Frequently Asked About Grants

WHAT ARE NEW MEXICO ARTS GRANTS?

New Mexico Arts funds a variety of arts organizations across New Mexico through our competitive arts grants program. However, because New Mexico's anti-donation clause "prohibits the state from making direct grants of aid to entities or persons," New Mexico Arts does not actually award grants to organizations or individuals. Rather, we enter into arts services contracts with eligible organizations that perform specified arts services within a particular time period. We reimburse organizations for their expenses in performing contracted arts services.

DOES NEW MEXICO ARTS AWARD GRANTS TO INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS?

No. New Mexico's anti-donation clause "prohibits the state from making direct grants of aid to entities or persons." However, our Art in Public Places program offers visual artists the opportunity to apply for public art commissions and direct purchase initiatives.

WHAT ARE THE SOURCES FOR NEW MEXICO ARTS GRANTS FUNDING?

New Mexico Arts receives about half of its grants funding from the state of New Mexico and about half from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

IS MY PROGRAM ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING?

Please call us at 505/827-6490 or 800/879-4278 (instate) to discuss your program with the program coordinator for your funding category. Federal 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, units of government, schools, colleges, universities, and Indian tribal government entities with offices in New Mexico offering arts programs to the public are eligible to apply.

Organizations applying under a fiscal agent with 501(c) (3) status are also eligible to apply. Any organization that receives funding from New Mexico Arts should have a public presentation component during the contract period. Examples of public presentations include exhibitions, publications, screening, lectures, or performances. All public presentations must be open and accessible to the general public.

HOW DO I DETERMINE MY FUNDING CATEGORY?

Review the New Mexico Arts guidelines for category descriptions and associated eligibility criteria.

  • Budget-based categories include Community Arts A or B; Arts Project A, B, or C; and Major Cultural Organizations. These are based on the applicant's last fiscal year income.
  • Organization- or institution-specific categories include Colleges, Universities, and Government Entities; and Local Arts Councils and Service Organizations.
  • Project-based categories include Arts in Social Service, Traditional Folk Arts Projects, Arts Learning in Schools & in Communities; Economic and Entrepreneurial Development; and Arts Trails.

Also, review General Funding Restrictions to assure that the funds can be used for the intended project. Contact the funding category's program coordinator for confirmation that the selected category is the best for your organization. Please note that panel evaluation criteria differ depending on the funding category.

DOES MY ORGANIZATION HAVE TO PROVIDE A MATCH FOR NEW MEXICO ARTS FUNDING?

Yes. Funding for all categories must include a 50% match by the applicant organization, at least half of which must be cash. For example, if an organization requests $10,000 from New Mexico Arts, the organization must provide a $5,000 match. At least $2,500 must be in cash (although the entire match can be cash). The remaining $2,500 can be in-kind goods and services.

WHEN ARE THE GUIDELINES AVAILABLE?

Application guidelines are available in September and are posted on the New Mexico Arts website and are provided to applicants in other formats upon request. The online grant application, GO™ is also available in September. All New Mexico Arts grant applications, support material, and contract reporting documents will be submitted through Grants Online™(GO™), our online grants management system.

WHAT IS AN ADVANCE REVIEW?

An Advance Review is offered prior to the Final Application deadline to help applicants improve their applications and check for mistakes that might cause ineligibility. If an applicant was declared ineligible or did not receive funding in the past year or has not applied to New Mexico Arts in the past two years, an Advance Review is required. Please see published deadline for Advance Review. Advance Review applications are returned to applicants in time to make changes prior to the Final Application published deadline.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE FOR THE FINAL APPLICATION?

The Final Application published deadline is in December. Late applications are not accepted.

HOW ARE APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED TO NEW MEXICO ARTS?

All applications (Advance Review and Final) are submitted online using Grants Online™(GO™) by 5:00 p.m. MST of the published deadline date.

HOW ARE APPLICATIONS EVALUATED?

Following the Final Application deadline, staff review online applications for completeness and eligibility, and may contact an applicant for clarification and additional information. Applications that do not meet stated eligibility requirements will not be reviewed by panels.

Application panels review applications through the Grants Online™(GO™). Panels are made up of artists, arts professionals, Community members, and others actively involved and/or trained in the arts. Panelists must declare conflicts prior to their review.

Panelists review and score applications based on panel evaluation criteria in the guidelines for each funding category including 1) Artistic Quality & Creativity, 2) Community Support, Representation and Benefit, and 3) Administrative Ability. Applicants must score 65 points or higher to be eligible for funding. Scores are posted on the New Mexico Arts web site.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE GRANT AWARD?

Grant awards depend on the category applied to, how much funding was requested, how the applicant scored in the panel review process, and how much funding is available from the state and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Grantees typically receive considerably less than their requested amount due to demand greater than available funding.

WHEN IS GRANT MONEY AVAILABLE?

The Planning and Budget Committee of the Arts Commission reviews funding recommendations in May, and forwards its recommendations to the full Arts Commission, which meets in May/June for final review and approval.

Contracts are prepared and mailed to successful applicants in the summer. Both New Mexico Arts and the grantee agree to and sign the contract. The date DCA's Director of Administrative Services signs the contract is the approval date, which is the date expenses may begin to accrue for reimbursement. Contracts are returned to grantees once the purchase order has been approved and funding is reserved.

To receive a reimbursement, grantees must submit invoice reports and/or final invoice report. If the invoice is correct and complete, a reimbursement will take about eight weeks to be mailed to the grantee.

WHAT ARE THE PAPERWORK AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS AFTER AN APPLICANT RECEIVES NOTICE OF FUNDING?

Upon receiving an Arts Services Contract, organizations must sign both copies of the contract and return them to New Mexico Arts with:

  • Signed Assurance of Compliance Form
  • Schedule of Programs and Services
  • Revised Budget Estimate
  • Federal Certification Form
  • Pay Equity Exemption Form

A New Mexico Subsitute W-9 form must be submitted with the contract packet to ensure that the organization is on the state's vendor list and can receive reimbursement. The W-9 form must be updated when the organization moves and has a new address.

All invoices must contain the legal name and address as reflected on the organization's most recently completed W-9 and vendor list listing. Inaccurate or information that does not match the state vendor list can delay the processing of payments.

HOW CAN MY ORGANIZATION RECEIVE GREATER NEW MEXICO ARTS FUNDING?

Educate your legislators and the Governor as to the importance of New Mexico Arts funding to your organization and its programs. An increase in the New Mexico Arts granting budget is the only way to receive greater New Mexico Arts funding. Advocacy information is available on our web site and from New Mexico Arts program coordinators.