We understand that applicants are seeking a specific reason (one that can improve the clarity of their application or increase their likelihood of funding in the future) as to why they did not receive a grant. However, a reviewer’s rationale (one or two sentences of their impressions of the proposal) cannot fully communicate the nuance, passion, or many social, psychological, and cultural factors that actually influence a reviewer’s decisions.
Though it is impossible to express a singular “why” that provides meaningful closure to a vulnerable process, furthering a communication loop means that applicants have confirmation that their work has been seen and their ideas have been heard. Honoring that communication loop, and by extension honoring the work of each and every artist behind the applications, regardless of the outcome of the selection process, is an essential value at MAP.
Applicants who would like to request specific aspects of the scoring rubric can complete this short JotForm. Applicants who submit by the deadline, May 17, 2019, will receive a follow-up email from MAP staff within fifteen business days.
More context about the options available:
Option 1: Aesthetic Perspectives Attributes
While not all of MAP’s applicants and grantees would describe their work as “arts for social change” work (nor are they required to!), we have found that the eleven attributes in the framework provide helpful language for reviewers to think more deeply and broadly about how to look for alignment with MAP’s goals across a vast range of aesthetic approaches within the applicant pool. We make the selections available to applicants as a kind of “feedback” only so that they have a sense of which qualities stood out in particular to the reviewer cohort.
One question that surfaces often is, “Do all of the attributes need to be present in the proposal in order for it to score highly?”
No, not at all. Applicants are not asked to address the attributes in any direct way in their proposals. In fact, some applicants might not use any of the terms to describe their work or their intent because not all of the attributes may feel relevant or applicable to every proposal.
The framework does not replace MAP’s goals as a new set of evaluation criteria. Rather, it serves to provoke questions, act as a reference to move past “stuck thinking,” and to encourage reviewers to reflect upon and expand their own notions of aesthetics throughout the process.
Option 2: Comments / questions
Distinct from the numerical score, reviewers are encouraged to note any comments or questions that surfaced for them in the evaluation of the project. For example, “It would be helpful in better understanding the project to learn more about how the collaborators are working together. What does their practice entail and/or what is their timeline to develop the work?”
Comments are not mandatory and not all reviewers use them. It is also important to note that these comments do not necessarily have any bearing on numerical scores. They may not reveal reasons for why the work did not move forward, but are offered in the spirit of connecting the communication loop between the reviewer and the applicant in this context. Further, an absence of comments can be seen as a positive reflection of a proposal, signifying that reviewers did not need explicit clarification.
Again, if you are interested in receiving one or both of these options, please submit this JotForm by the deadline, May 17, 2019 at 5 p.m. ET. Thank you for investing your time and resources in MAP.