Artist Grants

Announcing the 2017 Artist Opportunity Grant recipients: 15 Montgomery County artists have been selected to receive a total of $38k in funding in 2018.


The application for the Artist Opportunity Grant is now closed. Please check back for information about the next grant cycle in summer 2018.



The Artist Opportunity Grant Program is intended to provide financial assistance to Montgomery County artists to further their careers through professional development opportunities and through opportunities associated with new works. This program is made possible by funding from the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District (MCACD) and is administered by Culture Works.



Artist Opportunity Grants help advance the careers of individual artists by supporting expenses related to specific, unique opportunities that have the potential to significantly impact an artist’s work and professional development. The purpose of these grants is to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives. The goal is to assist artists in Montgomery County in furthering and innovating their work, to elevate the quality and raise the profile of individual artistic work in the region, and to help artists achieve their artistic and career goals through the pursuit of new works or professional/career development opportunities in the field, thereby making them competitive in the creative marketplace. Grants are intended to fund an artist’s vision or voice, regardless of the level of his or her artistic career point (emerging, mid-career, mature) or genre. Grants typically range from $500 to $3,000.



An opportunity may be one of many things—an invitation to exhibit at a prestigious gallery, to audition for a major dance company, to study with a mentor or renowned teacher. It may also be an opportunity to create/complete a new work that advances an artist’s career, develops an experimental/risk-taking project, or exposes an artist to new audiences. In any case, it should not duplicate experiences the artist has had in the course of his or her ongoing work, and it must lead to professional growth in the artist’s career in a clear and meaningful way. This program does not fund general supplies utilized in the course of normal business. Eligible costs do include the finishing/completion of new works of art for an imminent opportunity.
A partial overview of the eligibility criteria and grants process follows, but before completing an application, artists should download and review the complete Artist Opportunity Grants Guidelines.



To be eligible for the Artist Opportunity Grant Program, applicants must:
  • Be a resident of Montgomery County, Ohio with a valid street address (no P.O. boxes) demonstrated by a driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement, voter registration document, etc.; and
  • Be a United States citizen or a permanent legal resident; and
  • Be at least 18 years old; and
  • Be a professional artist or creative entrepreneur. This is defined as someone who:
    – Has specialized training in the field (not limited to academic training; may be self taught);
    – Is recognized as a “professional” by peers (artists working in the same discipline); and
    – Has at least a one-year history of public presentation or publication.
    It should be noted that the word “professional” refers to the nature of the artist’s commitment, particularly as it is conveyed on the artist’s resume.
Note: The project or opportunity for which an applicant seeks funding must take place between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018. If the grant is to complete a project already in progress, it must culminate with a completed work in 2018. Projects anticipated to not be completed by December 31, 2018 will not be considered.



As an opportunity-based grant, applicants are required to request a specific dollar amount and also articulate how the difference will be made up in the event the grant doesn’t cover the entire expense. Appropriate requests would typically fall in the range of $500-$3,000, and grants will not exceed $3,000. Funds can be used for the following:
Allowable Expenses (including but not limited to):
  • Presentation/Documentation/Portfolio Development: Costs related to producing materials such as slides, catalogs, portfolios, audio/visual recordings, manuscripts, brochures, etc. that are part of an imminent, concrete opportunity or are part of a clear marketing/outreach plan to make materials available for distribution and self-promotion.
  • Services: Use of other professional services for the presentation or production of new work. Can include professional consultants who help with websites, business plans, marketing plans, etc.
  • Materials/Supplies: Project-specific expenses for materials or for equipment rental needed to complete work (as described in the application) for an exhibition, performance, publication, etc. in which the artist has been invited to participate.
  • Equipment/Facilities: Expenses for materials or equipment rental or purchase needed to prepare new work for an exhibition, performance, publication, etc. in which the artist has been invited to participate. Specifications regarding product description, supplier and cost must be included in the application (be specific and comprehensive).
  • Fees/Travel: Travel associated with an imminent, concrete opportunity to perform, exhibit or audition, or for a unique opportunity to study with a significant mentor. Registration fees/attendance at workshops and/or seminars directly related to advancing the applicant’s discipline skills or business expertise, i.e. training in marketing, finance or development of marketing materials; research or advanced study/coaching that will enhance the artist’s abilities. Lowest available fares and current IRS mileage rate apply. Reasonably-priced accommodations are permitted if opportunity is more than 100 miles from home. Fees related to artist residencies related to the development of an artist’s career are permitted.



  • Students pursuing ANY degree
  • Artists who have received an Artist Opportunity Grant in the immediate prior year
  • Artists who have received two (2) Artist Opportunity Grants over the life of the program
  • Non-residents of Montgomery County
  • Applicants seeking funding for projects considered to be hobbies or of a therapeutic or recreational nature
  • Activities of a commercial nature (e.g. works by creative workers to be used by employers, commissioned artwork, etc.)
  • Curatorial projects of other people’s work
  • Activities that have already taken place
  • Ongoing work (this fund exists to help artists take advantage of unique opportunities in their careers)
  • Arts-in-Education programs or teaching opportunities
  • Applicant’s own artistic fees (fees or commissions that should be paid by others)
  • Personal medical, legal, accounting or administrative expenses
  • Purchase of equipment costing more than $500 or equipment not related to a specific, imminent opportunity
  • Banking fees, PayPal fees, or service fees from crowdfunding projects.
  • Food or beverage expenses
  • Fundraising events, religious activities or events, or advocacy of specific political causes or candidates.



Culture Works and MCACD will identify an independent review panel consisting of artists, arts administrators, educators, and community leaders who understand and have an appreciation for the careers and professional development of artists. Panelists will discuss applications and assign final scores during a Public Grant Panel Meeting on Thursday, November 9 from 8:30am – 12:30pm at the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch. Learn more about the Evaluation Criteria and Review Process here.



Review the Artist Opportunity Grants Guidelines
Review the Evaluation Criteria and Review Process
Review the Tips for Writing an Effective Application


DEADLINE:   The 2017 application closed on October 2, 2017.





For questions about this application, please contact the MCACD Executive Director, Matt Dunn, at [email protected].
You can learn about the 2016 Artist Opportunity Grant recipients here.