The Ohio Arts Council is excited to share two opportunities for Ohio’s folk and traditional artists and practitioners. 

On March 28, 2022, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced that $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds have been dedicated to arts and culture .

More information here. Applications open in mid-August.

Assembly for the Arts and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is partnering to distribute these dollars directly to you through special relief funding programs for nonprofit organizations, individual artists and creative businesses.

Assembly will distribute $1.65 million of these funds to Artists and Creative For-Profit Businesses. In addition, nonprofit organizations can visit CAC’s website for more information on their ARPA funding program.

More information here. Applications open in mid-August.


Ohio Arts Council offers two programs for folk artists

The Ohio Arts Council is excited to share two opportunities for Ohio’s folk and traditional artists and practitioners.

The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program provides awards that allow master artists to share their knowledge  of  time-honored art forms with dedicated apprentices. Master artists may request up to $4,000 to work with one, and if appropriate, two, apprentices. Traditional masters and their apprentice(s) should submit a joint application.  At least 50 percent of the request must be used for master artist honoraria. No match is required.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2021, at 5 p.m.

Application Draft Deadline (for feedback prior to submission): March 1, 2021

To learn more and to apply, click the button below:
Traditional Arts Apprenticeship

The Ohio Heritage Fellowship awards recognize and support Ohio folk and traditional artists who are the most influential masters of their particular tradition and whose work in the folk and traditional arts has had a significant impact on their communities.

Awards are given in three categories: Performing Arts, Material Culture (folk art, folk crafts, folk architecture) and Community Leadership.  The OAC expects awardees to adhere to cultural artistic traditions; maintain the aesthetics and preservation of their art form; contribute to the public visibility of the folk and traditional arts; actively participate in their art form as a practitioner, a mentor, or community leader; and create work that deepens awareness of the diverse cultural and artistic traditions of Ohioans.

The recipient will receive a commemorative plaque plus a $5,000 award at a public award ceremony.

Nomination Deadline: March 15, 2021, at 5 p.m.

To learn more and to nominate someone, click the button below:
Ohio Heritage Fellowship

How to support musicians during the coronavirus crisis

Want to support the musicians you love? Consider taking lessons online while you’re home during the next few weeks. Many musicians in our community are able to teach online, and are hit hard by the loss of work that comes with venues and events shutting down.

Send an email with the instrument and experience level you’re looking for, and we’ll do our best to connect you with local musicians able to help. Please note that NEOMHA will not be processing, or earning, any fees — we will provide you referrals and you can manage all the details of payment and scheduling as best works for you.


Suggestions from the Look Out Cleveland Tipsheet:

Live streaming performance: Check out the social media of your favorite local musicians  – many are streaming live performances and have virtual tip jars so you can provide direct support.

Also, local musician Michelle Gaw, lead singer of the band Mimi Arden, has organized Virtual Shows CLE, which puts on regular livestreaming events by Cleveland musicians on Facebook.

Merch: Buying merch is a great way to support your favorite musicians. Many acts sell CDs, LPs, t-shirts and other merchandise on their websites or social media pages.

Jim VolkSupport your favorite venues: Look Out Cleveland has published a list of many of the local venues that book live music. Most of those venues are losing money while they stay closed. Nose around their websites and consider purchasing gift certificates, merchandise or donating to their employee funds.


Other ways to support artists and music-industry workers

From National Public Radio
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought the global concert business to a standstill, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket-sales losses, billions in falling music-industry stock prices and generating an unprecedented level of financial anxiety for artists, event organizers and other behind-the-scenes workers who rely on live events to make their ends meet.

Below are some of the most effective ways that fans can contribute financially to artists and music-industry workers in need, ranked from having the most- to least-immediate impact . . .  Read more.

Loans and other resources for musicians

  • Free Virtual Topanga Banjo Fiddle Festival & Contest – In the spirit of folk music and its rich history of perseverance, the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest will hold its first Virtual Gimme Shelter Contest. Submit video by June 1; cash prizes offered. If you would like, dress creatively to reflect the times; you can wear pajamas, hats, hazmat suits.  Have fun! Information.
  • NEO Music Relief Fund – Grants of up to $500 to any professional musicians who have lost their income because of COVID-19  Information.
  • Mark LaskeyNoteworthy Credit Union – Noteworthy is the arts community’s credit union, offering products specially designed to meet the unique professional and personal needs of artists and musicians.  Their services range from competitive checking and savings accounts to low-interest credit cards, creative arts project loans, and their specialty, musical instrument loans. When artists join, they’re helping everyone in the arts community – including themselves. Information.
  • HFLA of Northeast Ohio – Based in Beachwood, Ohio, this non-profit organization’s mission is to provide interest-free loans to address the financial challenges of residents of Northeast Ohio who lack access to traditional lending sources. Information.   Here’s application.
  • Grantspace – A national database of organizations that offer links to grants, crowdsourcing and other resources for those affected by the coronavirus, including a large section for artists. Information.
  • Small Business Administration – There have been plenty of glitches but opportunities remain. Small businesses can apply for low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help overcome a loss in revenue.  “No business is too small,” said Gil Goldberg, the director of the northern Ohio office of the Small Business Administration. Information.