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.

Boardway Bound is comprised of six sessions focused on introducing leaders to the Cincinnati region's arts sector, preparing leaders for arts board service, and connecting leaders to an arts board. Sessions are conducted by local arts and business leaders, including ArtsWave staff leaders. In the final session, candidates will meet with their top arts organization choices for board service in a fast-paced interview process.

Candidate Qualifications: Applicants are accomplished, diverse and motivated professionals who wish to engage in leadership opportunities within the region’s arts sector. Participants typically have minimal board experience yet desire professional development in governance best practices. All participants must commit to attending the sessions and completing assigned reading and exercises.

2022 Session Dates will be in person at ArtsWave, 20 E. Central Parkway

  • Thursday, October 20 | 3:30-6:00
  • Thursday, October 27 | 3:30-6:00
  • Thursday, November 3 | 3:30-6:00
  • Thursday, November 10 | 3:30-6:00
  • Thursday, November 17 | 3:30-6:00
  • Thursday, December 1 | 3:30-6:00

Tuition: $950, usually underwritten by the employer and payable by September 1. A limited number of scholarships are available on an as-needed and as-available basis. Contact ArtsWave to discuss this opportunity.

Thank you for your interest! We will be in touch on or after July 15 to update you on the status of your application.

Boardway Bound, ArtsWave's signature nonprofit arts board leadership and development program, returns this fall in time for the restart of the arts, preparing and matching a new class of talented business professionals with local arts boards.  Boardway Bound has trained and placed more than 400 candidates on arts boards throughout Greater Cincinnati since 2004.

If you are a nonprofit Arts & Culture organization that would like to build your Board, complete and submit the following application by June 15, 2022 at 5:00 pm. Prospective Arts Clients will be invited to participate based upon the number of class members enrolled. ArtsWave will notify you of your application status by the end of July.

Key Dates for Arts Clients:

  • Arts Client Orientation: Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 10:00 am via Zoom
  • Elevator Speech Video: Arts Clients will create a 2-minute video introducing the organization to Boardway Bound participants. Videos should be submitted by Friday, September 30, 2022. Further instruction will be provided at orientation.
  • “Speed Dating”:  A chance for participants and Clients to meet and vet one another in a fun but structured format. Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 3:30-6:00 pm.  This may be on Zoom or in person.
  • OPTIONAL: Participate in one networking session that will be held from 3:30-4:00 pm, prior to each session.

Responsibilities of Arts Clients:

  • The organization agrees to attend Arts Client Orientation on , September 9 at 10:00 am on Zoom, to create a two-minute introductory video by the September 30, 2022 deadline and to participate in the "Speed Dating" session on Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 3:30-6:00 pm
  • If there is a positive match between your organization and a class member after Speed Dating, we then suggest a more in-depth interview and onboarding process to determine the best path for joining your board.

Please note: We do everything we can to create a productive match between board candidates and Arts Clients. However, it is possible that your organization will not be matched with a board candidate depending upon the number of participants and their individual interests.

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