Montana Arts Council

An Agency of State Government

Public Value Partnerships Guidelines FY20-23

About the Montana Arts Council

The Montana Arts Council is the agency of state government established to develop the creative potential of all Montanans, advance education, spur economic vibrancy, and revitalize communities through involvement in the arts. The Montana Arts Council is governed by 15 individuals appointed by the Governor. It is funded by state and federal government.

Program Description

Public Value Partnerships (PVP) provide operating support for the artistic and educational mission of Montana arts organizations. The program recognizes strong operations, stable management, ongoing engagement, and high-quality programming for the communities being served.

Public Value Partners expand their work by:

• Building relationships with audiences, funders, community and political leaders.
• Creating greater relevance and connection to what has value and meaning to the community.
• Demonstrating a strong return on investment that brings meaning, adds vitality, and becomes a catalyst for new ways of thinking, seeing and solving problems.

Application Deadline

The deadline is April 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm. Applications must be submitted online here.

Review Criteria

Each application is scored against the following criteria:

  1. Appropriate and sufficient governance, management, and staffing.
  2. Activities engage and are responsive to the people and communities for whom they are intended.
  3. Artistic programs and services align with the mission.

Award Amounts

Grants will range from $2,000 to $10,000 annually.
Grant amounts are determined by the application ranking based on the criteria and an average of the previous two years’ cash expenses. MAC may place a funding priority on organizations that provide service to an exceptionally underserved population.

Grant Period

The grant supports activities between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2023.

Eligible Applicants

All applicants must be one of the following:

  • Non-profit arts organization with an IRS 501(c)(3) ruling, incorporated in Montana and registered and in good standing with the Montana Secretary of State.
  • Tribal or university arts program with ongoing outreach programs that significantly extend services beyond the campus.




  • Formally organized and continuously operating in Montana for a minimum of five years. Organization compliance will be verified by information on submitted 501(c)(3). Tribal or university arts programs must submit a letter with the date the program seeking support was established, signed by the authorizing official.
  • A Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.
  • Minimum of one half-time staff member paid as artistic, managerial or education duties, no less than 1040 hours per year at minimum wage or higher.
  • A record of arts programs throughout the year.
  • A current web presence.
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • This program does not fund organizations whose primary focus is a single event, events held over the course of a single day or weekend, or festivals. Consider the Strategic Investment Grant Program.


Contacts and Accessibility

For questions or concerns about the application process or technical assistance, or to request a large-print or alternate format guidelines, contact Kristin Han Burgoyne at or 406-444-6449.

Application Information

An overview of the information that must be provided in the application, available here.
MAC funding is highly competitive with more worthy requests than funding available. Take time to develop clear, complete, and compelling materials. Assume the reviewer has no prior knowledge of the organization or program. A past funding record will not assure future funding.

Narrative Responses


  • Mission (500 character max)
    Provide the current mission.
  • Organization History (3000 character max)
    Supply a brief history of the founding of the organization, noting key development stages.
  • Governance, Management, and Staffing (2500 character max)
    Describe the structure and management of the organization.
    Explain the interaction of the board, staff, and community.
    Define the methods used to engage and communicate with the community.
    Characterize primary donors and funders.
  • Programs and Activities (2500 character max)
    Identify the community that is the focus of services.
    Provide an overview of primary program activities.
    Summarize recent adaptations to remove barriers and increase accessibility.
    State the current programmatic goals.
  • Relationships, Relevance, Return on Investment
    What have you seen that confirms the community’s appreciation? (1500 character max)
    What have you seen that indicates that programs are meeting the current goals? (1500 character max)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    Describe your accessibility goals, strengths and weaknesses.
    a. What accessibility symbols are on your printed materials, newspaper ads and website? b. Do you make large-type printed materials available at every event so people don’t have to request them specifically? c. Does your website have a clearly indicated contact for accessibility questions? d. Do you identify wheelchair and companion seating in your printed materials?
  • Financials
    Upload PDF documents of the past two recently completed fiscal years.
    Non-profit organizations must upload an IRS Form 990 or 990 EZ.
    Universities and tribal arts programs must upload board approved financial statements limited to the specific program requesting support that provide the same information as an IRS Form 990.
  • Board List
    Upload a list of the current board members with name, city, and professional affiliation. Identify board officers by title and specify the end of their term of service.
  • Key Personnel
    Upload a one page list of key personnel with their qualifications and contributions.
  • Supplemental Materials
    Provide up to four web links to images, audio, video, or press that are specific to the proposal. This could include YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, or media websites that are not password protected.


Review Process

If additional information is required, contact will be made via the email address. Do not submit information unless requested.
Applications will be reviewed in the spring of 2019 by a panel comprised of leaders in the fields of arts and public service. This panel will make recommendations to the full body of the Montana Arts Council. The decisions of the Council are final.
All MAC review meetings are open to the public. Applicants will be identified by name and all information submitted is public information.
Applicants must refrain from contacting panel or council members, individually or as a group, before or during the panel review process. Applicants attending the panel meeting as observers will not be allowed to discuss their application.
A summary of panel comments is available to applicants upon request. Applicants are encouraged to contact MAC staff after the review to receive comments, regardless of the outcome of their review. Committee discussions and comments provide insights about effective grant writing and how applications are perceived and understood.


Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in late June 2019.

Grantee Responsibilities


  • Awardees will be required to acknowledge the governor, local legislators, and congressional representatives in writing.
  • All current and prior MAC reporting must be in compliance to receive funding.
  • Organizations must maintain eligibility and continued compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • MAC must be notified in writing within 30 days of changes in leadership or programming.
  • Grantees must appropriately credit the Montana Arts Council in materials and announcements related to the supported programming during the award period.


Reporting Requirements

Annual reporting is submitted online in September of each year.
Report forms ask for:

  • Statistical data about audiences and artists participating.
  • A narrative summary of programming and accomplishments.
  • An overview of contact with state legislators and with U.S. Congressional representatives.
  • Images of activities in progress, include the appropriate photo credits and permission to reprint.


How to Log on to the MAC Application Portal

New Users: Click on “Create New Account” to complete the registration process and create your logon credentials.
Existing Users: Enter your credentials and log in. If you forgot your password, use the “Forgot your Password” link to the left to reset your password.
If someone at your organization has already registered in the system, do not create a new account. Contact MAC at to receive your username.
At the top of the screen select the red “Apply” link. Select Public Value Partnerships PVP FY20-23.

Recommendations for Applying


  • Review the guidelines and contact MAC for any clarification.
  • Determine eligibility and requirements; gather the supporting documents and information.
  • Type narrative answers in a word processing document to paste into the application form. Narrative fields have a character count; punctuation and spacing are included.
  • Only one document can be uploaded to an upload field. Combine multiple documents into one, a series of bios, for example, for upload.
  • To maintain formatting after upload, convert word processing documents to pdf files. MAC does not recommend any particular software; Adobe and are examples of software for creating pdf’s. If you are struggling, contact MAC staff (
  • Use a naming convention that identifies the applicant and the document, example: MAC_Board.pdf or MAC_StaffResumes.pdf.
  • The ‘Application Packet’ button, on the right in the application, will show how the materials will appear to the reviewers. To keep a record, save this pdf, print it, or send it as an email attachment.
  • During the final week before the deadline many applicants are requesting assistance. Request assistance early to ensure MAC staff will be able to respond before the deadline.


Click here for a PDF of the guidelines.



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