The Ohio Arts Council will offer four grants for the university arts initiative during fiscal year 2018. | Credit: Courtesy of OSU

The Ohio Arts Council board will provide four grants to the university’s arts initiative after a vote during its major fiscal year 2018 funding round on July 19.

The council approved $12,067,366 in grants to support artists, organizations, students, educators and public art programs across the state. With that funding, the OAC will provide a total of $170,478 in grants to arts initiatives at Ohio State.

Karen Simonian, Wexner Center for the Arts advancement projects manager, said these grants will allow the Wexner Center to continue providing programming to the Ohio State and Columbus communities.

It’s great that the Ohio Arts Council is able to fund the major arts organizations in town because it really helps the city to see a more vibrant arts community. It allows for more opportunities for students and lifelong learners,” she said. “It’s really essential that we have these kind of unrestricted funds to support our mission and to meet our overall goals.”

The new funding will send two sustainability grants to the university, one catered to the Arts Initiative for $16,754, and the largest of the four grants to the Wexner Center for the Arts and Ohio State for $143,669.

The remaining two grants include an Arts Partnership grant for the Wexner Center’s arts and writing program “Pages” for $7,272, and a small, $626 Arts Access grant for “The Journal,” the university’s literary magazine.

“(Pages) is a yearlong course for high school students, and these students come from all over the city, 200 per year participate,” she said. “In the process they learn how to look at art and how to talk about it and, of course, how to write about it.”

The new funding will also include an additional $2,157 ArtStart grant for the Gateway Film Foundation to support its monthly family-film series in partnership with Ohio State’s Nisonger Center.

Justin Nigro, the Ohio Arts Council’s operations and public affairs director, said the new funding will directly benefit students, especially those who regularly use or visit exhibition spaces that are sponsored by the council.

“Whether by viewing upcoming exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Hopkins Hall gallery or Urban Arts Space, or interacting with the university’s literary magazine ‘The Journal,’ Ohio State students have a multitude of opportunities to enrich their academic experience and personal live through the OAC’s funding,” he said in an email.

The Ohio Arts Council provides year-round financial support for operating activities at the Hopkins Hall gallery and downtown Urban Arts Space, which are consistently used by Ohio State’s Art Department.

The arts initiative grant for $16,754 will be used to support exhibitions, programs and student interns at the two spaces, said Nigro.