According to the Texas Administrative Code, any changes in rules that govern the programs and activities of the Texas Commission on the Arts must be presented to the Commission for discussion and approval, then posted on the Texas Register for public comment, and finally brought back before the Commission for consideration of comments from the public in the final discussion and approval of the rule changes.
Two areas of the Texas Commission on the Arts Guide to Programs and Services are being considered for change. Changes in the rules that govern Arts Create Subgranting and the appeals process were discussed and approved by the Commission at their December 10, 2014 meeting.
Background on proposed changes:
In conducting their review of TCA rules, policies, and guidelines, The Sunset Advisory Commission had concerns about the Arts Create Subgranting guidelines. Sunset staff stated in their final report that “The Commission should amend its grant guidelines to incorporate reporting requirements for subgrantors and to better link on-site monitoring visits to risk.”
The primary concern that Sunset Commission staff had with TCA’s Arts Create Subgranting guidelines was the lack of reference to data collected from subgrantors that feeds TCA performance measures. The number of organizations receiving funding in rural counties and the number of ethnically specific organizations funded are collected from subgrantors and used when TCA calculates current performance measures. The report from the Sunset Commission asks that guidelines be changed so that they require subgrantors to prioritize funding to rural counties and ethnically specific organizations, and that this data be reported to TCA.
In early November, TCA’s Executive Director and Deputy Director conducted webinar discussions with representatives from the 26 recipients of Arts Create Subgranting funds. The webinar discussions centered on making required changes to the program and reasons why these changes were needed. The discussion, questions, and comments generated from these meetings informed the development of the changes being recommended for consideration.
Commissioners have been concerned with the lack of a date-specific deadline for the letters of appeal that constituents may file prior to the quarterly meeting where grant funding decisions are made. At their September 5, 2013 meeting, Commissioners asked that the rules guiding letters of appeal be changed to include a date-specific deadline for submitting appeals. It was agreed that this deadline should fall one week prior to quarterly Commission meetings.
Proposed changes to TCA’s Guide to Programs and Services:
Arts Create Subgranting
Eligibility: Local Arts Agencies and Government Local Arts Agencies
Intent: To advance the creative economy of Texas by investing in arts organizations.
This multi-year program allows professionally staffed local arts agencies to regrant funds to arts and other service organizations in their communities. Funded subgrant activities must evidence artistic merit. Subgrant applicants to TCA must have an existing panel review system to evaluate local proposals. This panel may not be the Board of Directors of the local arts agency. The agency must have a two-year history of serving the population area with grants before requesting funding support for that area from TCA. Subgrant applicants are encouraged to fund as many organizations with TCA funds as possible. All subgrant applicants are encouraged to prioritize TCA funds for organizations in rural counties. Subgrant applicants with community populations larger than 500,000 are encouraged to prioritize TCA funds for minority organizations in their community. Administrative expenses are not allowed. This program has additional reporting requirements. New organizations may only apply in odd numbered years.
Grant Type: Multi-year
Application Limit: One application per organization for this program
Minimum Request: $3,000
Maximum Request: This program has graduated requirements & maximum requests based on the population of the community:
Areas between 1 and 499,999 - $10,000
Areas between 500,000 and 999,999 - $35,000
Areas of 1,000,000 or more - $40,000
Match Requirement: dollar for dollar (1:1)
Application Deadline: March 15 of odd numbered years
Attachments Deadline: Postmarked March 15 of odd numbered years
Criteria: see Application Review Criteria
Click here for ineligible requests
Click here for attachments checklist
Applicants who believe their proposals for funding or approval were rejected for the following two reasons may appeal to the Commission for reconsideration using the TCA appeal form:
•influence of evaluation panel or Commissioners who willfully failed to disclose conflicts of interest; or
•provision of incorrect information by the TCA staff or evaluators at the time of voting, despite the presence of the correct information as part of the original application.
The applicant must be able to show a link between one of these circumstances and a low score or rating and/or negative panel comment. Failure to submit a complete application by the deadline does not constitute grounds for an appeal. Dissatisfaction with the denial of a grant or with the amount of the grant is an insufficient reason for appeal.
Appeals must be presented through the appeal form to the Deputy Director. The deadline for appeals is one week prior to the quarterly Commission meeting where the application under appeal will be considered. All appeals will be presented to the Commission for their consideration. The applicant will be notified after the Commissioners’ final decision.
All decisions of the Commission are final.
Review Changes in Texas Register
The Texas Register is managed by the Texas Secretary of State. Information is published on a weekly basis. Review the Texas Register issue with the proposed changes for the Texas Commission on the Arts Guide to Programs and Services here: www.sos.state.tx.us/tex.....shtml
Find TCA information under the heading Arts, Texas Commission on the. Comments on the proposed changes may be submitted to Dana Swann, Texas Commission on the Arts, P.O. Box 13406, Austin, Texas 78711-3406. Comments will be accepted through March 14, 2014.