Glossary of Terms

Academic Standards - the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has adopted Academic Standards in a variety of artistic disciplines. For kindergarten through grade 12, these standards clearly determine what students should know and be able to do in these disciplines. They provide a comprehensive and sequential guide for student progress in these disciplines.

Accessible to people with disabilities – facilities that are in compliance with Title VI, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Section 504, of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; programs that provide interpreters for people with hearing disabilities, Braille versions of printed materials, audio description services for people with visual disabilities, etc.

Activity dates – the dates of activities for which grant assistance is provided. Dates must fall within the Arts Board grant year (i.e., July 1 - June 30).

Adults Engaged in “In-Person” Arts Experiences - the people who directly engaged with the arts, whether through attendance at arts events or participation in arts learning or other types of activities in which people were directly involved with artists or the arts. Do not count individuals primarily reached through TV, radio or cable broadcast, the Internet, or other media. Include actual audience numbers based on paid/free admissions or seats filled. Avoid inflated numbers, and do not double-count repeat attendees. 

Applicant – the organization submitting a grant application, even if a fiscal receiver is used.

Artists Directly Involved/Participating – the number of artists directly involved in providing artistic services specifically identified with the application.

Arts Festival - public event that features the presentation or performance of a variety of art forms and involves community members and professional artists in planning, possibly jurying, and presentation.

Arts Interest/Affiliation - the art form and/or organization (not including the applicant organization) with which this particular board member is most closely affiliated.

Audio description - a term typically used to describe the descriptive narration of key visual elements in a video, multimedia product, or live theater performance. This process allows individuals who are blind to access content that is not otherwise accessible simply by listening to the audio. In audio description, narrators typically describe actions, gestures, scene changes, and other visual information. For projects involving video, they also describe titles, speaker names, and other text that may appear on the screen.

Authorizing official – the person with authority to obligate an applicant legally, usually the executive director or the president of the board of directors.

Brick and mortar activities - any major construction or capital improvement; for example, a new building, a new wing of a building or a ramp for persons with disabilities.

Broadening participation - attracting more of the kind of participants already taking part in your organization’s programs/activities (for example, you already served inner city youth, but this past year you served a larger number.)

Children to benefit – children and youth that are expected to benefit directly from activities. This should reflect a portion of the total "Individuals to benefit."

Collaborations - usually are short-term or temporary arrangements between two or more entities to work on specific projects. Collaborating entities may share costs and contribute resources to the specific projects.
 
Contact person – the person to contact for additional information about an application, usually the project director or person responsible for implementing proposed activities.

“Creating” organization – as opposed to “presenting” organization; an organization that creates and produces work in-house, as opposed to presenting artists on tour performing work developed and produced elsewhere.

Criteria - minimum standards organizations and individuals must comply with to be considered for funding. Meeting specific criteria does not guarantee a grant award because WAB programs are competitive.

Current fiscal year – the organization’s present, active fiscal year at the time of application.

Deepening participation - increasing the engagement of participants already taking part in your organization’s programs/activities (for example, if you converted casual ticket buyers to season ticket holders, or season ticket holders to volunteers, or provided pre- or post-performance/event activities for audience members).

Demographics - information from a variety of sources used to create a broad profile of any community. May include population trends, age, gender, race or ethnicity, education, income, crime rates, voting statistics and occupations. Obtain this information through U.S. Census Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, development offices or the U.S. Postal Service.

Diversifying participation - attracting new participants from populations different from those already taking part in your organization’s programs/activities (for example, you already attracted many retirees to your programs, but this past year you attracted more families and children).

Diversity - participation within an organization that reflects a broad mix of persons from various demographic, socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Draft application - proposed application including narrative submitted to Arts Board staff for review according to timeline noted in guidelines.

D-U-N-S numberD-U-N-S stands for "data universal numbering system," a coding method developed by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) to track businesses in their database. Many state and national arts groups, including the Wisconsin Arts Board, use a powerful advocacy tool (the Creative Industries project) that in turn uses DUNS numbers to identify each for-profit and nonprofit arts-related business in the country. The more accurate the information is, the more successful our combined efforts to increase awareness of the national scope and importance of the arts industry will be.

For more information regarding this financial history D-U-N-S number, and to apply for one, click hereApplicants must have a D-U-N-S number before they can receive an Arts Board grant.

Evaluation criteria – specific standards by which an application, project, program or organization will be evaluated.

Evaluation methodology and tools – (click here for a list of sample evaluation tools) a logical, structured way to determine if the goals of the organization and its activities were met, and measure success in serving constituents and fulfilling its mission. Evaluation requires addressing three things: 1) Who was changed? 2) In what way were these people changed? and 3) How will you know that this change occurred? Often, the hoped-for change may not be known for many years, but there probably are things that you can notice now that suggest that people are, at least, on the path towards this change. Examples of evaluation/assessment methods and tools that you can use to suggest that people are moving toward change include: attendee surveys, polls and questionnaires, interviews, discussion/focus groups, evaluation forms, critical reviews, documented observations, internal evaluations or other forms of feedback.

Expenses (expenditures) – certain categories of costs required to implement the activities.

Experiential barriers to participation – a reference to the Rand Corporation's Study A New Framework for Building Participation in the Arts; examples could include: “I didn’t enjoy my last visit. The seating is too cramped. I received poor customer service the last time I visited. There was no explanation available to help me understand the art activity.”

Fiscal receiver/agent – an incorporated, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that provides administrative and financial services for projects initiated by unincorporated, nonprofit organizations – or by incorporated, nonprofit organizations that do not have financial or administrative capability. The fiscal receiver accepts responsibility for administering paperwork and project funds throughout the Arts Board’s grant process. The unincorporated group or organization completes the project activity.

Fiscal year – any 12-month period used for financial record-keeping and reporting suited to the organization’s operating cycle or programming season.

Folk and traditional arts – artistic expressions which have been created and passed on through the generations in groups which are defined by a common ethnic, regional, religious or occupational heritage. Normally, the skills are learned from older community members, without the benefit of formal institutions.

Full Year – the year an applicant submits a full, multi-page narrative application to the Arts Board, together with all required support materials. 

Fundraiser - an activity or event whose sole purpose is to generate money to support a nonprofit organization.

Income – present or anticipated funds and resources required to accomplish activities (e.g., revenues which are earned income, support which is unearned income, such as cash contributions or grants).

Indirect costs/administrative fees - costs a university or college assigns to a project as a percentage of the direct project cost. These include items such as operation and maintenance expenses, depreciation, interest on capital debt, general administration expenses and project administration expenses. For Arts Board purposes, indirect costs may not be used as a match.

Individuals that benefited – the persons who benefited directly from activities (e.g., audience, participants, students, etc.). Large public events will require an estimate of the number of persons who benefited. 

​In-kind contributions – goods or services contributed to the applicant organization by individuals, other agencies, or businesses that have a demonstrable cash value. These may include items such as donated or discounted space and equipment rental, printing, advertising costs, professional services and other labor, etc. In-kind contributions are valued at fair market price and must be capable of being verified upon request.

Intent to apply – a written document from an organization indicating that it intends to apply for funding in the Creation and Presentation program. Its purpose is to alert Arts Board staff who can then clarify guidelines and address eligibility questions before the applicant invests time in developing the application.

Interdisciplinary - an art form that crosses two or more disciplines to create a new work; for example, a project that contains elements of visual arts, media and performance art might be interdisciplinary.

Interim Year – the year an applicant submits an interim application with a one page narrative to the Arts Board. 

IRS Form 990 – the Internal Revenue Service form 990 (and 990-EZ and 990-PF) are information returns or reporting forms. The organizations that file these forms do not pay federal tax on income related to their exempt purposes and programs, although many private foundations do pay an excise tax based on their investment income. Some nonprofits have additional income not related to their exempt purpose; this unrelated business income is reported on Form 990-T.

Key Artistic and Administrative Personnel – the artistic and administrative paid staff or volunteers of your organization who are pivotal in developing and implementing your artistic programming and in the overall operation of the organization, and whose background experience will influence panel opinion.

Letters of commitment - these letters should be not longer than one typewritten page, and should directly affirm that the partnering or collaborating entity a) intends to support the proposed project as stated in the Creative Communities application (budget pages and/or narrative); OR b) has supported the applicant organization as stated in the Creation and Presentation application. It should be clear that the writers of the letters are familiar with the proposal. Letters should be addressed to the Wisconsin Arts Board. (See definition of “Significant Partner” below.)

Marketing Plan Synopsis – this document should be no more than four pages and should summarize the marketing plan under which the applicant operated over the past two years. The range of years covered by the plan should be noted on the plan’s front page. 

Matching funds – the portion of the activity costs not borne by the Wisconsin Arts Board. Matching funds shall amount to at least 50 percent of total costs

Multidisciplinary - a combination of two or more artistic areas; for example, a project that combines visual arts with music is multidisciplinary.

Next fiscal year – an organization’s upcoming fiscal year for which proposed activities are planned. Next year’s financial figures are projected amounts based on budgets which have been approved by an organization’s board of directors or governing authority at the time of application.

Off Year – the year an applicant submits an interim application with a one page narrative to the Arts Board.

On Year – the year an applicant submits a full, six page narrative application to the Arts Board.

Organizational Plan - a document that describes where an organization is going and how it is going to get there; used by an organization to align its organization and budget structure with organizational priorities, missions, and objectives. 

Outside Artistic Fees & Services - Those fees that are charged, and those services that are provided by independent contractors who are not full- or part-time employees of the applicant organization but who work on an individual project basis.

Paid Artistic Staff – organizations that pay the artists—in addition to an Artistic Director— who perform and/or exhibit in their season of activities are so designated.

Panelists – peer experts in a particular arts discipline who make funding recommendations to the Board. A panelist may be an artist, arts administrator, board member, educator, or someone closely associated with the arts. (The Wisconsin Arts Board is looking for people to serve on advisory panels to review grant applications. The first step to becoming a panelist is to complete a panelist application form.)

Partnerships - usually are characterized by a long-term (one year or longer) working relationship between two or more entities. Members of partnerships are often involved in planning and decision-making for multiple programs and projects over an extended period of time. All entities within a partnership share costs and contribute resources to the programs or projects. Partners share a vision, goals, strategies and financial resources.

Perceptual barriers to participation - a reference to the Rand Corporation’s Study A New Framework for Building Participation in the Arts, examples could include:examples could include: “I didn’t think I would fit in. The arts aren’t for people like me. I wouldn’t know how to dress.”

Personnel - Paid full- or part-time (“in-house”) employees of the applicant organization who are consistently on the payroll, as opposed to independent contractors or those who charge fees to provide “outside services” on an individual project basis.

Phase 1 application – similar to a letter of intent, this brief application describes the basic aspects of the proposed project. Submit via the Wisconsin Arts Board's online grant application system.

Phase 2 application – phase 1 applicants that have received a specific invitation to submit a phase 2 application, submit a more detailed proposal via the Wisconsin Arts Board's online grant application system.

Practical barriers to participation - a reference to the Rand Corporation’s Study A New Framework for Building Participation in the Arts, examples could include: “I didn’t have child care. I couldn’t afford a ticket. I didn’t want to come downtown after dark. Parking is too difficult there.”

Presenting organization - a nonprofit organization that serves its community primarily by brokering relationships between touring performing artists and the presenter’s community.  It does so by acting as the catalyst to bring those artists from outside of the presenter’s communities into that community, to perform in concerts and/or residencies.

Prior fiscal year - an organization’s most recently completed fiscal year. The financial figures that are included are confirmed, “real” numbers, not estimated.

Professional artists - persons who devote a major portion of their time to practicing, performing or teaching any of the arts.

Public value - an organization’s public value is most easily expressed as its impact on, or value to, its community; literally, its value to its public. Each organization creates value by making a positive difference to individuals or the community at large through the arts and its own mission. Public value is different from value created in the private sector (either returns for shareholders or products for consumers); it is created at the highest levels when the most possible citizens are impacted in the most possible locations, and they are affected in the most positive and profound manner.

Revenue – present or anticipated funds and resources required to accomplish activities (e.g., revenues which are earned income, support which is unearned income, such as cash contributions or grants). 

Short and Long-Range plans - documents used to define desired outcomes, goals and objectives of an organization’s programs and services. Include broad goals and objectives, with detailed action steps linked to financial and human resources, timeline and evaluation instruments.

Significant Partner – an organization that partners with you by providing key resources (volunteers, staff, marketing, etc. ) to your work, and without whom you would not have the capacity to provide certain programs. In this definition, a significant partner is not an entity that only provides funding for your work. 

Strategic plan - a document that describes where an organization is going and how it is going to get there; used by an organization to align its organization and budget structure with organizational priorities, missions, and objectives.

Strengths/Assets - examples of organizational strengths or assets could include: particularly skilled staff, board members or volunteers, financial stability or consistency, outside partnerships, physical facilities, or other factors or resources that speak to your organization’s capacity to carry out your programs effectively.

Support material - supplemental material that must be supplied with an application to document artistic merit, programming, community involvement and financial responsibility.

Technical assistance - advice or information given to people or organizations to help them acquire management or artistic skills. At the Arts Board, technical assistance most often is provided through staff, but also through consultants, advisors, workshops and written materials.

Total operating budget – all funds budgeted for an organization’s operations, activities, programs, and services during a fiscal year. Operating expenses do not include capital funds, endowment funds, reserve funds, or any other funds not allocated to the annual operating cycle of the organization.

Volunteer Artistic Staff – organizations that pay only an Artistic Director, if that, and do not pay the artists who perform and/or exhibit in their season of activities are so designated.

Youth (under age 18) Engaged in “In-Person” Arts Experiences - the people who directly engaged with the arts, whether through attendance at arts events or participation in arts learning or other types of activities in which people were directly involved with artists or the arts. Do not count individuals primarily reached through TV, radio or cable broadcast, the Internet, or other media. Include actual audience numbers based on paid/free admissions or seats filled. Avoid inflated numbers, and do not double-count repeat attendees.​