BeCville Artist Guidelines

Welcome to BeCville!

Through this exciting new program, we’ll be giving residents, artists, and designers an opportunity to develop creative solutions that respond to community-voiced needs in parts of the Belmont, Ridge St., and Fifeville neighborhoods.

These guidelines provide some basic information on where project funds are being invested, how the program works, and how to submit your proposal materials. We encourage you to review this document while filling out the BeCville Proposal Application, available at our website –  You may also download a PDF version by clicking on this LINK.

So What is BeCville?

BeCville is Virginia’s first arts-based Participatory Budgeting effort. The project will give residents a direct voice for improving their neighborhood through the arts; engage in candid discussions about citizen-led decision making; and leverage the arts to increase civic participation.

Tell me more about BeCville

BeCville supports local residents to decide how $15,000 will be spent on arts projects and programs in their neighborhoods. Why are we doing this? Because, we believe that art and culture bring people together, imagine the future of local neighborhoods, increase civic engagement, support economic development, and build an equitable city. This project does this by listening to the needs of local residents, inviting artists/residents to respond with proposals for creative projects that address those needs, and then giving residents a direct voice in deciding which projects get funded through a democratic voting process. Inspired by the international Participatory Budgeting movement, BeCville engages residents in a candid discussion about the needs of our local neighborhoods and then makes informed decisions about how to allocate resources for public art projects that address those needs.


Residents, Artists, and Designers
Must be over the age of 12
Preference is for individuals and not organizations

BeCville is focused on supporting creative projects developed by those living in our core neighborhoods, yet we also invite those from the broader city, county, and region to apply. Our goal is to make sure neighborhood residents can select the highest quality projects that respond to their needs.


This program is focused on neighborhoods to the south of downtown Charlottesville (see map below). We ask that your proposal takes place in this target area.



Competitive proposals will have :

  1. A creative discipline (craft, food, dance, design, literary, media, fashion, performance, music, theatre, architecture, sound, graphic design, visual art, and more)
  2. A strong creative focus
  3. Responded to the expressed needs of the community.

All proposals should directly engage the neighborhood throughout their project concept and implementation. This may include doing interviews, including children in the design process, or painting a mural. Projects that innovatively respond to the community need are of high priority.


Over 6 months BeCville collected over 250 responses with over 400 ideas for how to make neighborhoods better.  A full spreadsheet of these ideas can be found on our website –


At present BeCville has $15000 set aside for a series of projects. The maximum budget for a project is $5000, but it can start as low as $100.


Beyond the funding, BeCville will publish information about the project on our website, provide support finding volunteers, market the projects, and support the projects to be the best they can.


If your project is selected by the community the following will be expected:

  1. Sign a letter of agreement before receiving an initial 50% of the payment.
  2. On a monthly basis produce a short blog post.
  3. Document the audience that is participating.
  4. Submit reports of all expenses.
  5. Conduct a final interview and survey to assess its success.
  6. Acknowledge major funders of the initiative
  7. Share documentation of your project work.

Further payments will be distributed monthly until the completion of the project.

If a grantee does not comply with these requirements, they will be required to return all project funds and will not be permitted to apply in future program cycles.

How will we decide which proposals receive funding?

The BeCville staff and steering committee will review all proposals for their feasibility. If the proposal is deemed viable, it will be placed on the ballot for the community voting process in May. The following criteria will determine if a project qualifies for the ballot:

  1. How closely does the project address community needs?
  2. Does the project description clearly explain what art will occur in the neighborhood?
  3. Does the scope of work seem reasonable to complete relative to the proposed budget?
  4. Is the project clearly located in the project area?
  5. Does the proposal include a measurable benefit that clearly responds to a community need?
  6. Is there a plan for community engagement and does it seem to be reasonable?
  7. Does the work sample demonstrate an ability to carry out the proposed project with a high level of artistic quality?

The BeCville staff and steering committee will determine which proposals make the ballot at their public meeting on April 18th.

What is the timeline for the program?

The current program cycle supports projects that take place between September 1, 2016, and December 30 2017. Here’s the timeline for the proposal process:

March 11 – Accepting Proposals

April 1 – Proposal Workshop – Noon – 1:30pm @ OpenGrounds

April 14 – Proposals Due by 5pm

April 18 – Project Review and Decisions

April 22 – Artists will be informed

April 25 – Artist meeting and proposal announcement

May 6 – Finalize Project Info from Artists

May 19 – Community Event

May 20 – 31 – Voting

June 9 – Announcement of winning proposals

Please Remember

  • Projects will be selected through a democratic process where neighborhood residents will vote through a ballot process in May. There are a number of ways to engage the community and build support for your project. BeCville will be providing a series of modes for sharing all projects, and we are happy to work together to reach specific groups to build interest in your project.
  • All proposals must be submitted no later than Friday, April 14th, with no excpetions as a matter of fairness to all applicants.
  • BeCville is dedicated to making all of the selected proposals a success.  Anyone interested in submitting a proposal should feel free to reach out to us at any time to have their questions answered.

Proposals can be submitted online, mailed, or hand-delivered to the following:

Google Form –

Word version –

PDF version –

Mail or Hand-Deliver to:

BeCville Proposals


401 East Water St.

Charlottesville, VA 22902

Final Thoughts

All of us working on BeCville are immensely grateful for your consideration and participation in this project. It is only through the creativity and ingenuity of people like you that this will be a success.