The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and its volunteer advisory board, the Cultural Affairs Council, develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for our community’s thousands of artists and not-for-profit cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences.  The Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council provide grants and technical assistance to cultural organizations and individual artists; develop and improve cultural facilities; create and advance arts education, public information and outreach programs; advocate for effective cultural policies and for more public and private resources to invest in cultural development; and promote and market our cultural assets broadly and innovatively.  You can find more information about the Department and the Council at
Founded in 1976, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council celebrate over 30 years of cultivating Greater Miami’s thriving, vibrant, international cultural community.
The Department of Cultural Affairs is seeking individuals interested in reviewing applications for cultural grants funding from Miami-Dade County, through the Cultural Affairs Council and administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs.  Each year, the Department of Cultural Affairs relies on the services of many volunteer panelists, who review and evaluate grant applications and make funding recommendations.  Panels are comprised of artists, arts-related professionals, educators, community members, business leaders and others with current or prior active involvement in the arts, such as board members of cultural organizations. Participation is solicited by Department staff on a program basis.  Panelists help maintain a fair and open process and assist in the continuous development of Miami-Dade County’s artistic and cultural communities by bringing their expertise to the review panel process.  All panel meetings are open to the public.
In assembling panels, every effort is made to achieve balance by looking at such factors as professional backgrounds, geographical representation, minority representation, and diverse aesthetic, institutional and cultural viewpoints.  The Department and the Council are committed to convening panels that are representative of our community.
Prospective panelists should possess experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Knowledge of and familiarity with Miami-Dade County’s non-profit arts community;
  • Artistic experience in an arts discipline (music, theatre, visual arts, etc.) as a creator, administrator, board member and/or general supporter of the arts;
  • Experience in non-profit sector or arts management, including, but not limited to, organizational planning & management, finance & accounting, development & fundraising or marketing;
  • Arts education; and
  • Experience with cultural facilities and venues (acquisition, building, renovation, management)as an architect, contractor, builder, operations/programming manager and/or owner.

In addition, panelists are expected to exercise integrity and fairness and adhere to the code of ethics and conflict of interest requirements that guide all of the Department’s work.
This depends on the particular panel and number of applications received. Panelists are required to attend an orientation session after which they will take the grants package home to review. Most Department panel meetings span one business day and may involve a substantial time commitment to read orientation materials and review and pre-score grant applications prior to the panel meeting. During the panel meeting, panelists may review support materials (slides, DVD, CD) discuss each application, and finalize scores and recommendations, which are then forwarded to the Cultural Affairs Council for approval before being sent to the County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners for final approval.  Panel meetings are scheduled throughout the County’s fiscal year.
Panelists serve in a volunteer capacity and are not compensated for their services.  Meals are provided during panel meetings.  Parking is validated for the “Cultural Center Garage” across from the Main Library in downtown Miami.
Typically, panelists are asked to serve for up to five years from the date they are appointed, based on the grants program they are assigned to.  Panelists may also serve on more than one panel.  Throughout the term of service, some panelists may have opportunities to visit Miami-Dade’s cultural organizations and/or attend performances. These “site visits” help panelists broaden their knowledge of the County’s arts community.

The Department makes every effort to make the grants process fair and equitable by screening potential panelists for conflicts of interest.  Panel members are required to withdraw from consideration of a proposal affecting an organization where a conflict of interest has been indicated. Declaring a conflict does not mean that you cannot serve on a panel; it merely means that you may not discuss or vote on applications with which a conflict of interest exists.
If you serve on a panel, you must review the Department’s conflict of interest rules and notify the Program Administrator of any direct financial or employment interest relating to any grant proposal under review. Affiliations may include employment, board memberships, consultant relationships, familial relationships with individual applicants or staff or board members of applicant organizations. You will be asked to complete a formal Conflict of Interest Form which will be kept on file with the Department.
When the Department receives your completed panelist application form and accompanying resume, your name will be entered in the Panelist Database. You will be considered for an appointment to a Department panel as staff members prepare to put panels together. The Department will invite panelists to serve based on their background and experience. Panelists will be contacted by phone, email or letter when they are being considered for appointment to a panel.

If you are an artist, arts-related professional, educator, community member, business leader or someone with current or prior active involvement in the arts, just email your completed application and current resume to Kelly Allocco at or contact her at (305) 375-4634.



Panelist Application Form: Click Here | Conflict of Interest Statement: Click Here