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Arts Access—Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between the Project Support and Operating Support grants available in this program?
There are several differences.  Operating Support grants are awarded for yearlong programming (or ongoing seasonal programming), while Project Support grants are for short-term or one-time projects.  Only organizations with annual budgets under $30,000 may apply for Operating Support through this program.  Operating Support grants are awarded at the March 1 deadline only, whereas Project Support grants are awarded at both the March 1 and September 1 deadlines.  Applicants requesting Operating Support should discuss the entirety of their planned programming during the grant period in the application; those requesting Project Support should focus on the details of the particular project for which they are applying.  To learn more about the eligibility requirements of each kind of Arts Access funding, consult the Guidelines for this program.

2. Will Operating Support and Project Support applications be reviewed, scored or funded differently?
No.  Both sets of applications will be reviewed by the same set of panelists at the same meeting using the same review criteria.  The Operating Support applications will be reviewed together and the Project Support applications will be reviewed together.  Funding for both sets of grants comes from the same Arts Access budget, and grant ranges and match requirements are identical.

3. Are all past Arts Access grantees eligible for this program?
No.  All organizations must meet current Arts Access eligibility requirements.  If your organization's annual budget is over $30,000 and has had more than two OAC grants in four years, it is ineligible to apply for Arts Access and should instead apply to the Sustainability program.

4. My organization applied to the Sustainability program but was turned down; are we eligible for Arts Access support?
Yes.  If your organization applied for but did not receive Sustainability support, you can apply during the following fiscal year for Arts Access (Project Support only) before returning to request Sustainability support again.  If your organization receives funding through Arts Access (and has an annual budget above $30,000), it will be eligible for Sustainability again at the next deadline.  Note: if your organization is turned down at the Sustainability program in the spring, it may not apply to the Arts Access program that same fall; however, it would be eligible to apply the following year in the spring or fall.

4.  How is the Arts Access program different from the Arts Innovation program?

Both programs fund projects.  However, applicants to the Arts Innovation program must demonstrate that their programming is new and innovative in one of a variety of ways in order to be competitive.  Project Support grants through the Arts Access program need only demonstrate their merit according to the stated review criteria, and need not be new to their organizations.  Grant ranges for the two programs are also different.  For more information, refer to the review criteria for each program in the Guidelines.

5. How can I tell if my organization's past OAC grant awards will be considered as part of its eligibility for Arts Access or Sustainability?
Every OAC grant awarded through the ARTIE system is considered part of an organization's grant history with the OAC.  Both the Arts Access and Sustainability programs consider grants received by an organization in the last four fiscal years as part of their eligibility requirements (see program guidelines for details).  Because the ARTIE system was launched in the 2006 fiscal year, all relevant OAC grant awards your organization has received are viewable in your OLGA account (see your Archives section to review them).  Any OAC grant that your organization received that is viewable in OLGA counts towards your eligibility for Sustainability.

6. I missed the deadline for the Arts Access program; is emergency or special assistance available?
No, the OAC no longer has a mini-grant program available.  If possible, you may wish to consider applying to the next Arts Access deadline (March 1 and September 1 annually) or pursue other funding options.  If your organization's mission, programming and staff are culturally diverse, you may wish to review the guidelines for the Building Cultural Diversity Initiative, which has a rolling monthly deadline and may be appropriate for your programming.  You may also wish to consider applying to the Capacity Building program that also has a rolling monthly deadline.

7. What types of projects are funded in this program?
Arts Access grants can support a wide variety of projects, as well as ongoing operating support for small organizations (with annual budgets under $30,000).  Many organizations choose to devote their grant award to administrative or artistic expenses, but educational expenses, evaluation, program planning and many other expenses are allowable.

8. What support materials are required as part of my organization's application?
After applying online via the OnLine Grant Application system (ARTIE), applicants must mail (or hand deliver) a signed hard copy of their application to the Ohio Arts Council office in Columbus, along with a complete packet of support materials.  Different programs require different support materials. Appendix H of the Guidelines details which pieces are required of every Arts Access applicant, which are recommended (but optional) to make your application competitive, and which are recommended only for your specific application.  The signed application and support materials packet are due seven calendar days following the deadline by 5 p.m.

9. What is the cash match required for the Arts Access program?
There is a 1:1 match required for all organizational grants. Cash and some documented in-kind donations are allowable as part of that match.





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