Arts Council Napa Valley Community Fund Grant Guidelines Released

Arts Council is excited to announce the launch of our new Community Fund Grants Program!

Image: Art on First
Arts Council is excited to announce the launch of our new Community Fund Grants Program! We’re inviting our community of small nonprofit organizations and individual artists to apply. The program will provide funds so that local work may grow and deepen the impact of arts and culture for all in the Napa County community.
The Community Fund Grants Program is supported in major part by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is designed to further ACNV’s goals of increasing resources and support to the local creative community as well as creating greater access, engagement, and culturally relevant opportunities for locals.
The ACNV Community Fund is open to all artistic and cultural disciplines, including but not limited to performing arts, visual arts, emerging fields, and literary arts.
Key Dates
Application Available: October 25, 2016
Deadline to Apply: Thursday, December 8, 2016, 5:00 pm
Awards Announced: February 2017
Funding Period: March 2017 – December 2017
Attend one of our Applicant Information Sessions to learn more about the guidelines and
tips on applying
Watch a video of an Information Session here:
Questions? Please contact Colette Schow at

Grant Guidelines

Arts Council Napa Valley Community Fund Grants Program
Growing & Deepening the Impact of Arts and Culture in our Community
Application Available: October 25, 2016
Deadline to Apply: Thursday, December 8, 2016, 5:00 pm
Awards Announced: February 2017
Funding Period: March 2017 – December 2017
About Arts Council Napa Valley
Mission | Arts Council Napa Valley provides leadership that unites, supports, and enhances our exceptional arts and culture community.
Vision | Throughout Napa County the arts are celebrated, fostering a cultural center that inspires the world.
Values | Innovation. Inclusivity. Collaboration. Integrity. Strategy. Fun.
Program Mission
ACNV has established this new grant program to provide capital to small nonprofit organizations and individual artists, so that their work may grow and deepen the impact of arts and culture for all in the Napa County community.  Funding is designed to support ACNV’s goals of increasing resources and support to the local creative community as well as creating greater access,  engagement, and culturally relevant opportunities for locals.
Program Goals & Objectives
The ACNV Community Fund is open to all artistic and cultural disciplines, including but not limited to performing arts, visual arts, emerging fields, and literary arts. The goals of the ACNV Community Fund are to:
  1. To elevate the level of support to small nonprofit organizations and individual artists dedicated to fostering creativity and providing arts and culture experiences within and for the Napa County community;
  2. To grow the use of and/or deepen the relationship with arts and culture within the Napa County community, especially through public agencies, community-serving organizations and/or public spaces;
  3. To support a diversity of programs in representation of disciplines, heritages, subcultures, gender-representation, race/ethnicity, creative processes, and ages;
  4. To support projects that serve community members whose ability to engage with and/or relevant access to arts and culture opportunities may be limited by geography, language, economic, or disability.
This application is open to both nonprofits and individual artists. Only one application total may be submitted per individual per funding round.  
To be eligible to apply, applicants must:
  • Be the program “owner/presenter” directly responsible for managing, overseeing and implementing ALL administrative aspects of the proposed program, including but not limited to program design, reporting, data collection, scheduling, presentation, etc.
  • For Organization Applicants:
    • Be a 501c3 nonprofit located in Napa County, CA
    • Have an annual operating budget of $100,000 or less
    • Offer arts/creativity programming as the primary focus of the organization’s activities
  • For Artist Applicants:
    • Show proof of residence in Napa County, CA
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Be a working artist with at least 2 years of experience
Additionally, ACNV will only consider projects which follow these following:
  • All final programs/projects must have a live aspect that takes place in a publicly accessible space within Napa County, CA
  • If applying in partnership with another group, individual or agency, applicant must provide written letter of support from program partner(s)
Applicants are ineligible if they are a current employee, consultant, board member or major funder of Arts Council Napa Valley, or an immediate family member of such a person.
Evaluation Criteria
Grant applications will be reviewed by an independent panel and final recommendations approved by ACNV board. Panelists will make recommendations based on:
  • Artistic Merit as evidenced by: quality and scope of the program; expertise and experience of key artistic personnel as related to the implementation of the program; reputation and history of the organization/individual, its programs and services; track record of providing high quality programs.  
  • Impact as evidenced by: high quality, active participation and enriching experiences in arts and culture; effectiveness in utilizing arts and/or culture to create a stimulating and impactful experience; clear description of intended outcomes of the project on the target audience; well-articulated and thoughtful approach to measuring and monitoring the impact on participants (i.e., post event surveys, observation, etc.); number of audience members anticipated to be served directly and effectively by the project.  
  • Capacity to Administer and Implement the Program as evidenced by: expertise and experience of key administrative personnel; capacity to attract additional outside support – financial, in-kind, volunteer, etc.; financial stability of the organization and/or previous project(s); ability to document/provide evidence of participation and outcomes; ability to document/provide evidence of committed partners or collaborators; board and/or volunteer support of the organization.  
  • Community Outreach and Engagement as evidenced by, demonstrated efforts collaborate on the project with key stakeholders; clear and effective marketing plan and/or engagement strategy; a well-defined core purpose of serving a public benefit (vs. economic benefit); demonstrated efforts to reach and engage underserved populations who may be limited by factors such as geography, economics, age, language, and/or disability.
  • Completeness and Clarity of Application as evidenced by a easily understood and fully realized vision for the project, its audience and intended impact.
Panelists will NOT make recommendations based on:
  • Financial Need
  • Personal Preference or Relationship
  • Information not provided in the grant application or by ACNV staff
Grant Amounts
Grants will be awarded in the amount of $1,500-$5,000.
Note: Funding is limited and successful applications must demonstrate the administrative, programmatic, fiscal and technical capacity to implement the project and to manage the amount of their request responsibly. While not required, applicants are encouraged to explore other funding sources in addition to seeking support from this program in order to ensure successful implementation of their project.
Grantee Responsibilities
  • Submit a final report at the completion of the grant period
  • Retain financial records for the funded project in the event that they are required for an audit
  • Recognize Arts Council Napa Valley in printed and promotional materials
  • Document the project through photos, video, stories and testimonials for inclusion in the final report
How to Apply
  1. STEP 1: Attend a grant information session (Schedule of workshops available at
  2. STEP 2: Prepare your Required Attachments (see below based on the specifications listed)
  3. STEP 3: Go to to review and download the application. Complete all questions and requirements, return COMPLETED applications via email to:
Applications received via email or in person after 5:00 pm on the deadline will not be accepted. Technical questions and error notifications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – to give our staff time to help you troubleshoot any problems submitting your application.
Required Attachments
Please include the following attachments, as a separate scanned document attached to the same submission email as the application, with your completed Application Form.
Organizational Applicants
  • Narrative of proposed project
  • Organizational Bylaws
  • Most recent completed fiscal year budget
  • IRS Tax Exempt Determination Letter
Individual Applicants
  • Narrative of proposed project
  • Resume of Lead Artist (Project Director)
  • 3-5 Work Samples (Portfolio of Relevant Past Projects)
Optional Attachments
You may attach up to 5 pages OR 5 minutes of additional materials to further address any of the evaluation criteria listed (i.e., press clippings, letters of support, testimonials, program materials, etc.). The grant panel will review up to 5 minutes of additional materials, whether written, image, video and audio, total.
Grant Award Notice, Payments, Site Visits and Final Report
Grantees will receive an electronic grant award notification packet which will include a grant agreement (contract) and a Final Report form. The Contract must be completed and signed in order to receive payment. Payment will be processed within 10 days of receiving the completed Contract.
Awardees will be recognized at the annual Napa County State of the Arts event on DATE, please be aware that funded applicants will be asked to attend.
During the grant period, ACNV staff may request site visits to learn about the status of the funded program/project. We welcome news and images/videos on the progress of the grant.
The Final Report document will ask Grantee to document the results and outcomes of the project and is required to be submitted no later than March 28, 2016. Future funding from Arts Council Napa Valley will not be provided to any grantee who has not completed a Final Report.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
It is the policy of the ACNV’s Board of Directors to promote and ensure equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, religion, age, disability or other categories protected by federal, state, or local law.


  • Consider your audience – writing to a panel who do not know you, nor the community

  • We highly recommend Sondra Perl’s Composing Guidelines process for help in drafting your project narrative.

  • Take advantage of optional attachments to tell your story fully

  • Select work samples that speak to your style, ability, and experience with the proposed project