To maintain an evaluation of grant applications founded on knowledge and best practices, the Division of the Arts is committed to a system of peer-panel review in evaluating grant proposals. A grant panel is composed of arts professionals from Louisiana and throughout the country.

Panelist selection

The Division recruits panelists and accepts resumes from interested individuals throughout the year, and each panelist will meet some but not necessarily all of the following qualifications, depending on the panel:

  1. Professional experience as an artist or nonprofit arts administrator, in an arts-based commercial business, or in arts and cultural policy or in cultural economy development
  2. Knowledge of standards and best practices in management, governance and operations
  3. Knowledge in an artistic discipline or field (dance, music, theatre, visual arts and crafts, literature, media, design, folklife, arts-in-education, presenting and touring, etc.)
  4. Awareness of discipline, industry trends and issues

A pool of panelists is recommended to the Louisiana State Arts Council during each grant cycle based on the:

  1. Demonstration of necessary expertise proposed in grant applications for review.
  2. Judicious demonstration of gender, diverse cultures and special populations of the state.
  3. Representation of regional and statewide areas, although no community is guaranteed representation on a panel.

Once executive staff and the LSAC have approved potential candidates to serve on the panel, these individuals are then invited to review applications.

Panelist responsibilities

Once a panelist confirms his or her participation, grant applications and score sheets will be sent to the panelists for review and evaluation. Evaluation is based on the established criteria for a given grant category, panelists must:

  1. Be familiar with the Division's philosophies and priorities, grant program and category purpose, goals and criteria.
  2. Read and become familiar with all grant proposals, support materials and samples of work.
  3. Review the application at face value without the presumption of information not found in the grant application.
  4. Record comments according to the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals in light of the grant category and evaluation criteria and disregard opinions irrelevant to the specific application or evaluation criteria.
  5. Score each application according to the grant program purpose, goals and criteria.

In serving as a panelist:

  1. All panelists are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and keep applicant information and panel proceedings confidential, referring any applicants to the Division.
  2. Disclose any direct, indirect or apparent conflict of interest.
  3. Discuss any outside knowledge or information deemed important to an application, but unrelated to the evaluation criteria, with Division staff prior to the panel.
  4. Maintain an attitude of respectfulness during a panel meeting amid any disagreement.

Want to be a panelist?

Please send your resume to Paula White for consideration. Panelists are also needed to review Decentralized Arts Funding program grant proposals. Please contact your DAF representative to express your interest.

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