Capital Arts Projects Request Application

FY 2022 Capital Arts Projects Request Application (CAPRA) Pre-Submission Guidelines for Downtown Columbia Arts District State Legislative Bond Initiatives

State of MD Application Calendar
July Capital Arts Projects Request Application for Legislative Bond Initiatives available online at
August 15 Deadline for applications. Applicants can submit up to 11:59 PM.
Early September Applicants invited to present project to CAPRA Review Panel.
Late September/Early October Bond Initiative Requests submission(s) due to Howard County Delegation for drafting of bills. (Requests received after this date require the approval of the Delegation Chairs to be introduced for consideration.)
January - April MD General Assembly Legislative Session.
Mid-January Legislative Bond Initiative application presented to the Delegation with CAPRA letter of support for consideration and vote.
March Legislative Bond Initiative Saturday – Legislative hearing on bond bills.
Early April Chambers vote on bond bills.
Mid-April Chambers vote on capital final package of bond bills.
To establish an annual, formal review process for Downtown Columbia capital arts funding requests and present prioritized projects for Legislative Bond Initiatives to the Howard County State Delegation for further consideration.
General Information

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to serve and enrich our community by fostering the arts, artists, and arts organizations. HCAC is governed by a board of directors who serve elected terms of two years.

HCAC is the designated arts agency of Howard County government and is authorized to administer grant programs for Howard County arts organizations, artists-in-education in Howard County schools, and key Baltimore City arts and cultural organizations.
In spring 2019, members of the Howard County State Delegation requested HCAC bring together invested stakeholders to draft high level recommendations for developing a sustainable, collaborative plan for managing and growing the arts in Downtown Columbia. One of the resulting recommendations was for HCAC to develop and implement the new Capital Arts Projects Request Application (CAPRA) program to assist the Howard County state lawmakers in vetting and prioritizing capital art grant requests.
HCAC is available to provide technical assistance in completing grant applications. Call 410-313-ARTS(2787).

HCAC Responsibilities
To create and deploy an annual process for reviewing and prioritizing capital arts projects requests applications for Downtown Columbia for orderly presentation to the Howard County State Delegation.
To establish a rotating review panel of three capital arts panelists, selected for their expertise in arts facility capital projects from within or outside of the county, and two Downtown Columbia stakeholders, to review requests in a consistent, professional, and timely manner. Prospective review panel candidates will be presented to and approved by the HCAC Board of Directors.
To administer and staff the CAPRA review process.
Qualifications of Applicant
  • Applicant organizations must be incorporated as non-profit, tax-exempt organizations, 501(C)(3), in good standing with County, State, and Federal governments.
  • Applicant organizations must be able to meet all State of MD Capital Grant Project policies and regulations.
  • Applicant organizations must be soundly managed and financially accountable, and provide proof thereof.
  • Applicant arts activities must be open to the general public. Arts facilities (e.g. museums, arts and/or cultural centers with public exhibits and programs) must be regularly open and available to the general public, with or without an admission fee.
  • Applicants may only submit one successful CAPRA request once every three years and all prior approved projects must be successfully completed before requesting another.
  • Applicant organizations must be governed by an independent, legally liable Board of Directors that represents its community and is acting under a mission statement and operating budget specific to the organization.
  • No project may be requested within the first year of a new Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer taking office.
Capital Arts Project Eligibility
  • Must be located in Downtown Columbia as defined by the map in the Downtown Columbia Plan: A General Plan Update (map found on p.3) and serve MD residents.
  • Must be capital in nature and can include acquisition, construction, or capital improvements of a facility whose primary purpose is arts and cultural programming.
  • Must have a useful life of 15 years.
  • Must not be used for religious purposes.
  • Must comply with State of MD Capital Grant Project policies and regulations. Click here for the full Capital Grants Project Booklet.
Funding Period
All MD capital grant project funds are governed by State Finance laws. In brief, grantees have two years from the effective date of the grant to present proof of matching funds and to finalize the grant agreement and seven years from the effective date to expend all funds. For full details, please review the Capital Grants Project Booklet.
Applications Deadlines

The deadline to submit the application is August 15, 2020 at 11:59pm.

Review Process & Notification

HCAC staff will check in the applications and review for required materials. The CAPRA Review Panel will review all applications, invite applicants to present their projects, notify applicants of the Review Panel’s recommendations, and submit its written recommendations to the Howard County State Delegation. Applicants of recommended projects will receive written notification regarding the status of their application prior to submission to the Howard County State Delegation.
Recommended applicants should contact the Howard County State Delegation regarding next steps and submitting the MD General Assembly Legislative Bond Initiative Bond Request Form and State of MD Bond Bill Fact Sheet. For more information, please see the Guidelines for the Submission of Individual Bond Bill Requests to the MD Assembly.
Conflict of Interest

To ensure that the CAPRA Review Panel is free from conflicts of interest and the appearance of such conflicts, panelists are required to disclose any current or prospective affiliations they or their immediate family members have with an actual or potential applicant. “Affiliations” applies to employment, board memberships, independent contractual relationships, substantial contributor relationships, or other similar relationships. In addition, panelists are required to disclose any past or current adversarial relationships with actual or potential applicants. CAPRA Review Panel and HCAC Board of Directors are not permitted to participate in discussions or votes relating to any applicant with whom they have an affiliation. Capital requests by HCAC shall be separately adjudicated by an independent panel to avoid conflicts of interest.
Restrictions and Accountability

For information on eligible and ineligible expenditures, please see the Capital Grants Project Booklet.
In brief, the State will not disburse grant funds for ineligible expenses and will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Consult with DGS before committing to any costs. Examples of ineligible project expenditures include, but are not limited to:
  • Feasibility studies or program development needed before authorizing funds (e.g., master plans)
  • Existing debt, interest (e.g., mortgage, rent, loans)
  • Fund-raising activities
  • Salaries or wages paid to employees for project work
  • Administrative or legal costs
  • Maintenance
  • Non-Capital Furnishings & Equipment
Fraud and Misrepresentation

By submitting this application, the applicant organization certifies that all of the information and representations contained in the application are and remain true and complete in all material respects.
Matching Fund Requirements

Applicants must meet the MD Capital Grant Projects matching requirements. For detailed information, please review the following documents:
Guidelines for the Submission of Individual Bond Bill Requests to the MD Assembly
Capital Grants Project Booklet
Review Criteria

The application review process is based on the following criteria:
  • Project Impact
  • Planning
  • Administrative & Financial Capacity
  • Community Support
  • Technical Merit
During the review process, the CAPRA Review Panel will consider statements such as those below. This information is included to assist the applicant organizations in preparing the application.

Project Impact
Project will advance the arts in Downtown Columbia and the State of MD.
Project aligns with organizational mission and strategic plan.
Project identifies and addresses a significant community need.
Project will positively affect economic development and cultural tourism.
Project aligns with and will advance existing community development plans.
Project is shovel ready or can be certified to proceed with construction within 18 months. (Note: Priority consideration will be given to projects that are ready to proceed.)
Project has sought out and incorporated community input during planning.
Project has provided evidence that it is in process of attaining all necessary community, municipal, and/ or governmental planning approvals.
Project has a realistic and detailed timeline which meets the requirements detailed in the Funding Period section above.
Administrative & Financial Capacity
Organization has demonstrated it has the administrative experience and capacity necessary to manage a capital project.
Organization has provided evidence of required matching funds and demonstrated the ability to raise funds needed to complete the project.
Organization has demonstrated a sound plan for operating and maintaining the facility upon project completion.
The financial records of the applicant organization are complete and understandable for the last two years.
The application adequately documents the estimated costs of the project.
Other sources of income are specified in the application.
Community Support
Evidence of broad community support and involvement has been provided.
Technical Merit
The application is complete and submitted by the deadline, including all required supplemental materials.
The budget is complete and correct.
The writing is clear, concise, and free of errors.
Appeals Process

The Howard County Arts Council takes care during the review process to be as thorough as possible to ensure fair and equitable recommendations. Therefore, simple dissatisfaction with the denial of a recommendation or the results of the review process is not sufficient reason for appeal. Reconsideration of a CAPRA application will take place only if there has been a procedural impropriety or error. This means one of the following:
  • A decision based on review criteria other than those stated in the guidelines.
  • A decision based on a recommendation of a panelist with undisclosed conflict of interest.
  • A decision based on material provided to panelists and/or HCAC that was substantially incorrect, inaccurate, or incomplete despite the applicant having provided the staff with correct, accurate, and complete application information by the application due date.
Given this information, should an applicant feel there is legitimate reason for appeal, the applicant must write a letter to the HCAC Executive Director who will present it to the CAPRA Review Panel stating the grounds for appeal within fifteen (15) days of the postmark date of the recommendation notification. The CAPRA Review Panel will review the appeal and make a recommendation which will be sent to the State Delegation for a final decision.

As a private 501c3 that receives public funds, HCAC is committed to providing equal opportunity in all facets of its operation without regard to race, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, occupation, personal appearance, political opinion, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, familial status, source of income, or gender identify. HCAC complies with all county, state, and federal equal protection statutes and regulations, including Title VI, Section 601, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX, Section 1681, of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 6101 of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Applicant Profile
Applicant Type
Legal Name of Recipient
Legal Status of Recipient
Primary Contact
Congressional District
State House District
State Senate District
Date Organization Formed
Fiscal Year End Date
DUNS Number
Mission Statement (100)
Description and Purpose of Organization Provide brief overview of organization’s purpose, goals, and activities. (1000)
Board Information
Number of board members
Staff Information
Number of full-time administrative staff
Number of part-time administrative staff
Number of artistic/technical staff
Number of independent contractors
Number of administrative volunteers
Number of other volunteers
Application Information
Primary Contact Person for CAPRA Correspondence
Contact Person’s Position Title
Contact Person’s Email
Contact Person’s Phone Number
Project Information
Project Name
Project County
Project Address
Project Overview Provide brief overview of project and how it relates to the goals of the organization.
Project Type Select one: acquisition, new construction or capital improvements.
Project Timeline Enter month and year for each date.
Begin Design
Complete Design
Begin Construction
Complete Construction
Project Team List name and title for primary team members such as project manager, developer, architect, design consultant, and general contractor.
Project Narrative
Describe the proposed project and how it will impact the arts in Downtown Columbia and State of MD. (1000)
Describe how the project relates to the mission of the organization and the organization’s strategic plan. (500)
Describe the community need this project will address and how this need was determined. (500)
Describe how the project will further economic development, cultural tourism, and/or quality of life in Downtown Columbia and the State of MD. (1000)
Describe how the project relates to any local community development plans and how it will help further the plan goals. (500)
Is this project shovel ready or able to proceed with construction or capital improvements within 18 months?
Describe the development process of the project including any community engagement. (500)
List status (applied, in process, complete, NA) of project-related documents such as, but not limited to purchase offer, lease, architectural plans, HoCo development plans (sketch, preliminary, final, site development) project cost estimates, contractor bids, planning and zoning minutes and approvals, market or feasibility studies, memorandums of understanding, maintenance plans, etc. (500)
Administrative & Financial Capacity
Describe the organization’s administrative capacity to manage a capital project. (500)
Describe the organization’s ability to raise the required matching funds and/or the additional funds needed to complete this project, include past capital fundraising efforts. (500)
Describe the organization’s plan for operating and maintaining the facility after the project has been completed. (500)
Community Engagement
Describe the community that this project will serve. (500)
Describe how this project will serve this community. (500)
Describe how the project will be supported by this community. (500)
Required Supplemental Materials
Nonprofit IRS Letter of Determination
Operating Budget for last two completed fiscal year
Audited financial statements from the last three fiscal years
990 from most recent fiscal year
Documentation of any committed matching funds
Projected 5-year operating budget post project completion
Detailed project schedule.
Staff/project bios and resumes
Board list with contact information
Strategic Plan
Copy of lease or deed for existing facility (if applicable)
Letters of support (up to 5)
Additional Supplemental Materials (Priority consideration will be given to projects that are ready to proceed.)
For Acquisition Projects: Including but not limited to, signed purchase agreement, appraisal, title search, land survey, market/feasibility studies, maintenance plans.
For New Construction: Including but not limited to, documentation of unrestricted use, architectural plans, HoCo development plans: sketch, preliminary, final, site development, project cost estimates, contractor bids, planning and zoning minutes and approvals, market or feasibility studies, maintenance plans, etc.
For Capital Improvements: Including but not limited to, documentation of unrestricted use, deed or executed copy of lease, architectural plans, project cost estimates, contractor bids, market or feasibility studies, maintenance plans, etc.
Applicable MOU’s with any project partners
Map of project site or facility
Images of project site or facility