General Operating Support I

General Operating Support I Grants (GOS I), formerly known as General Operating Support Grants for Mid-size Arts and Humanities Organizations, are available to nonprofit arts and humanities organizations that had both cash operating expenses and cash operating income of more than $50,000 during its most recently completed fiscal year. Grants for FY21 will be awarded for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

The grant request may not exceed 35% of the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year’s cash operating expenses/income or $50,000, whichever is lower. Requests over $25,000 require the applicant to submit an FY19 audit, or a review of their FY19 financial statements if an audit is not available.

By awarding GOS I Grants, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:

  • Encourage organizations to maintain an active, two-way, ongoing relationship between the organization and the community in the planning, participation, and evaluation of public activity/activities, which include intentional strategies for diversity, equity, access, and inclusion;
  • Promote stability in arts and humanities organizations by providing a base of funding to support operating budgets;
  • Help ensure diverse arts and humanities experiences for constituents of Montgomery County;
  • Stimulate local support and involvement in the arts and humanities, including volunteer participation, audience development, and financial contributions;
  • Strengthen the scholarly and artistic capabilities of arts and humanities organizations;
  • Improve and/or stabilize the management infrastructure and effectiveness of arts and humanities organizations.

*Please note that in FY21, to check eligibility, organizations will be required to submit a budget worksheet provided by AHCMC indicating allowable and non-allowable income and expenses. The worksheet should be completed based on the organization’s FY19 financial statements. This form will be available in FluidReview and below under the “Application” tab.

Back to Grants Homepage


Letter of Intent Deadline
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 11:59 pm
Application Deadline
Friday, March 20, 2020 - 11:59 pm

AHCMC Grants Team

Karen Judson
Grants Program Manager
(301) 565-3804m
Ana-Alicia Feng
Grants Program Coordinator
(301) 565-3805 ext. 21
Takenya LaViscount
Grants Director
(240) 839-4519
Dates + Deadlines

FY21 Submission Deadlines

  • Guidelines Released – Monday, December 23, 2019 – 11:59 p.m.
  • Letter of Intent – Friday, February 14, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
    • This submission deadline has passed
  • ApplicationFriday, March 13, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
    • DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday, March 20, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
    • The FY21 submission deadline has passed

First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact Grants Program staff. Letters of intent, applications, and all relevant materials must be submitted online. Late letters of intent, applications, and relevant materials will not be accepted.

Applications will be accepted for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Additional Dates Post-Application

  • Panel Review (conference call)
    • Thursday, April 16, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
    • Friday, April 17, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:05 p.m.
  • Award Announcement – late June 2020
  • FY21 Mid-Year Report Due – January 31, 2021
  • FY21 Final Report Due – July 31, 2021
Workshops + Webinars

Workshops at AHCMC

  • Monday, February 3, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • This event has passed


  • Friday, January 31, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • This event has passed

All AHCMC webinars will be hosted through the Zoom platform. Go to our Workshops and Webinars page to see all upcoming workshops and webinars.


Workshops and webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and FluidReview online grant portal. At every workshop or webinar, grants staff will review major eligibility requirements, present an overview of the grant category, and offer technical assistance for the application process and use of the FluidReview online grant portal.

Guidelines + Eligibility


Click here to view the full FY21 GOS I Guidelines

Required Application Materials:

  1. Completed Narrative
  2. Organizational Support Materials
    • IRS Letter
    • List of Board of Directors
    • List of key staff
    • Strategic plan (if available)
  3. Financial Support Materials
    • FY19 990 (must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2020)
    • FY19 audit, if applicable (must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2020)
    • Financial statements (Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet) for the most recently completed fiscal year
    • Current fiscal year operating budget with actuals year-to-date
    • Budget worksheet provided by AHCMC
    • Projected FY21 budget (if available)
  4. Programming Support Materials
  5. Work Sample(s)

Information about Audits and Financial Reviews

Obtaining an independent audit means a certified public accountant (CPA), not employed by the organization, conducted an examination and provided an unbiased opinion regarding the nonprofit’s financial statements. The auditor conducts his or her examination in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). An audit requires a much higher level of scrutiny and analysis as compared to a financial review.

A financial review is also conducted by an independent CPA, however as a financial review is more limited in scope than an audit, the assurance is more limited. A financial review provides assurance that the organization’s financial statements have been reviewed by a CPA and are materially accurate.

How does an organization figure out whether it makes more sense to apply for GOS II funding or a GOS I grant to get the largest potential grant?

GOS II is a highly competitive and rigorous category. Rather than simply focusing on the grant award, applicants are encouraged to consider organizational capacity, financial stability, and right-sizing. When determining which funding opportunity is the most appropriate fit, applicants should also consider which category will allow the organization to grow their organizations in a healthy, protracted manner, strengthen sustainability and create strong partnerships in the community. Applicants are always encouraged to contact AHCMC staff for guidance before the application deadline if it is unclear which grant category represents the best fit.

Eligibility Requirements

Read the guidelines for full eligibility requirements. An organization has to have met ALL the following criteria for at least the previous three consecutive fiscal years immediately prior to the application deadline:

  • Has its primary mission the exhibition, presentation, production or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline; and/or provides support services for artists and/or scholars and for arts and/or humanities organizations;
  • Has a balanced budget and annual documented cash operating expenses/income of no less than $50,000;
  • Demonstrates 501 (c)(3) status through one of the ways stated in the guidelines on page 4;
  • Has its primary office in Montgomery County, as demonstrated by the IRS Letter of Determination;
  • Is governed by an independent, legally liable Board operating under a mission statement for the organization;
  • At least 40% of the applicant’s board members reside and/or work in Montgomery County as of the grant application deadline;
  • Has at least one paid staff person working a minimum of 5 hours a week to support the organization’s Board, comply with the grant requirements, and maintain ongoing programming. Requests over $25,000 require at least one paid staff person working a minimum of 20 hours a week to support the organization’s Board, comply with the grant requirements, and maintain ongoing programming;
  • Offers at least 51% of its programs and services in Montgomery County, as demonstrated by previous, current, and projected years’ activities/programming

    The application deadline has passed.

    We are no longer accepting letters of intent or applications for this year.

    If you are a grantee, all grant agreements and final reports must be completed on the FluidReview application portal. Click HERE to login.

    Guides for FluidReview:

    Previous Grants Awarded

    FY20 General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts & Humanities Organizations

    *renamed General Operating Support I Grants in FY21*

    $753,561 awarded for July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

    General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts & Humanities Organizations provide support to organizations with 501(c)(3) status that are governed by an independent, legally liable Board, have at least one part-time paid staff member, and annual cash operating expenses of at least $50,000. Organizations that have annual expenses of more than $150,000 are eligible if the organization did not apply for General Operating Support Grants for Large Arts & Humanities Organizations within the same fiscal year. Thirty-six organizations received FY20 awards within this category.

    Review General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts & Humanities Organizations from previous fiscal years and all of our grants awarded from any grants category HERE.

    After School Dance Fund

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($23,000)

    The After School Dance Fund (ASDF) develops youth leadership and promotes wellness, heritage, and cultural unity through Latin dance education. The organization uses performance to combat preventable social and health issues in the Latinx community, including obesity, high rates of high school dropouts, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and the devastating influence of gangs. Latin dance becomes a vehicle for increased cultural awareness and pride, encouraging exercise, building community, and having fun.

    Akhmedova Ballet Academy

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($17,500)

    The Akhmedova Ballet Academy is dedicated to providing ballet training utilizing the Vaganova Method. Personal and artistic mentoring prepares young, talented dancers to become strong, fully developed artists ready to take their place in major dance companies around the world.

    Arts for the Aging, Inc.

    Rockville, Maryland ($23,000)

    Arts for the Aging, Inc. (AFTA) is a nationally recognized social service organization. The organization engages older adults and care partners in health improvement and life enhancement through regular participation in multidisciplinary arts programs. AFTA’s participatory, therapeutic interventions focus on those experiencing aging-related physical and cognitive impairments, and can include trainings for practitioners in AFTA’s structured improvisation methods.

    Arts on the Block

    Kensington, Maryland ($25,000)

    Arts on the Block (AOB) empowers creative youth to imagine and shape fulfilling futures, join the creative workforce, and contribute to the quality of life of their communities. AOB achieves its mission by providing real-world experiences in the arts, arts education, and entrepreneurial training geared toward opening new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement.

    Bel Cantanti Opera

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($20,000)

    Bel Cantanti Opera provides performance opportunities to young opera singers and brings those performances to the community at an affordable price.

    Cantate Chamber Singers

    Takoma Park, Maryland ($16,800)

    Cantate Chamber Singers stimulate awareness and appreciation of sacred and secular choral music through innovative programming, creative outreach and collaborative performances with other artists and ensembles. To achieve this mission, Cantate is dedicated to presenting artistically exciting and inspiring performances of newly commissioned and rarely heard choral works, alongside established repertoire.

    Carpe Diem Arts, Inc.

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($18,000)

    Carpe Diem Arts engages communities across generations, cultures, and socio-economic divides through the visual, literary and performing arts. Through creative partnerships, the organization achieves the dual aim of impacting diverse and underserved populations, while also supporting the livelihoods of master teaching and performing artists that represent a broad range of artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.

    Chevy Chase Historical Society

    Chevy Chase, Maryland ($10,800)

    The Chevy Chase Historical Society collects, records, interprets, and shares materials relating to the history of Chevy Chase, Maryland, one of America’s first streetcar suburbs. Founded in 1981, the nonprofit volunteer organization provides resources for historical research and sponsors a variety of programs to foster knowledge and appreciation of the community’s history.

    ClancyWorks Dance Company

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($23,000)

    ClancyWorks increases the public appetite for and understanding of the arts by presenting high quality dance performances and educational programs. The organization expands the relevance of dance in people’s lives by demonstrating that creative movement can be used to solve conflicts, develop community cohesion, improve academic achievement, and promote civic responsibility. ClancyWorks nurtures leadership skills and artistic excellence in emerging artists.

    CREATE Arts Center

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($22,500)

    CREATE Arts Center (CREATE) is a visual arts organization that has been providing high-quality art education, art therapy, and community arts experiences to individuals and families for 32 years. The organization sparks creativity, fosters learning, empowers individuals, and facilitates community partnerships and connections through the visual arts.

    Docs in Progress

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($23,000)

    Docs In Progress gives individuals the tools to tell stories through documentary film, to educate, inspire, and transform the way people view their world.

    Flying V, Ltd.

    Bethesda, Maryland ($24,500)

    Flying V redefines theatre to invigorate and inspire people to live life with a greater sense of appreciation and adventure. Bridging the gap between pop and high culture, Flying V creates original plays and performance art inspired by genre fiction and other modern mythologies. Reflecting the intimate struggles of the human condition through vivid, high concept metaphors and artistic vigor, Flying V shines a light on the loneliness and isolation so many feel, and creates a sense of connection and wonder. Flying V is your Friendly Neighborhood Indie Theatre. Expect Awesome. Be Awesome.

    Gandhi Brigade Youth Media

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($21,000)

    Gandhi Brigade Youth Media prepares young people, particularly those from underserved and immigrant neighborhoods, to become leaders through a community engagement process that uses digital media.

    Glen Echo Pottery

    Glen Echo, Maryland ($21,000)

    Glen Echo Pottery teaches the ceramic arts in a relaxed but creatively serious environment that is accessible to everyone from the tentative novice to the very experienced clay student. The organization provides exceptional opportunities for continuous learning on a year-round basis, through high quality instruction in all aspects of the pottery-making process. Glen Echo Pottery develops a strong community of interest among students, faculty, and the public through opportunities to observe and interact with potters practicing their craft.

    Glorystar Children’s Chorus

    Potomac, Maryland ($21,000)

    Glorystar Children’s Chorus (GCC), provides excellent music education to children and youth in the joy of choral art. Through a rich repertoire of Eastern and Western music, GCC promotes music appreciation and builds bridges for a diverse community.

    Inscape Chamber Orchestra

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($21,000)

    Founded in 2004, the Inscape Chamber Orchestra performs concerts that aim to engage audiences by providing a compelling way to explore both standard and nonstandard works of classical music. Inscape is also dedicated to premiering and recording new works by American composers. Inscape’s concerts, performed by some of Maryland’s most talented professional classical musicians, are affordable, and easily accessible to residents of Montgomery County.

    InterAct Story Theatre Education Association

    Wheaton, Maryland ($22,500)

    InterAct Story Theatre brings arts-based learning experiences to everyone, especially to those communities that are underserved due to economic, social, and geographic constraints. InterAct believes that every kid, every grown-up, everywhere deserves great theatre, whether or not you can get to a theatre. InterAct also believes that the arts help foster communication and understanding in our communities, because the arts help us express our ideas, our emotions, and our experiences. Arts are for everyone, and everyone learns through the arts!

    interPLAY Orchestra

    Bethesda, Maryland ($24,500)

    interPLAY Orchestra is a community orchestra comprised of adults with cognitive and physical disabilities who learn to make music in collaboration with high school seniors, college students and professional musicians. The organization believes that music is not just about the written notes, and that cognitive disabilities should not limit a person’s access to enjoy music performance. Orchestra Members learn to perform music through improvisation, repetition, and memory.

    Kalanidhi Dance

    Bethesda, Maryland ($22,500)

    Kalanidhi Dance is committed to the preservation, promotion, and the teaching of Kuchipudi, one of India’s eight classical dance forms. It inspires appreciation for Kuchipudi by creating original, high quality artistic work that remains authentic to the Kuchipudi style; pushing the boundaries of Kuchipudi through collaborations with local and international artists across genres. The organization attracts students at an early age, and helps them reach their full potential through rigorous instruction; empowering dancers to become professional artists through enrichment programs.

    Lumina Studio Theatre, Inc.

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($20,000)

    Lumina Studio Theatre provides unique opportunities for young and adult actors of all levels to perform Shakespeare and other Classic theatre in a professional setting. Lumina’s actors engage in a rigorous, comprehensive, performance-focused program of theatre arts using the techniques of Rudolf Steiner, Michael Chekhov and Stella Adler. Rehearsal work includes in-depth vocal and character coaching, and improvisation. Stage combat, live music, and choreography are included as the production requires.

    Marlow Guitar International

    Rockville, Maryland ($21,000)

    Marlow Guitar International (MGI), formerly known as the International Conservatory of Music, creates community through music, by drawing people together for entertainment, education, and inspiration. MGI brings people together to experience classical guitar music from around the world through performances, classes, and scholarship competitions. MGI provides educational opportunities and fosters an appreciation for classical guitar in the community.

    National Capital Trolley Museum

    Colesville, Maryland ($20,000)

    The National Capital Trolley Museum (NCTM) preserves and interprets the heritage of street and interurban railways and environs for the benefit of present and future generations, while supplementing its collections with significant national and international objects to enhance its interpretive programs. The Museum connects its audiences to the transit-based development of their communities through its demonstration railway and traditional museum programs providing educational opportunities for all ages.

    New Orchestra of Washington

    Rockville, Maryland ($22,500)

    New Orchestra of Washington (NOW) makes classical music relevant, accessible, and engaging for a new generation of audiences through virtuosic performances with fresh interpretations, a modern aesthetic, and through community-building projects that engage both new and experienced concertgoers.

    Olney Children’s Ballet Theater, Inc.

    Gaithersburg, Maryland ($18,000)

    Olney Ballet Theatre (OBT) trains young dancers (ages 6 – 18) in dance including classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and hip-hop. Further, it stages dance productions throughout Montgomery County. OBT is committed to being an educational resource that provides cultural enrichment for the community, particularly for the community’s young people, through presentations of high quality, original productions of understandable, entertaining story ballets performed by student dancers.

    Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd.

    Rockville, Maryland ($21,000)

    Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd. is an award-winning, community-based organization founded in 1974 to preserve buildings, objects, and information important to Rockville’s heritage. Peerless Rockville advances its goals through education, example, advocacy, and community involvement.

    Photoworks at Glen Echo Park

    Glen Echo, Maryland ($22,500)

    Offering a diverse combination of educational programs, gallery exhibitions, and community initiatives, Photoworks is a vibrant and unique resource for student and professional photographers – an arts community in the very best sense of the word.

    Project Change

    Olney, Maryland ($22,500)

    Project Change, the parent organization for the Team of Stars Camp program, is a youth-driven, nonprofit organization empowering middle and high school students to be agents for positive change within their communities through youth health and wellness, service, and leadership opportunities. The Team of Stars Camp promotes life skills through the art of musical theater for underserved middle school youth in after-school and summer camp programs.

    Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($22,500)

    Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. (SSTCi) educates, entertains, and inspires residents of all ages by activating public spaces with arts and cultural events that embrace the region’s diversity and build community connections.

    Story Tapestries, Inc.

    Germantown, Maryland ($24,500)

    Story Tapestries serves the Montgomery County community through; 1) Professional performances in storytelling, theater, dance, spoken word and other art forms in a variety of public spaces including community centers, local theaters, libraries, and schools; and 2) Workshops and in-depth training programs for adults and children to develop skills in various art forms, sharing how to use the performing, visual, and literary arts to develop their voice, share their stories, increase their literacy, social-emotional, and STEAM skills.

    Symphony of the Potomac

    Glen Echo, Maryland ($21,000)

    The organization maintains a high-quality symphony orchestra with diverse membership offering affordable concerts in Montgomery County, MD. The symphony increases awareness of and educates county residents about classical music and orchestral performance. The organization also provides youth and adult amateurs the opportunity to play under a professional conductor, with professionally trained musicians, while bringing classical music to audiences that would not otherwise have access to live performances, including schoolchildren and adults in residential care.

    The Kentlands Community Foundation, Inc.

    Gaithersburg, Maryland ($18,000)

    The Kentlands Community Foundation is an educational and cultural organization established in 1993 dedicated to enriching civic life. The organization builds community by supporting local arts and cultural programs, and provides opportunities for volunteerism and community outreach. The Foundation serves as an educational resource in the landmark new urbanist community that is Kentlands.

    The Victorian Lyric Opera Company

    Rockville, Maryland ($20,000)

    The Victorian Lyric Opera Company provides high quality performances of light operatic works, offering educational and performance opportunities for the community.

    Word Dance Theater

    Bethesda, Maryland ($13,611)

    Word Dance Theater invites people from all walks of life to learn the Isadora Duncan-inspired philosophy, methodology, and aesthetic of dance. The organization blends music, theater, poetry, architecture, and visual arts with holistic dance movements that unite us with the full range of our emotions and restores us to our roots…the breath, energy, strength, beauty, spirit, community, and freedom that is the birthright of all people.

    Young Artists of America at Strathmore

    North Bethesda, Maryland ($22,500)

    Young Artists of America at Strathmore (YAA) is an educational organization offering excellent training to gifted and committed young performing artists in a professional and nurturing environment. Through mentorship and individualized instruction from renowned artists, students work collaboratively to perform fully orchestrated works of music-theatre in state-of-the-art venues such as the Music Center at Strathmore, where YAA resides as the arts center’s first Affiliate.

    Youth Art For Healing

    Bethesda, Maryland ($22,500)

    Youth Art For Healing is an organization that brings works of art created by youth into healthcare environments to provide a sense of comfort, inspiration and healing for patients, their loved ones, and healthcare professionals.

    Zemer Chai

    Kensington, Maryland ($17,100)

    Zemer Chai (“Living Song” in Hebrew) is a volunteer choir of singers dedicated to the preservation and performance of the full range of Jewish choral repertoire, including liturgical and classical pieces, worldwide Jewish folk music in multiple languages, and new commissioned works. The singers come from all walks of Jewish life, finding common ground in their love of music and commitment to sharing it. The choir is a unique cultural resource in Montgomery County, sharing a musical tradition that spans centuries with diverse audiences throughout the region.

    FY20 Information

    Click here to view the full FY20 General Operating Support for Mid-Size Organizations Guidelnes

    Applicable ONLY to FY20 grantees.

    All grant agreements, mid-year reports, and final reports must be completed on the FluidReview application portal. Click HERE to login.

    Remaining FY20 Dates

    • FY20 Final Report Due – August 31, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
    • Download the FY20 MSO Final Report (Know that this is a template for your reference only)