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Application form - The online form in which grant applicants provide project narratives and project budgets about their NYSCA requests. Access to this form is made using a link on the left navigation bar of the NYSCA online file.

Application (project) narrative - A series of questions, unique to each funding category,that the applicant answers as part of the application form. When the answers are displayed to the staff and advisory panelists, they form a descriptive narrative of the project for which funding is requested.

Appeals panel - A special panel, charged with reviewing appeals from grant applicants; it is comprised of former NYSCA panelists.

Artistic audit - A report by a consultant on an arts event or activity, either as part of the review process or to establish eligibility for support in certain NYSCA discipline-based funding areas. In earlier editions of the NYSCA guidelines, these reports were referred to as audits.

Auditor/Field Representative - Consultants with expertise in a particular art form or field are hired by NYSCA to conduct artistic evaluation or application reviews. Auditors and field representatives forward written reports to NYSCA staff detailing the event or the review meeting they attended.

Conflict of interest - Every person involved with NYSCA's grant-making process must make known any affiliations which may conflict, or appear to conflict, with the objective evaluation of a funding proposal. Any person in conflict with an organization under review may not participate in any discussions or votes concerning grant recommendations or decisions. (New York State Public Officers Law, Sec. 74).

The Council/NYSCA - These terms are used interchangeably in referring to the agency, the New York State Council on the Arts. "The Council" is also the 21-member board appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, that sets funding policy and formally approves all grant awards.

Cultural Services Contract - A contract received by NYSCA grantees detailing the programs or services to be provided in exchange for public funds, and the terms governing the successful completion of the grant.

Decentralization site - An organization that administers local or regional Decentralization regrant programs for community-based arts and cultural programs and activities. See a list of these programs.

Final report - A financial and programmatic accounting of a grantee's implementation of its NYSCA grants. Failure to submit a final report will result in ineligibility to receive further NYSCA support.

Fiscal sponsor - A New York State non-profit organization that applies to NYSCA on behalf of individual artists or unincorporated arts organizations or groups. The fiscal sponsor accepts responsibility to serve as a fiscal conduit for a NYSCA-funded project, receiving and disbursing funds related to the grant, and administering the requirements throughout the NYSCA grant process, including final reporting of grant activity. The unincorporated artist or group completes the project activity.

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) - As a public agency, NYSCA is subject to New York State's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Information concerning the NYSCA grant process (with some exceptions, such as salary information) is subject to public view.

Funding criteria - The evaluative qualities, detailed in statute, that the Council uses in determining which projects are funded. The three Council-wide evaluative criteria may be expanded in discipline categories with specialized requirements.

Multi-year support - All Council grants are awarded on a single-year basis. Some grants are renewable annually, up to a maximum of three years, subject to approval of the Council. Multi-year support is awarded when there is evidence that a similar level of service or activity will be sustained over several years. Multi-year awards represent the Council's agreement to offer subsequent years of support without requiring a full application and review of the project each year.

Non-profit (not-for-profit) organization - A legal structure authorized by state law allowing people to come together to either benefit members of an organization (a club, or mutual benefit society) or for some public purpose (such as a hospital, environmental organization, or literary society). By law, NYSCA is allowed to make grants only to non-profit organizations incorporated by the State of New York, municipalities and Indian tribes.

Online file - An organization's "home" on the NYSCA web site where each organization may find and edit basic data (phone, email, address, contact names, etc.) and all grant-related information (applications, final reports, prior funding history, etc.).

Organizational budget - A budget showing three year's income and expenses of the entire applicants organization. Exceptions include municipalities, large no-arts institutions, such as universities, which should enter only arts program-specific budget information.

Peer Review Panel - A group of people with expertise in a particular art form or field that are asked to evaluate NYSCA grant requests and rate applications according to the Council's three primary criteria. Panelists are appointed by the Council Chair, with the approval of the Council.

Professional artist - An artist who earns or attempts to earn his/her living through the practice and production of art is a professional.

Project - NYSCA grant requests, even those (such as General Operating Support) seeking funding for institutional support, are commonly referred to as "projects". We also use the term to describe any activity, program or event within a NYSCA proposal.

Project budget - A budget showing income and expenses of a discrete project. NYSCA project budgets are structured so that your request amount is the difference between project income and project expenses.

Public performance - An activity that is open to the general public and to which any person has access. It does not include activities for which attendance is not voluntary or for which institutional membership is a requirement for admission.

Regrant - A grant made to an organization or individual by a non-profit organization using NYSCA funds that it has received for this purpose. An example of regrants are the Individual Artist Fellowships made by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) with NYSCA funds. Decentralization awards are also regrants.

Site control documents - (for Facilities) A signed lease, deed, or other documents showing that an organization has possession of a property.

Staff Review - NYSCA staff verifies applicant eligibility and conducts a review of application materials in relation to the Council's three primary criteria and discipline-specific guidelines. Staff may meet with representatives of the organization, visit facilities, and attend programs to become familiar with the organization and its work. Staff review may be supplemented by reports from auditors and field representatives who have expertise in a particular area.

Supplemental form - Forms, available via links,that are required in some categories.

Support materials - Materials that grant applicants submit in support of each NYSCA request. The required support materials list is found at the beginning of each category description in the Guidelines.


  2005 New York State Council on the Arts.