Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

About Our Grantmaking

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) serves over 500 arts organizations and over 2000 individual artists and scholars each year.  Grant awards support individual artists and arts organizations that work in a wide array of arts and humanities disciplines, including performing arts, folk and traditional arts, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, and the humanities. As the designated local arts agency for Montgomery County, MD, AHCMC is committed to best practices in grantmaking, applied at the federal, state, local level, and highly regarded among private sector philanthropic professionals, as essential to meeting stakeholders’ needs. 

Grantmaking Best Practices: 

  • Provide grant dollars for general operating support to organizations. 
  • Provide grant dollars for individuals; scholars and artists who are entrepreneurs, innovators, educators, and creatives broadly defined, who may also pass on cultural traditions from one generation to the next. 
  • Provide grant dollars for lifelong learning in the arts and humanities by supporting education in the schools, addressing core academic standards, promoting critical thinking and creativity skills for all age groups; early childhood, youth, adults and seniors, supporting after-school/out-of-school programs.
  • Provide grant dollars for organizations and projects that benefit marginalized groups and underserved communities broadly defined. 
  • Provide grant dollars for advocacy and/or, organizing, and civic engagement to promote equity, opportunity and justice in our society. 
  • Open panel review: Ensure all applications are reviewed by a diverse group of experts with broad knowledge of the specific types of projects, individuals and organizations that are qualified to receive funding.
  • Evaluate risk posed by the applicant prior to making awards: This may include past performance on grants, meeting reporting deadlines, compliance with terms and conditions, audit findings, etc.
  • Outreach initiatives: Offer applicants assistance by providing guidance on how to receive funding and feedback on declined applications.  
  • Ensure that the time to apply for and report on the grant is commensurate with grant size. 
  • Maintain engaged staff and board who include among them a diversity of perspectives and expertise.
  • Maintain policies and practices that support ethical behavior. 
  • Disclose information freely to the public. 

AHCMC's Grantmaking Best Practices in Action

Implementation Tips: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Sources: The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (, The National Endowment for the Arts (, The Maryland State Arts Council (, Grantmakers in the Arts (

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC), in partnership with the community, cultivates and supports excellence in the arts and the humanities, expands access to cultural expression, and contributes to economic vitality in the region. In developing the agency’s strategic vision, grantmaking best practices are critical elements under consideration as the Board leverages its influence in helping the agency achieve its strategic goals. 


801 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910
T: 301-565-3805 | F: 301-565-3809

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