By Kathy L. Collins

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County recently announced that its grant program of Hillsborough County Artists for the year 2016 is now open and accepting applications. The Arts Council of Hillsborough County grant program will award up to $40,000 this year. The Arts Council is funded by Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and contributions received from its FIVE by FIVE art event.

Individual local artists can receive up to $3,000 per project. The money can be used for equipment, materials, workshops and other expenses that will further an artist’s career.

Applications for grants will be considered from experienced artists in the theatre, visual, dance, music, literary, media and folk art disciplines who have been a Hillsborough County resident since January 2014. Artists can show accomplishment in their careers in a variety of ways such as work samples, resumes, awards or education.

The application process is quite simple. Applications are due by Friday, January 22, 2016. Artists must answer two questions. Artists must explain how they intend to use the money to further their career as well as explain how it will help their career. Artists must include their resume, a list of accomplishments, an outline of anticipated expenses and work samples. A panel of art professionals will review the applications. Funding decisions will be announced in late February.

“We are interested in how an artist can take their career to a new level. That might be through a workshop or residency, new tools or equipment, production of new work, or covering the expenses associated with recordings or publication. All the artist needs to do is explain how their proposal will help them grow and advance their career,” said Arts Council of Hillsborough County’s Executive Director Art Keeble. “Last year’s program awarded $30,000 to 11 Hillsborough County artists in dance, theatre, literary and visual arts.”

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County provides grants to individual artists, cultural groups and community organizations. Since 1989, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County has awarded more than $689,000 to individual artists and more than $11 million has been awarded to cultural organizations since 1991.

For more information, visit www.tampaarts.com or call 276-8250.