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Ohio Arts Council Board Approves Historic $18.4M in Arts Grants

The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board approved $18,479,247 in grants to support Ohio artists, arts and cultural organizations, students, educators, and public arts programming when it met on July 21 for its summer board meeting. This marks the largest amount of grant dollars distributed to constituents applying to OAC funding programs in the agency’s history.

The 746 grants approved at the meeting constitute the initial and major state fiscal year 2022 funding round for the OAC.

OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins said these grants are a significant step toward the fulfillment of the agency’s ongoing commitment to directly fund arts programming in all 88 Ohio counties, something it has been able to do for the last six fiscal years.

She added that the OAC’s commitment to providing statewide support of the arts has renewed importance following the announcement of a record-setting state appropriation of $40 million for the OAC’s 2022-23 operating budget.

“We are very grateful to Governor Mike DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, and members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate for their continued support of public funding for the arts,” she said. “This investment will fuel the spirit of innovative resilience that defines Ohio’s arts and cultural sector.”

Collins said the grants will have an especially substantial impact this year as many artists and arts organizations work to recover from the devastating financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Throughout the past year and a half, we have been reminded time and time again that the arts are better when we work together,” she said. “These grants will support the restoration of arts programming in communities across Ohio, the hiring and rehiring of arts professionals, and the renewed work and livelihoods of artists and arts educators.”

A complete, filterable list of grant recipients is available for download here. Click here to view a PDF version of the spreadsheet.


Thanks to Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly’s approval of the agency’s historic $40 million biennial appropriation in state funds, the OAC will achieve a number of firsts through this FY 2022 funding round:

  • This will mark the largest amount of funding the OAC has ever invested 1) into operating support for small organizations, via Arts Access; 2) into arts and cultural projects for newer organizations, via ArtSTART; and 3) into innovative arts projects, via ArtsNEXT.
  • All operating support awards for large and mid-sized arts organizations via Sustainability will exceed or equal the prior fiscal year.
  • Awards for the Fund Every County program will increase by $235,000, continuing to ensure greater access and geographic equity in the arts, reaching more Ohioans.
  • The amount invested into projects for culturally diverse organizations, via Building Cultural Diversity, will double compared to four years ago.
  • The amount invested into in-school residencies for teaching artists in PK-12 schools throughout Ohio will quadruple compared to four years ago, funding $1.4 million via TeachArtsOhio compared to $340,000 in FY 2018.
  • Of those applying for OAC grants, 17 percent were new applicants to the agency and received funding.


OAC grant funding was awarded in the following areas:

Operating Support

Sustainability supports ongoing arts and cultural activities in all genres. Awards support the largest and most administratively sophisticated organizations in the state's arts and culture ecosystem. This four-year funding supports a wide range of the state's arts providers that are positioning Ohio as a national leader in creativity, artistry, and cultural wealth.
298 grants totaling $14,382,577

Arts Access supports ongoing arts and cultural activities in all genres that broaden opportunities for the general public to participate in the arts. This flexible two-year funding provides general operating support for small organizations.
51 grants totaling $179,829

Statewide Arts Service Organizations (SASO) are qualifying organizations that provide statewide professional services to arts and cultural organizations. These organizations often serve as critical partners to the OAC’s work as they, along with their members or constituents, support our mission to strengthen Ohio communities through the arts. Statewide Arts Service Organizations are eligible to receive OAC support in a way that honors their unique and valuable contributions to Ohio’s arts sector.
6 grants totaling $303,206

Project Support

ArtSTART provides accessible funding to help organizations complete short-term projects. Most awards support the programming of new or emerging organizations, first-time OAC applicants, and organizations in areas not served by other arts providers.
144 grants totaling $458,387

ArtsNEXT provides competitive funding for innovative and experimental projects. These forward-looking projects help define Ohio as an exciting, cutting-edge place to make, consume, and experience the arts.
72 grants totaling $770,997

Ohio Artists on Tour enables Ohio organizations to tap into the creative potential of artists to enrich their programming and the vitality of their communities. This program provides awards in the form of fee support to institutions that present Ohio-based performing artists.
18 grants totaling $92,443


Arts Learning

Arts Partnership supports arts education projects that address the needs of individual learners and their communities. By supporting these projects and programs, the OAC aims to strengthen arts education locally, regionally, and statewide. 
81 grants totaling $809,405

TeachArtsOhio brings schools and community organizations together with teaching artists to share engaging, personal, high-quality arts learning experiences.
61 grants totaling $1,430,400

Individual Artists

Traditional Arts Apprenticeships provide support for master artists to work with apprentices to build understanding and proficiency in folk and traditional art forms. These awards support the teaching and sharing of important cultural traditions and enrich the lives of Ohioans.
15 grants totaling $52,003

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Article by Amanda Etchison, Communications Strategist

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