the weighted scores is divided by the number of reviewers scoring the application.

Following the Grant Review, the Board of Directors then reviews the scores of the Arts Advisory Panel at the next regularly scheduled board meeting. This meeting is also open to the public. The Board makes final funding decisions, taking into consideration the Panel results. In the event there are more meritorious projects than money available, grants are ranked by score and awards made until the allocated funds are exhausted. A list of awards is posted the day after the Board meeting, and all applicants are notified by email through the grant interface regarding the Board’s decision.

There is no right of appeal to dispute decisions with respect to artistic merit, quality, demand, need, or ability. However, and only for Legacy Grants, any applicant who can show cause that established grant review procedures were not followed may file an appeal in writing within ten business days of notification of the SEMAC Board’s decision on that application.

The Board Executive Committee reviews an appeal prior to the next scheduled board meeting. The Executive Committee determines if sufficient cause for an appeal exists and if further investigation is warranted. If the Executive Committee finds that there is cause for an appeal, they will bring the matter before the entire Board, which shall make a final decision.