Programming & Capacity Building Project Grants

Programming & Capacity Building Project Grants (PCBPG), formerly known as Project Grants for Small Arts and Humanities Organizations, support the work of Montgomery County based arts and humanities organizations and groups that may or may not be incorporated as nonprofit organizations. Grants support organizations and groups that work in a wide array of arts disciplines including performing arts, folk and traditional arts, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, as well as humanities disciplines including history, literature, and philosophy. Funded projects must take place in Montgomery County. Grants for FY21 will be awarded for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Applicants that provide proof of 501(c)(3) status may request and may be awarded one grant ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Applicants that do not have 501(c)(3) status may request and may be awarded one grant ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

By awarding Programming & Capacity Building Project Grants, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:

  • Encourage organizations/groups to maintain an active, two-way, ongoing relationship between the organization/group 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 and healthy growth for arts and humanities organizations/groups by supporting enhanced capacity needs.
  • Help ensure diverse arts and humanities experiences for constituents of Montgomery
  • Stimulate local support and involvement in the arts and humanities, including volunteer participation, audience development, and financial
  • Strengthen the scholarly and artistic capabilities of arts and humanities
  • Improve and/or stabilize the management infrastructure and effectiveness of arts and humanities organizations/groups.

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

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Important Dates

Application Deadline
Friday, February 7, 2020 - 11:59 pm


Ana-Alicia Feng
Grants Program Coordinator
(301) 565-3805 x21
Karen Judson
Grants Program Manager
(301) 565-3804
Takenya LaViscount
Grants Director
(240) 839-4519
Dates + Deadlines

FY21 Submission Important Dates

  • Guidelines Published – Monday, December 23, 2019
  • Application Deadline – Friday, February 7, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
  • The FY21 submission deadline has passed

First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact Grants Program staff. Applications and all relevant materials must be submitted online. Late 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)
    • Friday, April 3, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.
  • Award Announcement – late June 2020
  • FY21 Final Report Due – July 31, 2021
Workshops + Webinars

Workshops at AHCMC

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • This event has passed


  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
  • 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 each workshop and 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 PCBPG Guidelines

Required Application Materials:

An eligible organization must submit:

  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, 990EZ, or 990N (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
  4. Programming Support Materials
  5. Work Sample(s)

An eligible group must submit:

  1. Completed Narrative
  2. Organizational Support Materials
    • IRS Letter (if applicable)
    • List of Board of Directors (if applicable)
    • List of key staff
    • Strategic plan (if available)
  3. Financial Support Materials
    • FY19 990, 990EZ, or 990N (must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2020, if applicable)
    • FY19 financial statements (Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet)
    • Year-to-date financial statements
  4. Programming Support Materials
  5. Work Sample(s)

Eligibility Requirements

An organization or group is eligible to apply for an award if the applicant meets all the following requirements:

  • Has had its primary mission or objective the exhibition, presentation, production or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline;
  • Has had its primary location and/or a verifiable mailing address in Montgomery County for at least 12-consecutive months immediately prior to the grant deadline; and
  • Operates as a not-for-profit.
    • The organization or group may or may not be incorporated and may or may not be formally recognized by the IRS as a public charity or otherwise officially established as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) institution. Regardless, the applicant must operate in the manner of a not-for-profit organization. The group’s net earnings cannot be distributed to those who control it.

Project Eligibility Requirements

The following are examples of activities that are eligible for funding. This list is not exhaustive and applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the activities proposed in the grant application.

  • Performances, presentations, or exhibitions of a visual, performing, media art or folk and traditional arts
  • Festivals or events that include folk and traditional arts, performing arts, literary arts, visual arts or multidisciplinary activities incorporating more than one art form
  • Historical presentations, archeological programs, or historical reenactments
  • Poetry readings, author lectures, or script workshops
  • Public art, including community mural projects
  • Professional development activities for staff and/or Board
  • Strategic planning/organizational capacity building projects
  • Technological upgrades needed to bolster organizational capacity

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 Programming & Capacity Building Project Grants (PCBPG)

$153,575 awarded for July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Programming & Capacity Building Project Grants provide support for the high-quality programs open to the public, as well as capacity-building projects, of arts and humanities organizations or groups that may or may not have 501(c)(3) status. 28 organizations received FY21 awards within this category.

Click here to review grants awarded for Programming & Capacity Building Project Grants from previous fiscal years, and all grants awarded from our other grants categories.

Best Medicine Rep

Gaithersburg, Maryland ($7,200)

Best Medicine Rep is a professional theater specializing in new comedies. Best Medicine Rep fosters community through shared laughter, empathy and purpose. Performed stories provide a communal experience and the shared joy of laughter.

Bethesda Little Theatre

Olney, Maryland ($3,750)

Bethesda Little Theatre (BLT) is dedicated to producing performances intended to entertain audiences in our local community and to encourage public appreciation of theater. BLT donates a portion of their profits to the Patient Emergency Fund and other charities managed by NIH and NIH R&W Association. BLT is focused on giving back to the community, and also performs shows at senior living centers throughout the year.


Rockville, Maryland ($7,000)

The Rockville Bach Academy enriches the community with classical music through its ensemble of professional musicians, ChorSymphonica. The organization inspires, educates, enlightens, and enriches the community with unique choral concerts, performed at the highest artistic standard. ChorSymphonica strives to promote appreciation for and understanding of classical music, often bilingually, through educational programming such as Conversation Concerts.

Damascus Theatre Company

Damascus, Maryland ($2,730)

Damascus Theatre Company (DTC) entertains, engages, and inspires theatrical artists and audiences from the diverse communities of Montgomery County, MD. Since its inception 34 years ago, DTC has pursued 3 goals: 1) producing award winning community musical theatre; 2) continued development of its DTC Junior program; and 3) positively impacting the community through affordable tickets and membership fees, discounts to community organizations, offering workshops and community service hours for students.

DC South Asian Arts Council Inc.

Gaithersburg, Maryland ($5,000)

The DCSAACI is the South Asian cultural Ambassador to promote music, films, dance, theater, books, painting, and host panel discussions on important social issues. The organization brings people together, celebrates what we have in common and appreciates South Asian art, culture, and food. DCSAACI hosts the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF), highlighting the best in alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc.

Rockville, Maryland ($7,200)

The organization fosters understanding and appreciation of the literary arts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, play/screenwriting, and literary journalism.) The organization sponsors the annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival, which recognizes an outstanding American writer, and supports, encourages, and assists aspiring and emerging writers and students through short story contests and workshops. The organization also works with other cultural organizations to keep the legacy of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and their ties to Maryland alive.


Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

FocusMusic brings folk and acoustic music to a growing audience through performance, education, and participation in the musical folk arts. FocusMusic works collaboratively with other nonprofit folk and acoustic music presenters, and provides performance opportunities for emerging and nationally touring singer-songwriters.

Four Seasons Dancers, Inc.

Rockville, Maryland ($4,540)

Dedicated to the development, exploration, and advancement of international dance and to the service and promotion of the art of dance, Four Season’s Dancers focuses exclusively on presenting a globally-inspired program that reflects the cultures and heritages of various nations. Works are presented to the community at-large, as well as to the senior and differently abled community through outreach programs.

Harmony Express

Germantown, Maryland ($3,024)

Harmony Express is a barbershop-style mixed a cappella chorus, and the Germantown, MD chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society (aka the Society For The Preservation And Encouragement Of Barbershop Quartet Singing In America), whose motto is Everyone in Harmony. Harmony Express generates fun through excellence, celebrating harmony in the barbershop style, promoting fellowship and friendship among members, enhancing the community through performance, and participating in Barbershop Harmony Society events and competitions.

AmaZing Theatre Company, Inc. (formerly Heralds of Hope Theatre Company)

Laytonsville, Maryland ($7,500)

AmaZing Theatre Company is an African American theater company established in Montgomery County in 2008. The theater supports artists through education, training, promoting and assisting new playwrights. Focused on the growth of diverse audiences, the theater promotes value-based plays that depict contemporary real-life issues and universal themes in society.

Kolot Halev

Kensington, Maryland ($7,500)

Kolot HaLev is a non-audition community choir that provide opportunities for any member of the community to participate in choral music. Kolot HaLev enhances the musical capabilities of members through a commitment to musical excellence, shares and preserves the diversity of Jewish history, liturgy, and culture by entertaining and educating as broad an audience as possible, while striving to build bridges of communication and understanding between denominations and communities.

Montgomery Philharmonic, Inc.

Rockville, Maryland ($7,500)

Montgomery Philharmonic is a community-based symphony orchestra that serves the public through high quality programing of symphonic orchestra music that is adventurous and engaging, welcoming its musicians, audience, and celebrating education, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.

Montgomery Symphony Orchestra

Takoma Park, Maryland ($4,603)

The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is a community orchestra dedicated to providing free quality public classical music performances and educational programs. Originally founded in 1946, MSO’s objectives are to offer members the opportunity to play and develop as musicians; support young musicians from the community through concerts; highlight music by diverse composers; and enhance appreciation of live orchestral music for community audiences.

NIH Community Orchestra

Bethesda, Maryland ($2,590)

NIH Community Orchestra (NIHCO) takes pride in being a friendly, community-oriented group that prepares quality music performances for audiences in Montgomery County and encourages members musical growth. Members of NIHCO include employees of NIH, other government agencies, the private sector, and retirees. In lieu of charging admission, concert patrons are invited to donate to the NIH Charities, which include Children’s Inn at NIH, Special Love camps, and Friends of Patients at NIH.

NIH Philharmonia

Bethesda, Maryland ($3,500)

NIH Philharmonia performs free and educational classical music concerts for the community in an intimate concert experience that engages concertgoers of all ages. Presented with a high level of musical excellence, the annual concert series includes well-known works, new works, and pieces rarely performed by orchestras. The goal is to reach out to audience members who range in age from 3 to 102 and inspire them through classical music.

Orfeia Vocal Ensemble

Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,485)

Orfeia Vocal Ensemble is an all-woman’s vocal ensemble dedicated to keeping alive and sharing the unique vocal traditions of Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. Under the direction of its Artistic Director and celebrated Bulgarian singer and composer Tatiana Sarbinska, through performances and workshops, Orfeia is uniquely able to reproduce the unforgettable, authentic sound of Balkan women’s village singing and folklore choruses, making rich, diverse, and beautiful music, together with its cultural context, accessible to audiences.

Peace Mountain Theatre Company

Darnestown, Maryland ($4,320)

Peace Mountain Theatre Company (PMTC) produces quality theatrical productions and educational programs that entertain the senses, engage the mind and touch the heart. PMTC addresses subjects and explores issues that are of importance to the community. The theater produces educational outreach programs that incorporate the talents of actors and the theatrical medium in a unique and stimulating manner to raise awareness. PMTC includes equity, diversity, and inclusion considerations in all aspects of their operation.

Peter’s Alley Inc.

Bethesda, Maryland ($5,000)

Peter’s Alley is dedicated to creating uniquely intimate works of dramatic realism crafted in an environment of kind, respectful collaboration.

Rockville Brass Band

Silver Spring, Maryland ($6,129)

Rockville Brass Band is a 38-piece brass and percussion ensemble based in Montgomery County. The band dedicates itself to establishing and preserving the British brass band tradition by performing a full range of musical styles including marches, classical, jazz, and popular music. The band strives for musical excellence while promoting the British brass band tradition.

Six Degree Singers

Silver Spring, Maryland ($7,500)

Six Degree Singers (SDS) was founded in 2009 as a community choir with the goal of keeping musical training and knowledge relevant to the lives of young professionals and the communities they are creating. SDS is a musical community of friends, families, parents, and coworkers. SDS gives back to the place that supported and nurtured its musical dream. To do this, SDS provides performance opportunities, free musical education, and public outreach to keep music fresh and alive as a vital part of the community.

Tagore Music Group of Grater Washington, DC

North Potomac, Maryland ($5,000)

Tagore Music Group of Greater Washington DC strives to familiarize the community of theatergoers in the Greater Washington DC area with the Nobel-laureate Indian poet/lyricist/thinker Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy of peace, humanity, and equality through the staging of his dramas, dance-dramas, and musicals. The audience gets a chance to experience an excellent playwright’s work; the cast and crew receive a hands-on education on all aspects of staging a successful play.

The Bethesda Blues & Jazz Foundation, Inc.

Bethesda, Maryland ($7,200)

The Bethesda Blues & Jazz Foundation is a non-profit music and educational organization. The Foundation provides an educational environment and opportunities for young musicians to experience and perform jazz music. The Foundation created the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Youth Orchestra (“BBJYO”) in 2017 for musicians, ages 11 to 17.

The National String Symphonia

North Bethesda, Maryland ($7,200)

The National String Symphonia (NSS) is a fully professional symphonic string orchestra. The NSS preserves, promotes, and presents string orchestra music through a diverse array of concert performances, educational workshops, and innovative programming.

Trinity Chamber Orchestra

Germantown, Maryland ($5,330)

The Trinity Chamber Orchestra performs outstanding sacred and secular music from the Baroque period through the present. The orchestra is made up of dedicated professional and avocational musicians. Volunteer musicians come together because they love making music together and giving joy to their audiences. There is no requirement to belong to a faith group and there is no proselytizing.

Unexpected Stage Company

Gaithersburg, Maryland ($5,100)

Unexpected Stage Company is a professional theater that dedicates itself to honoring the intricacies and intimacies of the complete human experience. To that end, Unexpected Stage Company seeks to unite people, place, and storytelling to explore interconnection.

Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra

Rockville, Maryland ($4,424)

The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra and choir that shares and celebrates video game music with a wide audience by offering affordable, accessible concerts.

Wildwood Summer Theatre

Bethesda, Maryland ($7,000)

Wildwood Summer Theatre strives to improve the quality of Maryland’s youth summer theatre. The theatre creates an educational yet professional environment in which youth, fourteen to twenty-five, can discover, explore, and refine a passion for theatrical production based on the core values of accountability, respect, quality, integrity, and teamwork.