The Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) is the state agency that invests in the arts across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VCA fulfills its mission through funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, distributing grant awards to Virginia artists; arts organizations; educational institutions; nonprofit organizations; educators; and local and tribal governments.
The VCA forges strong partnerships with arts organizations of various scales and additional partners through Partnership Grants designated towards unrestricted funding. These include General Operating Support: Medium and Large Arts Organizations (GOS); Operating Support Small (OSS); and Creative Community Partnership Grants.
The VCA also drives impact around the state through Community Impact and Education Impact grants. These are both program-specific and support initiatives to elevate the arts in communities and learning institutions.
Finally, the VCA supports individual artists and their engagement with citizens and communities across the Commonwealth through a Virginia Touring Grant program, Arts in Practice grants, and Artist Fellowships. Additionally, the VCA maintains two prestigious rosters: the Touring Artist Roster and the Teaching Artist Roster.
As a state agency, the VCA does not fund:
- lobbying activities intended to influence a member of Congress or the General Assembly, to favor or oppose any legislation
- activities restricted to an organization’s membership
- expenses related to parties, receptions, fundraising events/benefits, etc.
- endowments or capital campaigns
- activities that are primarily religious in purpose
- college or university-based projects that are part of a required course or curriculum that do not involve and serve a significant non-student population, or that are for activities that are otherwise available in the community
- general operating support for historic celebrations or community promotional activities
- fines and penalties, bad debt costs, or deficit reduction
- arts activities/programs that occur outside of the grant period
- vocal, dance, and musical ensembles that perform primarily pop, Broadway, or barbershop music, or that focus primarily on competitions
- activities or programs that take place outside Virginia
All applications must be submitted via Foundant, the VCA’s online grants system. Applications are due in Foundant by 5:00 p.m. EST on the date published for each individual grant program. No paper applications are accepted – no exceptions!
Once you or your organization is registered in Foundant, you will have created an online profile and account. You can log on anytime to apply for funding opportunities, review active grants, view past submissions, request funds, and submit final reports. Simply enter your username and password to sign in.
Helpful Hint: Check your spam! When you begin using our grants portal, please check your “Spam” or “Junk” folders and filters to be sure you can receive email from this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the address from which most communications about online grants management derives. Applicants will receive a confirmation email from that address and are encouraged to check spam and/or contact your network administrator if not received (particularly applicable for schools and school districts).
Unique Entity Identifiers are for organizations only. Individuals do not need to have a SAM UEI in order to apply for or receive grants.
The federal government has transitioned from the use of “DUNS Numbers" to a new Unique Entity Identifier (also referred to as “SAM UEI”, or just “UEI”) through SAM.gov as the primary identifier for tracking where federal grant dollars flow. This new SAM UEI is required of all state, regional, and local agencies, along with nonprofit organizations that receive federal funding; a SAM UEI is also required of organizations that are subgrantees of state, regional, and local agencies.
Since Virginia Commission for the Arts receives a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, it requires all VCA applicants (except individuals) to have a SAM UEI. Acquiring a SAM UEI is a free process. Be wary of scams that may try to impersonate SAM.gov or may try to scam your organization into paying for a UEI.
Already registered in SAM.gov?
Great – you are good to go! Organizations that are already registered with SAM.gov have automatically been assigned a new SAM UEI.
Not yet registered in SAM.gov?
To obtain your organization’s SAM UEI, you will need to request one through SAM.gov – you can do so by visiting this page and clicking the button that says “Get Unique Entity ID.” Note: you will be prompted to log in or create an account through LogIn.gov in order to proceed. Please note that you do not need to complete a full registration (“Register Entity”) with SAM.gov in order to get a SAM UEI. Acquiring a SAM UEI is a free process.
Please note that you do not need to complete a full registration (“Register Entity”) with SAM.gov in order to get a SAM UEI. Acquiring a SAM UEI is a free process. For more information about obtaining your new UEI, you can view a GSA webinar about the new SAM UEI process or view the presentation slide deck for a step-by-step walk-through – instructions for obtaining a UEI without a full registration can be found at time mark 19:47 of the video or page 20 of the presentation slide deck. Or navigate to the Federal Service Desk at FSD.gov if you need assistance with your SAM.gov account or have other technical issues.
VCA grants are investments of both state and federal dollars and, as such, the VCA maintains a thorough review process. Applications for VCA programs are evaluated by a combination of statewide Advisory Panels, in-agency review, and Commission Board approval.
The Advisory Panels – comprised of thought leaders and arts practitioners of Virginia – make recommendations and provide guidance that will affect the future of the arts in the Commonwealth. In making appointments to the panels, the VCA strives to balance knowledge of various arts disciplines, representation from various regions of the Commonwealth, and diverse cultural perspectives. Nominations for the Advisory Panels may be submitted to the VCA’s Executive Director at any time during the year.
Grant programs evaluated by a statewide Advisory Panel, in-agency review, and Commission Board:
- General Operating Support for Medium and Large Arts Organizations (GOS) Long Form
- Community Impact Grants
- Education Impact Grants
- Touring Artist Roster and Teaching Artist Roster Applicants
- Artist Fellowships
Grant programs reviewed in-agency and Commission Board:
- General Operating Support for Medium and Large Arts Organizations (GOS) Short Form
- Operating Support for Small Arts Organizations (OSS)
- Creative Community Partnership Grants
Grant programs reviewed in-agency only:
- Virginia Touring Grants
- Arts in Practice Grants
If awarded, grantees must acknowledge that the activity is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The logos of the VCA and NEA are available for download from the VCA’s Resource page. This acknowledgment is to be included in programs, print and online newsletters, educational materials, brochures, posters, news releases, websites, catalogues, videos, and recognized in curtain speeches and other special events as appropriate. However, as neither agency funds expenses related to fundraisers, logos/recognition should not be included in such related materials.
As of September 2022, the VCA uses a new logo and all funding acknowledgments must reflect the new logo. Not doing so may affect future funding.
Certification of Assurances
Each grant application must be signed by an individual with the authority to act on behalf of the applicant organization. A signed application form is the applicant’s agreement to complete what is described in the application and to comply with the Grant Conditions. Major changes in activities or budget must be approved in advance by the Commission. Notification of leadership and contact changes are also required.
The Commission requires a Final Report on each grant within 30 days of the end of the grant period, and no later than June 1. Final Report forms, if required, can be found on the applicant’s dashboard.