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 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.

We are no longer accepting applications for FY21 GOS I Grants. Sign up for the Grants Newsletter below to receive updates about the FY22 grants cycle!

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Important Dates

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


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 Important Dates

  • Guidelines Published – Monday, December 23, 2019
  • Letter of Intent Deadline – Friday, February 14, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
  • Application DeadlineFriday, 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 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 submissions for FY21.

    If you are a grantee, all grant agreements and final reports must be completed on the FluidReview portal. Access FluidReview by clicking here.

    Guides for FluidReview:

    *Know that these are templates for your reference only – all applications and relevant materials must be submitted through FluidReview.*

    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.