Who/What are these grants for?

Any self-defining artist with an active studio practice who has lived in the Omaha Metro area (Washington, Douglas, Sarpy, and Saunders counties in Nebraska, and Pottawattamie, Mills, and Harrison counties in Iowa) for at least one year, who is 21 years of age or older, and is not enrolled in a degree-seeking program is eligible to apply.

Artists from any field or medium are eligible to apply. This includes, but is not limited to, all forms of visual art, literary arts, music or sound (performance, production, composition), dance, theatre, or performance art. 

These grants, regardless of category, are designed to support innovative artists in the Omaha metro.

When are these grants available?

There will be 2 grant cycles in 2018, January-June and July-December. The applications will be made available at least one month before the grant cycle begins. Each cycle will consist of 2 Unrestricted Artist Grants, 1 Public Project Grant, and an OCI Program (CSArt or Artist INC). 

Emergency Grants will be available all year-long with a rolling application. 

Why can’t I apply if I’m getting my degree?

OCI’s Unrestricted Artists and Public Project Grants are meant to support work being made outside of larger institutions, including educational institutions. These awards were designed to encourage self-generated and self-directed work that comes from an independent artistic practice.

Can I apply for more than one grant opportunity?

Please do! We highly encourage artists to apply for as many opportunities as they are eligible for. However, artists will only receive one award per round.

What is the difference between an unrestricted grant and a project grant?

Project grants are for those artists who have an idea for a public-facing project that can be fully funded and realized with the award. The unrestricted artist grant is not tied to a specific project or initiative; it’s unrestricted money to enhance or improve your artistic practice and/or production.

What do I need to apply?

You’ll need an artist statement and some work samples. If you don’t have an artist statement ready, check out our resource guide in our Resources section.   

What are you looking for in applications? What is the criteria for selection? 

We're looking for applications from active, innovative, and driven artists in the Omaha metro area. We allow artists to self-define and set no parameters on discipline, quality, etc. Each grant cycle, we assemble a jury of local artists, arts administrators, community leaders, and past grant recipients. They rank each application on 5 different areas:

  • Existing artistic work
  • Innovation & Strength
  • Impact
  • Quality of Application, and
  • Overall Impression

Click here to download sample rubrics for Unrestricted Artist Grants and Public Project Grants.

If I don’t get a grant, will OCI provide feedback on my application?

Of course! Be sure to email Andrew@omahacreativeinstitute.org following the grant process.

If I don’t get a grant, can I apply again?

Definitely. Each jury is comprised of different artists, writers, musicians, arts professionals, and community leaders. If you are not accepted one round, you are encouraged to reapply during each grant cycle.

Unrestricted Artist Grants:

What is an unrestricted grant?

Great question! An unrestricted grant is money without any limitations or terms attached. It means you can use it for anything that will enhance or improve your artistic practice and/or production.. Want to hire a studio assistant? Go for it. Need new equipment? Cool. Pay off some debt? Great. Want to travel and do some research? Awesome. These funds are meant to help you make the work you would like to make.

Do I need to do any reporting?

We will ask for a short written evaluation at the end of the grant period from unrestricted artist grant recipients. We do not ask for a budget or detailed financial report.

If I’m a recipient, what will be expected of me?

The purpose of this grant it to put some money in your pocket, and to leverage OCI’s platform to give you more exposure and attention. We’ll want to create some content to use on our social media and newsletter, so we may ask for some pictures of what you’re working on, or to record a short video.

All unrestricted grant recipients will be asked present two somethings: 1) a hands-on something (workshop, skillshare, lecture, roundtable, open q&a, studio visits, etc.) that will be open to the general public that focuses on the process of what they do. And 2) a public-facing something (performance, exhibition, reading, installation, etc.) that showcases the artist’s work. Both of these somethings must be completed by June 30th, 2018, and will be determined with the granted artists upon receipt of the grant funds.

When do I have to spend all the money by?

The end of the grant cycle, June 30th or December 31st.

Public Project Grants:

What is a project grant?

OCI Public Project grants are for any public-facing project you can imagine. The grant amount is $5,000.

What kind of projects are eligible?

Really, just about anything. In the past, we’ve funded a midwest-premiere of a piece of music written for 111 people on bicycles, a six-week exhibition about intersectional feminism, and a series of concerts for underserved Omaha youth. We’re interested in projects that showcase unique ideas or unheard voices. The more inclusive and available the project, and the more people that are able to experience it, the better. While not a requirement, we are more interested in projects that can be fully funded by $5,000.

What kind of projects are ineligible?

Any project that is in partnership, collaboration, or is in any way associated with another nonprofit or organization will not be eligible. This is not because we want all the attention or credit. We just want as much of the money to go into the artist’s pocket as possible. If another organization is interested in your project or idea, they should be paying the artist. If you have any questions, email Andrew@omahacreativeinstitute.org.

Any project in which the applying artist does not get paid, or where any artist involved is not paid, will be ineligible. Artists must be paid.

Do I need to do any reporting?

For project grants, yes. While it’s not binding, you will need to submit a preliminary budget with your application so we have a sense of how you will spend the $5,000. At the completion of the grant cycle, you will need to submit a final report, documenting how you spend the $5,000.

If I’m a recipient, what will be expected of me?

Project recipients will be expected to execute their project. OCI staff will be on hand to help however we can, but it is the responsibility of the artist to oversee all aspects of the project.

One of the things OCI can help with most is providing a larger platform for exposure and attention. We may ask project grant recipients to provide pictures or to film a short video to share on social media or our newsletter.

When do I have to spend all the money by?

The project must be completed and all dollars must be spent by June 30th, 2018. A final report will be due July 31st, 2018.


More questions?
Email Executive Director Andrew Saladino at Andrew@omahacreativeinstitute.org