Applications are open! The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) is excited to share its grantmaking Guidelines for state fiscal years (FY) 2024 and 2025, with major deadlines for FY 2024 funds starting in February 2023 , as adopted recently by the OAC Board. Every two years, the OAC updates the Guidelines in response to new opportunities, the evolving needs of Ohio’s arts sector, and direct constituent feedback. The FY 2024-2025 update includes several substantial changes designed to make our grant programs more accessible and equitable, streamline application and reporting requirements, consolidate duplicative programs, and create new pathways for funding individual artists’ career development. In addition to these updates, the agency is also finalizing the most extensive update to its online grantmaking system ARTIE since its launch in 2015, also aimed at streamlining, simplification, and accessibility. You can review the full update by grant program on our grants webpage . OAC staff will hold a webinar to walk through all the changes to both the Guidelines and ARTIE on December 15, 2022, at 2 p.m. Register at rebrand.ly/OAC-Guidelines-Webinar . Read on for a rundown of the biggest changes and how they’ll affect you or your organization: Sustainability Application Process Changes: The Sustainability program will transition from an “every-four-years-for-all" process to an “every-two-years-staggered" process. In other words, all Sustainability awards will continue to be four years in duration, but roughly half of the applicant pool will apply at the start of one biennium, while the other half will apply at the start of the next. To transition into this new process, all current (FY 2023) Sustainability grantees have been placed into one of two groups – one group will need to complete full on-year applications, while the other group will have their current grant extended for an additional two years with only off-year updates required, moving them to a four-year application cycle that will begin in FY 2026. Find out which group your organization has been placed in , and what its upcoming application requirements are. Arts Access Program Folded into Sustainability: The Arts Access program has been discontinued, and Sustainability-Small has taken its place. That means organizations currently receiving operating support in the Arts Access program will now apply to the Sustainability-Small program. Like Arts Access, Sustainability-Small will only accommodate organizations with annual budgets of less than $50,000. The maximum request amount has increased to $10,000. Like current Sustainability grantees, all current (FY 2023) Arts Access grantees have been placed into one of two Sustainability groups, with grant awards of four years in duration. This spring, some will need to complete a full on-year application (due February 1) while others will have their FY 2023 award extended two years, FY 2024 and FY 2025, with only off-year updates (due April 1). Find out which Sustainability group your organization has been placed in , and what its upcoming application requirements are. New ArtsRISE Program: The new project support program ArtsRISE will begin accepting applications in the spring of 2023. ArtsRISE will fund projects either led by members of – or focused on the work of – historically underrepresented populations or communities. This new program will accommodate projects previously funded through both the Building Cultural Diversity program and the organizational section of the Artists with Disabilities Program (ADAP). (Please note that ADAP grants to individual artists with disabilities will continue.) ArtsRISE awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis beginning in the spring of 2023. Applicants may request up to $5,000. New Artist Opportunities Grant Program: A new grant program called Artist Opportunities will begin funding career development projects of individual Ohio artists in the summer of 2023. These awards will be open to both professional and emerging artists, and applicants may request up to $2,500. Artist Opportunities awards will be made to artists introducing their work to new audiences, marketing their work in new ways, or developing new skills. Other Guidelines 2024-2025 updates follow: The Capacity Building program will focus exclusively on organizational professional development conducted with the help of outside expertise, including consultant-led work (e.g., strategic plan development), training or skill-building activities led by outside experts, or professional development conference attendance. Capacity Building deadlines have also been revised to May 1 and November 1 annually. Several grant programs’ maximum request levels were raised , including ArtsNEXT (from $20,000 to $25,000), the Artists with Disabilities Access Program (for individuals – from $1,000 to $2,500), and TeachArtsOhio (from $300 to $350 per day for teaching artists). Program criteria in every program were refined and simplified both to improve readability and clarity, as well as to better incentivize engagement with historically underrepresented populations within each community. We hope you see benefits for your organization, or your individual artist practice, in these updates to how the agency allocates its grantmaking dollars. As we advise every year, please take the time to review the full Guidelines carefully, review its funding restrictions and the details of the program(s) to which you’re considering applying, and contact us with questions as they come up. ARTIE is ready to accept your applications! Updates were also made to the ARTIE online grantmaking system , so the way your online application looks and feels will be a bit different this year. Highlights include the following: All application forms have been redesigned to an all-vertical format , rather than a horizontal tabbed approach. This will make accessing the system from a tablet or mobile device easier and keep all application elements together on one page. A right-hand “table of contents” provides a quick and easy way to jump up and down to different application sections. Application elements have been streamlined and reduced , with less-frequently updated elements like organization mission statements and staff/board lists relocated to Organizational Profiles (so that you don’t have to complete them each time you apply). Many other fields have been simplified or eliminated. Most programs also have fewer overall narrative prompts, and overall word counts have been reduced. Links to community demographic information have been added , providing a quick way for applicants and panelists to better understand the population, economic conditions, race and ethnicity data, and other factors affecting your (or your organization’s) geographic community – and how goal setting and programming have been developed in response. Support material uploads have been better integrated to appear alongside the elements of each program’s narrative that they relate to (e.g., artistic or educational materials following the Program Quality section, promotional materials following the Community Engagement section, etc.) This will make it easier to tell the story of your work in a more sequential way. Additional internal logic has been added to better tailor each application form to the applying organization using it. Additional error checks and content validations have also been incorporated to help ensure that your application isn’t missing any key elements when it’s time to submit. Additional Tool Tips have been added to better describe terms used, provide examples, or more clearly explain each element. Current and complete Individual and Organizational Profiles are now required of all applicants. Beginning this year, ARTIE now verifies that both your personal and (if applicable) organizational profile has data in all required fields and has been recently reviewed before each new application can be submitted. This will greatly reduce staff time spent addressing missing items from applicants, and ensure that grantee payments, correspondence, and other reporting items are timely and accurate. Panelist interfaces have been improved in several ways , including better displaying conflicts of interest, primary/secondary assignments, and application review status, with scorecards and portals better customized for each OAC program. While work continues to make ARTIE even better before panel season heats up in the spring, we hope you find the improved interface easy to navigate and the overall application process simpler and more straightforward than ever. While some big things have changed about our grant programs and the way you’ll apply to them, one important thing has not changed: the OAC staff! If you have questions as you begin your FY 2024 application, or if you want to better understand any of the changes we’ve recently made, feel free to email or call us – we’re happy to discuss them with you. Finally, don’t forget – OAC staff will lead a webinar on Guidelines and ARTIE changes on December 15, 2022, at 2 p.m. We encourage you to register at rebrand.ly/OAC-Guidelines-Webinar and participate to learn more, see elements of the new ARTIE interface demonstrated, and ask questions.