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DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Awards Nearly $25 Million in Grants for Fiscal Year 2020

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Funding supports the arts and humanities in all eight wards of the District

Jeffrey Scott (CAH) -- (202) 724-5613; [email protected]

(Washington, DC) - The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) recently awarded $24,738,534 in competitive grants to support arts and humanities projects, nonprofit organizations, and individual practitioners across the District in FY 2020. This marks the largest annual issuance of grant funds in the agency's 51-year history.

"This is a record-breaking year for public funding of the arts and culture in the District of Columbia," said DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Chair Kay Kendall. "CAH continues to be ranked number one in funding per capita among the 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the country, which is a testament to the District government's commitment to invest in the city's arts and humanities community."
"As the official arts agency for the District of Columbia, CAH works to promote progress in the arts and humanities," said DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Interim Executive Director Heran Sereke-Brhan. "Through our programs and policies in grantmaking, education, and professional development, we are honored to be of service not only to the city's cultural sector, but to all District residents and visitors."
CAH awards grants through a competitive process. Applications from individuals and organizations are reviewed by independent panels that then make award recommendations to the CAH board of commissioners for final approval. Those applicants not receiving funding are offered technical assistance to support future applications.

CAH has awarded 626 grants in FY 2020 in the following categories to date:

  • $1,556,750 to support 272 individual artists and humanities professionals throughout all 8 wards;
  • $13,347,313 in general operating support for 125 nonprofit arts, arts education and humanities organizations providing services to residents throughout the District;
  • $839,500 to support projects serving residents east of the Anacostia River by 40 nonprofit organizations;
  • $218,430 for arts and humanities education projects in the District by 16 nonprofit organizations;
  • $4,579,512 through 32 grants to support improvements to arts and humanities facilities, buildings, and venues throughout the District;
  • $504,525 to support 6 public art projects proposed by individual artists or nonprofit organizations;
  • $50,000 to support exhibitions by two District curators;
  • $20,250 to support the development of nine finalist proposals for playable public artworks;
  • $754,595 to support 67 arts and humanities projects, events and festivals occurring throughout the District during the fiscal year;
  • $300,000 to support capacity building initiatives for 6 nonprofit organizations;
  • $1,160,000 to the District's official humanities council to support sub grants for the purpose of promoting cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of local history;
  • $400,750 to support 23 projects aimed at fostering cultural exchange with one of the District's 15 Sister Cities; and,
  • $1,006,909 to support 27 arts and humanities field trip experiences provided by nonprofit organizations for DC public school students.

A complete listing of FY 2020 grantees is available on the CAH website at