Grant Guidelines

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What are the responsibilities of grant recipients?


This page explains the legal obligations of individuals and organizations applying for grants offered by or through the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA).

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee you will receive a grant. Most grants are competitive and each application is objectively evaluated based on the grant’s criteria. Please contact the grant’s program manager if you have any questions about the application review process and criteria.


Comply with Federal Requirements


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


Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination


Applicants receiving COA funds must comply with all nondiscrimination regulations. When hiring workers and providing services, grantees cannot discriminate 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 so people with disabilities have equal physical and communications access to services and programs. 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. We also don’t take any action on behalf of grantees to protect their intellectual property rights. COA does, however, have legal authority to reproduce and use documentation of grantee 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:

  • Organizations whose membership and participation policies do not comply with non-discrimination laws

  • Brick and mortar and capital improvements except in specific grants, such as the Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund and the Good to Great Grant Program

  • 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

  • Delinquent taxes. If the DRS subtracts funds from your grant for taxes owed to the State of CT, as a grantee you will still be obligated to fulfill the requirements of the grant or return the grant funds to COA.

  • Individuals who are not residents of Connecticut at the time of application.


Applying to Multiple Programs


You or your organization may apply for one grant per project or activity. You may also apply to other grants for other projects or activities. Each application is reviewed on its own merits, so provide accurate and complete information for each application. Applications that are missing information are automatically disqualified.

Freedom of Information Act


Applications and all information submitted will become public records under the Freedom of Information Act, Connecticut General Statutes §1-200, et. seq. unless specifically exempted by the Act. Applicants may request that information contained in their application that is 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 (DECD).



Award Notifications and Grant Payments


  • Here’s the notification and payment process for all grants:

  • We send funding decisions to all applicants via email.

  • Successful applicants receive award notification and grant documents, which must be signed and returned within 30 days.

  • We specify who is authorized to sign the contract on behalf of your organization.

  • Unless otherwise noted, grant payments aren’t processed until COA receives a signed grant contract.

  • After the signed grant documents are returned to COA, payments are made based on the availability of funds.

  • Grant payments are made in one or more installments as described in the contract.

  • Grant funds are not sent to grantees that have an outstanding final report from any prior COA grant program.


Grantee Responsibilities


Grantees must:

  • Honor all legal requirements specified in the contract, including any federal requirements.

  • Spend 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.

  • Meet the grant’s matching-fund requirements. National Endowment for the Arts funds and other State funds cannot be used as a match for a COA grant.

  • Credit the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts in ALL materials about the funded project or activity, including marketing and publicity items such as press releases, brochures, posters, advertisements, and web sites. View the full requirements and download our logo.

  • Submit their final report within 30 days of the end of the grant period or the funded project, whichever is sooner. Please keep in mind that you cannot receive COA funds in the future if you have an overdue final report.

Municipalities, audited agencies, and not-for-profit organizations that expend $300,000 or more in state financial assistance in any fiscal year must comply with Sections 4-230 through 4-236 of the Connecticut General Statutes by conducting an appropriate audit. Review the details



Modifying a Grant Contract


If you want to make any changes to your contract, including extending the funding period, please formally email your request to the grant program’s manager. The program manager will tell you whether your request is approved.

Please contact us as soon as possible about any significant changes to the information in your application. Examples include terminating a partnership, a 20% or greater change in how you will allocate grant funds, difficulty meeting a deadline, etc.


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

  • Has an overdue final report for a previously COA grant

  • Fails to properly credit DECD Office of the Arts

  • Is unable to raise the required matching funds

  • And/or demonstrates inadequate financial management or oversight


Appealing a Grant Decision



Who Can Appeal a Grant Decision?


Individuals and organizations may appeal grant, directory, and listing decisions.


What May be Appealed?


  • You may appeal decisions made on your application for a grant, directory listing, or roster listing if it was declined:

  • Based on review criteria that aren’t stated in the program guidelines

  • Due to the influence of a Connecticut Arts Council member who failed to disclose a conflict of interest

  • Due to information withheld or erroneously provided to the review panel by COA staff despite complete and accurate information being provided in the application

You cannot appeal a decision if:

  • Your application is incomplete,

  • You are dissatisfied with the amount of the award, or

  • You are dissatisfied with the decision


What is the Appeal Process?


  • Mail or email your formal grant decision appeal to the Director of the Office of the Arts. We must receive it less than 30 days after you receive the decision.

  • The Director of the Office of the Arts will review your appeal with the chair of the Connecticut Arts Council and the appropriate grant program manager(s) to determine whether the appeal has merit.

  • If they decide your appeal has merit, it will be evaluated by the Connecticut Arts Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

  • If they decide your appeal does not have merit, we will notify you. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.

  • If we award you a grant based on the appeal, the Director of the Office of the Arts will determine when the grant payment(s) are made.

Applying for a Grant