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In 2004, 402 hopeful applicants sought cash from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for various projects. Sometimes they got what they wanted.

Name: Denise Doss-Arrington

Grant Applied For: Small Projects Program; city offers up to $1,000.

Money Needed For: attendance fees for the 2004 Essence Music Festival at the Louisiana Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans

Performance History: Doss-Arrington, who performs as Nisey D., has entertained audiences at, among other such facilities, the Children’s National Medical Center and at various weddings and “Birthday Party Extravaganzas.” Doss-Arrington’s repertoire includes her “original jazz style” version of “Happy Birthday.”

Plan: In her application, Doss-Arrington wrote that she hoped her attendance at the festival would “rally some national support” for her local performances. But she also saw receipt of D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) funds as a steppingstone to bigger and better things. “By winning grants and fellowships such as [those provided by DCCAH],” she wrote, “I hope to win larger fellowships and grants.” She implied that such funding would improve the “quality of life for all.”

Amount Asked For: $1,000

Status: denied

—Mike Kanin