General Operating Support I

General Operating Support I Grants (GOS I) are available to non-profit arts and/or humanities organizations that have had both allowable cash operating revenue and expenses of at least $50,000 for the last three completed fiscal years. Grants for FY22 will be awarded for activities occurring between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Award amounts range from at least $10,000 up to $50,000. The grant request may not exceed 35% of the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year’s allowable cash operating revenue, expenses, or $50,000, whichever is lower. Requests over $25,000 require the applicant to submit an audit or financial review for the most recently completed fiscal year.

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 with the community in the planning, participation, and evaluation of public activities, which include intentional strategies for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA);
  • 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, MD;
  • 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; and
  • Improve and/or stabilize the management infrastructure and effectiveness of arts and humanities organizations.

We are no longer accepting Letters of Intent for FY22 GOS I Grants. Sign up for the Grants Newsletter below to receive updates about the FY23 grants cycle, other grant opportunities, deadlines, and webinars!

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    Important Dates

    Letter of Intent Deadline
    Friday, February 12, 2021 - 11:59 pm
    Application Deadline
    Monday, March 15, 2021 - 11:59 pm


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

    FY22 Important Dates

    • Guidelines Published – Wednesday, December 23, 2020
    • Letter of Intent Deadline – Friday, February 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
    • Application Deadline – Monday, March 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
    • These deadlines have passed.

    First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact AHCMC grants staff. All Letters of Intent, applications, and relevant materials must be submitted online through AHCMC’s grants portal, SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply).

    Late letters of intent, applications, and relevant materials will not be accepted.

    Additional Dates Post-Application

    • Panel Review (virtual) – 2 dates in April 2021
    • June 1, 2021 – FY20 990 and FY20 audit
      • Deadline Extended to June 30, 2021 at 11.:59 p.m.
    • Award Announcement – late June 2021
    • FY22 Mid-Year Report Deadline – January 31, 2022
    • FY22 Final Report Deadline – July 31, 2022
    Workshops + Webinars


    • Thursday, February 4, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • These events have passed.

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

      Webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and online grants portal.

      At every webinar, grants staff will review major eligibility requirements, present an overview of the grant category, and offer technical assistance for both the application process and the online grants portal.

      Guidelines + Eligibility


      Required Letter of Intent Materials:

      1. Arts/Humanities Mission Statement;
      2. AHCMC Budget Worksheet;
      3. IRS Letter of Determination;
      4. Montgomery, MD Primary Office Address;
      5. List of Board of Directors;
      6. Information for at least one paid employee;
      7. Percentage of Programs in Montgomery County, MD;
      8. Confirmation of ability to meet the 990 deadline; and
      9. Confirmation of ability to meet the audit/financial review deadline, if applicable.

      Required Application Materials:

      1. Completed Narrative
      2. Organizational Support Materials
        • Bios of key staff and volunteers;
        • Current Strategic Plan, if available; and
        • Organizational Chart, if available.
      3. Financial Support Materials
        • FY20 990 or letter of extension (990 must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2021);
        • FY20 audit or financial review or letter of extension, if applicable (audit/financial review must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2021);
        • Profit & Loss Statement for the most recently completed fiscal year;
        • Balance Sheet for the most recently completed fiscal year;
        • Current fiscal year operating budget with actuals year-to-date; and
        • Projected FY22 budget, if available.
      4. Programming Support Materials
      5. Work Sample(s)

      Information about Audits and Financial Reviews

      An audit is conducted by an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) not employed by the organization and provides an unbiased opinion regarding the organization’s financial statements. The auditor conducts their 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 and provides assurance that the organization’s financial statements are materially accurate. However, as a financial review is more limited in scope than an audit, the assurance is more limited.

      How does an organization determine whether GOS I or GOS II is a better fit?

      When determining which funding opportunity is most appropriate, applicants should consider which category will allow the organization to grow in a healthy manner, strengthen sustainability, and create strong partnerships in the community. GOS II is a highly competitive and rigorous category. Rather than focusing on the grant award, applicants are should consider organizational capacity, financial stability, and right-sizing. 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 eligible to apply has to have met all the following criteria for at least the last three completed fiscal years immediately prior to the Letter of Intent deadline:

      • Has its primary mission as the exhibition, presentation, production and/or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline, and/or provides support services to artists and/or scholars and/or arts and/or humanities organizations;
      • Has its primary office in Montgomery County, MD, as demonstrated by the address included in the IRS Letter of Determination;
      • Has a balanced budget and documented allowable annual cash operating revenue and expenses of no less than $50,000;
      • Has a balanced budget and annual documented cash operating expenses/income of no less than $50,000;
      • Demonstrates 501(c)(3) status as described on page 5 of the FY22 GOS I guidelines;
      • Is governed by an independent, legally liable board of directors operating under a mission statement for the organization and an operating budget specific to the organization;
      • At least 40% of its board members reside and/or work in Montgomery County, MD;
      • At least one paid employee (not contracted staff) works a minimum of 5 hours a week (or 20 hours a week for grant requests over $25,000) 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, MD, as demonstrated by previous, current, and projected activities and programming. Activities may be open to the public, with or without an admission fee, in person or virtually. If in person, activities should follow current COVID-19 guidelines for in-person events as required by the Montgomery County Health Department; and
      • Has met all outstanding requirements for any grant(s) received from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County in prior years.
        Application + Templates

        This application deadline has passed.

        Need to review or download your application? Access SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply) here:

        For current grantees, all grant agreements, mid-year, and final reports must be completed online through AHCMC’s grants portal, SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply).

        Previous Grants Awarded

        FY21 General Operating Support I Grants (GOS I)

        $849,990 awarded for July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

        GOS I Grants provide support to nonprofit arts and humanities organizations that have had both annual cash operating expenses and cash operating income of at least $50,000 for the past three completed fiscal years and at least one part-time paid staff member. 35 organizations received FY21 awards in this category.

        Click here to review grants awarded for General Operating Support I Grants from previous fiscal years, and all grants awarded from our other grants categories.

        After School Dance Fund

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($21,835)

        The After-School Dance Fund to supports the social, emotional growth of youth by promoting health, exercise, and cultural unity through Latin dance education.

        Akhmedova Ballet Foundation, Inc.

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($32,500)

        Akhmedova Ballet Academy is dedicated to providing the finest quality ballet training. Young, talented dancers are trained in the Vaganova Method, with a focus on personal and artistic mentoring to become strong and fully developed artists. Students are trained to be accepted by dance companies around the world.

        Arts for the Aging, Inc.

        Rockville, Maryland ($39,000)

        Arts for the Aging (AFTA) engages older adults and their caregivers in health improvement and life enhancement through regular participation in multi-disciplinary arts. AFTA stimulates minds, bodies, spirits and imaginations. A pioneer in arts programming for older adults, AFTA is a model for excellence in life-long learning and creative aging.

        Arts on the Block

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($39,000)

        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 in their communities. AOB provides real-world experiences in the arts and entrepreneurial training geared toward opening new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement.

        Bel Cantanti Opera

        Germantown, Maryland ($17,500)

        Bel Cantanti Opera supports young opera singers through the provision of performance opportunities and offers fully-staged performances to the community in Montgomery County at an affordable ticket price.

        Cantate Chamber Singers, Inc.

        Takoma Park, Maryland ($14,280)

        Cantate Chamber Singer stimulate awareness and appreciation of sacred and secular choral music through innovative programming, creative outreach, and collaborative performances with other artists and ensembles.

        Carpe Diem Arts, Inc.

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($18,000)

        Carpe Diem Arts creates opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life to engage in the visual, literary and performing arts from a broad range of cultures and traditions–with a focus on outreach to under-resourced communities.

        Chevy Chase Historical Society

        Chevy Chase, Maryland ($10,200)

        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 organization provides resources for historical research and sponsors a variety of programs and activities to foster knowledge and appreciation of the community’s history.

        ClancyWorks Dance Company

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($35,000)

        ClancyWorks Dance Company increases the public appetite for and understanding of the arts by presenting high-quality dance performance and educational programs to expand the relevance of dance in people’s lives. ClancyWorks demonstrates that creative movement can be used to solve conflicts, develop community cohesion, improve academic achievement, and promote civic responsibility, as well as nurture leadership skills and artistic excellence in emerging artists.

        CREATE Arts Center, Inc.

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($39,000)

        CREATE Arts Center sparks creativity, fosters learning, empowers individuals and facilitates community connections through the visual arts.

        Dance Exchange

        Takoma Park, Maryland ($39,000)

        Fueled by generosity and curiosity, Dance Exchange expands who gets to dance, where dance happens, what dance is about, and why dance matters.

        Docs in Progress, Inc.

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($18,000)

        Docs in Progress supports emerging documentary filmmakers, and all people who have a ‘story to tell’. Docs in Progress teaches the skills and provides the tools that these individuals will need to shape their stories and, in the process, educates, inspires, and transforms the way people view their world. By developing, encouraging, and celebrating new and diverse voices of all ages in documentary film, Docs in Progress also seeks to deepen the public’s experience, understanding, and appreciation for documentary as a form of art and expression.

        Flying V, Ltd.

        Bethesda, Maryland ($36,000)

        Flying V is redefining theatre, to invigorate and inspire people to live life with a greater sense of appreciation, adventure, and fight the cultural epidemic of existential loneliness. Bridging the gap between pop culture and high culture, Flying V creates vibrant original work, contemporary plays, and theatrical performance art inspired by genre fiction and other modern mythologies.

        Gandhi Brigade Inc.

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($36,000)

        Gandhi Brigade Youth Media uses digital media education as a tool to prepare young people, particularly those from underserved and immigrant neighborhoods, to become leaders in their communities.

        Glen Echo Pottery, Inc.

        Glen Echo, Maryland ($17,500)

        Glen Echo Pottery offers ceramic classes in a relaxed but creatively serious environment. Approachable and inspirational to everyone from the tentative novice to the very experienced student, with opportunities to learn and participate in all aspects of the ceramic studio process, the organization offers the public opportunities to observe and interact with potters practicing their craft, and to view exhibitions of ceramic artwork.

        Glorystar Children’s Chorus

        Potomac, Maryland ($17,000)

        Glorystar Children’s Chorus (GCC) nurtures and provides excellent music education to children and youth (5-18 years old) in the joy of Choral Art. With a rich repertoire of Asian and Western music, GCC increases appreciation and builds bridges within a diverse community.

        Inscape Chamber Orchestra

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($16,250)

        Founded in 2004, Inscape Chamber Orchestra performs concerts that engage audiences with compelling experiences. Inscape is also dedicated to premiering and recording new works by American composers.

        InterAct Story Theatre Education Association, Inc.

        Wheaton, Maryland ($19,500)

        InterAct Story Theatre brings arts-based learning experiences to everyone, especially to those communities that are chronically underserved due to economic, social, and geographic constraints. InterAct Story Theatre believes that every kid, every grown-up, everywhere, deserves great theatre, whether or not you can get to a theatre. Everyone everywhere can learn and grow through artistic creation and exploration.

        interPLAY Orchestra, Inc.

        Bethesda, Maryland ($17,500)

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

        Kalanidhi Dance

        Bethesda, Maryland ($36,000)

        Kalanidhi Dance inspires appreciation for Kuchipudi dance through artistic excellence, creative performances, high-quality educational programs, and collaborations.

        The Kentlands Community Foundation, Inc.

        Gaithersburg, Maryland ($17,000)

        The Kentlands Community Foundation builds community by supporting local arts and cultural programs; provides opportunities for volunteerism and community outreach; and serves as an educational resource on the landmark new urbanist community that is Kentlands.

        Lumina Studio Theatre

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($35,000)

        Lumina Studio Theatre provides unique opportunities for young and adult actors of all levels of experience to perform classic theatre in a professional setting. Lumina engages actors in a rigorous, comprehensive performance-directed program of theatre arts, using techniques from Rudolf Steiner’s Creative Speech and Drama, Michael Chekhov and Stella Adler, with in-depth vocal and character coaching, improvisation, stage combat, live music, and dance choreography supporting the production in progress.

        Marlow Guitar International, Inc.

        Rockville, Maryland ($36,000)

        Marlow Guitar International Incorporated (MGI) creates community 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. Additionally, MGI provides educational opportunities and fosters an appreciation for classical guitar.

        National Capital Trolley Museum

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($15,000)

        The National Capital Trolley Museum preserves and interprets the heritage of electric and interurban railways for the benefit of present and future generations. The organization supplements its collections with significant national and international objects to enhance its interpretive programs. The Museum acquires and manages collections of objects related to the history of electric street railways; administers real and personal property; operates an electric railway for interpretive purposes; and publishes histories of electric railways.

        New Orchestra of Washington

        Rockville, Maryland ($18,000)

        The New Orchestra of Washington (NOW) makes music relevant to new generations of audiences through virtuoso performances that combine a range of genres with fresh interpretations of classic works, and through community-building projects that engage both new and experienced concertgoers.

        Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd.

        Rockville, Maryland ($34,000)

        Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd. is an award-winning nonprofit, 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, Inc.

        Glen Echo, Maryland ($17,000)

        Photoworks is a photography program located at Glen Echo Park, MD. Photoworks offers lectures, courses, gallery exhibitions, and community outreach to enrich and broaden the lives of photographers and students at all levels. The organization aims to be a preeminent photography community that preserves traditions while also exploring the frontiers of visual expression.

        Project Change

        Olney, Maryland ($17,500)

        Project Change is a youth-driven, non-profit organization empowering middle and high school students to be agents for positive change within their communities through opportunities focused on youth health, safety, service, leadership, and theater arts.

        Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($23,725)

        Silver Spring Town Center Inc., 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 ($19,500)

        Story Tapestries is a leading arts organization that serves the community through professional storytelling, theater, dance, spoken word performances and other art forms. Performances occur in a variety of public spaces including community centers, local theaters, libraries, and schools. Story Tapestries also offers workshops and in-depth training programs for adults and children to develop skills in various art forms, cultivating how to use the performing, visual, and literary arts to develop their voice, share their stories and increase their literacy, social-emotional and STEAM skills.

        Symphony of the Potomac

        Potomac, Maryland ($17,000)

        Symphony of the Potomac (SOTP) is a community-based, musician-run orchestra. SOTP offers affordable concerts in Montgomery County, increases awareness of and educates the community about classical music and orchestral performance. SOTP also provides talented young people and qualified adult amateurs the opportunity to play under a professional conductor, with professionally trained musicians, and offers performances to schoolchildren and adults in residential care.

        Victorian Lyric Opera Company

        Rockville, Maryland ($23,800)

        The Victorian Lyric Opera Company produces high-quality performances of light operatic works. The organization also offers educational and performance opportunities for the community.

        Young Artists of America at Strathmore

        North Bethesda, Maryland ($28,000)

        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, Inc.

        North Bethesda, Maryland ($17,500)

        Youth Art for Healing 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 ($11,900)

        Zemer Chai (“Living Song” in Hebrew) is a volunteer choir of 35 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 (English, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino), and new works composed especially for the choir. The singers come from all walks of Jewish life, finding common ground in their love of the music, and their commitment to sharing it. Now in its 44th year, the choir has served as a unique cultural and educational resource in Montgomery County.

        FY21 Grantees