ArtsWave announces $400K in artist support programs

ArtsWave, the Cincinnati area’s “engine” for the arts, has announced two new programs that will provide $400,000 to local artists in pandemic relief and creative project support. The programs are in partnership with the City of Cincinnati and Duke Energy.

Cincinnati Arts Access Fund

CAAF is being established by the city with $200,000 in CARES Act funding. It will allow 200 eligible artists of all types who are city residents and who earn 25% or more of their income through their art to receive COVID-related relief grants of $1,000 each.

Two application deadlines, Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, are being administered by ArtsWave to distribute the funds before the end of the year.

“The coronavirus pandemic is causing extreme hardship for large numbers of out-of-work artists in Cincinnati,” said City Council member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, who proposed the CAAF. “These grants can be used to reimburse living expenses or to find new ways to generate income.”

Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney

Truth and Reconciliation Grants

A second $200,000 program, was announced by Cincinnati Council member Greg Landsman. Black and Brown artists are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 to create a work, in any artistic discipline, that helps re-imagine a more just and equitable future.

“Cincinnati’s Black and Brown artists have long been chronicling our uneven progress to overcome racism and division,” Landsman said. “These grants are another way for us to lift up their voices and bring our community together.”

Greg Landsman

The City of Cincinnati is contributing $75,000 toward this program, and Duke Energy is providing $25,000 in additional funding to expand it to artists throughout the Cincinnati metro and Northern Kentucky region. ArtsWave will match both investments with $100,000 from its Arts Vibrancy Recovery Fund. The application deadline is Dec. 1.

“ArtsWave is honored to be partnering with the City of Cincinnati and Duke Energy to create these two important funding opportunities for artists,” said Alecia Kintner, president and CEO of ArtsWave. “We have a chance to provide much-needed financial relief for 200 vital contributors to our creative community, and we are investing in the continued work and impact of Black and Brown artists across our region.”

Eligibility guidelines, program requirements and applications for both the Cincinnati Arts Access Fund for artist relief and the Truth and Reconciliation Grants for Black & Brown artists are available at

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