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Professional Development Guidelines

To apply for a grant, or for more information, please visit:

**ALL organizational applicants who apply for a grant from the NDCA are now required to register for a DUNS number online before receiving grant funds. The process for registering is simple and easy and only takes a few minutes. To register visit

This grant program offers financial aid for, but not limited to, arts organizations, individual artists, arts educators, and educational institutions who wish to take advantage of informational, educational, and training opportunities relating to the arts and arts development.

For Organizations

Professional Development funds may be used towards, but is not limited to:

  • Staff members, board members, or volunteers attending a seminar, conference, or workshop which develops the attendee's professional abilities that relate to their duties with the organization. This can also include classes not taken for credit or used towards certification.
  • Hiring a professional consultant or adviser to assist in the development of staff members, board members, and/or volunteers.

For Individual Artists

Funds may be used towards, but is not limited to:

  • The development of artistic, business, or marketing skills, and 
  • Can include seminars, conferences, workshops, or classes not taken for credit or used towards certification.
  • The Professional Development grant is not intended for ongoing lessons/classes.

For Arts in Education

Funds may be used by:

  • Individual educators who wish to develop their abilities to teach the arts, and may include, but is not limited to, seminars, conferences, or workshops as well as classes not taken for credit or used towards certification.
  • Educational institutions to hire a professional consultant or adviser to assist in the development of faculty, staff, or volunteers so that they may better teach the arts.

Grant Amount

  • Grant requests may not exceed $500 or 80% of total project cost, whichever is less.


  • Applications must be submitted no later than four (4) weeks prior to the start of the event.
  • Early application is recommended since grant funds are limited and applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Grant Guidelines

The following guidelines apply in addition to the NDCA's general guidelines, rules, and regulations:

  • Preference may be given to those applicants who have not received previous support from the Council on the Arts for this or a similar event. Special considerations may apply to applications which express an explicit need for this or a similar event.
  • Applicants are eligible to receive only one Professional Development grant per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).
  • Organizations must be incorporated as non-profit with the state of North Dakota.
  • No more than two individuals representing the same organization may receive funding to attend the same event during a fiscal year.
  • Individual applicants must be residents of North Dakota, and must have been a resident for one year prior to applying.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application. This does not apply in circumstances in which an outside consultant or adviser assists in the development of two or more members of the organization.
  • Staff members, board members, or volunteers of an organization who use Professional Development funds to attend an outside event must also be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • Applicants cannot be enrolled as a full-time student in any high school, college, or university at the time of application. 


Grant funds cannot be used to support the following:

  • Activity that is part of a required course or curriculum, or that will be used towards course credit or certification.
  • Artistic events of which the applicant is a paid participant.
  • Attendance at artistic events solely as an audience member.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a panel, who will make a funding recommendation based on the amount requested and the following criteria:

  • Availability of funds.
  • Quality of the event or consultant.
  • Quality of the application, including:
    - Complete application with budget and support materials that sufficiently illustrate event.
    - Complete and thorough answers to the narrative questions.
    - Overall quality of writing. Narrative questions should be answered using complete sentences and proper grammar. These grants are limited and competitive. An application's overall quality can reflect the dedication of the applicant.

The Council on the Arts makes every effort to review each application in a timely and efficient manner. Most applications take 2 to 3 weeks to process.

Notification, Contract, Final Report, and Requesting Funds

  • If the application is approved, the recipient will receive an award letter usually within 45 days after the deadline. If the application is rejected, the applicant will receive a letter explaining the reason for rejection.
  • The "Final Report" and "Request for Funds" form must be submitted within 30 days of completion of the event. 
  • The final narrative report should include a description and evaluation of the event. The narrative should also explain any additional items, if any, not covered in the original application.
  • The final budget should include all applicable expenses and income.
  • Funds are available on a reimbursement basis. Payment will be made upon submission of the "Final Report" and "Request for Funds" forms.


For assistance with this grant program, contact the Public Information Officer at (701) 328-7594 or

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