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.


The following is an overview of ArtsWave’s FY25 Sustaining Impact Grant renewal process. Additional news, updates, and events will be posted on the ArtsWave website and distributed via email. 

 We strongly recommend that you begin your online renewal application well before the due date to familiarize yourself with Submittable, ArtsWave’s online grantmaking system, and to address any technical concerns. Technical issues do not excuse late submissions. 

 Continued Eligibility 

To continue to be eligible for FY25 Sustaining Impact support, an organization must meet all the following requirements and receive an invitation from ArtsWave to apply:

  • Have a primary mission to provide programs or activities in areas directly concerned with arts or cultural heritage for the public as demonstrated by 51+% of annual operating budget dedicated to arts programming; 

  • Be based in ArtsWave’s 15-county 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, Franklin and Ohio Counties in Indiana.  

  • Have a 501(c)3 tax status for five or more years for the Small and Midsize Regional categories OR 10 or more years for the Large Regional category; 

  • Employ at least 1 FTE paid and/or contract professional and/or administrative staff (full-time is defined as an average of 30 hours per week split between no more than 2 paid staff); 

  • Have maintained a balanced budget over the organization’s past three fiscal years OR have less than 10% accumulated deficit of annual operating budget;  

  • Have at least three board members in legal compliance in Ohio and with the IRS; and 

  • For Midsize Regional and Large Regional organizations ONLY: have maintained a current ratio of 2 or greater over the past three fiscal years. 

Eligibility will be confirmed annually. Changes in eligibility status will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will not necessarily result in immediate suspension from the grant program.

ArtsWave will not award grant support to organizations that, in their constitution, bylaws, or practices, discriminate against a person or group because of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, citizenship, or religious belief. In doing so, we seek to promote respect for all people.  

Working Capital Bridge Loan Guidelines


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.


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 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