Individual Artist Fellowships

2017 Grant Guidelines

The Greater Columbus Arts Council established the GCAC/City of Columbus Grants Program in 1973 to offer financial support to the city’s artists and arts organizations. Since 1978, a portion of city revenues from the hotel/motel tax has been designated for support of the Arts Community.

The Individual Artist Fellowship programs provide unrestricted grants to artists of outstanding talent and ability who currently live in the city of Columbus and/or Franklin County, and have done so for at least one year.

Since the Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship program was established in 1986 to recognize outstanding local artists, more than 210 awards in a variety of disciplines. Programs have included visual arts, crafts, film and video, creative writing, music composition and choreography/movement arts.


The Individual Artist Fellowship program recognizes outstanding artists in Franklin County by awarding fellowships in a variety of artistic disciplines. Awards are offered in Visual Arts (2D, 3D, photography, and crafts), Media Arts, Dance/Choreography, Literature and Playwright each year.

How to Apply

Choral Composition Fellowship

2017 Choral Composition Fellowship Program

Opens: April 1, 2017

Closes: October 1, 2017


The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) and the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus (CGMC) encourage and support artistic development in the Franklin County area. In this capacity, the Arts Council and CGMC have partnered to present the 2017 Choral Composition Fellowship program as part of the Arts Council Individual Artists Fellowships. Established in 1986 to recognize outstanding local artists, Arts Council has awarded fellowships in painting, sculpture, photography, and crafts in its first year. Since then, over 210 awards, in a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, crafts, film and video, creative writing, music composition, and choreography/movement arts, have been made.
As part of this exciting partnership, CGMC will perform the selected work during their March 2018 Concert.



1. A cover letter and requested documents (See Submission section) are due to CGMC by Wed. October 1, 5:00p.m. Submissions must be submitted via email to:
No late submissions will be accepted.
2. You will be sent an email confirming receipt of your application and next steps.
3. Panelists will be provided access to jury the applications down to the finalists. A closed panel will facilitate the selection of the recipients.
4. Recipients will be announced by December 15, 2017



The Choral Composition Fellowship Program provides an unrestricted grant to an artist of outstanding talent and ability who currently lives in the city of Columbus and/or Franklin County, or in the surrounding counties of Union, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway and Madison County, and has done so for at least one (1) year.
Students enrolled in a degree- or certificate-granting program of any kind at the time of application, or during the grant award period, may not apply.

Work submitted must have been created within the last three (3) years. Work should be written for men’s chorus (TTBB), up to six-part divisi, accompanied with a keyboard accompaniment with optional additional instrumental accompaniment of composer’s choosing, no a cappella submissions. Works dated prior to 2014 will not be accepted.
Text must be secular in nature and can be in any language. Rights to text must be cleared and evidence of copyright holder’s permission should be included with the manuscript.
Past fellowship recipients are ineligible to apply for a period of three (3) years from the date of their award. For example, 2017 award recipients may not apply until 2021.
Composers may only submit one composition for the Fellowship Program.



Composers are asked to submit the following:
1. A completed cover page containing the composer’s name, address, and contact information (email and phone).
2. Manuscript of a work lasting three to five minutes; Manuscript should be printed on 8.5” x 11” paper. Larger paper sizes will not be accepted.
3. Copyright holder’s permission, if applicable.
4. If you wish your score to be returned, please include a SASE with sufficient postage.



Collaborative works may be submitted. Composers should submit a joint cover letter and clearly indicate the name(s) of the collaborative writers. Only one (1) award is possible for collaborative works, which must be shared equally by each composer.



The award will be recommended by a panel of experts in the field. Their decisions will be based solely on the artistic excellence of the work submitted for review. You are therefore encouraged to submit works that clearly convey the techniques and concepts you employ. Gender, race, age, financial need, education, professional affiliations, previous recognition, and occupation are NOT considerations for funding.

The panel will consider the following criteria for awards:
1. Originality
2. Likelihood of future productions
3. Clarity of voice
4. General interest in the subject matter



One (1) fellowship of $5,000 will be awarded to an individual based on the quality of work previously created. This award includes the commission of a previously unproduced full-length score to be performed by CGMC during their March 2018 concert. No further publication is guaranteed but the selected score may be reviewed for possible publication.
The awards are intended to recognize outstanding local artists. Fellowships are intended to assist artists in any manner they deem fit to support the creation of new works and/or the advancement of their careers.
Award recipients should intend to remain in residence for the grant award period (May 1, 2017 – May 1, 2018)
2017 Choral Composition Fellowship finalists and recipients are invited to apply for the 2019 Artist Exchange program, a two to three month residency in Dresden, Germany.



Dr. Timothy Sarsany, Artistic Director
Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus
Ph: 614.352.1887
Keya Crenshaw, Grants & Services Coordinator, Artists
Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ph: 614.221.8746


No current opportunities


Visual Arts

No current opportunities

Literary Arts

Thurber Prize for American Humor

The Thurber Prize for American Humor is the only recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States. A panel of national judges selects the three finalists from a selection of seven or eight semi-finalists.

Click here to download an application for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor (PDF)

Click here to download the guidelines for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor (PDF)

Books and e-books published January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 are eligible for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, March 31, 2017.

Want to pay the entry fee with a credit card? Call 614-464-1032 x.11.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Carolines Comedy Club in New York City on October 2, 2017. The winner of the Prize receives $5,000, a commemorative plaque, and is invited to Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio as a featured guest at a special event.

The judges for the 2017 Thurber Prize are:

Joe Blundo: Joe Blundo’s column, So To Speak, began appearing in the lifestyle section of The Columbus Dispatch in May 1997. It’s a mix of humor, human interest and information. In 2002, Joe won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists contest for humor writing in large newspapers. He has been at The Columbus Dispatch since 1978.

Julie Schumacher: Julie Schumacher’s first published story, “Reunion,” written to fulfill an undergraduate writing assignment (“tell a family tale”) was reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 1983. Subsequent stories were published in The Atlantic, MS, Minnesota Monthly, and Prize Stories: The O.Henry Awards 1990 and 1996. Julie is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota. She is the first female winner of the Thurber Prize for her book Dear Committee Members.

Ian Frazier: Ian Frazier is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He has been contributing to the magazine since 1974, when he published his first piece in The Talk of the Town. Since then, he has published numerous short stories and nonfiction, Shouts & Murmurs, and Talk of the Town pieces in the magazine. He is the author of eleven books, and a two-time winner of the Thurber Prize for his books Coyote v. Acme and Lamentations of the Father.

Click here for a list of past Thurber Prize winners and finalists.


Columbus Dances Fellowship 2017-2018

Fellowships will be awarded to 5 choreographers whose work will then be presented as an extension of Columbus Dance Theatre’s annual community dance concert, Columbus Dances.  With an interest in the fostering and creation of new work, participating choreographers will create new works using dancers from the greater Columbus community for fellowship consideration.  Successful applicants will have their works produced by CDT in its home performance space, The Fisher Theatre, on a weekend of open public performances.

An open adjudication will be held with 3 adjudicators.  Adjudicators will be recognized leaders in the arts community and will not be currently employed by CDT.  CDT Artistic Director Tim Veach will serve as an ex-officio member of the panel and will not cast a vote.  This panel will then make award determinations.

Choreographers will create new, original dances of 7-15 minutes in length in any style.  Dances can be solo or group works.  5 Choreographers will be chosen by the panel to participate in a weekend of concerts at Columbus Dance Theatre.  Choreographers must reside in Franklin County and be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for consideration.  Applicants will register for an adjudication time slot by calling CDT at:  614-849-0227 by January 12th of 2018 or by contacting CDT through our website at:  The adjudication will occur at CDT on Sunday, February 2nd beginning at 3:00 p.m.  It is recommended that choreographers show at least 3 minutes of work in progress at the time of the adjudication.   Finished dances may be shown, but they must not have been previously produced in another venue.

5 Choreographers will each be awarded fellowships of $2000.  This is a comprehensive award.  Choreographers will determine the use of these funds at their discretion (dancer’s salaries, costumes, music, etc.)  Choreographers will be granted rehearsal space at CDT for the 6 week period prior to the presentation of Columbus Dances.

CDT will present these concerts free to the public.  A series of 3 performances will be given on  March 30th  and  31st of 2018 at CDT’s Fisher Theatre.