What type of activities does MAC fund?
MAC funds activities that promote public understanding and support of the arts and artistic excellence, including
- Performances, readings, exhibitions and related publications
- Workshops and artist residencies
- Arts research, planning, development, fieldwork and cultural documentation
- Information dissemination
- Services to artists and arts organizations
- Artistic and managerial professional development
- Projects that promote arts education
- Projects that increase access to the arts
- Commissioning of artwork
- Adding to museum collections
- Projects that increase resources for the arts
- General operating expenses of arts organizations.
What does MAC NOT fund?
Grant funds to organizations may not be used for the following expenditures:
- Indirect costs
- Contingency funds
- Activities already funded in the state’s budget (for example, an organization receiving unrestricted funds from the state of Mississippi through another agency or line item may not receive general operating support from MAC. In addition, an organization receiving funds for a partial project cannot apply to MAC for funding of the same project)
- Interest on loans, fines or litigation costs
- Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions
- Projects primarily planned for fundraising purposes
- Lobbying expenses or other activities that are primarily political in nature;
- Tuition or scholarships for academic study
- Monetary awards for competitions
- College and university events that are considered a part of regular or extracurricular programs
- Purchase or long-term rentals of equipment, property or collections
- Out-of-state tours or travel to competitions
- School-sponsored trips, including transportation, admission fees, and other related travel expenses
- Capital improvements, facility construction, or renovation work (except through the BFA grant program.)
- Activities where the primary focus is for therapy
- Programs for a religious purpose, including for the promotion of any sect, church, creed, or sectarian organization, nor to conduct any religious service or ceremony. Funds can be granted to religious organizations as long as the funds are not used for a religious purpose. This allows faith-based organizations to apply on behalf of its community for arts activities or programming where artistic expression is the primary focus.
- Grants to artists for paper, computers, office supplies or postage
If grant funds are limited in any fiscal year, priority will be given to new and underserved applicants and in support of accessible programming.
Applications from colleges, universities and other state-level schools are only eligible if they include and benefit the general public. College and university events that are considered a part of regular or extracurricular programs, or whose primary purpose is to offer academic credit, are not eligible for grants. Grants to these types of entities are not a top priority of MAC.
How does MAC decide which grant applications to fund?
Grant applications received by MAC on the March 1 deadline are reviewed by a panel of Mississippi residents and out-of-state experts. Artists, arts administrators, arts educators, arts volunteers, and community representatives make up the panels that evaluate applications based on the review criteria. Previous years’ grant files may be made available to panelists upon request. Panelists do not make actual funding decisions. They provide recommendations and feedback to MAC’s board on the quality of each application.
MAC’s review panels are open to the public and applicants are encouraged to attend in order to observe the review of their application and others within the same category. Applicants are also encouraged to utilize the reviewer’s comments as a management tool. MAC notifies all qualified applicants of the panel review dates and times.
Anyone can recommend a potential panelist; MAC’s Commissioners approve these nominations. Panelists may serve for no more than three consecutive years. Each panel has representatives from across Mississippi and in some cases an out-of-state panelist. A list of last year’s panelists is available by calling MAC’s office. Please help by nominating potential panelists. (panelist nomination form)
COMMISSION FUNDING AND APPROVAL
After reviewing the grant applications, panelist recommendations and (if necessary) the applicant’s final reports from previous years, MAC’s Board of Commissioners determines the final grant awards. The Commissioners also consider
- Commission goals and outcomes
- Adherence to Commission policies
- The geographic distribution of funds
- The diversity of arts disciplines represented by the projects
Depending on the availability of grant funds and the number of requests, the Commissioners may fund only a portion of the amount requested. The Commission is not obligated to fund any application.
All grants are reviewed by panel process with the exception of Minigrants, which are reviewed by the program staff and the Commission’s Minigrant Committee. The final review and funding decisions for Minigrants are made by the full Board of Commissioners.
List of grants awarded by MAC for the most recent fiscal year
This is my first time to apply for a MAC grant. Any advice?
Organizations or individuals who are applying to MAC for the first time are encouraged to submit a draft version of their application to be reviewed by a MAC staff member. The deadline for draft applications (by mail, fax or email) is January 15 (or, in the case of Minigrants, one month prior to the application deadline). If the draft is received by January 15, MAC staff will review it and provide feedback to the applicant. The staff will contact the applicant with feedback no later than 10 days prior to the deadline. Applicants must request a review by contacting MAC staff in advance.
If my grant is funded, when and how do I find out?
MAC notifies grant applicants who applied on the March 1 deadline of its funding decisions by e-mail no later than the first week of July. After receiving notification, an applicant may request a copy of their panel comments or discuss the decision with the program staff.
Minigrants are awarded twice per year. Applicants will be notified no later than the first week of the month following the deadline when they submitted their application.
All awards are contingent upon the availability of state and federal funds.
I received a grant! What do I do now?
Applicants who are awarded a grant will receive an award letter, two copies of a grant contract and additional information. The contract will specify the grant amount being awarded and special stipulations and reporting requirements. The grantee’s authorizing official must sign the contracts, retaining one copy for the organization’s files and returning one copy to MAC within 30 days of the contract date. Failure to sign and return the contract within 60 days of receipt may result in cancellation of the grant. The signed contract should be on file before the beginning date of the project. Grant funds will not be disbursed until the contract is returned to and approved by MAC.
As a grantee, what are my responsibilities to MAC?
The grant recipient should keep accurate records of the project and all income and expenditures relating to the grant for three years. Financial records must be kept according to generally accepted accounting principles and be made available upon request by MAC or the National Endowment for the Arts.
Grantees must submit a final evaluation and financial report, which includes a final narrative, statistical and financial information and support documentation, postmarked no later than 30 days after the completion of the project OR by May 15 , whichever comes first. Use forms from Grant Forms and Resources to complete final reports.
Failure to submit final reports by the deadline jeopardizes final grant payments and future funding. Final reports more than 45 days late will result in the forfeiture of the grantee’s final payment. Only extreme and unforeseeable reasons explained in writing within the 45 days will be considered for exception. New grants will not be made to an organization that has not submitted final reports.
How can I appeal a grant decision?
The appeals process provides for a review of the method and fairness of the Commission’s decision concerning a grant application. Dissatisfaction with the denial or amount of an award is not sufficient reason for an appeal. For an appeal to be considered, you must show evidence that the panelists and Commissioners
- Reviewed the application using criteria other than those published;
- Were influenced by members who failed to disclose conflicts of interest
- Did not have access to all application materials submitted by the deadline.
If appealing a funding decision, the applicant should first call the appropriate program director to review the considerations affecting the Commission’s decision. If you wish to pursue an appeal, you must send a written request to MAC’s Executive Director within ten days of the date of notification of the Commission’s decision. The letter should be sent certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid. It should contain evidence to support one of the grounds for appeal as listed above.
The Commissioners will review the appeal at their next scheduled meeting following receipt of the written appeal. The applicant may appear in person before the Commissioners at this meeting.
Incomplete applications are not eligible for the appeals process.
Something happened, and I need to make a change to my grant. Can I do that?
Funds must be spent only on the activities listed in the grant application. Organizations must request approval in writing on MAC’s Grant Change Form before making changes in the project’s personnel, activities or budget. Project personnel include the project director or authorizing official who signed the application and contract, or any other personnel identified in the application including teachers and artists. Major changes may require reconsideration of funding by MAC.
If major changes are not reported before the final report is submitted, the grantee may be asked to refund the grant’s initial payment and to forfeit the final payment. Further, if such changes warrant the cancellation of a grant, MAC may withhold future grants from that organization.
For what reasons could MAC cancel a grant?
MAC has the right to withhold or cancel grants for any of the following reasons:
- Failure to meet a published deadline for filing grant reports,
- Failure to notify MAC prior to a change in the project or personnel,
- Failure to comply with the terms of the grant contract, or
- Failure to raise the required cash match.
If MAC cancels a grant, it may withhold future grants from that organization.