Kentucky Artist Rescue Grant Program (KAR)

Guidelines and Instructions

Application Deadline: Nov. 15, 2021

Grant Period: Jan. 1-June 30, 2022

Program Description

Kentucky Artist Rescue Grants (KAR) are awarded to practicing Kentucky professional artists from the COVID-19 crisis and are funded through American Rescue Program funding. The grant supports a stipend/fee for an individual artist applicant to carry out a project or activity. Funding may be used by artists for presentations, training, research and/or creation of new art with tangible outcomes required. The KAR 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, etc.

Artistic disciplines supported by this grant are:

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 KAR funding period is Jan. 1-June 30, 2022.

Who May Apply

Applicants must be:

Proof of Residency

All applicants must submit 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.

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://emars311.ky.gov/webapp/vssprdonline3111d/AltSelfService 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.


Individuals with a full, part-time or leadership position with an organization cannot apply for Kentucky Artist Rescue 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.

Artists conducting in-school residencies are not eligible.

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

Grant Amounts

Applicants for Kentucky Artists Rescue grants may apply for funding up to $5,000. Grant awards will be determined by overall panelist scores and the amount of funding available. As a result, grantees may receive reduced awards. This is a competitive grant and not all applicants will receive funding.

Application budgets must include artist fees equal or greater than the amount requested. Applications with budgets that do not have artist fees equal to or greater than the requested grant amount will be deemed ineligible and will not be reviewed.

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.

Scoring Criteria

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

Artistic Excellence

Artistic Merit

Application Information

Applications for this program are made through the Kentucky Arts Council GO Smart online grant system. 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.

Applicants must provide their digital consent to the terms and conditions of the program in order to submit an application for consideration. Applications or requests for funding that are mailed as hard copies or emailed will not be considered.

Late, ineligible and incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Submission of the application indicates that you have read and understand all guidelines and application instructions but does not guarantee eligibility or that all guideline requirements have been met.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 15, 2021. Submissions received after that time will be ineligible for consideration. 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.

Each application will be reviewed by the program director, who may contact the applicant if clarification is needed. An outside panel will review all eligible applications. The Kentucky Artist Rescue grant program is competitive, and not all applications will receive funding.

Note: All asterisked (*) items on the application are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit your application.

Do not type in all capital letters when creating your profile or completing the application.

Work Samples

Work samples are the way that panelists assess artistic excellence. 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 Nov. 15, 2021, all work samples must have been completed between Jan. 1, 2017, and Nov. 15, 2021.)

Panel Meeting

A panel of arts professionals will review all eligible applications according to the scoring criteria.

Arts Council Board Meeting

Panel recommendations will be forwarded to the arts council’s governing board for approval.


There are no appeals in this program.

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 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.

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 from https://artscouncil.ky.gov.

The acknowledgment line for the KAR program is:

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

Funding for the KAR grant program comes from the National Endowment for the Arts. KAR grantees are responsible for contacting their senators and representatives to let them know the importance of these public funds to your work as an artist. Copies of each letter must be sent to the Kentucky Arts Council by email or through the U.S. Postal Service no later than January 1, 2022. We ask that you also share the news of your award with your state legislators and local media.

Final Reports

All 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.

The arts council welcomes questions regarding this program. For more information, contact:

Tamara Coffey
Arts Program Branch Manager