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Government Support

Several opportunities exist in Ohio for individual artists to receive public funding directly from government agencies, departments and designated non-profit organizations. Grants made to artists from public funding sources originate from designated city, county and state taxes (e.g. bed taxes, cigarette taxes, state income taxes, etc.). 

Artists should consider applying for grants as another strategy to complement a range of fundraising opportunities. It is important when considering grants to make certain that you have read and understand the guidelines, been in contact with the program staff at the agency and follow all directions for submitting your application and work samples.

State grants

Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards

State funding is available in Ohio for individual artists through the Ohio Arts Council, a governmental agency. The Ohio Arts Council was created in 1965 to "foster and encourage the development of the arts and assist the preservation of Ohio's cultural heritage." There are several different grant programs and a variety of service programs operated by the Council.

  • Individual Excellence Awards – grants to individual artists of all disciplines
  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program – grants for traditional artists interested in master artist/apprenticeship partnerships
  • Artists with Disabilities Access (grants)
  • Artist in Residence – for inclusion in the in-school artists in residence program
  • Ohio Artists On Tour – for performing artists who want to be selected for the OAOT directory

The Individual Excellence Award program funds artists directly and provides “grants to Ohio artists for the exceptional merit of a completed body of work. These awards recognize creativity and imagination that exemplify the highest level of achievement and advancement of the art form for a particular discipline.” Awards are available in all disciplines on a rotating deadline and are not project-based.

Federal Grants

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers fellowships directly to individual artists in the discipline of literature only. Artists from all states are eligible to apply. The Literature Fellowship is available to creative writers in all disciplines, and translators of exceptional talent in the areas of prose and poetry. In addition, Translation Projects enable recipients to translate work from other languages into English. Non-matching grants are for $12,500 or $25,000, depending upon the artistic excellence and merit of the project.

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