PIQUA – A new program started by the Piqua Arts Council along with partners, Mayflower Art Center, Studio 14, and Tipp City Arts Council has been awarded a grant by the Paul G. Duke Foundation. The Miami County Individual Arts Opportunity Grants is a program where artists of any discipline can apply for funding that will be used for professional development or in the use of creating new works.
“This program is really exciting for us and we hope that the artists of Miami County realize what this means for them as well,” said Piqua Arts Council Executive Director Jordan Knepper. “We hope people realize that this isn’t just for fine artists, painters, and sculptors, but it is for all disciplines.”
Knepper talked about the idea starting when a high school student wanted to go to a special camp over the summer and that the Piqua Arts Council didn’t have a process to help her with funding. Reflektion, local country music artists Jared and Justin Younce, also came to Knepper and wanted help funding a music video, and again the council wasn’t able to help. Always in the back of his mind, it wasn’t until Knepper served as a panelist for the Montgomery County Individual Artist Opportunity Grants that he was able to see a way to start funding these projects.
“It was a very frustrating position to be in,” continued Knepper. “We really wanted to help both of these people, but we just didn’t have anything in place to help them out. But after spending time with Montgomery County’s Arts and Culture District as a panelist, I realized we could use their process and apply it to all of Miami County and really have an impact on artists in Miami County.”
Knepper reached out to Lisa Campbell Bauer with Mayflower Arts Center, Leslie Trimbach with Studio 14 Gallery, and Lynn Shirk with the Tipp City Arts Council to see if they’d be interested in partnering on the project to help make sure artists across the county know about the grant opportunity. Artists will be able to apply for up to $2000 for their project. Projects will have to benefit Miami County in some way, including presentations and exhibitions in Miami County.
“These funds aren’t just for visual artists,” continued Knepper. “I know there will be some confusion about what type of activities will be included. Artist is a very broad term and covers a lot of other categories than just visual artists, and we encourage people to attend the informational sessions and see if their activity would be covered.”
Informational sessions will be held by cooperating partners in each city. Each meeting will discuss possible funding opportunities and the process for applying for funds. Applications will be due by the end of September for projects taking place during the 2019 calendar year.