A photo of a diverse ensemble cast in mid-twentieth century singing a song.


The Nancy Quinn Fund

Downloads, Evaluation Criteria, & Narrative Guidelines

APPLICATION DOWNLOADS

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Narrative Statement Guidelines »
Budget Template » 
Production History Template »


Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated through a peer panel process. The panel will score each application according to the established criteria on a scale of 1-10 for Organizational Identity (40%), Use of Funds (40%), and Quality of the Application (20%).

Organizational Identity:

  • Does the applicant clearly articulate its mission, goals, and core programming? Are these in sync with one another?
  • Does the company or applicant distinguish themselves from others in serving a unique community of artists and audience members?
  • Is the company or project serving a diverse audience and cohort of artists, and defining diversity effectively for their community? 
  • Do the artists involved in the company or project reflect the cultural and aesthetic diversity of theatre and their own community in this moment? 

Use of Funds:

  • Does the applicant clearly state both the amount and intended use of the funding request? Have they targeted a goal, opportunity, or challenge they will apply these funds to?
  • Is the use of funds appropriately detailed and realistic?
  • Is the company fiscally responsible? Does the company or project present a healthy, balanced operating budget that includes contingencies, contains realistic projections of revenues and expenses, and explains variances and deficits in a clear way? Are there concerns regarding the budget or budget notes?

Quality of the Application:

  • Is the application presented in a neat, cohesive, clear manner?
  • Are there any grammatical or typographical errors? Has the applicant taken the time to copy edit and review the application prior to submission?
  • Is the budget clear and consistent and are the budget notes clear?
  • Did the applicant answer all the questions that were asked and provide all required documents in the correct format?
  • Most importantly, does the applicant make a case for funding?


Required Documents

Applicants will be asked to provide digital versions of the following documents during the application process.

  • Narrative Statement, three pages maximum: A proposal based on prompt questions (download here), which includes mission, vision, and history; description of current programming and audience; opportunities and challenges you/your company is facing; and the impact of the grant on you and your work/your organization and its work.
    • PLEASE NOTE: The narrative statement questions have been updated for the 2020 application as of January 21, 2020. Please read and review carefully. 
  • 3-Year Operating Budget, one page maximum: A budget detailing your most recently completed fiscal year actuals, current year actuals and projections, and next fiscal year projections.
    • Use the Budget template provided (download here) and save to PDF format, ensuring it fits on one page.
    • Please follow ALL instructions on the template. 
    • Please DO NOT INCLUDE projections of the 2020 Nancy Quinn Fund grant in this budget.
  • Budget notes, one page maximum: Budget notes are your opportunity to provide context, additional clarification, and explanation for the information provided in your budget. Your budget notes should be thorough, clear, and easy to read. DO NOT refer to the row numbers in your spreadsheet on your budget notes, as these row numbers will not be visible once you have saved your document to PDF format. There is no form for this attachment. Below are some areas that you should address in your budget notes; however, your specific budget may require additional explanation, so do consider carefully what additional context or explanation the panel might need in order to fully understand and evaluate your presented budget. Please explain: 
    • Any line item that changes by more than 10% (up or down) between fiscal years.
    • Details for both earned and contributed income, including projected ticket sales, as well as individual and board contributions. Please also indicate secured and pending institutional funding.
    • The cause of a deficit, and especially take the time to explain plans to address year-over-year deficits.
  • Production History, two pages maximum: For your most recently completed, current, and future season. Include staged readings, full productions, school programs, and any other artistic output of the organization. You may use A.R.T./New York's template (download here) or your own, provided that the following information is included:
    • Title
    • Performance dates
    • Venue capacity
    • Audience attendance
  • You may include up to TWO additional PDF attachments of maximum TWO pages each that will enhance the panel's understanding of your organization/your work and help them evaluate your application. It is recommended that these documents relate directly to your application and support the case made in your narrative. Past applications have included:
    • Press clippings or reviews
    • Marketing collateral, such as season information or e-blasts
    • Visually stimulating images of past productions or designs for upcoming productions
    • Biographies of organizational leadership or key artists

Narrative Statement Guidelines

The narrative portion of the application is your opportunity to make a strong case for funding and to share with the panel who you are and the impact a grant would have on you, your company, and/or its mission. You should not rely on past accolades or assume any preexisting knowledge panelists might have of your work. Please upload a document in which you clearly address the following THREE questions. Consider using section headings to break up the narrative for ease of reading. The narrative must be a maximum of three (3) pages, 12-point Calibri or Arial font, with 1” margins. PDF format REQUIRED.


FOR COMPANIES
 

1. Describe your theatre's mission and vision, and organizational goals. What are the distinguishing characteristics of your company and work? 

Begin with a concise and clear mission statement. The applications that tend to be most successful provide specific information for the panel about the distinguishing characteristics of their organization and/or artistic work. You should include in your response the unique impact your organization has on the artists you work with, your audiences and local community, and/or the art form. You should also address how your organization and/or work contributes to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable theatrical field. If your work is directed toward a particular community, explain who that community is, why it is important that your theatre reach that group of people, and how you hope to impact them.

2. Describe your company's core programs, or areas of work. How do they help you achieve the above stated goals in relation to your audience and mission?

The applications that tend to be most successful are those that not only clearly and concisely explain the company's core programs, but that also illustrate a direct relationship between the programs and the mission. If your theatre offers a broad range of programs, articulate the through-line that connects all programming to the mission, as well as the artistic aesthetic that makes the varied offerings unique to and representative of your theatre.

3. Describe an opportunity you have identified or a challenge your theatre is facing, and explain how this grant will help you address it. Clearly describe the amount of funds you are requesting and how you plan to allocate them, should you receive a grant.

The Nancy Quinn Fund is a grant for general operating funds. Funding can be used for whatever will benefit your company the most; it can support general operating costs or be applied to any organizational need including artists' fees, rent, marketing materials, equipment, etc. The applications that tend to be most successful include a significant amount of detail about the grant request, how it will be utilized, and what the impact of the funding will be on the organization.  For example, if you apply for $1,500 to hire a development assistant, how many hours of the assistant's time will that fund? Do you have, or need, other resources to supplement the grant? If so, how do you plan to raise the additional funds? If you are applying for general funds, make a strong case for how grant funds will support mission-related activities and/or operations needed to sustain them. Please also do necessary research to make sure that your request is budgeted appropriately.

 

FOR INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS OR ARTISTS

1. Describe your artistic mission, vision, and goals. What are the distinguishing characteristics of your work?

Begin with a concise and clear statement of your artistic mission. The applications that tend to be most successful provide specific information for the panel about the distinguishing characteristics of your artistic work. You should include in your response the unique impact your work has on the artists you work with, your audiences and local community, and/or the art form. You should also address how your work contributes to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable theatrical field. If your work is directed toward a particular community, explain who that community is, why it is important that your theatre reach that group of people, and how you hope to impact them.
 

2. Describe the type of work you make and/or produce, and other relevant parts of your artistic practice. How does your artistic practice and work help you achieve the above stated goals in relation to your artistic mission and the audience that attends or engages with your work?

The applications that tend to be most successful are those that not only clearly and concisely explain the artist’s work, but that also illustrate a direct relationship between the work and your artistic mission, vision, and goals. If you have a broad range of projects, articulate the through-line that connects all your work to your artistic mission, as well as the artistic aesthetic that makes the varied offerings unique to and representative of you as an artist or producer.
 

3. Describe an opportunity you have identified or a challenge you are facing, and explain how this grant will help you address it. This is your chance to make the case for the impact of a general operating cash grant on you and your work. Clearly describe the amount of funds you are requesting and how you plan to allocate them, should you receive a grant.

The Nancy Quinn Fund is a grant for general operating funds. Funding can be used for whatever will benefit your artistic work the most; it can support general operating costs including artists' fees, rent, marketing materials, equipment, etc. The applications that tend to be most successful include a significant amount of detail about the grant request, how it will be utilized, and what the impact of the funding will be on the organization.  For example, if you apply for $1,500 to hire a development assistant, how many hours of the assistant's time will that fund? Do you have, or need, other resources to supplement the grant? If so, how do you plan to raise the additional funds? If you are applying for general funds, make a strong case for how grant funds will support mission-related activities and/or operations needed to sustain them. Please also do necessary research to make sure that your request is budgeted appropriately. 

 

For more information about this program, please email [email protected]

The Nancy Quinn Fund is made possible with generous funding by lead sponsor Dime Community Bank, and through the support of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Mental Insight Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.


Header: Irish Repertory Theatre's production of Finian's Rainbow. Photo by Carol Rosegg.