Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
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Peer Assessment Process - Overview

What is peer assessment?

In the context of ArtsNL, peer assessment is the process of having practicing artists and/or other experts review and assess the merit and viability of applications for funding. Peer assessors recommend which projects should be funded and amounts to award successful applicants. ArtsNL uses peer assessment to determine funding for all of its funding programs.

Why does ArtsNL use peer assessment?

ArtsNL uses peer assessment for three reasons:

  1. To ensure applications in a specific artistic discipline or area are evaluated by qualified individuals with experience in that area and knowledge of the artistic community
  2. To maintain an effective mechanism for ArtsNL to stay connected with the artistic community and its developing trends
  3. To maintain the arms-length nature of ArtsNL and protect arts funding from political influences.

How are peer assessment committees formed?

The program manager/officer selects individuals to serve on peer assessment committees for each of the funding programs administered by ArtsNL. He/she works from a list of artists who have received ArtsNL funding in the past, or have a significant artistic background. This list was compiled by past and present ArtsNL members and staff and is updated regularly. Members of the community are encouraged to recommend people. You may recommend yourself. Recommendations are accepted on an ongoing basis, an official recommendation form is available
from ArtsNL.

In most programs a peer assessor will only be used once every two years. The Sustaining Program for Professional Arts Organizations and ArtsSmarts have assessment committees that sit for three year terms. Assessment committees usually include one ArtsNL member and between two and six members of the artistic community. Some programs, based on their nature, may require expertise from outside the arts community. The Professional Project Grants Program uses seven three-person committees to cover all artistic disciplines, and a committee of up to seven assessors for the organizations category. Applications to the Professional Artists’ Travel Fund are reviewed by two assessors due to the responsive nature of these programs and the two week turn-around on applications.