Omaha Creative Institute
 new american Artist Grant

OCI is committed to providing Omaha area artists with opportunities to cultivate sustainable and productive careers. Our Grants Program is designed to give artists a platform to experiment, create new work, develop new audiences, and exhibit outside the confines of larger institutional systems. By recognizing and awarding financial support to exceptional artists in the region, OCI seeks to amplify artists’ voices, advance their careers, and diversify Omaha’s cultural landscape, enhancing the city’s profile as a place where artists can live, work, and access meaningful support.  


applications open: may 1, 2018

Applications close: june 1, 2018




OCI’s New American Artist Grant is an unrestricted $3,500 award granted by an external jury of artists and arts professionals to an individual New American artist. The grant term is from June - January 2018. This particular designation is meant to support artists working to balance an active creative practice with the challenges of negotiating the practical, legal, and ideological shifts associated with immigrant, refugee, DACA, and first generation American statuses. 
Selected artists will share their work during a public program before the end of the grant term that, in some way, enhances viewers’ understanding of their practice. Public programs might include workshops, lectures, panel discussions, readings, open studios, skill sharing, performances, screenings, book or album releases, etc. Grant recipients will also have the opportunity to participate in a year-end curated group exhibition in OCI’s gallery space, alongside fellow awardees. 



Any artist maintaining a residence within the Omaha Metro Area including Washington, Douglas, Sarpy, and Saunders counties in Nebraska, and Pottawattamie, Mills, and Harrison counties in Iowa is eligible to apply. Applicants must be at least 21 years-old and not enrolled in a degree-seeking program by August 1, 2018. An undergraduate or graduate degree is not required to apply for this grant.
A note on this special designation:
We define “New American” in broad terms and include first generation Americans, recent immigrants, those with refugee status, and DACA recipients. This designation is open to all New Americans regardless of race, national origin, religious background, differing abilities, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

criteria for selection

  • Strength of existing artistic work
  • Demonstrated commitment to expanding the parameters of traditional visual, literary, performance, or sound art practice in new and innovative ways
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering contemporary discourse in any of the above disciplines
  • Potential of the grant to impact future work and advance artistic career goals


Work Sample:

  • Visual artists: Please provide up to 10 images of your work. (JPG files only, minimum of 1920 pixels on the longest side and 5.0MB maximum).   
  • Writers: Please provide up to 3 writing samples (2000 words max). 
  • Musicians: Please provide up to 2 audio examples of your work (WAV or MP3. 10MB max).
  • Performing Arts/Video: Please provide up to 2 video examples of your work (MOV or MP4. 3:00 minute combined max). 

When labeling your files, please use the following format: Lastname_Firstname_01; Doe_Jane_01.jpg, (for example).

Works Cited Page:
Please upload a one-page document that lists the title, medium, dimensions, and an optional description (two sentence max) for each file included in your work sample.  Please make sure to list works in the same order that they appear in your work sample.
Artist CV / Resume:

Please upload a professional artist CV or resume that outlines your education, exhibition, publication, or performance history and any special appointments or notable awards you have received.
Artist Statement (300 words max):

Provide a brief artist statement related to the work sample provided. Consider describing major themes that recur in your work, your influences, how materials and/or process inform the content of your work, or how you situate your work in a broader context. 
Impact Statement: (300 words max):

Please describe how this award will impact your artistic practice and how it will shape the trajectory of your career’s future. What short- and long-term goals have you set for your practice and how will grant funded support help you accomplish those goals?

Jury Process:

A panel of local arts professionals and community members will review the applications and select the award winner by June 25, 2018.
If selected, artists must complete a contract with OCI. Artists will receive the full grant amount upon selection and must complete a final evaluation by January 31, 2018.  Artists must provide at the time of contract execution a W-9 and completed and signed contract document.