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Arts Organizations and Arts Programs (AOAP) Track

Application Guidelines


The Arts Organizations and Arts Programs (AOAP) funding track supports qualified applicants that provide consistent levels of artistic programming and/or arts services in Pennsylvania. Activities and services generally must have a public component. 

The features of AOAP:
  • Application based on past performance.
  • Funding parameters set by Council and applied across the applicant pool.
Activity Period: September 1 - August 31. All funded activities must take place during this time period.


  • Currently funded in the AOAP Track, or transition into AOAP from Entry Track, PPA Program Stream, or Preserving Diverse Cultures, as approved by the Council. 
  • An average fiscal size of more than $200,000.
  • Organizations must be nonprofit, tax-exempt corporations, a unit of government, or a school district providing arts programming and/or arts services in Pennsylvania. Organizations are required to provide proof of incorporation and activity in Pennsylvania before applications are reviewed or funds awarded.

Matching Requirements

AOAP 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.

Funding Restrictions

Grant funds cannot be used for any of the following:
  • Activities outside the grant award agreement performance period.
  • Activities that have a religious purpose.
  • Payments to lobbyists.
  • Cash prizes and awards.
  • Benefit activities.
Unless authorized by the Council, grant funds cannot be used for any of the following:
  • Hospitality expenses.
  • Capital expenditures, including equipment costing $500 per item or more.
  • Competitions. 
  • Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public. 

How To Apply

2020-2021 Arts Organizations and Arts Programs (AOAP) Instructions for Digital Grant Process (PDF)

Step 1: Read the 2020-2021 AOAP Instructions and the Update Application in their entirety. Note: All AOAP programs will be applying with the Update Application.

Step 2: Register and apply through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's (DCED)  Electronic Single Application (ESA).

Step 3: Submit online by January 15, 2020. No hard copies are required

Note: Additional application due date information can be found here.

Need help?

For technical and login questions, contact DCED customer service: 800-379-7448.
For questions about content and attachments, contact one of these PCA staff members: