There are some big changes in the Cultural and Aesthetic Projects (Coal Tax) Grant process for the 2012-2013 cycle. Some members of the C&A committee and Montana Arts Council staff worked over the winter to overhaul the grant application process, and MAC staff built the online application. The result is a new, completely online application process.
One major advantage for the C&A program to go online is the ability for MAC to better walk applicants through the application process and provide instant help while preventing incomplete applications from being submitted.
Another advantage to the online process is that almost all application materials will in electronic format, which makes it much easier for MAC staff and the C&A committee to distribute and review the applications. (The old way was printing and shipping thousands of pages of paper to each committee member and hauling those applications to the biannual meeting.)
And it should be easier for you, the applicant, too. The first step in applying is setting up an account for your organization. Go to art.mt.gov/orgs/orgs_ca.asp and read the instructions to be sure you are eligible, and then follow the link to enter your contact information and organizational information. (And be aware of the deadline of July 30).
Once you’re registered, you will need to enter the C&A access code in the left-hand pane (under “Start New Application). Then you’ll see a link to the actual C&A application. (First-time applicants need to call MAC for an access code; previous applicants will get an access code via email).
Once you have started an application and login, you’ll go right to where you can edit your application and save it between work sessions.
It’s a good idea to print out the questions beforehand using a link at the top of the main application page, and also print out your “Packet” for proofreading before final submission.
Rather than try and work entirely online, write out your answers ahead of time on a word processor and then cut and paste into the application. You’ll notice that the online form limits the amount of text for each area.
You will need to upload some files, like budget spreadsheets, letters of support, resumes, etc. Excel file templates are ready for download and upload when completed. For other documents, upload them in PDF format after converting them on your own computer. Many printer drivers will “print” to a PDF file, allowing you to save a Word document as a PDF. (Print your document and look for a “Save to PDF” option)
If you can’t save as a PDF, use the Fax to File option in the grant application interface to fax your document and then download the PDF to upload with your application.
To finalize your application, you will need to print a signature page, have it signed, and then either scan it into a PDF or use the Fax to File to convert it to a PDF.