Operating Support Grants


Operating Support Grants support the stability of Fairfax nonprofit arts organizations by providing funds for the basic operation in recognition of the valuable programs and services these organizations provide to County residents. As the largest ARTSFAIRFAX grant program, Operating Support Grants fund over 40 nonprofit arts organizations throughout Fairfax County each year. Grant recipients represent a variety of arts disciplines while ranging in size from small volunteer-run organizations with annual operating budgets under $50K to large, professional organizations with operating budgets over $500K.

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Nonprofit arts organizations based in Fairfax County, the city of Fairfax, or the city of Falls Church are eligible to apply for up to 15% of their actual expenses for the most recently completed fiscal year.


Application Review Process

Operating Support Grants are awarded through a competitive process. Staff review each application to ensure its completeness and the applicant’s eligibility. Then, applications are divided by budget size and reviewed by separate panels comprised of arts professionals with experience in a variety of disciplines.


The panel meetings where each application is reviewed are open to the public, and applicants are encouraged to attend and observe. Following the panel meetings, the Grants Committee, a standing committee including members of the ARTSFAIRFAX Board of Directors, makes funding recommendations based upon the panel’s scores for approval by the ARTSFAIRFAX Board of Directors.


key dates

  • January 14, 2020: Operating Support Grant Workshop.
  • February 26, 2020: Operating Support Grant application deadline.
  • May 12-14, 2020: Operating Support Grant panels.
  • August, 2020: Operating Support Grant announcement.
  • August, 2020: Final reports from organizations awarded FY 2020 Operating Support Grants are due. Reporting forms must be completed online on our Submittable page.

Additional Resources

Image Caption: American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (AYPO) is one many Fairfax arts organizations to benefit from an ARTSFAIRFAX’s Operating Support grant. Each year these awards foster stability, growth and innovation as these cultural institutions expand their audiences, develop new programs and outreach.