Thanks GCAC; or, When Local Government Works for You

In an election year, the last thing any US resident wants to hear about is government. This story, however, is a light-hearted one amongst the sea of snarky tweets and quickly-fading memes. Today I learned that the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC), supported in BIG part by local government, is sending me to an intensive five day workshop. Later this year, I'll be attending a five day photogravure workshop, taught by Paul Taylor of Renaissance Press.

More on the excitement of copper plate photogravure to come. Today's post is all about the folks that made it happen.

Late last year, my good buddy and darkroom roommate Stephen Takacs informed me that he was taking part in an artist in residency (AIR) program out West. While AIR programs are a great opportunity for any artist, typical roadblocks include: time, money, more money, and even more money. If one is lucky enough, the AIR program is one that pays some if not all of the way, but usually still requires the artist to travel there. What's an artist to do? Enter the GCAC.

Since the 1970's the GCAC has been helping keep Central Ohio a well-oiled arts machine by giving back thousands of dollars per year to artists residing the Columbus, OH area.  Artists residing in Franklin county Ohio are eligible for a variety of individual grants and fellowship programs. These folks helped make Stephen's trip possible (through a professional development grant), and the time he had out there allowed him to focus on his latest awesome body of work, Brownie in Motion. No strings, no repayments, just funding that artists can use for supplies, travel, professional development, R&D, finishing a feature film, and more!

Not being one to leave potential money on the table, I threw my hat into the ring for 2016's individual artist grants. But before even applying, I was able to find help from the GCAC themselves, who were active on Columbus' largest artist group on Facebook, The Art and Artists of 614. The GCAC even held an open forum meeting at 400 West Rich where artists could ask questions and get help on their grant applications. The level of outreach here is strong, and the folks at the GCAC couldn't have been any more helpful in the process.

Wrapping up, I just want to give another big thank you to all the folks that currently make the Greater Columbus Arts Council Possible. Mayor of Columbus, OH, Mr. Andrew Ginther, the Columbus City Council, and every single donor that's put their hard-earned money back into local arts. I'll do my best to put this individual grant to use and bring some more unique art back to Columbus.

Until next time.