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Artist FAQs

Fellowships & Residencies

If I am awarded the fellowship, can I also apply for the residency and vice/versa?
  • Yes, but only one will be awarded per calendar year.
Does the fellowship and residency overlap / will I be required to share the studio space?
  • The programs do not overlap, the fellowship begins in January and ends in April. The residency begins in September and ends in November.
What is the difference between the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship and Residency?
  • The fellowship will be actively creating artwork during their 90 days and is required to participate in a community outreach activity coordinated with the Columbus Museum of Art. The fellowship participant will have daily access to Aminah’s home studio and will agree to terms, assuring the respectful use of the space. The artist is permitted to use the space for personal art making only.
  • The residency will award the honor of staying and working in Aminah’s home. Lodging and studio access are provided as part of the residency. A community outreach activity (facilitated by CMA staff) is required, and artists may have the opportunity for a public presentation and/or exhibition.
  • Fellowship artists must be living within Franklin County, Residency artists must be a permanent resident of the United States.
  • An artist may be selected for both the Aminah fellowship and residency program only once.
How are awards paid?
  • All payments will be issued through ACH Direct Deposit unless otherwise requested. Banking information is collected (or updated with changes) as part of the grant agreement and is stored securely. Payments may take up to three weeks to be processed.
Who is eligible to apply?
  • Each program has its own specific guidelines; however, these are some common points:
    • Working artists (age 18 and older)
    • Live in Franklin County OR live in a county bordering Frankling County AND primarily exhibit, perform, produce, or present artistic work within the city of Columbus
    • Residency in Franklin County or a bordering county for at least 1 year prior to applying
    • NOT enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate students
    • Must agree to remain a resident of central Ohio for one year after the award date
Are fellowships competitive?
  • Visual Arts, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship & Residency are competitive and jury reviewed.
What fellowships and residencies does GCAC offer?
  • Visual Arts Fellowship
    • Partnership between GCAC and CMA to recognize outstanding visual artists within the community.
  • Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Arts Fellowship
    • Celebrates the legacy of the late Columbus artist by recognizing the exemplary work of a local African American visual artist.
  • Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Arts Residency
    • Celebrates the legacy of the late Columbus artist and provides a U.S. based African American visual artist a 90-day residency in the Columbus, Ohio home of the late Aminah Robinson.

Grants & Funding For Artists

What is the Community Grantmaking (Review and Evaluation) Process?
The community grantmaking process will invite the public to participate in the review and evaluation of applications. GCAC staff will train and guide logistics; however, scores and recommendations for funding will come from the community reviewers, not GCAC staff or board. This approach is another step in GCAC’s equity work and our commitment to collective decision-making. Though new to GCAC, community grantmaking has been in use for decades across the globe and it is tool to shift power dynamics inherent within funding environments. Power is transferred to the community that reflects the many perspectives, identities and interests of our diverse community and it demystifies the grantmaking process, hopefully making more artists and groups more comfortable with applying for funding.  Click here to read more about community grantmaking.
Can I start my application and come back to it later?

Yes. Make sure you click the “Save” button before leaving the application. You can return to the application by logging back in and finding it in the “Applications In Process” section. The application isn’t submitted until you select the “Submit” button.

What does GCAC do? Does GCAC only give grants?
GCAC provides a wide range of services to support artists and arts & cultural organizations in Columbus. Our most important role is as tireless advocates for the support of the arts in our communities. Most artists know us for our grants, but GCAC also offers so much more, such as free business-of-art workshops, online resources, connections and coaching. GCAC is also a champion for public art in the city and is home to the Loanne Crane Gallery.
How are GCAC’s grants funded?

GCAC primarily receives its funding through the City of Columbus’ Hotel/Motel Bed Tax. Additionally, the Arts Council is funded by the Columbus Arts & Culture ticket fee and the support of Franklin County. You can learn more about our funding here.

I am unsure if I qualify for a specific grant, what should I do?
Feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to help you 😊
How do I demonstrate that I am a working artist?

When you apply for a grant, we will ask you to upload an artist resume and/or artist bio. These documents are critical to help GCAC determine if you are a professional, working artist with an independent body of work. Please be sure to list past exhibitions, performances, film screenings, publications, and/or readings.  

Additionally, we ask for up to 5 artistic work samples to further verify your working artist status. These can include images, video, audio and/or a link to a website with work samples. Strictly commercial artistic work (ex: portrait/event photography, graphic design for businesses, film/music production for businesses/other artists) does NOT qualify.

How does GCAC define a working artist?
This is a question we have asked ourselves and our community many times. We are constantly evaluating this answer as art is everchanging. As of now, GCAC defines a working artist as such:
  • The artist is likely paid for performances, sells their artwork and/or shares their body of work with the general public.
  • The artist is focused on expressing their own creative or aesthetic ideas, rather than on documentation or journalism.
Where do I go to request accessibility accommodations?
Please reach out to with your specific accommodation.
What is a publicity/donor acknowledgement?

GCAC requires that all organizations and artists who receive funding to demonstrate the public value of the arts by making others aware of awards received and acknowledging public funders. We want you to say “Thank you!” in a public way.

Can I apply for a grant if I applied last year as well?

Yes, we encourage you to apply again! Except, if you were a recipient of the Neighborhood Arts or Aminah Robinson Fellowship, you are ineligible to be granted the award a second time. Visual Arts Fellowship grantees can reapply five years after the year they were awarded.

Is there an application fee?
No, GCAC grants do not have a submission fee, with the exception of the Aminah Robinson Residency.
Do I have to be 18 to apply?
Yes, all individuals must be at least 18 to apply for GCAC grants.
Do I have to live in Columbus to apply for a GCAC grant?
To qualify for GCAC grants for individual artists, you must live in Franklin County (for at least one year prior to your application). The Funds for Artists grants are also available for artists who live in a county bordering Franklin County who primarily present their work in the city of Columbus.
Who reviews my application?
Different grants have different panels that review applications. These often include community stakeholders & artists, GCAC staff and members of the Board of Trustees. Please review your grant’s guidelines for information on next steps following your application’s submission.
What is a Draft Review?
A Draft Review is available upon request. A Grants & Community Engagement team member will review your application and provide feedback. This is only available up to two weeks before the application deadline, to provide adequate time for both you & GCAC staff. To request a Draft Review, select “Request Draft Review” at the bottom of the application. Be sure to not click submit!
Should I still apply if I don’t meet all the requirements for a grant?
Unfortunately, if you don’t meet all the requirements for a grant, you will not be deemed eligible for funding and be declined. We encourage you to reach out with questions or set up a draft review.
What is a Final Report?
Final Reports are a way for grantees to let us know what they accomplished with their awarded grant. Each grant has different requirements, but all information can be found in the online application portal (scroll to “Requires Attention” and click on the “Reports” tab). You may be asked to submit pictures, receipts, or written responses. Receipt dates must match dates within the terms of your grant
I submitted my application, now what?

Please be patient as we review your grant application! Applicants will be notified by email of their application award status (approved, approved with contingencies, or declined). Be sure to keep your contact information and profile up-to-date in the online application portal. Our guidelines always note a timeline with a set notification date.

Can I apply for Multiple GCAC Grants?
Yes, as long as you are eligible and a restriction is not noted within the program’s guidelines. Please reach out to if you are unsure.
Why are you asking me for demographic information?
Basic demographic information is collected from all applicants & grantees. We view data as an essential tool to our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We cannot improve until we can identify who we are serving and who is missing. The data collected will serve multiple purposes:
  • To help us understand how we reflect the communities we serve
  • To utilize data to better serve the needs of our artistic community
  • To track our arts community’s progress with Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access efforts
We appreciate your commitment to these efforts as well, but you may always opt out of supplying any demographic information you are uncomfortable with. All information is kept confidential and answers will not impact current or future funding.  
What are grant workshops? How often are they offered?

Grant workshops go over eligibility, timeline, and the application process for specific grants. They are led by GCAC staff, are free and open to the public. Check here to see if there are any upcoming workshops. If you don’t see what you are looking for, we have many recorded workshops available for viewing here. You can also sign up for our OppArt newsletter at the bottom of the page, where we will share GCAC’s latest news, workshops, and events. You can reach out to with any specific questions.

Can I come to the GCAC office?

Sure, come visit! Our offices are located at 182 E Long Street and we are happy to answer any questions in person. There are marked GCAC guest spots in the lot adjacent to our office and we are easily accessible by multiple COTA bus lines. To ensure someone will be available to assist you, it is recommended that you email or call (614)-224-2606 first.


What if I do not have access to a computer?

GCAC offices has a computer lab to help you complete your application. To reserve a computer, email

Can I get help on my application?
Yes! Aside from workshops and recorded walk-throughs of the application process, we are happy to answer further questions to help you complete your application. Please visit our YouTube playlist for recordings, and our workshops schedule on our website.
Are your applications only offered in English?

At the top right of the website, you can choose your preferred language. Translation and interpretation services are available for all our grant applications as well! Please send translation requests to

Can students apply?

Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply for GCAC grants. Graduate students are eligible for certain grants.

How will I receive my payment?
All payments will be issued through ACH Direct Deposit unless otherwise requested.
How long does it take to get my payment?
Payments can take up to three weeks to process.
Where do I apply?

We use GoArts as our application portal for all grants. To access the portal, click here.

If this is your first time applying for a GCAC grant, click “Register Here” on the right to get started.  

If you are a returning applicant, log in with your existing email and password.  

You can click “forgot password” if you need to as well.

What is a grant agreement?
A grant agreement specifies the terms of the grant you have been awarded. You must review the grant agreement and digitally sign it to accept your grant.
How do I accept my award?

You can accept your award by signing your Grant Agreement! Once the document is signed, we will begin processing your payment. We cannot process payments until the agreement is signed.