Each year, the Wisconsin Arts Board relies on the services of many volunteer panelists, who review grant applications, make recommendations, and select artwork for purchase or commission at state sites.
Panels bring together artists, arts professionals, educators, community members, and others actively involved in the arts. Their participation is solicited by Arts Board staff on a panel-by-panel basis. Arts Board rules allow reappointment to the same panel for two consecutive panels. Panelists are reimbursed for travel, meal and lodging expenses, but are not compensated for their time or services. The Arts Board actively solicits and accepts nominations for panelists from constituents and private citizens in an open nominations process. All panel meetings are open to the public.
Prospective panelists should be at least 18 years of age and possess experience in one or more of the following areas:
- An artistic discipline
- Arts education
- Financial or organizational management for nonprofit organizations
- Public art aesthetics
- Community-based arts projects
The Wisconsin Arts Board seeks panelists with strong knowledge and professional qualifications in the arts, familiarity with Wisconsin’s arts communities and the ability to work well in a group. In addition, the Arts Board looks for panelists who are willing to commit time and energy to the review process and who will exhibit sensitivity in making constructive critical comments on grant applications. To help reflect the diversity of the state on all panels, the Arts Board considers gender, geographic representation and cultural background in selecting panelists. The agency also seeks balance among the professional groups encompassed by the arts, such as practitioners, administrators and educators.
How Much Time Does Panel Service Take?
This depends on the particular panel. Most Arts Board panels span one or two working days and involve many hours of reading orientation materials and grant application prior to the panel meeting. Artist Fellowship Award panels may require significant time in reading, viewing or listening to artists’ work samples.
Here’s a general timeline:
Artist and Community Collaborations Grants (program suspended)
- Average 30 applications
- Panelists meet in early November
Artist Fellowship Awards (program suspended)
- Depending on the artistic discipline, applications generally range from 15-200
- Panelists meet in late October/early November
Creation and Presentation Grants
- Two separate panels; average 40 applications/panel
- Panelists meet in November
Creative Communities Grants
- Three separate panels; average 20 applications/panel
- Panelists meet in late April
Panelists come together for a panel meeting to discuss and score the applications. These panel meetings last one day for all programs except Creation and Presentation. Creation and Presentation panels meet for two days—one day for worksample review, and one day for application review.
Panelists receive copies of all applications to review at home at least two weeks prior to the panel meeting. While panelists are required to thoroughly review all applications, they will only be assigned as primary reader to present 1/5 of the applications, and as secondary reader to another 1/5th.
What Happens When I Submit the Questionnaire?
When the Arts Board receives your completed questionnaire and accompanying resume, your name—or the name of a person you nominate—will be entered in the Panelist Database. You will be considered for an appointment to an Arts Board panel as staff members prepare to put panels together. If you are interested in serving on a particular type of panel, please check the appropriate box on the questionnaire. Otherwise, the Arts Board will invite panelists to serve based on their background and experience.
Panelist Application Form
Panelists will be contacted by phone or letter when they are being considered for appointment to a panel.
What About Conflicts of Interest?
Wisconsin Arts Board members, staff and panelists are required to withdraw from consideration of a proposal affecting an organization where a conflict of interest has been indicated. Declaring a conflict does not mean that you cannot serve on a panel; it merely means that you may not discuss or vote on applications with which a conflict of interest exists.
If you serve on a panel, you must notify the Wisconsin Arts Board of any direct financial or employment interest relating to any grant proposal under review. Affiliations may include employment, board memberships, consultant relationships, familial relationships with individual applicants or staff or board members of applicant organizations. You will be asked to complete an Associations with Cultural Organizations form kept on file at the Arts Board.
Equal Opportunity & Access
The Wisconsin Arts Board ensures full access to and participation in its programs for all Wisconsin citizens throughout the state regardless of disability, race, age, sex, religion, or national origin.
All Wisconsin Arts Board forms, applications and publications can be made available in large type, Braille or audio tape.
Please contact us for more information.