Kentucky Arts Council-Artist Relief and Disaster Recovery (KAC-ARDR)

Grant Guidelines and Instructions

Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2022
Grant Period: Jan. 1-June 30, 2023

Program Purpose

With awards of up to $5,000, KAC-ARDR supports individual Kentucky artists affected by the western Kentucky tornadoes in December 2021 or the eastern Kentucky floods in July 2022. Matching funds are not required.

Who May Apply

Professional individual artists residing in the following federally designated FEMA Individual Assistance counties:

Western Kentucky Counties (Disaster 4630): Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor, Todd and Warren

Eastern Kentucky Counties (Disaster 4663): Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley

Applicants must be:

  • Practicing Kentucky artists, responsible for creating their own work, not interpreting the work of others or creating under the guidance of an instructor or mentor;
  • In compliance with KAC final reporting requirements for all previous awards;
  • At least 18 years of age at the time of application;
  • Full-time residents of Kentucky. Applicants must have been a resident for a period of at least six months immediately prior to the application deadline and must remain a resident of Kentucky throughout the grant period;
  • United States citizens, lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or who have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.; and
  • Registered with the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet. Register online using the Vendor Self Service System or complete the EZ Vendor Registration Application at https://finance.ky.gov/eProcurement/Pages/default.aspx. We strongly recommend that you register with the Kentucky Vendor System before you begin your application to ensure you will have your vendor number to submit with the application.

Proof of Residency

All applicants must submit a picture or photocopy of two of the documents listed below by email or U.S. Postal Service at the time of application. Without proof of Kentucky residency, an application will be deemed ineligible and will not be forwarded to the panel for review.

  • A Commonwealth of Kentucky driver’s license OR a Commonwealth of Kentucky identification card, which includes the date issued and expiration date. (Note: If you maintain a driver’s license and an identification card, send one or the other, not both. The KAC will only accept one of these card-based forms of identification as proof of residency.)
  • Kentucky voter registration verification (downloadable from the State Board of Elections’ Voter Information Center website at https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/VIC/.
  • 2021 or 2020 Kentucky state income tax form (740 series for full-year residents).

Program Description

The Kentucky Arts Council-Artist Relief and Disaster Recovery (ARDR) grant program is designed to assist rescue and recovery following the devastating environmental, economic and cultural effects of the December 2021 tornadoes and July 2022 floods in Kentucky. Funds allocated represent a recognition of the value of individual artists to the commonwealth’s economic recovery. KAC-ARDR funds, up to $5,000, are intended to help support practicing Kentucky professional artists. The grant supports a stipend/fee for an individual artist applicant to carry out a project or activity. Funding may be used for presentations, training, research and/or creation of new art with tangible outcomes required. The ARDR program encourages but does not require partnerships between the artist and local organizations, agencies, businesses, etc. Community participation is encouraged. Activities may include, but are not limited to, residencies, the creation of new work, exhibits and performances, other public art events and significant public art forums that create meaningful dialogues.

Professional Kentucky artists working in the following disciplines may apply for funding:

  • Literature (creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and play/screenwriting)
  • Dance (choreography and performance)
  • Music (composition, songwriting and performance)
  • Theater and storytelling
  • Folk and traditional arts
  • Visual arts (crafts, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, installation and new media)
  • Media arts (film, video, audio, computer/digital arts and interactive media)

Artists from underserved communities, including (but not limited to) rural communities and communities of color, as well as artists with disabilities, are especially encouraged to apply.

The KAC-ARDR funding period is Jan. 1-June 30, 2023.

Grant Amounts

Applicants for KAC-ARDR grants may apply for up to $5,000 and must provide an expense budget with allowable fees up to or greater than the amount requested.

Scoring Criteria

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Artistic Excellence
    • Creativity (15 points)
    • Artistic skill (15 points)
    • Demonstration of an authentic or unique voice or perspective (15 points)
  • Artistic Merit
    • Clarity and coherence of described artist practice or artistic point of view (15 points)
    • Social, cultural or civic relevance of artistic practice (20 points)
    • Active participation and regular creation of artistic work in one or more of the supported artistic disciplines as evidenced in the artist resume (20 points)

Eligible Costs

Funding support is provided solely for payment of fees/stipends to the applicant artist for time and materials needed for the proposed project.


Individuals with a full-, part-time or leadership position with an organization cannot apply for ARDR funds in conjunction with that organization. This grant should not be viewed as an opportunity to fund a staff position within an organization.

Artists who have formally organized as a not-for-profit organization with 501(c)3 status will be considered an organization and are ineligible to apply.

Kentucky Arts Council funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Purchase of equipment, property, library holdings or acquisitions
  • Publications or recordings for commercial purposes
  • Scholarships or other activities related to academic credit or degrees
  • In-school residencies and performances are not eligible
  • Activities intended primarily for fundraising
  • Food, beverages or other refreshments
  • Requests designed to reduce or eliminate existing deficits
  • Interest on loans, fines, penalties and/or litigation costs
  • Expenses incurred before the starting date of the period covered in the grant request
  • Investments of any kind
  • Performances not available to the general public
  • Programs that have sectarian purposes
  • The application of new artistic work to historic buildings or structures unless approved by the state historic preservation office as being in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (contact the Kentucky Heritage Council at 502-564-7005 or http://heritage.ky.gov.

How to Apply

Carefully review the program guidelines. Applications for this program are made through the Kentucky Arts Council GO Smart online grant system located at https://kyarts.gosmart.org. The arts council recommends using Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Firefox to complete your application. Internet Explorer users may experience problems with the application program.

Do not type in all capital letters when completing the profile fields or application questions.

  • Returning applicants: Log in to the GO Smart system using your recent profile. If you do not have access to your GO Smart profile, do not create a new one. Contact Grants Manager Jessica Taylor, jessicat@ky.gov. Although arts council staff do not have access to password information, we can assist in resetting passwords and updating profile information.
  • New applicants: Carefully read the information under Account Information and How to Navigate this Website. Click the link to create a new profile. Accept the GO Smart End User Terms and Conditions. Complete the Profile page:
    • Select INDIVIDUAL profile.
    • Complete the required information. Note the following:
    • Save your login and password in a secure place. You will need it to return to the application and to complete the final report.
    • The application will return you to the Kentucky Arts Council Grants System main page. Select Current Programs & Applications.
  • On the Current Programs & Application page, look for Kentucky Arts Council-Artist Relief and Disaster Recovery (KAC-ARDR) START.
  • All asterisked (*) items on the application form are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit your application.
  • On the NEA Questions page, select the following:
    • Type of Activity – None of the Above
    • % of Arts Education - None of this project involves arts education
    • NEA Primary Strategic Outcome - Livability
    • Amount Requested - type amount up to $5,000 as reflected in your budget
    • Fill out the remaining fields to the best of your knowledge.
  • Click the Save Work button on each page or your work will be lost.
  • Click the final Submit button before the deadline, 11:59 p.m. Eastern/10:59 p.m. Central on Dec. 15, 2022. The application can take several minutes to upload and will not be considered submitted until it is fully uploaded. The arts council strongly advises that applicants not wait until 11:59 p.m. Eastern to submit.

Work Samples

Consider your choice of work samples carefully in relation to the program performance expectations. Describe important points about the quality, scope and depth of your work in the work sample index.

Work created collaboratively or under the supervision of a mentor or an instructor is not eligible for consideration.

All work samples must demonstrate the discipline and subdiscipline indicated on the application. All work samples must have been completed within the past three full calendar years. (For the application deadline of Dec. 15, 2022, all work samples must have been completed between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 15, 2022.)

Add audio/video work sample links on the Artistic Excellence section of the application.

Upload JPEG and PDF work samples on the Attach Images & Documents page. Uploading to the Attach Images & Documents page is a two-step process and each step must be completed in order for the work samples to attach to an application.

NOTE: do not upload audio/video files to the Media Library.

STEP ONE: click either Attach Image (for JPEGs) or Attach Document (for PDF files) to upload each work sample.

  • Click the Show Additional Fields Below button.
    • For JPEG work samples, you must include the Year Completed and Artwork Dimensions. You may also include a brief description.
    • For PDF work samples, literary artists must include the Year Completed, Year Published, Publisher, Total number of pages for work, Number of pages uploaded, Scene description and Context statement for excerpts (as appropriate to your discipline). Composing and songwriting applicants should include information specific to each score/lead sheet. Publication is not a requirement for literary artists, composers or songwriters.
  • Click the Upload File button.

STEP TWO: click the Attach button next to each work sample to attach it to your application.

Remember to SAVE before moving ahead in the application. Once all work samples are uploaded and attached, you may sort them into the order you choose for the panelists to review by using the sort order drop down box.

Work sample requirements:

  • Dance and choreography applicants must submit three video work samples (no more than five minutes each) as three separate web links.
  • Literary arts (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, play and screenwriting) applicants must submit one to three work samples in no more than 20 double-spaced pages total for all work samples combined (11 or 12-point font, Calibri/Times New Roman/Arial preferred, with 1-inch margins all around).
  • Media Arts (film, video, audio, computer/digital arts and interactive media) must submit three work samples in the same media (no more than five minutes each) as three separate web links.
  • Music performance applicants must submit three video work samples (no more than five minutes each) as three separate web links.
  • Musical composition and songwriting applicants must submit three audio work samples (no more than five minutes each) as three separate links and the corresponding scores/lead sheets for each as individual PDFs.
  • Theater and storytelling applicants must submit three video work samples (no more than five minutes each) as three separate web links.
  • Visual Arts (crafts, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, installation and new media) applicants must submit three work samples as JPEGs uploaded to the application. Include one piece of art only in any single photo, except recognized sets such as necklace/earrings/bracelet or tea pot/cup/saucer.

Program Timeline

Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2022

Applicant Notification: Jan. 2023

Grant Period: Jan. 1-June 30, 2023

Final Report Due: July 31, 2023

Application Deadline

The application must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 15, 2022. Submissions received after that time will be ineligible. Note: The application can take several minutes to upload. As a result, the arts council strongly advises that applicants do not wait until the final minutes to submit.

Following the deadline, each application will be reviewed by the program director, who may contact the applicant if clarification is needed.

Grant Review

Approval is not guaranteed. Late, ineligible and incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications with budgets that do not have allowable expenses equal to or greater than the requested grant amount will be deemed ineligible and will not be reviewed.

Program Support

The arts council offers the following support to ensure program standards and goals are met:

  • Consultation regarding applicant eligibility.
  • Assistance from the arts council program director with program, guidelines and application questions.
  • Assistance from the arts council program director with program, guidelines and application questions during a live Zoom Q&A on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern. No registration required. Click this link to join the call: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81361000385?pwd=aTlIOEdlV0dVK3lYcFcwMXp2Zm9uZz09
  • Assistance from arts council grants manager with Go Smart online grants management system questions.

Grant Agreements

Grantees enter into a legal agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Agreements cannot be altered without prior approval from the arts council's appropriate program manager. Grants are for the period specified in the approved application. Funds must be spent within the period stated. Expenses incurred before the beginning of the grant period are not eligible and must not be included in the budget. Agreements cannot be altered without prior approval from the arts council's executive director.

Grant agreement forms must be signed and returned within 30 days. Grant agreement forms received later than 30 days will cause a delay or forfeiture of payment. Grant award material will be sent through DocuSign, which should be added to the grantee’s email program whitelist to ensure delivery.

Recipients concerned about tax liability should consult an accountant. The Kentucky Arts Council cannot provide tax assistance.

Affirmative Duty to Report Contact Information Change

Grantees must promptly notify the Kentucky Arts Council in writing of any significant changes in the grantee’s physical or mailing address, phone numbers or email addresses that could affect services provided under the grant contract resulting from this application.

Kentucky Vendor Number

All applicants must be registered with the Kentucky Vendor Registration system at the time of application. To register for your free Kentucky Vendor Number, access the Kentucky Self-Service Vendor Registration portal at https://finance.ky.gov/eProcurement/Pages/default.aspx or complete the EZ Kentucky Vendor Registration application at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KAC/Creative/kac-arp/application-files/ez-vendor-registration-application.pdf and email it to the Customer Resource Center (CRC) at finance.crcgroup@ky.gov.

Physical and mailing address information provided in the arts council application and grant agreement form must match that associated with the artist’s Kentucky Vendor Number. Discrepancies will result in significant delay or forfeiture of payment.

Crediting Requirement

Grantees must clearly acknowledge support from the Kentucky Arts Council in their promotional material including publications, websites, social media, etc. Such acknowledgement should clearly indicate that funds were provided for artistic excellence and merit. Additional acknowledgment requirements may be provided later.

Grant recipients may download the Kentucky Arts Council logo.

The acknowledgment line for the KAC-ARDR program is:

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides Artist Rescue and Disaster Recovery grant funds to {NAME OF RECIPIENT} with funding from the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

NOTE: individual artists receiving KAC-ARDR funds are required to appropriately acknowledge the Kentucky Arts Council in all project communications.

KAC-ARDR grantees are responsible for contacting their members of Congress and state legislators to inform them of the importance of these public funds to your work as an artist. View a sample letter. Copies of each letter must be copied to the Kentucky Arts Council by email or through the U.S. Postal Service no later than March 31, 2023.

Grant recipients should also share the news of your award with your local media.

Final Reports

All Kentucky Arts Council grantees must submit a final report within 30 days of completion of the grant period. The final report form will be available in the online application program at https://kyarts.gosmart.org/. Failure to submit the required final report for any grant will result in the grantee being ineligible for future funding.

Information from final reports is used to meet the arts council’s reporting requirements to the National Endowment for the Arts.


There are no appeals in this grant category.

For More Information

Tamara Coffey
Arts Program Branch Manager

Page last updated: November 2022
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