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Individual Excellence Awards

Awards to Ohio Individual Artists for Achievement in Music
Composition, Choreography, Writing, and Other Artistic Disciplines

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Ohio Arts Council (OAC)

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Awards of $5,000 to Ohio individual artists to recognize exceptional achievement across a range of artistic disciplines. Applications will currently be considered in the disciplines of music composition, fiction and nonfiction, criticism, choreography, poetry, and playwriting and screenplays.

The Individual Excellence Awards program recognizes outstanding accomplishments by artists in a variety of disciplines. Awards give artists the resources to experiment and explore their art forms, develop skills and advance their careers, and receive affirmation and acknowledgment for outstanding work.

The Individual Excellence Awards recognize the exceptional merit of an Ohio artist's past body of work. They celebrate the creativity and imagination that exemplify the highest level of achievement in a particular artistic discipline, and may be used for a variety of expenses related to an artist's growth and development.

Any one or a combination of these criteria is sufficient to justify an award recommendation:

1. Exemplifies the highest level of achievement in a discipline
2. Outstanding technical proficiency or craftsmanship
3. Innovation in style and/or concept
4. Body of work is consistently high in quality
5. Creative and inventive use of the medium
6. Compares favorably to other work in the field, either regionally or nationally
7. Advances an art form
8. Artist narrative provides context for the body of work
9. Audiovisual materials are relevant and of high quality

In odd-numbered calendar years (e.g., 2019, 2021), applications are accepted in choreography; criticism; fiction/non-fiction; music composition; playwriting/screenplays; and poetry.

In even-numbered calendar years (e.g., 2018, 2020), applications are accepted in crafts; design arts/illustration; interdisciplinary, collaborative and performance art; media arts; photography; visual arts 2D; and visual arts 3D.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178200

Estimated Size of Grant:

Individual Excellence Awards are $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period is May 1 – November 30.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Creative artists who are residents of Ohio may apply to this program. Applicants must have lived in Ohio for one year prior to the September 1 deadline, and must remain in the state throughout the grant period.

Applicants must be at least eighteen years of age.

Up to two artists who worked together to create a body of work, and who plan to continue working together, may apply collaboratively, with each artist retaining creative ownership of the completed artwork. If awarded an Individual Excellence Award, the collaborative applicants split the award equally. Collaborative artists must each submit an application with the same narrative on each application, and each must submit the same required support materials.

Students attending high school or students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees at the time of application may not apply.

Past Individual Excellence Award recipients are not eligible to apply at the next calendar deadline.

Awards may not be used for enrolling in or continuing a degree-granting program.

For a list of Funding Restrictions, see

Pre-Application Information:

The following timeline outlines the Individual Excellence Awards grant lifecycle. Any deadline falling on a Saturday, Sunday, or state holiday, is extended until the next business day.

- Application Available In ARTIE: June 1
- Application Deadline: September 1
- Panel Meetings: Late November/Early December
- Grant Award Notification: Early January
- Grant Award Ratification by OAC Board: March/April
- Grant Award Announcement to Media: March/April
- Signed Grant Agreement Deadline: April 30
- Final Report Deadline: December 31

Artists may submit only one application per calendar year, unless applying in the Criticism discipline, in which a second application for a separate body of work may be submitted.

Past work that resulted in an Individual Excellence Award may not be resubmitted at future deadlines; resubmission of funded work will result in disqualification from the review process.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

Kathy Signorino, Coordinator

Rhodes State Office Tower
30 E. Broad Street, 33rd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3414
Phone: 614-466-2613

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio