Artist Grant FAQs

How often can I apply for an OVAC Grant?
You can apply as often as you would like. If you are awarded a grant, you must wait one year from that grant cycle to apply again. Recipients of Art 365, Concept Focus, and Momentum Spotlight are not eligible to apply within one year of their reward disbursement of the stated programs. If you are awarded a Thrive Grant, you are eligible to apply, but your proposed project may not be the same as your Thrive proposal or a new iteration of said project.


Can I apply for multiple grants in a cycle?
No. Individuals can only have their name attached to one application per cycle.


How long must I have been a resident of Oklahoma to be eligible to apply for an OVAC grant?

To be eligible for an OVAC grant, you must have held at least 12 months residency in Oklahoma prior to the submission deadline. 


I’ve applied several times and not received a grant. Why?
Our grants are extremely competitive, particularly our Creative Projects grants. Please do not become discouraged by the possibility of having to submit over multiple occasions. We will provide feedback on each request, whether funded or not. We encourage you to use this feedback to strengthen your submissions for the future.


What sort of projects are not funded?

There are some limits on the types of projects we can fund. Our mission limits our focus to the

visual arts and does not include documentary films, strong narrative films/productions, music,

dramatic productions, dance, and others. We can fund video art, performance art, sound art,

and other non-traditional art forms that still fall under visual art. Projects that raise concerns around cultural appropriateness will not be considered. If you are unsure of whether or not your

project qualifies, please reach out to our Grants & Outreach Manager at 405.879.2400 Ex.6.


Can curators and arts writers apply for OVAC Grants?

Yes. Artists/writers/curators may only have their name(s) attached to one application per cycle.

Artists/writers/curators who choose to submit as groups, upon award of grant, will be held to the

same rules of eligibility as an artist/writer/curator who applies individually.


Can I apply as part of a group?
Yes. Artists may only have their name(s) attached to one application per cycle. Artists who choose to submit as groups, upon award of grant, will be held to the same rules of eligibility as an artist who applies individually.


Once I’m funded, when can I apply again?
Once you are funded, you have to wait one year from the grant cycle for which you were awarded.
E.g. If you were awarded July 15, 2015, you cannot apply again until July 15, 2016.


Do I have to be an OVAC member to receive a grant?
No, you do not have to be an OVAC member to apply for or receive a grant.


How are grant applications scored?


Each grant category has a different system of scoring.


  • Education and Travel Assistance grants are evaluated and awarded based on four categories: the quality of the educational opportunity, potential impact on the applicant's practice/career,  the applicant’s abillity to complete the project, and on the relevance of the project based on provided work samples.

  • Professional Basics grants are evaluated and awarded based on three categories: the quality of the project, the applicant’s ability to complete the project, and on the relevance of the project based on provided work samples.

  • Creative Projects grants are evaluated and awarded based on four categories: the concept of the project, the quality of the work, how career altering the opportunity is, and the ability of the applicant to complete the project. "Extra Credit" will be given to projects that: serve under-represented regions of Oklahoma and/or include artist(s) Native Peoples/People of Color.

  • Community/Artist Partnership grants are evaluated and awarded based on four categories: the potential impact on the community from this project, the concept of the project, the quality of the work, and the applicant’s ability to complete the project. "Extra Credit" will be given to projects that: serve under-represented regions of Oklahoma, include artist(s) Native Peoples/People of Color, and/or utilizes collaboration.


Who reviews the grants?
OVAC staff organizes a panel of community members to review grants. These individuals are involved in the arts in a variety of ways, and are chosen for their informed opinions, diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and experience. OVAC staff does not decide who receives grants.


Where can I go for help with my application?

OVAC is here to help! Through our Artist Survival Kit (ASK) program, we offer professional development for Oklahoma artists. Through Workshops, Office Hours, and Artist Forums, ASK provides artists with the necessary information to succeed in their careers and build a sense of community among diverse artists from across the state. Prior to grant deadlines, we often hold Office Hours sessions, a one-on-one opportunity to receive help with your grant application. For upcoming ASK sessions, visit: https://www.ovac-ok.org/artist-survival-kit


Can I see sample grant applications?

You can view examples of successful grant applications below the “Scoring” buttons of each of the

four grant categories here: https://www.ovac-ok.org/grants-for-artists


Tips for a successful application


Proof Read: Make sure to proof read your application materials before submitting! Even if you have revisited your application multiple times, fresh eyes will see typos/errors that you may have missed! It's always a good idea to get second and third opinions.


Research Costs/Logistics: Applications that show the applicant has done their research and has thought through the logistics of the project are more likely to be successful.


Communicate Clearly: Explain your proposal clearly and concisely. Demonstrate how the grant will benefit your practice and support your vision.


Be Persistent: Even if you are not awarded a grant, don’t give up! Ask for help in crafting a more effective application for the next session.


Read Examples of Successful Grant Applications: You can find examples on our website and through web searches.


Stay Organized: Make a checklist of all the documents that need to be submitted, tasks that need to be completed, and due dates for completing each task. Check when submitting your documents that you have fulfilled all requirements of the application.


Relevant Work Samples: It is important that reviewers can clearly see a connection between your work samples and your proposed project. Spend some time selecting work that clearly connects with your proposal.


Write with the Reviewer in Mind: It is important to write your application with the reviewer in mind and make their job of understanding and scoring your application as easy as possible. Assume that the reviewer knows nothing about your community or organization, the needs you address, what you do or how you do it. Almost exclusively, the reviewer only uses the documents submitted in your application to evaluate your proposal. Therefore, if you want them to know something, you have to clearly write it out and explain it. Also, reduce and/or eliminate jargon in your writing. It is easy to fall into the habit of using terminology and acronyms that make sense in your world, but most grant reviewers do not live in your world, so explain unique terms and concepts and spell out all acronyms the first time they are used.


source: https://www.nonprofitpro.com/article/be-a-standout-10-tips-for-writing-grant-proposals-that-get-funded/