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Cincinnati Arts Access Fund

a City of Cincinnati/ArtsWave COVID-19 artist relief grant program

Grant Program

ArtsWave is administering the Cincinnati Arts Access Fund (CAAF), which was established in October 2020 with funding allocated by the City of Cincinnati through the CARES Act for pandemic-related, arts-worker relief. Grants of $1,000 for an expected 200 individual artists who live in the city of Cincinnati will be distributed in two rounds, with all funds distributed before the end of 2020. 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.

Terms and conditions of CAAF grants include:

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 City of Cincinnati since at least January 1, 2020 and still lives full-time in Cincinnati 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 Fund 

*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

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 November 10, 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 November 10, 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 City of Cincinnati (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
  • People of differing abilities

While seeking to provide relief across the entire City of Cincinnati, we encourage artists from neighborhoods outside the central business district/downtown and across 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

  • 11/20/20 - Deadline for Round 1 Applications (Award notification letters and acceptance agreements to be emailed on or around 12/4/20)***
  • 12/4/20 - Deadline for Round 2 Applications (Award notification letters and acceptance agreements to be emailed on or around 12/15/20)****

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. 

****Applications received after 12/4/2020 will be considered IF AND AS additional dollars are raised.

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 200 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

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.