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Greater Columbus Arts Council Introduces New Grant and Community-Based Grant Review Process

in Press Releases February 29, 2024 3 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) is introducing a new grant program for individuals, Artist Projects, and a new grant review process that allows the public to participate in the funding process.

About Artist Projects

Starting March 1, Artist Projects applications are available to artists in one or more of the following disciplines: dance, fashion, film, literary, music, theater and visual arts. It offers support for original artistic projects that involve art creation and have an end result where the public can experience the art created. The program evolved out of previous GCAC grant programs like Big Ideas, the Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship and organizational Project Support.

The program offers awards of up to $10,000 to at least 50 artists. An additional eight awards designated for filmmakers are available at a higher amount of $10,000 – $25,000. The program requires that any artists involved be paid.

Artist Projects will be available in two rounds in 2024. The first opens on March 1 and closes April 1; the second will be open from Aug. 1-30.

More information and application links for Artists Projects can be found here:

Organization Project Support is still available for nonprofits, and those applications open on April 1 and close May 1. More information and applications can be found here:

About Community Grantmaking

Starting in 2024, the new Artist Projects program and GCAC’s existing Project Support grant program will be awarded through a pilot community-based review process.

Starting March 1 for Artist Projects, any member of the public can sign up to be a reviewer by submitting a short form indicating interest by April 1. Community reviewers must agree to participate in mandatory training and come together for an in-person review day. 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. Artists applying for the grants are invited to participate as a community reviewer for applications from other applicants.

Applications will be assessed on the compelling nature of the project; the evidence of a solid plan for completion; creativity and artistic vision; and the benefit to the public who will engage with the completed art.

The community grantmaking process for Project Support will be announced later this spring; the process will involve a smaller group of invited community reviewers but follow the same principles of the movement.

Community grantmaking is an important step in GCAC’s equity work and its commitment to collective decision-making. 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 to reflect the many perspectives, identities and interests of our diverse community. Community grantmaking also demystifies the grantmaking process, with the intention of making more artists and groups more comfortable with applying for funding.

Currently only the two project-based grants programs will utilize the community-based review process. Other models used for grants and fellowships include noncompetitive/eligibility-based reviews, board and staff committee reviews, and national expert-led jury reviews.

“Community Grantmaking is at the heart of GCAC’s vision for ‘a thriving Columbus where the arts matter to all of us,’” said GCAC President and CEO Tom Katzenmeyer. “By involving applicants, artists, advocates, audiences, volunteers and supporters, we place our community at the center of funding decisions. We’re thrilled to pilot this program in 2024 and gather many voices to engage with the grant review process.”

To learn more about the community-based grantmaking process and to apply to be a community reviewer (form opens March 1), visit

The public can learn more about the general process of community or participatory grantmaking here:

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners, the Ohio Arts Council and The Ohio State University.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492