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Emergency Response Grants for Arts & Culture Organization Guidelines


Greater Cincinnati’s arts and cultural organizations were among the first to be impacted by COVID-19 as mass public gatherings were banned. ArtsWave recognizes the immediate loss of income you are facing and the unprecedented disruption to your creative practices as a result of the cancellation or postponement of arts, cultural and community events.

ArtsWave is working rapidly to respond to and address the needs of the arts and culture sector in our region.

To the extent that funding is available, the ArtsWave Emergency Response Grants for Arts & Culture Organizations program will make fast-tracked grants of up to $20,000 available to small and mid-sized organizations facing extreme threat to their viability and sustainability due to the coronavirus outbreak and resulting cancellation of events.

Who May Apply

To be eligible for the FY2020 Emergency Response for Arts & Culture Organizations Program, an organization must meet all the following requirements:

  • Have a 501(c)3 tax status, be non-profit in nature, or have a non-profit fiscal agent (for-profit businesses are ineligible for grant funding);
  • Have a majority (51%+) of the organization’s annual expenditures dedicated to arts and cultural activities;
  • Have an annual operating budget (across three-year average of FY17, FY18, and FY19) of $3.5 million or less;
  • 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);
  • Have received some form of funding support (either through grant program, sponsorship, and/or contracted funding) from ArtsWave within the last four of ArtsWave’s fiscal years (four-year period = Sept. 1, 2015 – Present);
  • 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;
  • Share ArtsWave’ s commitment to access, equity, and inclusion.

ArtsWave will not award grant support to organizations that, in their constitution, bylaws, or practices, discriminates 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.

Eligible Requests

ArtsWave is accepting applications from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky arts and cultural organizations that have been directly impacted by the Coronavirus. Applications should detail unexpected loss of revenue and/or unexpected increases in expenses as a result of this pandemic. 

Criteria for support

Funding in this program is limited. Submission of an application does not guarantee funding. Requests will be assessed by ArtsWave based on the immediate severity of threat to the organization’s sustainability and threat to its ability to impact our community’s economic vibrancy and social connectivity in brighter days, as shown by required financial disclosures and description/estimation of losses/expenses and threat to mission in the application.

Grant Amounts

If your application is determined to be advanced for Emergency funding, the grant amount will be determined based on the organization’s averaged operating budget over the last three fiscal years (FY17, 18 and 19).

Budget Size -- Grant Amount

  • Less than $100,000 -- up to $2,500
  • $100,000 - $300,000 -- up to $4,000
  • $301,000 - $500,000 -- up to $5,000
  • $501,000 - $1,000,000 -- up to $7,500
  • $1,000,001 - $2,000,000 -- up to $10,000
  • $2,000,001 - $3,500,000 -- up to $20,000

If this level of emergency funding will not meet your anticipated need, you may be eligible to apply for ArtsWave’s Working Capital Bridge Loan program as well. Click here to view the guidelines.

Key Dates

Round 1 

Rolling Application Deadline: March 23 - March 27, 2020, 5PM EST

Anticipated Funding Decision: April 1, 2020

Round 2

Rolling Application Deadline: March 28 - April 8, 2020, 5PM EST

Anticipated Funding Decision: April 15, 2020

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.