Artist grants

OCI’s Artist Grants program reiterates our mission to make Omaha a place where artists are able to live, work, and cultivate sustainable careers. Awarded to individual artists and public projects, grant money contributes to the dynamic growth of a community rich in disciplinary and cultural diversity. Awards activate public spaces in meaningful ways and become catalysts for change in the careers of individual artists at various stages of professional development.

What types of artist grants does oci offer?

Individual Artist Grants
OCI's Individual Artist Grants are designed to give artists the chance to experiment and 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 their voices, advance their careers, and diversify the landscape of Omaha’s arts and culture to enhance the city’s profile as a place where artists can live and work.

Grant recipients participate in two events that are free and open to the public. A public program that investigates process, led or organized by the grant recipient, provides context and an opportunity to better understand their individual creative practice. Grant recipients also share their work in a curated group exhibition, alongside fellow awardees, at the end of the year.  

past individual artist grant recipients

Generator Grants

OCI Generator Grants emphasize professional development by assisting Omaha area artists through the entire process of organizing, marketing, and presenting a curated exhibition or performance.

Artists develop a curatorial concept, schedule studio visits with other artists, identify potential venues, and create press releases and marketing materials to promote their event. OCI is there each step of the way to lend support, advice, and resources that enable artist-generated content to take shape outside the context of larger institutional systems.

Through Generator Grants, OCI aims to:

  • encourage artists to make their own opportunities through self-organizing,

  • cultivate stronger peer communities, and

  • connect emerging artists to wider audiences and patrons.

Public Programs

Generator Grant recipients also organize one public program in conjunction with their event. Public Programs might include, screenings, live performances, readings, lectures, workshops, or skill sharing sessions, just to name a few. By attaching public programming to each exhibition, artists: 

  • reactivate their event,

  • foster critical dialogue, and

  • contribute to making Omaha’s cultural landscape more vibrant.


Public Project Grants
OCI’s Public Project Grants are awarded after a submission review process to an individual artist, collaborative duo, or artist collective working toward realizing a large-scale, public facing project that might not be possible otherwise because of financial constraints.

These standalone projects foster critical dialogue through creating a shift away from how public spaces traditionally operate and interrogating how shared spaces are complicated by connection, disruption, and provocation. 

past public project grant recipients

Emergency Grants
OCI's Emergency Grants are intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to resolve the situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency. Damage incurred from natural disasters like fire or flood or emergency medical need are some examples.

Emergency Grants do not cover requests for rent or fixed expenses like phone bills, utilities, or housing; dental work or chronic illness; capital improvements, or projects of any kind; or situations resulting from general indebtedness or lack of employment. Applicants should be aware that this is a grant program, and that each application is considered on its merits within the criteria of the program. While we aim to assist to as many applicants as we can. However, submitting an application is not a guarantee of funding. Applications are accepted on a rolling deadline.

Check our Current Opportunities often for updates and more information about specific grant guidelines, eligibility, and application procedures.

Have a question? Check out our Artist Grant FAQs!