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Meet the Staff: Patrick Hughes

Meet the Staff: Patrick Hughes, Investment Associate

The Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) team has grown once again! Meet Patrick Hughes, our new investment associate. Patrick has grown up in Columbus, Ohio, and has always been active in the city’s vibrant art scene. These experiences have led him here, where he is very excited to learn and make a difference at the OAC.

Q: How did you get started in the arts world?
So, I guess I’ve always been a part of the arts world in Columbus. During college, I was in involved in local art scenes and would write grants for some of my friends who are artists, dancers, or filmmakers. That’s how I got started professionally because I was then recommended through a friend for a job with the King Arts Complex. Since I graduated from Ohio State University in 2015, I’ve been working in the arts. I landed here in the investment office because my favorite part about it was grants and development.

Q: What does it mean to be part of the OAC?
Well, I think what to drew me most to the OAC is my interest in the way the arts are funded and grant writing. I think it’s important for the arts to be funded, and I thought I could do more substantial work here and have a wider reach in the arts. I think it’s important to fund the arts, and I want to affect the way that it’s spent in a good and responsible way. I want to be a part of that. It’s very exciting to be a part of distributing those funds.

Q: What do like to do outside of the office?
Well, I love cooking, I love reading, and I love journaling. I like going to concerts and art exhibitions. Overall, I like to keep my social life vibrant and time alone vibrant as well.

Q: What were you doing before the OAC?
At OSU I studied English and folklore, which really helped a lot with my blossoming career in the arts because that’s how I ended up grant writing for friends and learning more about the process. Then I started doing a lot more PR and communications. During school I also worked at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Then I worked at the King Arts Complex for a few years doing PR and communications and little bit of everything, as non-profit work tends to be. Most recently, I briefly moved out of state and then moved back to Columbus because I loved it here so much. When I got back and was figuring out what to do here, I saw this job opening I thought this would be a great next step.

Q: What does art mean to you?
That’s a loaded question! Art is expression for when a lot of words or concepts fail in explaining—it can fill in that gap. I think it can have tremendous value progressing or bolstering social movements, which I think is important. Most of the time, if there’s no greater meaning to it, it’s just thought-provoking and messages a part of the brain that is critical to be an active thinker.

This is a hard question! Sometimes it has a deeper meaning and it can help explain a hard concept or sometimes it’s just nice to look at. The arts and learning about arts are just as critical as mathematics or science, and they are all interwoven. To be a good scientist you must be a good artist. I could talk about this all day. “What does art mean to me?” It means a lot.

Q: What is your role at the OAC? What does your day to day look like?
First thing, I’m still learning, and there is a lot to learn. But what I am doing is a lot of the technical aspects of the grants submissions and approval process. So, I review information, making sure it is correct, and I do a lot of constituent support for any questions they have during the process. I’m familiar with the ins and outs of the different programs we offer. My position is really to help people synthesize a lot of information. Janelle Hallett, who was the previous coordinator, put it very well when she said that the investment office is the black and white of the grants process and the coordinators are the gray areas of the process.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Article by Beth Graham, 2018-19 Social Media and Special Events Fellow

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