CCT: Grant Review Process

Grant Review Process

The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) is committed to conducting a fair and transparent granting
process.  The following information outlines the review process for most of the agency's competitive grant programs, including  the Arts Catalyze Placemaking – Arts Leadership grant program.

Application guidelines are made available on the our website,, and an announcement is posted on

E-Granting System
The ACP - Arts Leadership grant program is administered using an e-granting system, FluidReview; therefore, all applications must be submitted through the on-line portal at  Email and paper submissions are not accepted.

New users must "sign up" and create an account while returning users may simply "sign in".

Intent to Apply
To assist us with the process of reviewing and confirming eligibility, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an Intent to Apply prior to submitting an ACP application.   Please note: first time applicants are required to submit an Intent to Apply. Intent to Apply notices are an important element of COA’s administration of the Arts Catalyze Placemaking Grant programs, as the notices allow staff to plan for both the number of review panels and the types of panelists with appropriate knowledge and expertise to adjudicate the range of applications we anticipate receiving for each granting period.

Applicants submit an Intent to Apply via our on-line granting system, FluidReview.  We review applicants for eligibility and send a notification to proceed via email.

Submittal of application
Applications are received via our on-line granting system, FluidReview.  Applications must be received by the mandatory deadline date and time.

Staff Review
We review applications for completeness and may contact applicants if questions arise.  Complete applications from eligible applicants are moved to the Panel Review round.

Panel Review Process
The panel review process relies upon the assistance of panelists who are experts in their fields.   Panelists are selected based on their professional credentials.  The main responsibility of a panelist is to evaluate the relevance and quality of the applications seeking state funding.   Panelists evaluate and score applications based on the review criteria outlined in the guidelines.

Panelists are required to disclose any past, current or prospective affiliations they or their immediate family members have with any applicant.   In addition, panelists are required to disclose any past or current adversarial relationships with applicants.  If a panelist declares a conflict, he or she is excused from reviewing and scoring that applicant.

Panelists are assigned a set number of applications and are given online access to the applications in advance of the panel meeting.  At this stage, the panelists read the applications, review the project budget and work samples, and assign a preliminary score and provide written evaluation.  Panelists assess applications based on the review criteria described in the guidelines.

COA conducts in-person panel meetings whereas the panelists convene as a group to review, discuss and score all applications. During the meeting, panelists have full access to their preliminary scores and comments and engage in thoughtful and thorough discussions with additional comments captured by COA staff.  Panelists review the list of final scores and make closing adjustments as determined through the rigorous panel deliberations.  Ultimately, the panels’ scores reflect the overall panel evaluation process.  Panelists honor confidentiality of the scores and all panel discussions and receive a modest honorarium for time spent reviewing, scoring and attending the one-day panel meeting.  The panel review process is the national standard employed in administering pubic arts funding.

Connecticut Arts Council
Following the panel review process, COA staff reconcile the panel recommendations with available funds and provide the panel recommendations to the Connecticut Arts Council.

Public Act Number 13-247 established The Connecticut Arts Council to foster and promote the arts in Connecticut.  Members are appointed to 3 or 4 year terms by the Governor and legislative leaders.  The Council consists of eleven voting members and two members who serve in an ex officio, non-voting capacity.

The Connecticut Arts Council reviews and discusses the panel recommendations and makes final decisions on all grant awards.  In additional to approving grants, the Arts Council serves as the governing body on COA policies and programs.  Like review panelists, Arts Council members disclose any conflicts of interest and abstain from votes as needed.

The list of approved grants is first sent to the members of the General Assembly to allow legislators the opportunity to congratulate their constituents.   COA announces the names of grantees on our website and post an announcement on Facebook.  Applicants not recommended for funding are notified via email.  After notification, any applicant may request comments on their application.

Approved grantees receive an official notification of the grant award, along with a grant contract and any other necessary documents via email. Disbursement of grant funds requires a signed contract between the grantee and the State.


To request panel scores and comments, contact
Rhonda F. Olisky at


Content Last Modified on 6/20/2014 4:52:53 PM