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Arts Organizations & Arts Programs (AOAP) Track

Description Eligibility for Responsive Funding Areas
Matching Requirements Additional Guidance
HOW TO APPLY Download Guidelines
Presenting Organization Spreadsheet
(Excel Spreadsheet)
Deadline Calendar


Note: PCA staff members are available to assist applicants up to and including the due date, but not after. Furthermore, PCA staff will not contact applicants about completing or clarifying information in the application for this track.

Activity Period: September 1 - August 31. All funded activities must take place during this time period.

Award Amounts: There is no cap on award amounts. Awards must be matched dollar-for-dollar in cash.

Descriptions : The AOAP track is open to eligible arts organizations, fiscal sponsors, subsidiaries or departments of non-arts organizations (such as universities or colleges) that have consistently received PCA funding. Currently, the PCA supports over 250 arts organizations and arts programs in this track.

Features of the AOAP Track include:

  • Three-year Full application, interim application in the off years
  • Application based on past performance, rather than projections
  • Formula funding based on advisory panel review assessment and fiscal size, and past PCA award

AOAP Groups: The AOAP Track is divided into two groups, A and B, based on the when the Full Application is due.

Group A
  • Art Museums
  • Arts in Education Organizations
  • Arts Service Organizations
  • Crafts
  • Dance
  • Folk and Traditional Arts
  • Literature
  • Theatre
Group B
  • Film and Electronic Media
  • Local Arts
  • Music-All Disciplines
  • Presenting Organizations
  • Visual Arts

Eligibility: Organizations are invited and notified by the PCA for inclusion in the AOAP Track. Applicants to the Entry Track or the Preserving Diverse Cultures Division's Strategies for Success (Advanced Level) may be invited to apply to the AOAP Track. The Council, on advice of staff and advisory panels, shall make the final determination of eligibility to this track. Transition to the AOAP Track begins with consistent, positive review by advisory panels.

The PCA defines departments and subsidiaries as ongoing programs covered by a larger "umbrella" organization, such as a university, YMCA, or community center. A department or subsidiary has it's own budget process and usually an advisory committee to guide the program. Staff can be specifically dedicated to the program, however the PCA recognizes that staff is often shared by programs.

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Eligibility for Responsive Funding Areas

Organizations must be nonprofit, 501(c)(3), tax-exempt corporations, a unit of government or school district providing arts programming and/or arts services in Pennsylvania. A Federal Identification Number, assigned by the Internal Revenue Service, is required before a contract can be issued.

Organizations must be incorporated in and conduct business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to apply for support. Organizations are required to provide proof of incorporation and activity in Pennsylvania before applications are reviewed or funds awarded.

Unincorporated groups (and in some instances, individuals) must apply to the PCA through a nonprofit organization that acts as a fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor is legally responsible for the administration of the contract, including all reporting requirements and may charge a fee for their services. Applicants applying through a fiscal sponsor organization must meet the same requirements as other applicants except for nonprofit status.

The fiscal sponsor, as well as the applicant organization, is responsible for any award. The fiscal sponsor receives the award check directly from the PCA and is responsible for ensuring the completion of the final reports. For further information on the role of a fiscal sponsor, contact the PCA office for a printed memorandum on the subject.

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Matching Requirements

Unless otherwise specified in the guidelines, PCA awards must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis in cash. In-kind goods and services may not be used to match PCA funds. The PCA generally will support no more than 25% of a program or organizational budget, and usually considerably less.

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Funding Restrictions

In general, the PCA does not fund the following nor can the match for PCA funds be used for these expenses:

  • Capital expenditures, including equipment costing $500 per item or more.
  • Activities for which academic credit is given.
  • Activities that have already been completed.
  • Activities that have a religious purpose.
  • Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public.
  • Performances and exhibitions outside Pennsylvania.
  • Cash prizes and awards.
  • Benefit activities.
  • Hospitality expenses, i.e. receptions, parties, gallery openings.
  • Lobbyists' payments.
  • Competitions.

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HOW TO APPLY Step 1 Mandatory on-line application process

It is mandatory to apply to the PCA on-line. Exceptions must be discussed and approved by the PCA in advance of the deadline. Collecting this data on-line will enable the PCA to provide a higher level of service and increase our ability to report. Apply online hereStep 2 Data collection (financial and statistical) summary

The PACDP form collects information such as income and expense, investments, loans, physical capacity, attendance, program activity and staff numbers. The PACDP also provides the opportunity for you to generate more than 70 customized reports based on your organization�s submitted data. Reports are provided to you at no cost and can save you time and effort in generating reports and charts for your board, staff and other stakeholders. Please look for these reports on the PACDP website.

Step 3 Print, sign, and mail

The completed application must be printed, signed by the necessary members of your organizations and combined with the PACDP form. This will then be mailed directly to the PCA.


Additional Guidance

The PACDP form collects information such as income and expense, investments, loans, physical capacity, attendance, program activity and staff numbers. The PACDP also provides the opportunity for you to generate more than 70 customized reports based on your organization�s submitted data. Reports are provided to you at no cost and can save you time and effort in generating reports and charts for your board, staff and other stakeholders. Please look for these reports on the PACDP website. The completed application must be printed, signed by the necessary members of your organizations and combined with the PACDP form. This will then be mailed directly to the PCA.

The PACDP form collects information such as income and expense, investments, loans, physical capacity, attendance, program activity and staff numbers. The PACDP also provides the opportunity for you to generate more than 70 customized reports based on your organization�s submitted data. Reports are provided to you at no cost and can save you time and effort in generating reports and charts for your board, staff and other stakeholders. Please look for these reports on the PACDP website.The completed application must be printed, signed by the necessary members of your organizations and combined with the PACDP form. This will then be mailed directly to the PCA.

Awards are unlikely to support a program or the staff of an organization that has as their primary purpose therapy, recreation or amelioration of social problems. However, the award may support the use of artists of professional caliber in such organizations or programs. Artists with credentials and experience in therapy, recreation or social service are not automatically excluded from participation or support, but evidence of their professional credentials, as artists, will be a critical part of the PCA's evaluation of any application for support.

The PCA does support campus projects that involve the local community in its planning, execution, and participation. Activities that primarily serve the student body and faculty of a campus are supported by the PCA only in exceptional cases. Colleges and universities must demonstrate that their programming reaches the general public in addition to an academic audience. This can be shown by financial support from outside the school from local corporations, businesses, individuals, and foundations.

National service organizations that are headquartered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may be supported for programs and services they offer to Pennsylvania artists and/or arts organizations.

The Council undertakes partnerships and initiatives on behalf of entire fields of the arts to seek opportunities and solutions to problems affecting the arts in the Commonwealth and to initiate projects that will serve a broad spectrum of artists and arts organizations throughout the state.

Generally, the PCA does not provide organizations with start-up money. There are some exceptions to this. If you have questions about starting an arts organization, contact the PCA or see the Entry Track description.

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