The Texas Arts Plan

General Guidelines and Policies

Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible for TCA grants, an organization must:

  • be a tax-exempt nonprofit organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Service and/or must be an entity of government
  • have their eligibility status established with the TCA prior to the deadline day; know that it can take two weeks or more to get IRS confirmation of nonprofit status and 990 financial information which may be required for categorization
  • inform TCA if they believe their eligibility status has changed
  • be incorporated in Texas
  • have fulfilled all its outstanding contractual obligations to the State of Texas (i.e. taxes, etc.)
  • provide their unique entity identifier (UEI) from the federal System of Awards Management (, when applying for competitive grants
  • comply with regulations pertaining to federal grant recipients including the most recently amended versions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 13166 - Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Drug Free Workplace Act.
  • provide assurance that they are not debarred or suspended prior to the payment of an award

Ineligible Requests

The Commission will not fund the following:

  • Competitive grants that exceed 25% of the organization's previous year's cash operating revenues
  • Social functions, parties, receptions, fundraisers, or galas
  • Operating expenses for home offices
  • Operating expenses for state operated facilities including, but not limited to, salary support and facility costs
  • Activities for which college or university students receive academic credit
  • Projects at colleges and universities that serve mostly students and faculty, with minimal or no community involvement
  • Projects by privately owned for-profit corporations
  • Financing of political activities
  • Retroactive funding
  • Debt reduction
  • Projects, productions, workshops and/or programs that include obscene material as defined in Section 43.21, Penal Code of Texas.

Notes: The Commission will only fund capital improvements, bricks and mortar, and permanent (depreciable) equipment through the Cultural District Project or Designated Funding/Commission Initiatives grant programs. The Commission will not fund capital improvements for rented or leased spaces.

TCA funds cannot be matched by other awards from TCA or the National Endowment for the Arts.

Application Review Criteria

Applications are reviewed and evaluated using the criteria listed below.



General Consideration:

Does the application reflect the intent of the grant program?

Artistic Quality: 1-50 points

  • Artistic significance
  • Quality of works of art
  • Quality of artists
  • Impact on artists
  • Quality of services

Capability: 1-25 points

  • Administrative capability
  • Personnel
  • Demonstrated history
  • Budget
  • Planning, implementation, evaluation

Impact: 1-25 points

  • Public service
  • Audience or participants
  • Education
  • Outreach
  • Economic impact

Getting Help

Staff members are available to answer questions and provide information on the Commission's services.

TCA staff will accept draft applications for review and comment up to two weeks before the deadline. To submit a draft, send an e-mail to and request a draft review. Include your organization name and the name of the proposal you want reviewed. Commission staff are also available to consult with applicants by telephone at 512/463-5535 or 800/252-9415 (message line), or in personby appointment at the TCA offices in Austin, Texas. The staff's role is to assist the applicant in making the best presentation for funding. Staff will not write the application or determine funding request.

Access Policy

For people who are deaf or have a hearing disability, the Commission may be reached by contacting Relay Texas at 800/735-2989 or 711.

The Texas Commission on the Arts places a high priority on overcoming physical and communication barriers in the delivery of its services. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided on request. If you have a disability that requires access accommodations, please contact the Commission ADA Coordinator at least 72 hours prior to the date accommodations are needed: 512/463-5535. This publication is available in alternative formats.

Complaint Policy

Complaints are taken very seriously. TCA maintains a complaint procedure to ensure constituents are assisted in the most efficient manner possible. Please send a request for an agency response to Constituents may request a telephone conversation, meeting, or submit a complaint in writing. Please include your name and contact information. A response will be forthcoming within 3 days.

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  © Texas Commission on the Arts