Ohio General Assembly Creates $50 M ARPA Arts Grant Program

In recognition of the critical role the arts play in Ohio’s economic development, the Ohio General Assembly in House Bill 45 created the ARPA Arts Grant Program and provided $50 M for the program which will be operated by the Ohio Department of Development. 

Funding for the grant program will be centered on performing arts, cultural arts museums, charitable organizations, and institutions of higher educations.  Performing arts organizations is defined as any institution whose principal place of business is in Ohio, whose primary purpose is to produce or present performances in music, comedy, the performing arts, or related fields, is operated by or partially funded by a political subdivision of this state, a state institution of higher education, or a charitable organization funded by a political subdivision of this state or a state institution of higher education, it receives at least a majority of its funding from sources other than that subdivision or institution. If it is operated by a state institution of higher education, its managing board is independent of that institution’s board of trustees, and it does not present work exclusively by or for students.  The performing arts center must manage its own budget and perform an annual, independent audit.  Cultural arts museums are also eligible for funding if it is located in this state whose primary purpose is to exhibit or present, for artistic or aesthetic purposes, property, including such property related to painting, drawing, design, sculpture making, ceramic making, printmaking, photography, video and filmmaking, graphic design, architecture, textiles, performing arts, and preserving and interpreting the history, art, and culture of popular music and multidisciplinary art forms.  Charitable organizations are also eligible for the program if they are a section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.  State institution of higher education are also eligible for the program.

The Ohio Department of Development will be creating a competitive process for the award of these arts grants. The application shall, at minimum, include the following:

  • Documentation establishing the organization’s or the museum’s operating budget for the most recently concluded calendar year;
  • Information and documentation detailing the organization’s or operator’s intended use of the requested grant funds; and
  • Any other information and documentation sufficient to establish that the organization or the museum meets the eligibility criteria prescribed by this section.

When awarding grants to eligible recipients, and when determining the amount of such grants, the Ohio Department of Development will give priority to organizations and operators of museums that did not receive funding from the Ohio Arts Council pursuant to the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” Pub. L. No. 116-136. 

Grants awarded under this program need to be used for employee compensation, excluding bonuses, employee recruitment, rehiring, and training expenses, rent or mortgage payments, operating costs and capital expenditures.  Look for the application coming in 2023 and don’t hesitate to contact Dave Robinson at drobinson@montrosegroupllc.com if you need assistance with this program.