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Ohio Arts Council Board Approves More Than $14.7M in Arts Grants

The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board has approved $14,733,107 in grants to support Ohio artists, organizations, students, educators, and public arts programming during its initial and major state fiscal year 2020 funding round.
The board approved 743 grants when it met publicly on July 17 for its summer board meeting. 

OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins said the grant awards help arts organizations, educators, and artists throughout the state strengthen Ohio’s creative economy and enrich communities through the arts.
“We are honored to award these grants to the phenomenal arts organizations, art educators, and artists who work to champion the arts in Ohio,” she said. “Our state is rich in artistic ingenuity, creative collaboration, and passionate individuals who know firsthand the positive impact of the arts.”
The 743 grants awarded during this funding round are an important step toward the fulfillment of the agency’s ongoing commitment to directly fund arts and culture initiatives taking place in all 88 Ohio counties, something it has been able to do for the past two biennia.
Collins said a commitment to providing statewide support of the arts is more important than ever following the announcement of an historic $34.5 million allocated to the OAC through the 2020-21 state budget—a $5 million increase in funding from last biennium.
“We are very grateful to Governor Mike DeWine, and members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, for their support of public funding for the arts through the state budget’s appropriation to the Ohio Arts Council,” she said. “As we conclude a grant application cycle that saw a record-setting number of requests for funding, we are thrilled that support from our state’s governor and legislators ensures that more public dollars will be spent over the next two years on grants for the arts in Ohio.”
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.  
    • Large Organizations: 40 grants totaling $7,616,964
    • Mid-Sized Organizations: 264 grants totaling $4,126,315
  • 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 $156,926

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.   
    • 156 grants totaling $370,020
  • 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.   
    • 55 grants totaling $422,889

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. 
    • 79 grants totaling $797,979
  • TeachArtsOhio brings schools and community organizations together with teaching artists to share engaging, personal, high-quality arts learning experiences.
    • 50 grants totaling $880,800

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. 
    • 14 grants totaling $35,997

Ohio Artists on Tour
  • The Ohio Artists on Tour program enables Ohio organizations to tap into the creative potential of performing artists and ensembles to enrich their programming and the vitality of their communities.
    • 28 grants totaling $113,008

Statewide Arts Service Organization Support
  • 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 as they, along with their members or constituents, support the OAC's 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 $212,209


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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