Burlington City Arts

Burlington City Arts Community Fund Requirements and Eligibility


The City of Burlington has a rich and growing arts and cultural community that contributes to the livability and economic growth of the City. To continue to foster a robust, healthy, creative community, support artists, and encourage innovation through the arts, the City of Burlington has committed to a second year of funding totaling $35,000 to support artists’ and small arts organizations’ projects that contribute to the public good through a competitive grant process. This year, grants will be awarded in two separate categories: 1) Grants for individual artists/informal artist groups, and 2) Grants for small arts organizations.

Grants for individual artists/informal artist groups are defined as grants that will be received by an individual, either for a project run solely by that individual or in collaboration with other artists/community members. Funds will be dispersed to the individual recipient's social security number.

Grants for small arts organizations are defined as grants that will be received by a business entity registered with the State of Vermont, such as an LLC or 501 (c) 3 with an annual operating budget of less than $300,000. Funds will be dispersed to a the recipient's business number. Arts organizations produce arts events or exhibitions or provide arts services in the City of Burlington.

Applicants are encouraged to read through these requirements, criteria and eligibility carefully before contacting staff with questions.  BCA staff will not provide advice on project applications. Direct questions to Sara Katz at


The Burlington City Arts Community Fund will provide one-year funding of up to $3000 for Burlington-based practicing artists, creative professionals or small arts organizations to develop innovative projects that engage the community and address community needs, challenges and priorities through the arts.

Community Arts Grants Funding Priorities and Criteria

All proposed projects must have a public component or include some public “presentation” of the work (i.e., performances, exhibitions, presentations, installations, showings, publications) for residents of the City of Burlington. This public component must occur within one year of funding notification.


To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • Be a practicing artist 18 years or older with a visible track record of creating original art works (for an individual artist)
    Be a small arts organization, i.e. have a primary mission to create art, produce art, present art, or support arts and culture services for the public.
  • If applying as an organization, have an annual operating budget under $300,000 during the most recently completed fiscal or calendar year. 
  • Artists working collaboratively on a project are eligible to submit a single application to support the work; however, one collaborator must serve as the main contact for purposes of the application.
  • Be a resident of the City of Burlington or have a rented/owned art space within the City of Burlington with a valid street address as a location identifier for a minimum of the last 12 months (P.O. boxes will not be accepted as a location identifier but can be accepted as a mailing address).
  • Demonstrate that at least half (at least 51%) of programming occurs within the City of Burlington.
  • Work in any of the following disciplines: Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theater, Performance Art, Literary Arts, Design (includes fashion, industrial, graphic, theater, architecture, etc), curatorial projects, media arts/film, or transdisciplinary.

The following are not eligible to apply to the Burlington City Arts Community Fund:

  • Religious institutions
  • Social service or educational organizations
  • Public or governmental agencies
  • Schools, school districts, and universities/higher education institutions
  • Athletic teams, social organizations, fraternal organizations
  • Organizations that receive other funding from the City of Burlington
  • Staff and board members of Burlington City Arts
  • Current year Burlington City Arts Community Fund panelists
  • Individual youth under the age of 18 (Youth organizations with a primary mission in the arts ARE eligible to apply)
  • Students enrolled in a degree program


Applications will be evaluated in FOUR categories based on the following criteria:

Contribution to the Community: 40%
Will this project make a difference in the Burlington Community?

  • Project and goals are clearly described in the narrative
  • The impact of the project for the intended audience is clear and compelling
  • For individual artists, the project is intended to benefit multiple community members and is not focused solely on an individual artist practice
  • For organizations, the project supports a wide artist community or tackles subjects that resonate with a broad local community

Innovative Approach: 20%
Does this project propose new techniques and innovative partnerships?

  • Project will connect people from various communities and/or artistic disciplines
  • Project takes a new approach to a traditional concept or innovatively deploys traditional media

Work Samples: 20%
Does the applicant have a track record of creating quality projects?

  • Samples clearly support proposed project
  • Samples provide insight into artistic approach and quality of past projects

Feasibility: 20%
How likely is it that this project will be implemented and successful?

  • Artistic outcome is attainable—participants confirmed, budget and  timetable are realistic
  • The public will have an opportunity to experience the work and the plan to create the opportunity is clear and achievable
  • Project budget is clear and represents reasonable costs for proposed project activity
  • The applicant presents bio, history or work samples provide examples of ability of artist/organization to complete a project and evaluate its success

Grant Recipient Responsibilities

  • Sign a contract stating the scope and terms of the funded project and submit a w-9 form for payment.
  • Keep BCA informed of any significant changes in the project as proposed in the original application 
  • Make the public aware of your project, following through on the terms of your approved marketing strategy.
  • The following credit language is required on all publicity and printed and e-media materials and websites associated with the funded project: “This project is supported by the Burlington City Arts Community Fund” as well as a BCA logo.
  • Provide timely notification of your public presentation to BCA for PR and outreach purposes.
  • Ensure that events/venues associated with the project are accessible.
  • Submit a final report within 30 days of completion of the funded project.

Please note:

  • BCA grants in-kind rental space through a process separate from the Community Fund. Unless in-kind arrangements have been made prior to submission, applications should include the cost of renting space as a line item in the application budget. Questions about rates and use of BCA space may be sent to Zach Williamson.
  • BCA presents exhibitions via a curatorial process separate from the Community Fund. Main exhibition spaces at the BCA Center are typically organized one to two years in advance by the BCA Curator and should not be included in applications unless confirmed with BCA’s curatorial staff prior to submission.
  • BCA is not responsible for ensuring public knowledge of your event or activity. BCA reserves the right to promote community fund activities as staff time allows. 

2017 Timeline

Application available online November 1, 2016
Applications will be due on February 27, 2017 at 11:59
Announcements of awards April 30, 2017 (estimated)
First 50% of funds dispersed July 1, 2017
Projects completed by June 30, 2018 (estimated)


What Amounts Can be Requested

Grant requests may be any amount up to $3000. Projects may be funded completely by the BCA Community Fund or have a budget larger than $3000 and be funded in part by the BCA Community Fund.

When Do Projects Need To Take Place

Projects must take place within one year from funding notification.

How is Funding Decided
Funding will be separated into two categories: grants for individual artists/informal artist groups and grants for small arts organizations. All projects will be reviewed and awarded by a grants panel that will be selected annually based on criteria outlined below. Panels will be comprised of 7 residents and/or business owners from Burlington, including non-submitting art professionals from different disciplines and community members. Panelists will be selected annually by BCA staff from a list of nominees made by community members based on experience in their artistic discipline and geographic location, with representation from throughout the City. Nominations for panelists may be made here.

Project Components the BCA Community Fund Will Fund

  • Artist fees
  • Supplies and materials needed for the execution of the project
  • Expenses associated with production of the arts project, i.e.: space and equipment rentals, professional services
  •  Marketing/publicity and other outreach costs

Project Components the BCA Community Fund Will Not Fund

  • Contingency funds
  • Capital improvements or depreciable equipment
  • Operating expenses of privately owned facilities (e.g. homes and studios) 
  • Organizations or individuals that are delinquent with payments to any other department of the City

How will I get paid if selected?

  • You will submit a W-9 and be set up as a vendor with the City if you have not done so before. Funds will be dispersed according to a contract with the City of Burlington facilitated by Burlington City Arts. Typically, 50% of the total award is made upon signing the contract and 50% upon completion of the project