Cultural Facilities Grant Program Eligibility

Review the information below to determine if your project may be eligible for grant funding.

Project Type

The facility must be a visual/performing arts center, museum, science and technology center, arts education facility, local historical facility, state-owned historical facility, or publicly-owned professional sports facility.
These types of facilities meet the statutory definition of “cultural facilities” and are assigned to our Commission for oversight once an appropriation is made by the Legislature.

The facility must be owned and operated by an Ohio-incorporated 501(c)(3) organization (not-for-profit) or an Ohio local government.
For-profit ventures and non-Ohio sponsors may not receive funding through the Commission.

Sponsor Status

The cost and feasibility of the project must be considered.
If a feasibility study has not been completed, you may want to consider conducting one to help determine the likely success of your facility construction or expansion and the level of community support for it. Funds for such studies may be available through the Capacity Building grants program of the Ohio Arts Council.

Cost is one of the most important issues to consider in any project, and it is critical to identify both direct and indirect costs before taking on a capital project. Have you obtained reliable estimates for construction costs? What about other costs such as professional fees, insurance, title work, and permit fees? How do your total project cost estimates line up with the results of your feasibility study and the available community support?

Project sponsors should have an operating pro forma and comprehensive business plan.
In accordance with state law, the Commission must determine that the sponsor can provide culture for at least 10 years, even if the General Assembly has already made an appropriation. As part of the assessment, the Commission requires an operating pro forma to demonstrate the fiscal viability of the sponsors and proposed projects.

Capital projects that receive state appropriations through the Commission are required to result in successful facilities that are able to support themselves for the long-term. By statute, the Commission cannot provide operating funds.

Project Costs

Projects must have a sufficient local match.
Commission-funded projects require a “local match” or "local contribution." For cultural facilities, the match must be $1 of non-state resources for every $2 appropriated by the state. The local contribution may include cash contributions, grants, signed donor pledges, the value of land and existing buildings, and new funds set aside in an endowment.

For sports facilities, the amount of the local match must be, at a minimum, 85% of the initial project construction cost estimate. The state may provide up to a maximum of 15%, although sports facilities projects are not guaranteed a 15% share from the state. Land and existing buildings cannot be included as part of the match for sports facilities per the Ohio Revised Code.

The Commission cannot release funds to a project unless all necessary funding has been documented and verified.

Technical Assistance and Services

While the Commission does not play a formal role in the decisions surrounding capital appropriations, we can assist communities and state officials in determining project eligibility. Our staff is happy to provide assistance to project sponsors preparing to make capital bill requests by reviewing the eligibility requirements, and by providing details about the typical process for receiving Commission approval once an appropriation has been made.

Fact Sheet