CAH values and emphasizes excellence in all grant programs within all disciplines. This section contains detailed information on the CAH’s requirements and suggestions regarding content. Arts and humanities content and/or merit are one of several criteria on which an application is reviewed. Content and/or merit is demonstrated to the advisory review panelists through the applicant’s:
Section 1 - Work Samples
Section 2 - Support Materials
Section 3 – Résumés of Key Personnel
Of these, the work sample carries the most weight because it must contain the clearest depiction of the applicant’s best work(s) of art and/or humanities. All applicants must submit arts and/or humanities work samples.
Section 1 - Work Samples
Work samples are critical to each application and are carefully considered during application review. CAH strongly recommends that applicants pay close attention to the content of work sample submissions.
The guidelines on work sample submissions depend on the grant program. Applicants are encouraged to adhere to the suggested work samples or risk ineligibility for consideration of a grant award.
Work samples must be no more than three (3) years old from the date of submission. Submitting older work samples may render the application ineligible for funding consideration.
Section 2 - Support Materials
Support materials are documents that strengthen the application and provide additional information that directly relates to the grant request. Support materials do not take the place of a work sample. They do, however, reinforce the quality of the applicant’s arts and humanities disciplines(s).
Some examples of supporting materials include:
- Theater/exhibition reviews;
- Letters of recommendation;
- Certificates of achievement or recognition;
- Sample lesson plans;
- Assessments and evaluations; and/or
- Recordings of artistic process, creation or experience
Assessment and Evaluation
- To determine the efficacy of a program, as articulated in the program goals and as required for grant reporting.
- To provide evidence to support changes in order to improve the program and its delivery.
- Qualitative assessment is often subjective in approach and narrative in nature.
- Quantitative assessment provides empirical data that demonstrates growth in the knowledge, skills, and understandings of the participants.
Assessment and Evaluation Design
There are many ways to assess and evaluate programming including: needs assessments; pre- and post-testing; and formative, observational, and summative assessments that utilize mixed-method approaches such as portfolio/process-folio assessments.
Section 3 – Resumes of Key Personnel
Another way panelists determine the artistic content of each application is to review the résumés of the key artists, administrators and facilitators involved in the grant activities. Those professionals involved in the organization determine the capacity of the organization and ability for the applicant to effectively create an excellent arts and humanities product and/or experience. Their backgrounds as artists and administrators should be relevant to the organization and clearly demonstrated through their professional résumés.
Additional Suggestions from CAH Staff
When creating and preparing work samples, supporting materials and résumés, CAH recommends considering the following:
- Applicants should be able to view and/or play all work samples in the application before submitting. If a sample cannot be played, then panelists will experience the same.
- Select recent, high quality samples that relate as directly to the application as possible.
- Select work samples that illustrate and unite the applicant’s narrative content.
- Photograph uploads should be in JPEG (or JPG) format with a 72 dpi minimum resolution and should not exceed 8MB in size (each).
- Adding more than the recommended number of work samples to an application will often weaken it.
- Carefully chosen work samples (pictures, videos, excerpts, etc.) tend to make the biggest impact and create the strongest artistic impression.
- Advisory review panelists are required to review each applicant’s work samples; however, they are not guaranteed to review multiple work samples within the same application.
- Each work sample and document must give the specific name and title, so that panelists can identify what they are reviewing.
- For project-based grants, include samples of similar projects completed to illustrate an ability to execute the proposed project.
- Panelists must be able to assess the skill level of the artist(s) involved in the project work to be created, exhibited or taught.
For video submissions:
- Do not include highly edited commercial/promotional videos as a work sample.
- Do not include poor quality video samples or samples with dim lighting, unstable video, bright backlighting, or blurred images.
- If the video work sample is longer than five (5) minutes, indicate the embedded timecode of the video where panelists should begin viewing the work sample (e.g. 5:05:00).
For audio submissions:
- Panelists are unable to scan, rewind, or skip through a sample. Edit the audio clip to feature exactly the desired content.
- For audio submissions with visual components, consider submitting as a video clip instead.
For online materials and websites:
- Panelists review only within the “four corners” of the application. They are not expected to go to outside links or content, so a linked website may not be viewed.
- Websites can be screen-shot and attached as an image, but it is often an insufficient work sample. Submit a website only if it is an essential part of the project.