At ArtsWave, we want everyone in Greater Cincinnati to experience the positive benefits of the arts – a more vibrant regional economy and more connected communities.  In fall 2015, ArtsWave released the Blueprint for Collective Action in the Arts which outlines five community goals, a roadmap for their achievement, and a framework for ArtsWave’s community investment strategy and grant programs for the next ten years.

All applicant organizations are asked to demonstrate how their work aligns to one or more of these five strategic areas. We strongly recommend downloading and reviewing this document to familiarize yourself with this framework before applying for ArtsWave support.

While many arts organizations make their primary home in Cincinnati’s downtown core, they are also active with programming in communities throughout the region. ArtsWave helps facilitate this through a program called “ArtsWave Presents”.  


Through this program, ArtsWave partners with CVG Airport to host arts performances and activities throughout the year.  Use this form to apply to participate in this program. 


Learn more about ArtsWave Presents at: https://www.artswave.org/impact/events/artswave-presents

Regional Artist Relief


Grant Program
The Regional Artist Relief program will provide relief funding to Greater Cincinnati artists who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of $1,000 for an expected 100 individual artists will be distributed in two rounds. Grant awards will be based on clear demonstration of lost work and financial hardship due to the coronavirus and are contingent on available funds. Awards will reflect the broadest possible range of diversity based on the applicant pool.


Award Amount: $1,000


Eligible Recipients
Each applicant shall comply with and be able to document/certify the following minimum requirements:

  • Is an individual artist, or teaching artist, working in any artistic discipline*, who earns at least 25% of their livelihood through their artistic craft;
  • Has been a resident of the Greater Cincinnati** region since at least January 1, 2020 and still lives full-time in the region at the time of the grant award;
  • Is 21 years of age or older;
  • Is not currently enrolled in a full-time academic program; and
  • Has not previously received a grant funded by the Cincinnati Arts Access Fund in December 2020.

*Artistic disciplines may include Dance, Music, Opera/Musical Theatre, Theatre, Visual Arts, Design Arts, Crafts, Photography, Media Arts, Literature, Folk/Traditional Arts, Performing Arts, Spoken word or Interdisciplinary Arts

**Applicants must live in the Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSA, which includes the following counties: Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren Counties in Ohio; Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton Counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn, Ohio, and Union Counties in Indiana.


Minimum Documentation Required
Grant applicants are asked to submit the following minimum documentation:

  1. Completed application through ArtsWave’s Grantee Portal;
  2. Contact information;
  3. Description of artistic practice and any relationship to local arts organizations;
  4. Verification of artistic practice through website or digital work samples;
  5. Estimated percentage of livelihood derived from arts: 100%/50%/25%
  6. Declaration of need including statement describing financial insecurity and lost income between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. This can include: a) Financial losses for individual artists due to cancelled events, including performances and exhibitions in all arts disciplines, readings, and other presentation and paid work opportunities and b) Loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of cancelled classes, school closures or other COVID-related disruptions
  7. Proof of work agreements cancelled between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, including formal contracts, MOUs, emails, texts, announcements in media, etc.
  8. Willingness to share their art with members of the public in some way in the year ahead***;
  9. Proof of residency in the Greater Cincinnati region (deed, lease, utility bills, other documentation);
  10. Completed forms: W9 and Vendor Survey; optional Cincinnati Artist Census
  11. Statement of Assurances

***Give Back Request - Award recipients will be asked to create an art work, performance or product of their choosing for the general public, particularly those who are underserved or with limited access to arts experiences, within 12 months. This may be virtually or in-person, as conditions allow. This might involve a neighborhood group, school, senior center, virtual class, public exhibition, outdoor event or other possible creative expression. There is no requirement or expectation that this becomes an expense for the Artist, but rather an opportunity for the community to become better acquainted with your work.


Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity
ArtsWave strongly encourages applications from diverse artists of underrepresented groups, including those who may identify as:

  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
  • LGBTQIA+
  • People of differing abilities

While seeking to provide relief across the entire region, we encourage artists from all artistic disciplines to apply.


Allowable Uses of Grant Funds:

  • living expenses (such as food, housing, utilities, transportation, medical expenses, childcare)
  • transition expenses to adapt and develop skills and crafts necessary to generate income amid the coronavirus pandemic


Timeline and Award Schedule

  • 1/12/21 - Deadline for Round 1 Applications (Award notification letters and acceptance agreements to be emailed on or around 1/19/21)+
  • 1/26/21 - Deadline for Round 2 Applications (Award notification letters and acceptance agreements to be emailed on or around 2/2/21)

All application materials must be submitted through the online grantmaking system by 5:00 pm EST on the deadline date.
+Applications that were deemed eligible but were not able to be funded in the first round will be automatically reconsidered in the second round. This reconsideration DOES NOT guarantee funding. There will be no need to submit another application.

Review & Award Process
ArtsWave will review applicants for eligibility. ArtsWave will determine and issue awards consistent with the available funding pool and guidelines. Funding is limited. We expect to be able to make 100 awards.


Award Disbursement
Grant funds will be disbursed by ArtsWave to the awardee upon receipt of the signed grant acceptance letter agreeing to the terms and conditions of the award.


Application Instructions
All application materials must be submitted via Submittable, ArtsWave’s online grantmaking system. We strongly recommend that you begin your online application well before the due date to familiarize yourself with the online grantmaking system and to address any technical concerns. While completing your application, remember these tips:  

  • Be brief, clear and direct, focusing on what is most important. 
  • Review panelists may have little or no prior knowledge of your organization. Create a stronger application by: 1) not assuming reviewers have extensive knowledge of all artistic disciplines; 2) explaining acronyms; and 3) explaining the characteristics of your community or audience as needed.
  • We recommend that you prepare your responses offline in a word processing program and then copy and paste them into the appropriate sections of the online application.
  • Limit the use of bullets and other formatting in text fields.
  • Add Impact@ArtsWave.org to your safe senders list to ensure that you receive all communications from the online grantmaking system.
  • Use one of the following compatible browsers: Chrome® v.22+, Firefox® version v.27+, Internet Explorer® v.8-10 (if enabled), Internet Explorer v.11, Safari® v.7+, or Edge®.


Contact ArtsWave
Additional application questions may be directed to Krista Bondi, Grant Programs Manager, at krista.bondi@artswave.org

Working Capital Bridge Loan Guidelines


Purpose

The purpose of the Working Capital Bridge Loan is to provide a useful, no-interest financial tool to address demonstrated, short-term cash flow needs of small and mid-sized arts and cultural heritage organizations in Greater Cincinnati. The Working Capital Bridge Loan Fund, first established through a private gift, was expanded in 2009 by a donation from the Weathering the Economic Storm Fund, a collaboration of Cincinnati funders. 


Who May Apply

To be eligible for a Working Capital Bridge Loan, an organization must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a 501(c)3 tax status for a minimum of three years
  • Have a primary mission to provide programs or activities in areas directly concerned with arts or cultural heritage for the general public
  • Be based in the Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSA, which includes the following counties: Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren Counties in Ohio; Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton Counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn, Ohio and Union Counties in Indiana
  • Have at least one FTE of paid or contracted staff
  • Have received funding from ArtsWave in the past 3 years
  • Have an annual operating budget of less than $2M
  • Does not have an outstanding Working Capital Bridge loan or other overdue grant requirements
  • Loan requests to ArtsWave for more than 3 consecutive years are unlikely to be considered without proper justification from the organization’s leadership.


Terms of Loan

Working Capital Bridge Loans will be interest-free and will not exceed $10,000. Loans shall be repaid in full within 12 months. Organizations delinquent in paying the full loan back within 12 months will not be eligible to apply for support for support from ArtsWave for one year after the loan is repaid.


Application

All application materials must be submitted via Submittable, ArtsWave’s online grantmaking system. While completing your application, remember these tips: 

  • Be brief, clear and direct, focusing on what is most important. 
  • We recommend that you prepare your responses offline in a word processing program and then copy and paste them into the appropriate sections of the online application.
  • Limit the use of bullets and other formatting in text fields.
  • Add Impact@ArtsWave.org to your safe senders list to ensure that you receive all communications from the online grantmaking system.
  • Use one of the following compatible browsers: Chrome® v.22+, Firefox® version v.27+, Internet Explorer® v.8-10 (if enabled), Internet Explorer v.11, Safari® v.7+, or Edge®.


The application consists of the following sections:

A. Organization Information

  1. Tax ID
  2. Organization Contact Information
  3. Organizational Leadership
  4. Contact for Loan

B. Loan Request

  1. Reason loan is needed (up to 300 words)
  2. Loan amount requested
  3. Date when funds are needed
  4. How loan funds will be used (up to 125 words)
  5. Source of funds to be used for repayment of loan (up to 125 words)

C. Financial Information

  1. Contact information for individual responsible for financial reporting and management
  2. Availability of financial statements

D. Attachments

  1.  ArtsWave Working Capital Bridge Loan Financial Report Form (attachment, can be accessed via the Apply for Funding page) - Provide a one or two page financial report for revenues, expenses and operating bottom line which includes actuals for your most recently completed fiscal year, year-end projections for your current fiscal year, and a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The percentage change columns between each of the years should also be included along with explanations for variances of 10% or more for total revenue, total expenses and total operating bottom line.
  2. Working Capital Bridge Loan Signature Page (attachment, can be accessed via the Apply for Funding page) - an authorizing official will certify that s/he is authorized to submit the application on behalf of the organization and that the information submitted in the application is true and correct to the best of his/her knowledge.


Repayment Schedule

No payments will be due the first six months of the loan. Six monthly payments of 1/6 of the total loan amount will be due on the 1st day of the month beginning the seventh month of the loan.


Key Dates

  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Review: As quickly as possible
  • Funding Decision: Within 2 weeks of submission
  • Repayment Due: Within 12 months
ArtsWave