How to Submit

The following steps outline how to submit government projects for Commission of Fine Arts review.

Please read all the steps before proceeding. 

Applicants are encouraged to consult with the staff as early as possible after a design project is initiated, as well as during the development of the design. Please contact CFA staff at (202) 504-2220 or cfastaff@cfa.gov

Prepare to Submit

Choose Concept or Final

The CFA reviews projects in two stages: concept and final. Decide if you are submitting your project for concept or final review, then gather the necessary drawings and materials for submission.

Choose Online or Standard Submission Method

The CFA accepts government submissions via two methods: online or standard offline (mail or in-person). The CFA online submission is separate from the DCRA online permitting system. Decide if you are submitting your project to CFA online or by the standard method.  

Make the Submission

To make a submission via the online method, review the instructions to begin the online submission process. You will complete an online Project Information Form, receive a reference number, and then upload the requested files.

To make a submission via the standard method, review the instructions to begin.

Regardless of submission method, you must:

  • Submit two weeks prior to the CFA meeting. Please check the CFA meeting schedule for meeting dates and submission deadlines.
  • Include a letter requesting review, signed by the authorized representative of the government agency responsible for the project, on the letterhead of that agency.
  • Include all other required submission materials for concept or final review to be complete.

Provide Additional Materials

This step may not be necessary and only occurs if materials are requested

Upon receipt of your submission, CFA staff may contact you to request additional or revised materials. Submit any necessary supplemental materials directly to CFA staff upon request.

If the project is insufficiently documented for review, the CFA staff may recommend that the review of the case be postponed until a later CFA meeting.

Present Project

This step may not be necessary and only occurs if project is placed on the CFA meeting agenda

Depending on the scope, size, prominence, and design of a proposed project, it will either be reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts in its monthly public meeting, or reviewed by CFA staff and placed on the Consent Calendar for approval by the CFA in its meeting.

CFA staff will notify you if your case has been placed on the agenda for the public meeting. Projects requiring review by the Commission in its public meeting must be presented by the applicant or applicant’s representative at the meeting. The draft agenda is available online the Friday afternoon before the CFA meeting.

Smaller-scale or less complex projects may be placed on the Consent Calendar of staff recommendations, which is subject to approval by the Commission of Fine Arts in its meeting. The draft consent calendar is available online the Friday afternoon before the CFA meeting. If your project is on the Consent Calendar, you do not need to attend the meeting.

Next Steps

Concept Approval: If your project is approved in concept, you may proceed to develop the project design and documentation in preparation for a submission for final review. Concept approval is often accompanied by detailed recommendations or conditions, which you should incorporate into the design prior to making a submission for final review.

Final Approval: If your project receives final approval, you generally need not return for further review unless changes are made to the approved final design. Final approval may also be accompanied by detailed recommendations or conditions, which you must incorporate into the design documents prior to receiving full final approval.

For government projects that require a permit, forward a copy of the full permit drawings and the DCRA construction permit application directly to CFA staff for review and signature of the permit application. This may occur at the time of submission for final approval, or after final approval has been received.