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GCAC requires that all arts and cultural organizations and individual artists receiving funding demonstrate the public value of the arts by acknowledging support from GCAC. Failure to credit GCAC for grant awards may jeopardize future funding.



Social Media
When your grant is approved, say “thanks” on social media! Like and tag the Greater Columbus Arts Council and Columbus Makes Art pages on Facebook, use @GCAC_Cbus on X and/or include hashtags #gcacgrants and #artmakescbus on Instagram.

Thank Public Funders
Thanking public officials for their support is important for the future vitality of arts and culture in Columbus. Send letters/emails to Columbus Mayor, Columbus City Council Members and Franklin County Commissioners thanking them for their support of the arts in Columbus, GCAC and for the grant you received. Consider including a story about the impact of this support on you, the organization and/or the community. Save copies of these letters/emails to include with your final report.

Mailing Addresses:
Mayor and Columbus City Council: City Hall, 90 W. Broad St, Columbus OH 43215
Franklin County Commissioners: 373 S. High St., 26th Floor, Columbus OH 43215



Event Calendar
Listing your event via the Ohio Event Finder is a grant requirement for organizations and optional for individual artists. Register your organization at Ohio Event Finder ( and list your events so they are posted on both and Make sure to select the event attribute: “Funded by GCAC.” If you are an individual presenting an event, contact your venue to list the event through Ohio Event Finder. If your venue is not registered or you have any other questions, please contact Nick Dekker at Facebook events posted by organizations and individuals should also contain recognition of the GCAC award.

Public Relations
When publicizing your grant please thank GCAC, the city of Columbus and Franklin County. Acknowledge grant support in press releases and mention GCAC in newspaper interviews, media/promotional appearances and event/performance announcements and curtain speeches.



Donor Acknowledgement
On signage, please use our complete logo wherever possible. At minimum, include a text reference to “GCAC” on signage.

  • Download logos online at
  • Include the GCAC logo and link to the GCAC website ( on your website or event page.
  • Include the GCAC logo in all print and digital media that you produce for internal and external audiences. Examples of promotional materials include but are not limited to, newsletters, eblasts, brochures, playbills, postcards, advertisements, educational materials and exhibit signage.
  • List GCAC as a supporter of your organization or project in donor lists at the donor recognition level most appropriate to the grant size.

Program Ads – Operating Support, General Support & Project Support Grantees
Operating Support, General Support and Project Support grantees must provide GCAC with a complimentary ad in playbills, programs or other publications where other donors are formally recognized. When you receive notification of your grant, please contact with contact information, specs and deadlines for publication. Operating Support and General Support are required to provide a full-page ad; Project Support grantees are required to provide a half-page ad.

Permanent Signage – Mural Assistance Grantees
Mural Assistance grantees will be provided signage that will be installed at the mural site.

Art Makes Columbus/Columbus Makes Art
Art Makes Columbus is GCAC’s marketing effort to elevate arts participation in Columbus. By helping promote these channels, you increase visibility for these important marketing efforts.

  • Use #artmakescbus when promoting events on social channels and in print where possible.
  • Follow @artmakescbus on Instagram and “like” Art Makes Columbus on Facebook.



If you have questions about any of these requirements, logo usage or have trouble downloading our logo, contact Jami Goldstein (614-221-8492,



Starting in 2024, a Fiscal Sponsor is no longer a requirement for Project Support grantees.

Fiscal Sponsors will NOT be required for Artist Projects at the time of application; however, artists may choose to work with a fiscal sponsor for tax purposes and the administrative support.

Fiscal Sponsor Requirements

  • Fiscal Sponsor organizations must have a budget of over $50,000, as demonstrated by a recent 990 (within three years).
  • Fiscal Sponsor organizations must have been established at least one year prior to the application and have completed at least one 990 to the IRS.
  • The Fiscal Sponsor may not employ any of the applicant’s employees or Board members or any other related party.
  • Fiscal Sponsors are required to be involved as a collaborator as opposed to merely a transactional relationship.
  • The Fiscal Sponsor does not have to be an arts organization as long as the partnership is authentic and the sponsor can demonstrate financial stability and strong governance.

The requirements aim to minimize risk of GCAC’s investment and to improve project outcomes by setting standards for the types of organizations that can become Fiscal Sponsors, as well as asking that the sponsor be engaged and lend its organizational experience to the project. To learn more fiscal sponsorship, click this link to watch a panel of experts discuss the role and responsibilities of a fiscal sponsor.

Important considerations

  • If the fiscally sponsored project or season is on-going or annually produced, the group or individual applying must provide full bookkeeping records and bank statements for the project. Depending on the size of the project budget, tax records may also be requested.
  • Both parties should agree to and confirm in writing the details of responsibilities.
  • The Fiscal Sponsor may require a service fee to cover administrative costs. The applicant should include the expense within the project budget of the application. This is a qualified expense that may be covered by the award.
  • The application and final report should be completed jointly.
  • If the applicant is awarded a grant, the grant agreement is made between GCAC and the Fiscal Sponsor, NOT the applicant. Both parties should review the contract.
  • GCAC is not responsible for disputes between the applicant and Fiscal Sponsor.

Registering and applying through online application system

If you have identified the use of a fiscal sponsor at the time of the application, the lead applicant will register as an individual in the online application system. After beginning an application, click on the “Invite Grant Writer or Fiscal Sponsor” button at the bottom of the application. Add the Fiscal Sponsor’s employee contact information. The Fiscal Sponsor will receive an email inviting them to the application – they must click on the link and press the “accept” button. If the Fiscal Sponsor currently has an account in online application system, they then will be able to see the draft application on their dashboard. If they do not have an account in online application system, they will be invited to register.



Accessibility is of great importance to GCAC. We recognize that each person is an individual and that each individual benefits from accommodation uniquely suited to their needs. We welcome you to contact us so that we can provide the best access possible to our facility and programs – please describe any accommodation that helps your application process.

To request an accessibility accommodation or if you have any questions, please refer to the guidance below or email with your request at least two weeks in advance.

Services for Language Transparency
Located in the upper right corner of our homepage, you can select from ten languages (English, Arabic, Amharic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Somali and Spanish) prevalent in Columbus to translate our site. The translator does not translate graphics or PDFs, only text in HTML.

Translation and interpretation services are available.

  • Please send requests to
  • Adeeg turjumaanimo baa kuu diyaar ah. Fadlan soo dir codsigaaga
  • Servicios de traductores estan disponibles. Por favor solicítelo en
  • अनुवाद सेवाह􀅝 उपल􀉩 छन्। कृ पया मा अनुरोध पठाउनुहोस्।
  • Des Services de traduction sont disponibles. S’il vous plait envoyer des demandes à
  • 如若你可提供翻译服务。请将请求发送至。
  • 翻訳サービスは利用できます。要請を grants@gcac.orgに送信してください。


Computer Lab & Application Assistance
We have computers open to the public for applications if needed. Please call our office at 614.224.2606 or email our Grants & Community Engagement Team at in order to reserve time for use at least 48 hours in advance.

Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing

  • American Sign Language Interpreters can be made available, upon request.

Applicants with mobility disabilities

  • The entrance to the GCAC office located at 182 East Long Street is wheelchair accessible. Please come to the front door and ring the buzzer to gain entrance.
  • GCAC staff are happy to provide curbside assistance navigating the front door for anyone who would like some support. We ask that you let us know the day before you are visiting if you would like assistance entering our building.

Appendix D: Grant Application Help & Definitions


Returning Artist Fast Pass

Returning applicants with approved final reports are eligible for the Fast Pass application. Fast Pass eliminates the need for returning applicants to prove they are a working artist by uploading a resume and examples of their work. This small step will reduce the application process by over 50%. The Fast Pass will only require your expense budget (including proof of confirmation for travel opportunities), requested award amount and the certification of eligibility requirements. You can contact our Grants & Community Engagement Team at to confirm your eligibility.

Online Application System

All applications are processed through online application system:

Grant Workshops

Free grant workshops are available throughout the year to assist applicants with determining eligibility, creating strong applications and navigating the online application system online portal. To view current grant workshop dates and sign-up to attend, visit:

To view past GCAC workshops, you can access our YouTube playlist by clicking:

Computer Access

If you do not have access to a computer to complete an application, you may contact to reserve an onsite computer for an hour. Please contact at least two weeks prior to your anticipated date.



501(c)(3) Status

A non-profit organization that has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt, charitable organization.

Adjusted Audited Revenue

For Operating Support and General Support applications, GCAC reduces Audited Annual Revenue by excluding in- kind or donated services/items, capital campaign contributions, GCAC grants, related party funds and funding received from Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, the city of Columbus and Franklin County. This figure is used to place organizations in budget peer groups for the purpose of determining preliminary funding allocations.

Arts and Culture

The “arts” is a broad subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. Culture is a broader term than “art,” which as a description of a field usually meaning only the arts. The “arts” encompasses many disciplines such as visual arts, literature, music, dance, theatre, film, fashion and others.

Audited Financial Statements

Generally known as “the audit,” this document contains an organization’s fiscal-year financial information. An independent certified public accountant should be hired by the organization’s Board to perform an annual audit in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Audited financial statements ensure credibility of the financial records and are tools for making sound financial decisions. Audits are required annually for Operating Support grantees.

Commercial Work

We recognize that many people contribute to the creative economy of central Ohio. We appreciate the talents of all creatives working in our region. GCAC’s grantmaking is to help fund those artistic practices that may lack an inherent marketplace or access to mainstream commerce channels. Because of limited funding, we are not able to accept applications from creatives/artists primarily work in commercial industries, including (but not limited to):

  • Influencers
  • Stylists
  • Culinary artists/chefs
  • Models
  • Make-up artists or hair stylists
  • Tattoo artists
  • Nail artists
  • Producers
  • YouTube content creators
  • Sound/recording engineers

Community Grantmaking

Community grantmaking is a process that invites the public to participate in the review and evaluation of some applications. GCAC staff will train and guide logistics; however, scores and recommendations for funding will come from the community reviewers, not GCAC staff or board. This approach is another step in GCAC’s equity work and our commitment to collective decision-making.


Financial deficit is the amount that an organization’s annual adjusted expenses exceed their adjusted annual revenue. Adjusted expenses are defined as audited annual expenses less depreciation and/or amortization and contributed or in-kind services.

Fiscal Sponsor

A non-profit organization that holds the tax-exempt status as granted by the Internal Revenue Service under code 501(c)(3) and that agrees to act on behalf of an individual or organization that does not yet have tax exemption for the purposes of this grant process.


Acronym for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access.

Independent Body of Work

Artwork/performances are focused on expression of the artist’s own creative or aesthetic ideas, rather than on documentation, journalism or solely commissioned commercial work.

Historically Marginalized

Communities or groups who have been historically and currently denied full participation in mainstream cultural, social, political and economic activities. Marginalized communities can include people of color, women, LGBTQ+, low-income individuals, prisoners, the disabled, senior citizens and many more.

Matching Funds

Some grants, as noted in program guidelines, require recipients to match funding from GCAC dollar for dollar (1:1). This cash match can include cash on hand, admissions, concession sales, grants and board/individual contributions. In-kind donations and services cannot be used towards the match.

Working Artist

Working artists are individuals who are likely paid for performances, sell their artwork or share their independent body of work with the public. The term “artist” applies broadly across disciplines, including dance, fashion, film, literary, music, theatre and visual arts, as well as multi-disciplinary.

Units of Government

GCAC defines a unit of government as agencies, committees, department(s) or operation(s) at the direction of a city, county, state or federal agency.



OPPArt Newsletter

GCAC aims to connect individual artists and arts organizations to opportunities and to each other through a bi-monthly newsletter. This newsletter features information on grant deadlines, free workshops on assorted topics, other funding, event announcements, calls to artists and more.

  • Our website has a space to sign-up for the e-newsletter of your choice (or all three!). Click here to jump to that section of our website and sign up.

Available Art Spaces

GCAC maintains a list of a variety of art spaces for rent submitted by community organizations. You can find a Studio & Spaces link in both “For Artists” and “For Organizations.

Opportunities for Artists

Found under For Artists on the GCAC website, Opportunities for Artists lists calls for artists, events, available non-GCAC grants and job opportunities. You can submit opportunities here as well.

Artist Directory

Columbus-based artists can create a free profile on Art Makes Columbus via the Ohio EventFinder tool to promote their work, links to artist’s work samples and contact information. The directory offers a robust resource for anyone looking to hire artists.

Community & Street Performer/Music Everywhere Program

The Community & Street Performer/Music Everywhere Program, is a project of GCAC in partnership with Music Columbus and other community organizations, paying performers to appear on the streets during events, at outdoor markets and in various venues. Tapping into the amazing talent of our city’s artists, this program shines a spotlight on the creative energy of Columbus.

APPENDIX F: Demographic Data Collection


Basic demographic information will be collected from all applicants/grantees as part of the grant application process. We view data collection as an essential tool to our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We cannot improve until we can identify who we are serving and who is missing. The data collected will serve multiple purposes: to help us understand how we reflect the communities we serve, to utilize data to better serve the needs of our artistic community, and to track our arts community’s progress with Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (I.D.E.A.) efforts.

  • You can read our full Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement and Racial Equity statement here.


Organizations will be required to report on the demographics of their staff and board of directors at the time of the application due date. If demographic information provided shows a majority of board or staff information missing or a pattern of “prefer not to answer”, the application score will reflect a reduction in points.

We are modeling our demographic collection on examples provided by GuideStar/Candid and CHANGE Philanthropy.

When collecting data from staff and board follow these steps and principles:

  • Plan ahead to get complete data – it may take time to get complete surveys from all board/staff.
  • Survey your staff/board in writing: DON’T GUESS, ALWAYS ASK.
  • When surveying board/staff, make all parts voluntary by including a “prefer not to answer” or “decline to state” option for each question.
  • Tell your staff/board how you will store and use demographic information and respect confidentiality.

To assist you with the collection of board and staff demographics, please reference the following tools:

Individual Artists

Demographic information is collected as part of the award process after receiving your grant agreement. You may opt-out of any question by selecting “Prefer not to answer” to some or all questions. Your demographic information will be kept confidential, and your answers will NOT impact current or future funding.

NOTE: If you are an individual artist applying for Artist Project Support, you will not be required to provide board/staff demographics. Simply fill in 0 (zero) for each question.



In 2024, GCAC will pilot a community grant review process for the Artist Projects and Project Support: Events, Festivals, Series grant programs. Community grantmaking, also known as participatory grantmaking, is a process that invites the public to participate in the review and evaluation of applications for selected grant programs.

GCAC staff will train reviewers and guide logistics; however, scores and recommendations for funding will come from the community reviewers, not GCAC staff or board. Community reviewers will submit a form of interest, participate in mandatory training, and come together for an in-person review day. Applications will be assessed on the compelling nature of the project, the evidence of a solid plan for completion, creativity and innovation, and the benefit to the public who will engage with the completed art. This is not an “excellence” award; this is a way to bring accessible art experiences to all parts of our community and help artists, of every discipline, bring to life their artistic vision.

Though new to GCAC, community grantmaking has been in use for decades across the globe and is a tool to shift power dynamics inherent within funding environments. Power is transferred to the community that reflects the many perspectives, identities and interests of our diverse community and it demystifies the grantmaking process, hopefully making more artists and groups more comfortable with applying for funding.

The GCAC board and staff spent considerable time discussing this change and we feel it is an appropriate and effective method for reviewing grant applications in programs that are tied to positive community engagement and impact. The community grantmaking process is an important step in GCAC’s equity work.

Below is a graphic from GrantCraft that provides some additional context.

Deciding Together Image

Below are additional resources that were used in guiding us to this decision:

GrantCraft’s publication Deciding Together: Shifting Power & Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking

Ford Foundation Participatory Grantmaking

Alliance Magazine, Five Reasons to Support Participatory Grantmaking

Grantmakers in the Arts, Arts Funders Sharing Power: Participatory Grantmaking and Our Field, Case Study Workshops