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                           Funding Process                                            Advisory Panel Process


eGRANT Funding & Review Process

The following information relates to the eGRANT application process of the PCA and to the subsequent procedures once an award has been made. To connect directly to the PCA eGRANT, please click here. Please read all guidelines carefully prior to submitting an application.

                   Application Review Process
Appeal Process


Application Review Process

The PCA uses an advisory panel review process to make recommendations for the Council's consideration in making final funding decisions. Membership on advisory panels rotates so applicants should not assume that the panelists have any prior knowledge of the applicant.

  • The information provided in the application is the principal source of information for advisory panel review.
  • Applications should be clear, complete, and compelling in presenting all information.
  • The responsibility for making a compelling case for PCA support rests entirely with the applicant.
  • Only the information required by the PCA will be presented to the advisory panel.
  • Applicants must adhere to the limits on number of pages, supplemental materials, and work samples.
  • The advisory panel may recommend little or no support if information is missing, incorrect or unclear.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts are the sources of funds for the PCA. They, and other agencies, have certain reporting requirements. Some of the information requested is used for reporting purposes. The PCA also asks for some data for research purposes, particularly information on the economic impact of the arts.

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Funding Process

The recommendations of the advisory panel are reviewed and approved by the Council prior to making all awards.

The Council does not obligate itself to make formal explanation of its awards. Program Directors are available to advise applicants, however, this advice does not represent the decision of the Council nor bind the Council in future determinations.

The PCA will notify the General Assembly of Council decisions prior to applicant notification.

Applicants are notified by mail of the decision of the Council.

Those receiving awards will be sent an Award Agreement (contract) setting forth any conditions, restrictions, and changes imposed by the Council, and must return completed invoices, revised budgets, project descriptions, and copies of the signed Award Agreement in order to receive funds. The recipient will use the Award Agreement to specify how funds will be used. The use of funds is subject to PCA approval.

Upon signing the Award Agreement, recipients certify that they will accept the terms, conditions, and provisions referred to in the Award Agreement. Copies of the terms and conditions are available upon request. Recipients also agree to accept any conditions, restrictions or changes imposed by the Council unless the recipient objects in writing within 30 days of the mailing of the award letter. The PCA is required to verify that the recipient has complied with all terms of the contract. Recipients must return the materials requested in the Award Agreement within 30 days of the date of the mailing of the Award Agreement. Failure to return this material within this period may result in cancellation of the award at the sole discretion of the PCA.

Requests for checks are initiated by the PCA upon approval of the fully executed Award Agreement. Awards are subject to review by several state agencies. It can take two to four months for the checks to be issued after the PCA approves the Award Agreement. Often PCA funds will not arrive by the start date of the project or funding year.

The PCA does not issue checks. Checks are issued by the Pennsylvania Department of the Treasury and do not arrive at the same time each year. Applicants should be aware of this and plan their cash flow accordingly.

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Advisory Panel Process

Advisory panels convene depending on the Track (AOAP, Entry, Program and Project Streams)to make recommendations to the Council for assessment review. Each funding program conducts at least one advisory panel. For programs with several discipline categories (e.g. AOAP) multiple advisory panels are convened to assess applications with similar focus. It is the decision of the PCA which panel will review applications. Applicants may consult with the PCA Program Staff to discuss the most appropriate panel to review their application.

Emphasis in the review process is on the applicant's analysis and presentation of data from past activities, and demonstrated use of this data to improve the quality of what is offered, to increase availability of the arts and to improve management of the organization or program. Applicants may be penalized for incomplete or unclear applications.

Advisory panels will review applications and supplemental enclosures (described in application guidelines and checklists). The following weighted criteria are applied to the applicant's record of past performance, in order to determine a recommended assessment to the Council. (0 is the lowest, and 35 the highest).

Application Review Criteria

  • Quality of Artistic Product/Process/Service (0 to 35 points)
  • Access to the Arts (0 to 35 points)
  • Management (0 to 30 points)

Applicants may be penalized for incomplete, inaccurate, or unclear applications. See the funding opportunity pages for complete descriptions of programs and any specific review criteria.


Appeal Process

The PCA recognizes that errors may occur in its application process. The PCA is committed to acknowledging any errors and responding to rectify the effects of an error. The appeals process enables applicants to identify these errors and omissions, and bring them to the attention of the Council. Appeals of the Council's decision may result in an increase in the PCA award amount if the applicant can satisfactorily document that the application was misrepresented or improperly reviewed through no fault of the applicant. Appeals are awarded only if the Council believes that the error or omission had a substantial effect on the recommendation of the advisory panel.

Appeals are not intended to provide the applicant with an opportunity to challenge the recommendations of the advisory panel. Disagreement with the judgment of the advisory panel or the amount of the award are not grounds for an appeal.

Applicants considering an appeal should contact the appropriate Program Director for advice and guidance. The appeal of an award decision must be made in writing within 30 days from the date of the PCA Award Agreement. Letters of appeal should be addressed to the PCA Executive Director. The letter should identify the error or omission and the effect such error had on the recommendation of the advisory panel. If the appeal is supported by the Council, funds will be awarded only if they are available.

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Funding Process Advisory Panel Process