ArtsinStark Announces $1.1 million in Grants

Click here to see the Operating Grantees and Special Project Awards. 

At its December board meeting ArtsinStark’s Board of Directors approved $1,075, 000 in grants to 31 organizations and individual artists across Stark County.  The grants were awarded in two categories: Operating and Special Projects.  “Donors to the Annual Arts Campaign have made it possible over the last ten years for us to award $10 million in grants to the 7 largest arts groups: Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Symphony, Massillon Museum, Palace Theatre, Players Guild and Voices of Canton,” says ArtsinStark board chair Emil Alecusan,” and another $1.5 million to 600 small non-profits, artists, and schools in every community in Stark County.”  The programs supported by ArtsinStark grants reach more than 200,000 people a year, and is part of its mission to use the arts to create smarter kids, new jobs, and healthier communities.  To see more information on ArtsinStark’s Grants Program and the list of this year’s award winners to date, please visit

The Operating Grants approved by the board for seven major arts organizations in Stark County total  $1,039,835.  “These are the crown jewels of our region,” says ArtsinStark board member Ed Levy, who is Chair of the Operating Grants Committee. “They operate at the highest professional level and are so important to attracting visitors to the region.”

Operating Grantee



Canton Ballet

 $    127,470

To host 10 performances of 3 major productions, do



school presentations, and offer hundreds of classes



to more than 300 students.

Canton Museum of Art

 $    253,750

To host 10 exhibits, 2 major art shows, and 60



community events, classes and outreach programs



for more than 30,000 participants.

Canton Symphony

 $    326,150

To host 7 classical concerts, 3 pops concerts, and a



range of intimate musical performances and



interactive programs for young audiences.

Massillon Museum

 $    61,600

To host 6 Main Gallery exhibits, various permanent



collection and Studio M exhibits, 5 intimate concerts,



and numerous community lectures and workshops.

Palace Theatre

 $    41,625

To provide over 100 movies and art films, live



concerts, dance performances and special events at



its historic theatre.

Players Guild Theatre

 $    188,990

To present 8 major shows, touring productions for 



K-12, along with classes and workshops.

Voices of Canton

 $    40,250

To host 12 concerts by the adult chorus, and provide



educational outreach to schools.



The Special Project Grants go to 24 smaller arts organizations, non-profits, and individual artists and total $34,974. Ballet LaReve in Canal Fulton is taking dance programs to preschoolers.  Keep Alliance Beautiful is creating a mural for a downtown mini-park.  The Lions Lincoln Theatre in Massillon is establishing a young people’s theatre company.  “These are special projects being run by organizations and individual artists that show us every day how art is changing lives all across Stark County,” says Special Projects Grants Committee Chair Vicki Conley.   In the spring ArtsinStark will announce another round of Special Projects Grants for schools and Stark County downtowns.  Here is the list of the Special Project Grants approved this week.






Alliance for Children & Families



To offer math & music program for homeless families


Ballet LeReve


Canal Fulton

To provide outreach performances to preschoolers


Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corp



To produce a drum corp program to EnRichMent students


Bonilla, Lindsay


N. Canton

To present a storytelling & music program at local libraries


Bowen, Ted



To offer summer juggling lessons in Alliance parks


Canton Calvary Mission



To produce a fashion & dance exhibition with K - 12 students


Canton Tree Commission



To hold a photo contest to celebrate Arbor Day


Early Childhood Resource Center



To create interactive texture garden with artist Michele Waalkes


Joseph, Craig



To produce a season of 7 plays promoting civic engagement


Keep Alliance Beautiful



To create a mural for a mini-park space in Alliance


Kent State University at Stark



To produce "Guitar Weekend" with extended outreach


Knight, Jim



To provide dramatic readings at local libraries


Lions Lincoln Theatre



To create a youth theatre troupe


Malone University



To offer a Meadow Mural project to middle-schoolers


May, Margene



To create an outdoor art mural promoting family unity


Pawsitive Ohio


N. Canton

To raise awareness of homeless animals by creating art





To create classroom mural with at-risk students


Rossetti, Kristen



To provide a literature & art class for children 2 - 10


Stark County UMADAOP



To provide an art camp during Juneteenth Celebration


Stone, John



To produce a photography exhibition showcasing Canton


Washington High Sch. Alumni Assoc



To increase outreach for annual Messiah performance


Venegas, Raven


N. Canton

To curate and design an exhibition of historical paintings


Vigil, Emily


N. Canton

To create outdoor artwork for area garden sites


YMCA, Eric Snow Family



To host One Voice Gospel Choir program for youth 12 - 24


BACKGROUND:  ArtsinStark -- Kids, Jobs, Communities.   We are a 46 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, and runs the Annual Arts Campaign --- and much more (Canton Arts District, First Fridays, SmArts Program in the schools, 20/20 Vision, and the ELEVEN).  More at  Our annual budget is $3 million.   What we don’t earn, we raise each spring through the Annual Arts Campaign.  In May 2016 the Campaign raised $1.7 million to become the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 11 years in a row.  (Over the last decade we have increased private sector giving to the arts by 85%.)



The grant application period is now closed. Thanks to all that applied this season. 


Special Project Grant

2016-17 Guidelines and Application Requirements

SPECIAL PROJECT grants are available to non-profit agencies and individual artists, for arts-related projects that demonstrate a commitment to artistic excellence, community impact and outreach.  Proposals that involve a new and original idea typically receive the highest scores, while projects that are on-going need to demonstrate what will make the current year’s activities different or fresh.


Proposals must involve  the arts (visual, dance, theatre, vocal, etc.) and will be scored on 1) artistic merit – quality of artists involved, 2) management ability --- experience of organization / artist administering the program and 3) impact --- number of people served or new areas of county reached.  The grants panel will make its recommendations on the basis of the submitted material.  For that reason it is very important that the written parts of the application specifically highlight the above areas of the review criteria.


Who can apply?


Non-Profit Organizations (Regular application): requests of up to $3,500 are accepted, with a 1 to 1 cash match, and include but not limited to arts organizations, faith-based organizations, social service agencies, etc.  Non-arts organizations are encouraged to partner with artists or an arts organization. Note: Non-profits who do not have their Federal 501-c-3 certification need to tell us in their organizational overview (attachment to the application) how long they have been in existence and why we should consider them to be non-profit.


Non-Profit Organizations (Mini-Grant application):  request amount cannot exceed $750 (no matching monies required).


Individual Artists: request amount cannot exceed $750 mini-grant level - artists that have bigger proposals should partner with a non-profit organization):  The grant provides support to highly creative and talented artists who seek to produce, perform, teach or share their work with the public.  Project grants to individuals might include public performances, arts workshops, creative collaborations, and exhibitions and installations with a strong public component.


K – 12 schools located in Stark County are not eligible for Special Project Grants.  Funding to schools is available through the SmArts grant program and comes in two forms:  $750 mini grants and long-term partnerships, both of which involve the superintendent, school administration, teachers, teaching artists and ArtsinStark staff.  Please contact ArtsinStark’s Director of Education for more information.



Award Amounts:


  • $750 mini-grants; no matching monies required
  • $1,000 - $3,500 regular grants; a 1-to-1 cash match is required.


Grant funds will be released on the following schedule:


  • Upon approval by grants panel and ArtsinStark Board of Directors in December: 80%.
  • Upon receipt and approval of the Final Report: 20%.



1.   Projects must take place in Stark County, Ohio.

2.   Applicants funded in the previous year must have submitted all final reports before re-applying.       Grantees who do not submit an acceptable final report within 60 days of project completion         will jeopardize their chances for future ArtsinStark funding.

  1. Project must be 12 months or less in duration and take place between January 1, 2017 and

      December 31, 2017 (extensions may be requested on a case-by-case basis).  Projects that are not completed within one year will be required to return to ArtsinStark all funding received.        Organizations  and / or artists failing to complete funded projects or return funds from      unfinished projects will be ineligible for future funding.

  1. Organizations and individual artists are restricted to one application with one project per year.
  2. To qualify: 1) applications from non-profits or individual artists must focus on the arts by presenting new and original ideas, or by demonstrating  what will make the current year’s activities different or fresh.
  3. Applications that may be considered unacceptable are those that a) are not preceded by a concept form b) have no other source of income besides the request to ArtsinStark (requests exceeding $750), c) do not occur between Jan 1, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017, d) are submitted incorrectly, e) arrive at our office after the application deadline of Wednesday, November 16, 2016 by 4:00 p.m. and f) appear to be requests for operating support rather than a special project.



Special Project grant applications are reviewed by an independent peer panel composed of Board members plus individuals who represent donors, corporate leaders, higher education, social welfare, government, artists and arts organizations.  Funding recommendations made by the review panel are presented to the ArtsinStark Board of Directors for the final award decision.  Grant proposals are reviewed on a competitive basis using criteria that includes:

  • Clear articulation of the project including attainable goals.
  • Highest level of artistic quality and merit that includes the involvement of professional artists.
  • Number of people served and community impact.
  • Access for underserved constituents (e.g. ethnic, disabled, senior, lower income, etc.)
  • Qualifications of project staff to carry out the proposed activities.
  • Realistic budgetary projections and ability to meet cash match (if applicable).
  • Demonstrated need for support.




Grantees have the following responsibilities to a) use ArtsinStark window cling at their location, b) to use logo with credit line “funded by ArtsinStark” on all printed material relating to the project (can be edited to “funded in part by ArtsinStark”), c) if asked, provide a presentation or exhibition at an ArtsinStark event (ArtSplash, First Friday, Board meeting, etc.), d) notify ArtsinStark of all project-related events, e)  if asked, provide one volunteer for the annual phonathon in May,  Approval for any proposed changes to the original project budget must be requested in writing to ArtsinStark .  Additionally, a final report must be submitted in order to receive final grant disbursements and prior to re-applying.  Failure to comply with the contract requirements will disqualify applicant from future funding opportunities.



ArtsinStark cannot fund these types of activities:

  • Scholarships
  • Sponsorships
  • Fundraising efforts such as social events, benefits, etc.
  • Stand-alone field trips
  • Stand-alone equipment purchases
  • Bricks & mortar activities, capital improvements
  • Programs that do not benefit or impact Stark County residents




  • To provide a painting workshop and installation with 22 students
  • To establish a cinematography therapy group for teens
  • To present symphony concerts to pre-schoolers
  • To provide story-telling programs for a young moms club.
  • To conduct a cultural exchange art program
  • To produce a musical theatre event with 150 students


A complete listing of the over 500 grants awarded to date is available at  by clicking here





Wed Sept 14: project concept forms available; applications will be sent after this form is received.


Sept 19 – Oct 21: granting appointments; call (330) 453-1075, x204 to schedule.


Mon Nov 7: concept form deadline


Wed Nov 16: application deadline


Wed Dec 14: Board review and approval


Thur Dec 15: Grants announced


January 2017: Check presentation - date / time TBA




Grant information contact


Anne Wadian, Office Manager                                   (330) 453-1075, x204                                          (330) 453-1105 Fax