Most grant programs and rosters are reviewed by an advisory panel comprised of knowledgeable and experienced peers. The panel process is a widespread and accepted standard to equitably distribute limited dollars across the state. It brings people together who are knowledgeable in a particular field, to make recommendations. Staff selects panelists from the field, including individuals nominated through the Council’s website.
To ensure panels include a diverse set of voices and experiences, staff considers many qualities of panelists including artistic discipline, race/ethnicity, gender, regional connections, professional background, availability, and artistic ability. Before convening, panelists participate in a training to ensure their understanding of the grant criteria, the guidelines for artistic excellent and merit, confidentiality requirements, and our commitment to accessibility. Each panelist discloses any conflicts that may arise, and does not participate in any application review where a conflict exists.
Application Review Process
Prior to each program year, the Vermont Arts Council approves policies and reviews procedures for each grant category and juried roster. The Council uses a panel-review process to submit funding and roster addition recommendations to the Council’s executive director and board of trustees for approval; theirs is the final decision. The Council reserves the right to reject incomplete or ineligible applications before sending them to a panel.
All applicants will receive notice about the status of their application via email on or before the notification date listed on the program landing page.
Appeals Policy and Process
(Approved by Vermont Art Council Executive Committee 1.28.2019)
Any organization or individual who has applied to the Vermont Arts Council for funding or acceptance to a roster may appeal the Council’s decision. Dissatisfaction with an application’s denial or with the amount of an award, however, is not sufficient reason for an appeal. Incomplete applications are not eligible for appeal. Grounds for an appeal are evidence that:
- The application was reviewed on the basis of criteria other than those appearing in the relevant guidelines
- Reviewers or the Council Board were influenced willfully or unwillfully by members who failed to disclose conflicts of interest
- Erroneous information was provided or information was withheld by staff or panelists at the time of review
The following steps will be taken in the consideration of an appeal:
- Applicants should consult with the appropriate program staff to request information about the considerations that went into the Council’s decision within fifteen days of the notification
- If the applicant wishes to pursue an appeal, the applicant will submit a request to the board of trustees, in care of the executive director, in writing, within fifteen days of the date of the receipt of the information about the Council’s decision. The letter should contain evidence to support one or more of the grounds for appeal
- The appeal will be considered at the discretion of the Council’s director and the chair of the board (or his/her designee) in consultation with the Executive Committee. A hearing with the board of trustees may be arranged. The decision made by the Council’s board will be final
The Vermont Arts Council does not tolerate any form of verbal abuse, harassment or intimidation toward its board or staff.