Madison Symphony Orchestra, Spring Young People’s Concert

Madison Symphony Orchestra, Spring Young People’s Concert, 2018

All grants supported by Dane Arts must:

  • Culminate in tangible activities presented to the Dane County community that directly benefit Dane County citizens and residents
  • Be conducted in Dane County, Wisconsin
  • Allow universal public access to the project or program

*Dane Arts rarely provides primary financial support. Grants are designed to help leverage additional funds from other sources and foster applicants' success in securing diverse funding.

Grant Categories

The Grant Program presently offers two recurring grant opportunities (project and capital) and occasional special grant opportunities:

  1. Project Grants  – Project grants are designed to support specific projects or programs that have a distinct budget, personnel, and timeframe spanning a relatively short duration.
  2. Short-Order Project Grants – Short-Order Project Grants have a simplified application process, tied to a smaller grant award for small organizations or for individuals applying.
  3. Capital Grants – Capital grants are designed to support capital projects, such as equipment purchases, permanent exhibits, building construction, improvements and expansion, or historic preservation initiatives.
  4. Special Grants – occasional unique grant opportunities may be offered for one or several grant cycles. Check the Special Grants page for opportunities currently available.

*An individual or organization is allowed to apply for 3 project grants per year; as long as all funding requests (not the amount awarded), over the two cycles, does not exceed $10,500 (or $2,000 for short order projects). Grant applicants may submit only 1 capital grant application per grant cycle. Applicants may apply for more than one category if they have different funding needs that meet the guidelines for each category, for a total of four possible applications.

Application Deadlines

Grant applications must be received by 4:00 PM CT on deadline date. Be aware that Dane Arts staff will be available to answer questions and provide technical assistance from 8:00am - 4:30pm on weekdays, not including weekends or holidays.

Project Periods

Each grant cycle focuses upon primary activities that happen within certain date parameters and applies to a specific 14-month project period. Grant cycle project periods are defined as follows:

  • First Grant Cycle (February 1 application deadline): for primary activities including public presentations happening between May 1 of current year through June 30 of following year
  • Second Grant Cycle (August 1 application deadline): for primary activities including public presentations happening between November 1 of current year through December 31 of following year


Review and Award Process

The Commission has a two-step review process that takes up to eight weeks:

  1. Panels of knowledgeable citizen advisors evaluate applications for Project Grants, Short-Order Project Grants and Special Grants. The Commission always welcomes nominations of individuals possessing knowledge, experience and expertise to serve on grant advisory panels. The Commission's Executive Committee evaluates applications for Capital Grants.
  2. Commission members, using recommendations of the panelists and/or Executive Committee, ultimately make grant award decisions.


The following criteria are applied in the Dane Art's grant application review:

  • Quality and creativity of proposed project
  • Level of community impact and public benefit
  • Evidence of thorough and realistic financial planning
  • Ability of applicant to successfully complete project
  • Impact and influence of grant award to overall success of project

*Announcement of grant award decisions are made by phone or email within a week of the Commission's grant review meeting. Grant award materials are mailed to applicants shortly thereafter. Grant terms are documented in a legal contract of agreement signed by a representative of Dane County and the grant recipient. If awarded a grant, a Certificate of Insurance providing proof of a comprehensive general liability insurance policy naming Dane County as an additional insured is required.

Listed below are three model applications from 2018 Cycle 2 for your review as you begin your 2019 Cycle 1 application:

Grant Review Criteria:

*Dane Arts Staff does not participate in grant award decision making.