This page may contain outdated information or an application that is no longer in use. Visit for the latest OAC news and resources.




Dedicated individuals working in the folk and traditional arts, through their creativity, excellence, and service, reflect the history, practices, beliefs, and values of diverse peoples throughout Ohio. The Ohio Heritage Fellowship program was created to honor and celebrate these living cultural treasures, and to ensure that those who are working in the folk and traditional arts have an essential place in the present and future of Ohio. Award recipients are recognized within their communities as exemplary practitioners of a folk or traditional art form with work of the highest quality and authenticity. Through an open nomination process and careful consideration by recognized professionals in the field, the Ohio Heritage Fellowship program offers statewide visibility and a one-time financial award that allows master artists and community leaders to share their expertise and promote the awareness of folk and traditional cultures. The OAC values the history and background of each citizen of our state and recognizes that the quality of life in Ohio depends on the continued vitality of traditions of every kind. Ohio Heritage Fellows represent the best of those things that make us unique combined with the most enduring of that which is common to all.

Nomination Deadline: March 15


The Ohio Heritage Fellowship program recognizes Ohio folk and traditional artists who are the finest and most influential masters of their particular art forms and traditions, and whose work in the folk and traditional arts have had a significant impact on the people and communities of the state. Awards are given in three categories: Performing Arts, Material Culture (e.g., folk art, folk crafts and folk architecture), and Community Leadership. The OAC expects awardees to adhere to cultural artistic traditions and work to maintain the aesthetics and preservation of their art form, while also contributing to the public visibility of the folk and traditional arts; be actively participating in their art form as a practitioner, a mentor, teacher, or community leader; and be creating works of depth and brilliance that deepen our awareness of the rich and diverse cultural and artistic traditions of the people of Ohio.

Allowable Expenses
Ohio Heritage Fellowship awards may be used for a variety of expenses related to the growth and development of artists and their work. The award may be used for any purpose designated by the receiving individual except to continue their education through a degree-granting program.

Grant Awards
Ohio Heritage Fellowship awards are $5,000. Grant amounts are recommended by a review panel. All recommendations must be approved by the OAC board.


Individuals must be nominated in order to receive an award from the Ohio Heritage Fellowship program. Individuals may not nominate themselves. Nominees must have lived in Ohio for one year prior to the deadline.


The Ohio Heritage Fellowship program nomination form is NOT part of ARTIE. The nomination form is available online at:

Application Basics
Although the OAC does not accept draft nominations, we will answer any questions you have about your nomination prior to the deadline. Applicants must be sure to submit their nomination electronically by 5 p.m. on the final deadline date. If the nomination is not officially submitted electronically, it will not be accepted. Nominations remain active for three years and will be reviewed annually. Information may be added to a nomination during this three-year period.

Support Materials
To complete a nomination for this program, all nominators must submit one complete set of support materials to the OAC, along with discipline-specific work samples. Nominations that do not include support materials will not be accepted. All support materials should represent the folk or traditional art form of the nominee.

Support materials should include:

  • Three or more letters of support for the nominee. Letters of support should be from community members who are knowledgeable about the traditional art form.
  • Work Samples. Submit samples of work (e.g., DVDs, videotapes, cassettes, audio CDs, CD-ROMs, color slides or photographs) that demonstrate artistic quality and technical ability. This enables the selection panel to evaluate nominees. These samples may be submitted together on a single disk or tape or they may be submitted separately. Panelists may review some or all of submitted material. All audiovisual work samples must be accompanied by a cover sheet for work samples. Work samples that do not adhere to the Guidelines will not be reviewed.

Discipline-specific work samples:

  • Folk Craft: Submit five to 10 images of the work of the master artist. Digital images on disk are preferred. If possible, include an image that shows the place in which the artist's work is created.
  • Music/Verbal Arts: Submit one copy of one sound recording (on CD, DVD, or videocassette) of the master artist. Provide a list identifying the performers, instruments, and material being presented. Be sure to describe the typical audience and venue for this music/verbal art form on the cover sheet for work samples. Indicate track number(s) or cue tape to preferred starting point.
  • Dance/Ethnic Theatre: Submit one copy of one video (on DVD or videocassette) of the master artist that best demonstrates the quality of the work. Label the DVD or video with the title and length of work. Provide a list with a description of the dance form or theatre, the performers, and the typical venue on the cover sheet for work samples. Indicate track number(s) or cue tape to preferred starting point.
  • Community Leadership/Other:Support materials, such as brochures, newspapers and magazine articles, exhibition catalogues or programs may be submitted.

Slides, audiotapes, and videotapes submitted with applications will be returned if a mailer large enough to hold them is included with the application. The return mailer must have the appropriate amount of U.S. postage. Do not send cash, checks, or Federal Express mailers for the return of materials. If an addressed, stamped mailer is not included with the application, support materials will be kept for one year and then discarded or recycled.

Support materials must be received in the OAC office no more than seven calendar days after the application deadline date by 5 p.m. (regardless of postmarked date). If the support materials do not reach the OAC within this timeframe, the nomination will not be accepted.

The timeline below presents a general outline of the grant nomination process for the Ohio Heritage Fellowship. Please note that if a deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state holiday, the deadline will be extended until the next business day.

Nomination form available online July 1
Final nomination deadline March 15
Support material deadline 7 calendar days following the application deadline
Panel review meeting May
Award announcement July
Signed grant agreement deadline August 30
Grant period July 1 - June 30
Final report deadline 30 days after program ends

Evaluation and Scoring
A panel of folklorists, arts professionals and other community members evaluates and scores Ohio Heritage Fellowship applications and support materials. At the panel meeting, an evaluative discussion will take place for each application. The review process is competitive; only exemplary nominations will be recommended.

Review Criteria
Panelists use a combination of the following criteria to make award recipient recommendations. Any one or a combination of criteria is sufficient to substantiate an award recommendation:

  • Work reflects the highest quality of craftsmanship, design and authenticity.
  • Body of work is consistently high in quality.
  • The artist is recognized within his/her community as an exemplary practitioner of a folk or traditional art form.
  • Learned his/her art form through informal study and by carefully watching, listening and doing.
  • Creates works of depth and brilliance that deepen our awareness of the rich and diverse cultural and artistic traditions of the people of Ohio.
  • Participates in his/her art form as a practitioner, mentor, teacher or leader.
  • Adheres to cultural artistic traditions and works to maintain the aesthetics and preservation of their art form, while also contributing to the public visibility of traditional arts, crafts and artists.
  • Audiovisual materials are relevant and high quality.

      back to top