Small Business Partner Spotlight: Accelerate Your Creative Endeavors – Apply for Funding Via The Arts Commission

Posted on July 1, 2024

by Lindsay Williams, Small Business and Nonprofit Librarian

Art means business. Ohio is full of incredible cultural resources – from the collections of  larger art institutions to the contributions of independent creatives. More than 94,000 people are employed by arts-related businesses in our state, and each year creative industries contribute more than $41.4B to Ohio’s economy.

If you’ve met with our team at the Library, you’ve learned the hard truth that grants to for profit businesses can be extremely competitive and hard to come by. However, for working artists, one local organization is making a major difference and that’s The Arts Commission.

Accelerator Grants

The Accelerator Grant is The Arts Commission’s competitive program offering financial support with a quick turnaround for local artists to advance their creative projects and their careers. Eligible categories of support include equipment, supplies, professional development, and project support. It is this equipment and supply support that attracted one local photographer to apply. The artist sought Accelerator funding to kickstart a major film photography project – typically an expensive endeavor:

“The Accelerator Grant connected ends for me when I needed help the most. My work is based on the traditional elements of photography, darkroom-based to be exact. My first go around with learning how to develop film was thanks to them providing the means to purchase tanks and trays. I am completely self-taught and have remained loyal to the opportunities provided by the Arts Commission to continue as a traditional photographer. My work has lived on the walls of galleries and soon enough, museums. I have them to thank for contributing to my foundation as an artist.”

Save these dates! Remaining 2024 Accelerator Grant Cycles: Grant amounts are not to exceed $1500. Cycle 3 – Opens June 25. Application deadline: July 22 Cycle 4 – Opens July 23. Application deadline: August 26 Cycle 5 – Opens August 27. Application deadline: September 23

Learn More & Apply

Encouragement from Fellow Creatives

When asked how he might advise other artists seeking grant funding to proceed, another grant recipient and local playwright shared, “I love the fact that the Arts Commission built the award I received around just making good art. The tricky thing about that is it leaves me with no particularly useful advice about applying for funds like this apart from: make good art. Which I mean you’re probably trying to do already.”

A local jewelry designer and grant recipient responded with, “Just apply. Really. It is getting over that hurdle, and then getting over it again, and again, and again. As a jewelry designer, the art fair market specifically is incredibly competitive. You can’t give up after the first no because, eventually, it’s going to be a yes!”


The Arts Commission says it best, in their ‘How to Create a Successful Grant Application’ guide, and they say it in all caps: KEEP APPLYING.

You got the grant… now what?

We recommend applying for this upcoming Small Business & Nonprofit program:

ONE YEAR ACTION PLAN (Sa) August 24 | 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. | Main Library | Register

You got the grant… now what? In this Small Business & Nonprofit Department class we are typically adapting a business plan into an operations plan, but you can absolutely translate these same skills to a grant! If your application expressed to The Arts Commission (or another funder) you’d complete ‘X’ by this date, this class will help you to determine what you need to do every month – or even week! – prior to said date in order to reach your goal in time.



Looking to get inspired, manage money, master self-promotion, write grants, and more? This book collection was curated with artists and creatives in mind: view the list

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