These guidelines outline what is required of applicants by law and by the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA), Department of Economic and Community Development.

Because most COA programs are competitive, however, meeting these requirements does not ensure activities will be funded. All applications are objectively reviewed according to how well they meet the criteria stated in the guidelines under each program area. Should you have any questions regarding any of the guidelines or applications, please contact the appro­priate program manager.

COA receives annual funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.  As a recipient of federal funds, COA complies with all pertinent federal requirements. Those COA grantees receiving federal funds must, therefore, comply with all pertinent federal requirements.

Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination

Applicants receiving COA funds must comply with all governmental regulation concerning nondiscrimination. Grantees are prohibited from discrimination in employment and the provision of services because of race, color, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, ancestry, learning disability, physical disability or blindness, present or past history of mental disability, mental retardation, genetic history or criminal record.

ADA Compliance

Applicants receiving COA funds must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title 3) by making appropriate and reasonable accommodations to ensure that people with disabilities have equal physical and communications access to services and programs, as defined by federal law. If an applicant’s facilities or activities do not meet the standards of the ADA, the applicant may be ineligible for COA funding.


COA does not own, collect royalties on or hold copyrights to artistic products resulting from its grants nor will it take any action on behalf of the grantee to protect the grantee’s intellectual property rights. COA does, however, have legal authority to reproduce and use documentation of such products for educational, promotional, official or noncommercial purposes, both electronically and in print. COA will retain possession of all materials submitted in support of a grant application or a final report.

Funding Restrictions

COA does not fund the following:

  • Organizations whose membership and participation policies do not comply with non-discrimination laws
  • Brick and mortar and capital improvements except in the Arts Endowment Fund, Good to Great Grant Program, and as noted in specific grant program guidelines
  • Activities that have already been completed
  • Religious programming and activities
  • Fundraisers and social events
  • Interest expenses paid on loans or debts
  • Lobbying activities
  • Political contributions
  • Legal fees
  • Individuals who are not residents of Connecticut at the time of application.  Applicants for the State Troubadour and State Poet Laureate programs must have resided in Connecticut for at least five years prior to the submission of the application.
Applying to Multiple Programs

COA does not accept applications to multiple grant programs for the same project and activity. Applicants must follow all instructions and provide accurate and complete information in all sections and supporting materials as stated in each program’s guidelines. Failure to do so will render the application ineligible for review.

Freedom of Information Act

Applications and all information submitted will become public records under the Freedom of Information Act, C.G.S. §1-200, et. seq. unless specifically exempted by the Act. Applicants may request that information contained in the application which are not exempt by the Act, C.G.S. §1-210, be exempt from public disclosure. Such requests will be taken under consider­ation by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Award Notification / Grant Payment

The following process is applicable to all COA grants:

  • COA will notify all applicants of funding decisions via email.
  • Successful applicants will receive award notification and grant documents, which must be signed and returned within 30 days.
  • Unless otherwise noted, grant payments will not be processed until COA receives a signed grant contract.
  • Every COA grant award issued to an organization shall be accompanied by a contract resolution that names the individual who is authorized to sign the contract on behalf of the organization and that the resolution is in effect as of the date of the contract signing. 
  • While grant contracts issued to an individual will not require a resolution, grant contracts issued to any fiscal sponsor will require a resolution.
  • After the signed grant documents are returned to COA, contingent upon availability of funds, payments will be authorized in one or more installments as indicated on the contract.
  • Grant funds, however, will not be disbursed if the grantee has an outstanding final report from any prior COA grant program.

Tax Information for Individuals

Please note that grants and honorariums to individuals are considered earnings by the IRS. Individual grantees and panelists are required to submit a W-9 form so that we can complete our IRS reporting. You should expect to receive a Form 1099 for your tax filing.

Grantee Responsibilities

Grantees shall honor all legal requirements as specified in the contract. Those receiving federal funds shall comply with certain federal requirements as stipulated.

Grant recipients are required to expend all COA grant funds within the specified funding period for the purposes indicated in Section 1 of the contract and confirmed by the applicant’s grant proposal.

Request for Modification to Grant Contract

Any request for changes or modifications to a contract, including a request for an extension of the funding period, shall be formally made in writing to the program’s manager. Submission of such a request does not authorize the change or modification. All requests for extension of time shall be made within 30 days prior to the expiration of the contract. 

NOTE: COA urges grantees to contact the office at the earliest indication that their funded project or program will necessitate any noteworthy change(s) from the information submitted in their original proposal (termination of a partnership, a greater than 20% change in allocation of state funding, difficulty meeting a deadline, etc).

Matching Funds

Grantees shall adhere to the matching requirements of the particular grant program.  Other State funds cannot be used as a match for a COA grant. Federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts cannot be used as a match for a COA grant.  Refer to individual grant programs for details.

Acknowledging COA Support

Grant recipients are required to credit the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts in print, A/V and electronic materials and publicity materials (such as press releases, brochures, posters, advertisements and web sites) related to the funded project or activities.  Click here for full requirements.

Appeals Process

What May be Appealed:  Applicants to the COA grant programs for funding or for listing within a directory or roster may appeal the decision of COA based on the following reasons:

  • the application was declined on the basis of review criteria other than those stated in the program guidelines;
  • the application was declined due to influence of a Connecticut Arts Council member who failed to disclose conflict of interest;
  • or the application was declined due to information withheld or information erroneously provided to the review panel by COA staff despite complete and accurate information being provided in the application. 

    Incomplete applications are denied any appeals process. Dissatisfaction with the amount of the award or denial of an award is not grounds for an appeal.

Process for an Appeal:  An applicant seeking to appeal a decision of COA shall adhere to the process set forth below:

  • any request for appeal must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Office of the Arts;
  • any request for appeal must be received by COA within 30 days of the applicant’s receipt of notice of decision;
  • any request for appeal of a decision not to be included in a directory or roster must be received within 15 days of the applicant’s receipt of notice of decision;
  • the Director of the Office of the Arts shall review the appeal with the chair of the Connecticut Arts Council and the appropriate grant program manager(s) to determine whether the appeal has merit;
  • if the appeal is determined to have merit, the appeal will be re-evaluated by the Connecticut Arts Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting;
  • if the appeal is determined to have no merit, the applicant will be so notified; and any decision rendered pursuant to this process shall be final.
  • If COA changes a funding decision as a result of an appeal, the timing of the payment of the grant shall be made at the discretion of the Director of the Office of the Arts.
Reporting Requirements

Grant recipients shall submit a final report within 30 days of completion of the grant pe­riod specified on the contract or following completion of the funded project if sooner.  Future COA funding is contingent upon submission of final reports.

State Single Audit

The grantee receiving state funds must comply with Sections 4-230 through 4-236 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Grantees that are a municipality, audited agency or not-for-profit organization, and that expend state financial assistance equal to or in excess of three hundred thousand dollars in any fiscal year, must conduct a single audit in accordance with the provisions of the above-referenced General Statutes.  Further information is available on the Office of Policy and Management web site at:

Grant Cancellations

COA has the right to withhold, reduce or cancel a grant if a grantee: cancels, suspends or significantly changes the scope and activities of a funded project; fails to comply with the terms of the grant contract; owes a final report (past due) for a previously received COA grant; fails to properly credit DECD/Office of the Arts; is unable to raise the required match; and/or demonstrates inadequate financial management or oversight.