Media Grants

Media Production Application Guidelines

Ohio Humanities supports innovative humanities-informed documentary projects. This includes audio, digital, film, and photographic projects that have a strong grounding in the humanities and are accessible to a broad public audience.

Media projects should focus on topics that enhance our understanding of Ohio and its culture, people, and history. Project applications should demonstrate that the media program will be suitable for statewide and national audiences through internet or other digital platforms, broadcast, and exhibition. The Ohio Humanities General Guidelines are operative unless otherwise noted.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss projects with a program officer before completing the application.

Production Grants – Because media projects typically require funding at levels greater than Ohio Humanities can support, project directors are encouraged to seek multiple sources of support. Ohio Humanities’ Media Production grant awards hav(up to $20,000). Because media projects typically require funding at levels greater than Ohio Humanities can support, project directors are encouraged to seek multiple sources of support.

 Planning Grants – Grants (max $2,000) may be used for planning a media project. Such grants may be used for research, consultations with humanities scholars, and preparing a script treatment or statement of user experience.

One complete proposal with original signatures plus one copy (2 total), with required support material, must be submitted for the final deadline via U.S. Mail or other courier service. A draft should be submitted with a complete application, narrative, and budget via email.

>>> Full Guidelines and Additional Information



Is your media project eligible for an Ohio Humanities grant?

1: Does your project document Ohio’s history and culture, or explore issues of importance to Ohioans?

2: Does the project approach the subject from a humanities perspective, using scholarship and research, and incorporating a variety of viewpoints?

3: Will the project engage audiences by inspiring reflection and thoughtful analysis?

4: Does your project involve an Ohio-based humanities professional who will work in concert with experienced producers and directors?

5: Is the project suitable for wide distribution?

Review Criteria for Media Proposals:

1: Conceptual clarity, style, and approach

2: Depth of humanities content

3: Significance and scope of project goals and outcomes

4: Experience of production team and advisors

5: Strength of media samples or portfolios

6: Likelihood of completion and distribution

7: Feasibility of work plan and outreach

8: Budget and fundraising plans


Eligible Grant Expenditures May Include:

1: Honoraria for humanities scholars and advisors

2: Salaries or fees for production staff and technical consultants (not to exceed 30% of the total grant request)

3: Production and post-production expenses

4: Rights to use archival materials

5: Supplies and materials for production activities

6: Lesson plan development for use in schools

7: Rental or purchase of equipment or software (not to exceed 20% of the total grant request)

8: Travel, lodging, and per diem expenses for staff, consultants, and advisors (please see Ohio Humanities grant request)

9: Administrative costs directly related to the project, or fiscal agent fees (up to 10% of total Ohio Humanities grant request)

10: Public program expenses (e.g., room rental for premier)

11: Publicity expenses directly related to the project


Ohio Humanities does not fund:

1: Projects that advocate for political, religious, or ideological points of view

2: Archival projects

3: Design and creation of new hardware

4: Creation of proprietary platforms and programs

5: Exhibitions that do not include interpretation

6: Media art and performance pieces

7: Recordings of conferences, lectures, workshops, or performances

8: Scholarships, internships, or projects that result in academic credit

9: Institutional histories produced by and/or partially funded by the institution itself for an internal audience

10: Promotional or informational projects intended to inform the public about an organization, product, or service.

For the complete set of guidelines, plus application instructions, click here


Instructions for preparing a Media Funding Application:

Download and complete the Ohio Humanities application form. Mediamakers must also submit a project narrative and detailed budget. Proposals should use the numbered headings at the start of each section. Applicants must address each component. The questions should guide the development of the narrative, though some questions may be more relevant to some projects than others.
Responses should be included in one document. It should be single-spaced with standard margins and fonts. Please do not duplex the pages.


Special notes for fiscal agents

Since Ohio Humanities makes grants only to Ohio nonprofit organizations, independent or out-of-state media makers must seek a fiscal agent to sponsor their project. The relationship between media maker and fiscal agent requires mutual commitment to the goals of the project and understanding the responsibilities of each partner.  If you seek to use a fiscal agent, or are asked to serve as the fiscal agent for a media project, here are some things to remember:


Applicant of Record:  The nonprofit organization acting as fiscal agent will be the applicant of record for the funded project.  The responsibilities of a fiscal agent include submitting the grant application, accepting funds on behalf of the project, complying with Ohio Humanities guidelines for funded projects, managing bookkeeping and payments relative to the project, acting as liaison with Ohio Humanities, and complying with reporting requirements. Ohio Humanities recognizes that these activities will require time and labor; therefore, up to 10% of the total grant amount may be used to pay for fiscal agent services.


Ownership and Copyright:  Ohio Humanities guidelines state that ownership of the product created during a grant-funded project remains with the grantee – in this case, with the nonprofit organization acting as fiscal agent.  Prior to submitting an application to Ohio Humanities, the fiscal agent and media maker should establish who will own and copyright the final media project.  The application narrative should state how ownership may or may not be transferred from grantee to producer, and how the parties will comply with Ohio Humanities guidelines.  Ownership may not be transferred until after the grant period is completed and other terms of the grant are satisfied, such as distribution and public programming.


Rights:  Fiscal agents need to negotiate their rights to use a media project before submitting an application to Ohio Humanities.  Those rights might include a non-exclusive right to use the media product for educational or promotional purposes, acquiring copies at wholesale cost, site-specific distribution such as sales in a museum shop, or arranging for local broadcast.  Fiscal agents and producers need to remember that Ohio Humanities retains a non-exclusive license to use media projects for educational and promotional purposes.

For the complete set of guidelines, plus application instructions, click here. 




Before beginning the application process, contact a Program Officer:

For Major, Media, Educator Enrichment, Toward a Beautiful Ohio, and Standing Together contact David J. Merkowitz, PhD

Or via phone at 800.293.9774 and 614.461.7802.

Already received an Ohio Humanities Grant? Visit the Funded Projects page for helpful tips and additional information.