GRANTS: Artists with Disabilities Access Program

Posted by Ohio Arts Council ; Posted on 
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GRANTS: Artists with Disabilities Access Program



The Artists with Disabilities Access Program (ADAP) provides funding that gives individual artists with disabilities – and organizations that serve them – the resources they need to further their artistic development. Creative expression by artists of all abilities is essential to building dynamic and diverse communities throughout Ohio, and developing an artistic career is a long-term process. ADAP awards help artists with disabilities advance their artistic practices, making Ohio a more accessible and inclusive place to build an artistic career.

GRANT AWARDS: Grants are awarded to individual artists at both the emerging artist level ($500) and professional artist level $1,000), with no match required. Organizational applicants may request between $1,000 and $3,000, a 1:1 cash match is required.

NOTE: For the purposes of the ADAP program, emerging artists are individuals who have consistently worked in their chosen art form for more than three years, have demonstrated strong artistic potential, and want to develop their careers. Professional artists are individuals who devote a major portion of their time to creating, practicing, performing, or teaching any of the arts.

ELIGIBILITY: All applying artists must:
• Be an Ohio resident (the OAC defines an Ohio resident as someone who spends at least eight months of the year living and working in Ohio), and, if awarded funding, remain a resident during the grant period
• Have exhibited, performed, or published work as an artist within the past five years
• Have a disability (per Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) guidelines)
• Not be a student enrolled in any degree- or certificate-granting program

Both creative and performing artists who have a disability and are residents of Ohio may apply to this program. The OAC uses the definition of disability contained in Sec. 12102 of the ADA, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which went into effect on January 1, 2009. This act is available online:

All applying organizations must be based in Ohio, serve Ohio artists, and possess nonprofit status or nonprofit intent. Applicants need not be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Applicants may be: 1) arts and cultural organizations in any arts discipline (literature, performing arts, visual arts, traditional arts, multidisciplinary arts, etc.); 2) other organizations that provide arts programming (government entities, social service agencies, etc.); or 3) educational organizations (public, private, charter, and parochial schools from prekindergarten through university level) that demonstrate a commitment to arts programming in a larger community setting.

An ADAP organizational award may not be used to fund activities described in and already being supported through another OAC grant.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS: The Artists with Disabilities Access Program provides support to individual artists with disabilities, as well as organizations that serve individual artists with disabilities, engage in activities that help them advance their artistic practice, or develop their career. OAC funds are available for a variety of activities, materials, and services.

Artists must dedicate funds to activities that directly advance their artistic careers, including:
• Cover in-state travel to attend or present a performance, exhibition, conference, class, or workshop
• Undertake a planning process with a consultant or agent to develop business skills
• Rent studio space or art equipment, or purchase art supplies or equipment (e.g., cameras, printers)
• Pay for professional services (e.g., production, marketing, etc.) or auxiliary aids or services that facilitate engagement in artistic activities at a deeper or higher level

Organizations must dedicate funds to activities that directly advance the artistic careers of artists with disabilities or allow artists with disabilities to spend more time creating and promoting their chosen art form, as described in the list above. Requests to purchase equipment may not exceed $1,000.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their OAC regional coordinator to initiate the application process, or work through VSA Ohio (the state organization on arts and disability, which partners with the OAC to assist applying artists and organizations as they prepare a grant application). Accommodations can be made for the application process. VSA Ohio is located at 77 S. High St. 2nd Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 and can be contacted by phone, 614-241-5325, or email

ADAP applications are submitted electronically via the OAC’s ARTIE system. If an applicant needs support in applying (in-person explanation, data entry, transcription, technology, etc.) the applicant or his or her designee can contact the OAC or VSA Ohio.


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