Omaha Creative Institute
public project 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 Public Project Grant is awarded by an external jury of artists and arts professionals 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. The grant term is from January to June 2018. OCI is looking for standalone projects that can be fully funded by this $5,000 grant opportunity and foster critical dialogue through creating a shift away from how public spaces traditionally operate.



Any artist, collaborative duo, or artist collective 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.
OCI’s Public Project Grant is open to artists of all disciplines regardless of race, national origin, religious background, differing abilities, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Artists working in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The proposed project must engage the public directly, reevaluate how public spaces traditionally function, and be freely accessible without the constraints of regular opening hours or restricted admission.
While traditional public art is certainly eligible, we are not limiting that description to murals, sculpture, plays, concerts etc. Performance, sound, earthworks, new media, and installation are also encouraged.  Use the broadest definition of "public art" possible. We define the parameters of “public art” as any project that significantly impacts how shared spaces function and how the public experiences those spaces.
Projects that are connected to or in partnership with other institutions will not be considered. These grants are designated only for individual artists, collaborative pairs, or artist collectives to create work outside of an institutional context. Project proposals that include the involvement of organizations, institutions, or their programs will not be considered. 
For collaborative groups:
Artist collectives, collaborative groups, and duos, are eligible if:

  • All members of the group meet the eligibility requirements outlined above.
  • The primary creative output of each member of the group is generated within the group, not as an individual.
  • Members of the group are committed to working on a deeply collaborative level to advance the goals of the group, rather than those of the individuals within the group.
  • The group is not incorporated into a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Collaborative groups should submit a group resume and discuss the nature and duration of the collaboration in the artist statement.

criteria for selection

  • Strength of existing artistic work
  • Strength and feasibility of the proposed project and project budget
  • Demonstrated commitment to working in public spaces in innovative ways
  • Proposed project’s potential to reach and engage surrounding communities in meaningful ways



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, past public projects (if any), 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. 
Project Proposal (500 words max): 
Please give a detailed description of the proposed project and how you envision it functioning in a public space.  How will the public access this work? Is this a permanent or more ephemeral work? How much time will you need to complete the project and will you be working individually, as a collaborative pair, or artist collective?  What materials will you need?  Are there any special circumstances to take into consideration (permission from landowners, specific permits, cooperation from other municipal bodies) to make your project possible?
Public Impact Assessment (300 words max): Please include a brief description of how you hope your project will impact the public and public space.  A few questions you might consider: In what ways will this project foster critical discourse? Will it make people think differently about how they exist in public space? Will they feel encouraged to reevaluate the notion of how art affects public space because of your project?
Budget Worksheet:
Please download the budget worksheet linked below and fill it out as thoroughly as possible. It is compatible with Excel and Google Sheets. You will need to upload it on your application. If you are unable to download the worksheet, there is a text box option on the application where you may cut and paste your completed budget.

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 are required to account for all funds spent by January 31, 2018, in a final report.  Artists must provide at the time of contract execution a W-9 and completed and signed contract document.