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2024 Artist Projects

Application Portal
Application Portal


Support artist creation in all disciplines and bring original, artist-led projects to life.


Who is eligible to apply?

This grant program is for artists in the following disciplines: dance, fashion, film, literary, music, theatre, visual arts and multidisciplinary who meet the following criteria:

  • Are working artists (age 18 and older):
    • GCAC Definition of a Working Artist:
      • Has a portfolio, body of work, collection, published works, or performance history;
      • Is likely paid for performances, sells their artwork, or is otherwise compensated for their artistic creation;
      • Routinely dedicates time to the creation of art and regularly shares their artwork with the public through performances, film festivals, fashion shows, publishing, exhibitions, etc.;
      • May have formal or informal training and seeks to improve their artistic skillset; actively engages with artistic community;
      • Is focused on expressing their own creative and aesthetic ideas, rather than on documentation or journalism.
    • Residency in Franklin County for at least one year prior to application; OR
      • Residency in a county bordering Franklin County for at least one year prior to application AND primarily exhibit, perform, produce or present artistic work in the city of Columbus; (you will be required to upload proof of residency after you are awarded before any funds are dispersed.)
    • Are NOT enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate students.

What types of projects are eligible?

  • Projects that are created and led by an artist or group of artists that involves the creation of art and meets the following criteria:
    • Takes place within Franklin County;
    • Demonstrates payment to professional artist or artists involved (applicant may pay themselves); AND
    • Has a defined end result that allow the public to experience the art created
      • Performances, exhibitions, installations, festivals, locally-produced films/tv series, published works, recordings, art experiences, and community events where the arts are at the core.

What types of projects are NOT eligible?

  • Fundraising events
  • Competitions/award shows
  • Previously completed activities (no reimbursements)
  • Nonprofit-led projects (artists may not apply for funds related to a nonprofit-produced performance, exhibit, event, call to artists, etc.)
    • From start to end, projects must be led by applicant (including original concept of project, selection of artist(s), creation of art, disseminating to the public, marketing of the project, etc.)
  • Requests that overlap with the following GCAC funding programs: Project Support, General Support, Operating Support

Note: If you are unsure if your project meets the eligibility requirements, please contact Khaila Carr at before starting the application.

How much can I apply for?

Applicants of all disciplines can apply for up to $10,000. Eight filmmakers will be awarded up to $25,000; additional awards may be given to filmmakers up to $10,000.

It is anticipated that around 50 Artist Projects will be selected to receive an award in 2024 (approx. 25 per round).

How often can I receive funds?

Applicants can receive one Artist Projects grant each calendar year. If you submit an application and are not selected, you may reapply another round.

When are applications due?

Applications will be accepted twice a year.


Round 1
Applications Open March 1, 2024
Applications Due April 1st, 2024 at 5:00pm
Applicants Notified On or before May 31st, 2024
Project Earliest Start Date June 1, 2024
Project Must Be Completed By: July 31, 2025
Final Report Due 30 days following Project End Date
Round 2
Applications Open August 1st, 2024
Applications Due August 30th, 2024 at 5:00pm
Applicants Notified On or before October 31st, 2024
Project Earliest Start Date November 1, 2024
Project Must Be Completed By: December 31, 2025
Final Report Due 30 days following Project End Date

Application Questions & Uploads

What are the application questions?

  • Project Start Date
  • Project End Date
  • Tell us about the original project that you’d like to bring to life. Provide a rough timeline from planning to execution. Tentative plans are acceptable.
    • Note: All projects must be the original concept of the applicant. Continuing projects must include an update, evolution of work, or new version. 
  • How many artists will be paid?
    • Note: Projects may be solo or group projects. Applicant may be the only artist paid. 
  • Who are you engaging with as part of the project (other artists, venues/spaces, community members, nonprofit partners, collaborators, local businesses)?
  • What is innovative about your idea? What makes you excited about this project?
  • What is the end result expected at the completion of the project? How will the public experience the art once completed?
  • What experience do you have leading this type of project?
  • Upload your artistic resume (PDF format ONLY)
  • OPTIONAL: Upload up to 3 files of additional materials that may support your application (PDF format ONLY – you may include links, images, or written content within the PDFs).
    • Examples: artistic work samples, links to materials, past project photos, publicity articles, artist statement, letters of support from partners, additional project plans, etc.
    • Note: Files uploaded should be short and not take more than 5 minutes to review. 

How do I complete the budget section of the full application?

Click on the “Add/View Budget” button. Think about all of your costs related to your project from start to finish (venue, marketing, print materials, contractors, insurance, supplies, artist fees), add a line by clicking the plus (+) button for each expense you will have. Estimate the costs based on your research. If your project will generate income (ticket or merchandise sales, sponsorships, donations, etc.), enter a line for each income source. It is not required that you have an income source outside of grant funds. All project funds (from GCAC or other sources) should be invested in the project (i.e. projects should not be profit-generating).

What assistance is available for completing an online application?

  • Live and recorded walk-throughs of the application process will be available on our Workshop page:
  • Prior to each deadline, GCAC will host drop-in writing sessions, where staff and GCAC Navigators will be available to answer questions. Artists are also encouraged to do peer reviews at these meetings.
  • If you do not have access to a reliable computer, a computer lab is available for filling out applications at the main GCAC offices Mon-Wednesday during business hours. To reserve a computer, please email at least 3 days before your requested reservation time.

After Submitting – Reviews & Scoring

Initial Review

Following the deadline, applications and supplemental materials will be reviewed by Grants & Community Engagement staff members to make sure the application is complete and meets eligibility.

In the case that more than 60 applications are received in one round, a small committee will review and determine which applications will move forward to the community grantmaking process. Due to budgetary constraints, no more than 60 applicants will be considered in each round.

Evaluation, scoring and voting

NEW IN 2024: This grant program will utilize a community grantmaking process that will invite the public to participate in the review and evaluation of 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. Though new to GCAC, community grantmaking has been in use for decades across the globe and it is 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.

Click here to read more about community grantmaking and sign up to participate.

Artist Projects will be scored out of 40 total points:

  • Compelling project with arts at the core (up to 10 points)
  • Creativity & Artistic Concept (up to 10 points)
  • Evidence of a solid plan for completion (up to 10 points)
  • Benefit to the public who will engage with the completed project (up to 10 points)


Grant approvals are based on evaluations and available funding. Following a vote from the GCAC Board of Trustees, applicants will be notified by email of the application award status (approved, approved with contingencies, or declined). You will receive reviewer/committee notes (if applicable) and a score in the notification email.

After Awarded – Contracts, Payments, Reporting

Grant Agreement

Following the approval of a grant, a grant agreement specifying the terms of the grant will be available in the online application portal by clicking the “Contracts to Complete” button. To accept the award, review the grant agreement and digitally sign by the date indicated. No changes in the proposed project can occur without prior written approval from GCAC. Failure to properly notify and/or obtain approval could result in the cancellation of the remaining grant and impact future funding eligibility.

Payments and Spending the Funds

Grantees will receive 90% of their grant award following the receipt of a digitally signed Grant Agreement. The remaining 10% will be paid following receipt and approval of the final report.

Grantees may choose to have payments issued:

  • To the artist grantee personally (Social Security Number is collected and a 1099 will be issued);
  • To the artist’s or artist’s group LLC (W-9 is collected and a 1099 will be issued); OR
  • To a fiscal sponsor nonprofit organization (this option is recommended for grantees who want administrative and financial management support for the project; fiscal sponsorship may have reduce tax liability)

For faster and dependable delivery, all payments will be issued through ACH Direct Deposit. To set up, banking information is collected (or updated with changes) as part of the grant agreement and is stored securely.

NOTE: Payments may take up to four weeks to be processed.

Invitation & Tickets

GCAC makes an effort to engage with as many projects as possible by attending events and activities funded through our grant programs. Please add to your email list for the project. Upon request of the Grants & Community Engagement team, please make available up to four tickets for events so that staff or trustees can experience your programming live and to become better advocates for the arts in Columbus.

Final Reports

Final Reports are due 30 days following the Project End Date as listed in your grant application. To complete the Final Report, login to the online application system, and click on “Reports to Complete”. Extensions may be requested in writing before the Final Report due date. Failure to submit a Final Report within 90 days of the due date will result in the cancellation of the remaining grant disbursement. Overdue or failure to submit final complete reports may affect eligibility and impact grant awards in future applications.

Publicity Requirements

Publicity/Donor Acknowledgement

Once you are awarded, say “Thanks!” in a public way. GCAC requires that all organizations and artists receiving funding demonstrate the public value of the arts by making others aware of awards received and acknowledging public funders.

Artist Projects grantees should credit GCAC for all project activities as detailed in the application utilizing website pages, social media posts and events, print materials, curtain speeches, e-newsletters and on-site signage, as is relevant for the project. Refer to APPENDIX A for more details of the contractual publicity requirements.

Artist Projects: FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions we have been receiving regarding Artist Projects, please reach out to or if you don’t see your question(s) answered below.

  • Is a published book/comic/graphic novel considered an eligible project? 
    • Yes! Published works have a defined end result that allow for the public (readers) to experience the work created. 
  • Does the end result have to be an event? 
    • Nope! The end result can look like a performance, exhibition, installation, festival, film/tv series, published work, recording, art experience, and/or community event where the arts are at the core. 
  • Can I use the grant to travel or to tour? 
    • Yes, only if it is necessary in the creation or nature of the project. We discourage travel for “inspiration” – a large portion of your grant budget should not be dedicated to travel or touring. It is okay to film/perform/exhibit elsewhere, but most of the project should be produced/recorded/exhibited within Franklin County. 
  • Can I record an album with this grant? 
    • Yes! 
  • Can I work with artists outside of Columbus? 
    • Yes! However, the applicant must have Franklin County residency. It is okay to collaborate with others from outside of Columbus. 
  • Are Cultural Festivals eligible? 
    • If it’s an artist-led project, yes! Please also see Cultural Festival Funding if this is a festival that has taken place at least once in the past. 
  • Can I apply on behalf of a business? 
    • No. Individuals must apply and be a working artist. If you are a business and have a project idea, we encourage you to reach out to local artists in collaboration. 
  • Can I apply for support on a project that already has some GCAC funding? 
    • No, we discourage “double-dipping” between grant programs.  
  • Can I apply with a pre-existing/on-going project? 
    • Yes – continuing projects must include an update, evolution of work, or new version. 
  • Can I apply for Artist Projects and Funds for Artists? 
    • Yes! 
  • Can I use Artist Projects on personal supplies and/or studio needs? 
  • Do I need to have a venue/space secured when I apply? 
    • No, tentative plans are ok! We encourage you to think of alternatives in case plans fall through. 
  • How many artists will be awarded? 
    • It’s estimated that 60 artists over the course of 2 rounds will be funded.  
  • Can an organization apply? My organization is not a registered non-profit, so we can’t apply for Project Support. 
    • No, applications and projects must be artist-led. If you are an artist involved with an organization, your project must not overlap with Operating Support, General Support, or Project Support. 
  • I’m a filmmaker. My film has a lower budget, so do I absolutely have to request $25,000? 
    • No! You can request a lower amount.  
  • Are online events/projects eligible? 
    • Yes, if it is inherent or necessary for the project. Think about how the online project might benefit the community.  
  • What do you mean by “compelling”? 
    • Applications are being reviewed and scored by the public, as part of a community review process. Projects should demonstrate artistic, community, and/or cultural value.  
    • Ask yourself what types of projects you are enthusiastic about! What would you want to see in your arts community? 
    • Ask yourself “Why THIS project in Columbus right now? Whose story is being told? Who does this project serve? What stands out about this project?” 
  • Are tv shows eligible? 
    • Yes – locally produced tv series are eligible. 
  • Can I still apply for Artist Projects if I’m a fellowship or award recipient? 
    • Yes – most fellowships and awards have unrestricted income!
  • What is Community grantmaking?
    • 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.
  • When/what is the Community Review Day? Can I participate even though I am applying for this grant?
    • On May 4th, all reviewers will come together in small groups with their notes and initial scores to discuss each application and agree on final scoring recommendations.
    • Yes! Community grantmaking is for ALL. Grant applicants may also be part of the process and help review applications from other applicants. We encourage you to sign-up and share with those in your reach!
    • Click here to read more about Community Review Day!