So today I was on my first regional arts grant panel, for the Community Arts grant of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council
. Seven panelists reviewed 26 grant applications, each scoring then on a scale of 1-6 after panel discussion. Applications were from five suburban Twin Cities Counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott, and Washington. I gave 103 total points for an average score of 3.96. Other panelists gave total points of 95, 96, 102, 103, 104, and 107, so we were all quite close. One panelist gave no ones, one panelist gave no sixes, and one panelist gave neither ones nor sixes. One panelist, somewhat strangely, gave no twos. My score distribution:
My scoring was extremely congruent with the group's scoring; the order of my scores and the order of the average scores differed by only one grant I gave a five which moved over two sixes. Every other panelist had more variation.
I gave the singularly lowest score three times and the singularly highest score twice. This seems reasonable. However only nine grants recieved a singularly high score, and nine a singularly low score, as there was much agreement among the panelists. (One grant received both. I was low on that one.)
One grant received a maximum score based on the panelist proclivities described above. No grants received a minimum score.
Going into the panel process I had ranked grants on a scale including half-points in order to give me room to move scores based on panel discussion. Of ten grants I gave half-point scores to, I moved down half a point based on panelist input eight times and up twice. I also moved grants with whole-number preliminary scores down a full point three times based on panelist input.
Washington County - and particularly the St. Croix Valley - got an exceptional number of high scores both from me and from the panelists at large. Of five grants which recieved a 5-point average or higher, three were in the St. Croix Valley, and another was tied for sixth.
I'm reasonably content with the way the panel went.