North Dakota Council on the Arts uses a peer panel process to thoughtfully evaluate applications and make funding recommendations to the NDCA Board of Directors. Each year, NDCA selects panelists to support the most critical components of our funding process.

Panel meetings are held for many of NDCA's grant programs, including Accessibility Grant, Arts in Education Collaboration, Community Arts Access, Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, Individual Artist Fellowship, Institutional Support, Professional Development, and Special Projects.

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Who can serve as a NDCA Panelist?

NDCA builds diverse panels and therefore seek individuals from a range of artistic disciplines, experiences in community, geographies, ages, genders, races, abilities, and ethnicities. Native American individuals, people of color, and those who bring diverse perspectives are highly encouraged to apply.

You would be a great candidate to serve as a NDCA panelist if you are:

  • An artist, are employed or volunteer in the arts, or are an arts enthusiast
  • 18 years of age or older and live in North Dakota
  • Dedicated to advancing equitable grantmaking across North Dakota

If you are involved with a group that applies to NDCA, you would be considered a great panelist, but NDCA also seeks individuals who are not directly seeking NDCA funding.

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What are the benefits for serving?

Panelists receive a stipend in exchange for serving on a panel. The stipend amount differs for each grant program. Most panel meetings are online. For in-person panel meetings, panelists receive reimbursement for travel expenses and meal allotment on the day of the panel in addition to the stipend.

By serving you can expect to:

  • Have a greater understanding about what makes a strong grant application
  • Meet interesting people who also have an investment in the arts in our communities
  • Learn about a variety of arts groups, organizations, and projects
  • Feel prepared for this role through our guidance
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How much work is it to be a panelist?

Panelists will receive materials and learn about the grant criteria and how to assess applications prior to the panel meeting date. Applications are reviewed online.

The number of applications to review will vary with the each different grant program. NDCA acknowledges that serving as a panelist is a time commitment. Depending on the grant program and length of application, it can take up to 30-45 minutes to assess each application. For most grant programs, panelists are given approximately 2 to 4 weeks to review these applications.

On the panel meeting day, you must be at the entire panel review. The panel meeting times are different for each grant program. Panels are scheduled during the week and panelists serve for one day.

Grant programs have one panel a year except for Special Projects, Professional Development, and Institutional Support. The Special Projects and Professional Development panels meet 6 times a year (every other month) with the same panelists for the fiscal year. These panel meetings are online. Some scheduled panel meeting dates may not meet if no applications are submitted or if all the funding has been awarded. The Institutional Support grant program has a panel every 3 years.

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How can you become a panelist?

Panelist Applications are submitted online through the NDCA online grant system.

If you are interested in becoming a panelist and have questions, contact Lisa McCallum at or 701-328-7615.

You may hear from us quickly or it may take a while depending on when you inquire and when it aligns with our needs.

Thank you for your interest in serving the North Dakota arts community as a grant review panelist!