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DC Arts
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FY 2021 Public Art Building Communities (PABC) Grant Program


The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) invites submissions for its fiscal year 2021 Public Art Building Communities (PABC) grant program from eligible individuals and nonprofit organizations, including registered DC Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and designated DC Main Streets organizations. The PABC grant program awards project funding to support individual artists and nonprofit organizations in their effort to design, fabricate and install new temporary or permanent works of public art that connect artists and artworks to the community. 

For the purposes of this grant, public art is defined as artwork in any media sited and installed onto locations that are accessible to the public (without cost) and in exterior (outdoor) locations free of encumbrances. Permanent public art is defined as existing for a duration of at least five (5) years (without regular maintenance), and Temporary projects must demonstrate duration of less than two (2) years. Artwork must be sited and installed onto locations that are accessible to the public. Examples of Public Art include, but are not limited to: sculptures, mosaics, artistic streetscapes, murals, paintings in plazas or lobbies, paving pattern, media/digital installations, landscape designed projects, custom benches, artistic water features, stained glass installations, and artistic arches, gates or railings.

Performance art based projects, previously created works of art and projects that have previously received CAH funding are ineligible for funding in this grant program.

REVISION for FY21 PABC: In response to supporting our public art community, the attached PABC guidelines have been updated (6/2/2020). All submitted applications will need to reflect these revised guidelines.

Look for this icon  for the latest revisions.

New funding structures are reflected below.

Award amounts vary:

Individuals may request up to $50,000

  • Nonprofit organizations may request up to $125,000

**REVISED** Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) may request up to $150,000

Match requirement changes for Organizations and BID’s.

Additional note to applicants:

  1. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions: A requirement of the application is to present the project to an Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) . ANC's are holding virtual meetings, here is a link to the ANC scheduled meetings. Applicants are required to present to the ANC of the neighborhood of the proposed project. For more information regarding ANC needs, please see page 6 of the PABC Guidelines.
  2. Flyers: Flyers are required announcing when the project will present at an ANC meeting. Applicants can use their existing communication networks (newsletter distribution lists, community list serves, and social media) to inform the community about the project on the ANC agenda.
  3. Community Support Signatures: Another requirement of the application is to procure signatures of those in the community of the proposed project. With the Mayor's Stay at Home order,  CAH will accept signatures received through on-line polling and petition platforms.  Here are some examples of free polling and petition platforms that can collect signatures, once image(s) and narratives are reviewed.  You can search on the internet for various on-line polling and petition platforms, some of which are free.

For further guidance on Community Support needs, please see page 16 of the PABC Guidelines. If you have further questions, please reach out to: [email protected]