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June 28, 2017


Contact: Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation,, 614/251-4000

Columbus Foundation Announces More Than $1.4 Million in Grants to Arts in Central Ohio

Columbus, OH (June 28, 2017)—The Columbus Foundation’s Governing Committee recently approved more than $1.4 million in grants to support 53 arts organizations serving central Ohio. Grants were also awarded to recognize Smart Columbus and ColumbusNext, which will benefit our community as we look to the future.



Major Arts Organizations—15 organizations—$1,223,343

The major arts category includes presenting and performing arts organizations with annual budgets of $350,000 or more. Grants recognize and encourage achievement in six areas: artistic quality, attendance, inclusion, financial stability, board leadership, and overall management. The following grants support the work of the major arts organizations from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Community Arts Fund—34 organizations—$150,000

Through the Community Arts Fund, a Field of Interest Fund, The Columbus Foundation supports small- and medium-sized arts organizations that offer education and performance opportunities for the community, but have limited access to private dollars.

Additional arts grants were awarded to:



The Foundation, thanks to generous donors who have provided unrestricted dollars to address community needs, is also supporting other initiatives focused on our smart and open city.

A $500,000 grant to the Columbus Partnership and City of Columbus was awarded to support Smart Columbus, a collaborative initiative focused on improving the quality of life, growth of the economy, better access to jobs and upward mobility, becoming a world-class logistics leader, and fostering sustainability.

Smart Columbus was developed to aid in the Smart City Challenge bid, where Columbus competed against 77 cities from across the country for $50 million to develop technology and transportation solutions and incorporate an emphasis on electric vehicles and reducing carbon emissions. Columbus was named the winner in June 2016. Over the next four years, the Foundation’s investment will help fund, in part, program and research staff, and public relations and community engagement efforts.

A $50,000 grant to the Ohio News Media Foundation will support a monthly print series, ColumbusNext, in The Columbus Dispatch that debuted in June and runs through December. The series will pose questions to experts, and residents of all ages, with topics around demographics, transportation, housing, education, sports, the arts, and more. To provide further context to the topics, The Dispatch will provide a historical perspective, as well current and future projections. ColumbusNext will include a multi-page, monthly print component as well as ongoing video and digital assets.  



The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,500 individuals, families, businesses, and communities that have created unique funds and foundations to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. More than 70 years strong, The Columbus Foundation is ranked among the top ten community foundations in the United States. Visit to learn more.