Julie and Dayvon

Let’s Talk Theatre with Julie Whitney-Scott

Julie: Let’s meet Dayvon Nichols from the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC).

Dayvon: I was born and raised in Cleveland. I came to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University to pursue an Arts Management Degree. I was in plays in Little Theatre in high school and performed in two plays at The OSU. I did Hairspray twice and another one, so I’m pretty familiar with the theatre field. I’m excited to be here and I love connecting with artists. One of my passions is to help people out and I’m grateful to have this opportunity today.

Julie: What is your position at GCAC?

 Dayvon: I am the Grants Associate and serve as the point of contact for all individual artists. I am the contact if you are an independent professional artist seeking grant assistance, or if you are curious as to what resources and support the Greater Columbus Art’s Council has to offer.

Julie:  What grant is available to support artists in their craft?

Dayvon:The Support for Professional Artists Grant is an opportunity for artists who reside in Columbus Ohio or in Franklin County. There is some leniencies towards boarding counties, but most of your art has to be produced or shown in Columbus. This is a grant opportunity for artists that are seeking professional development, to market themselves to a boarder audience, or need help with equipment, training or supplies for the creation of their events.

Julie: Give us some examples of what you mean by “professional development.”

Dayvon: If you are an actor or actress and you happen to be a part of a theatre company, but you see your skills not being fully fostered and nurtured you have the opportunity to look within your community and/or outside of Columbus for a masters course on method acting. Another thing is that we also allow for artists to request funds for expenses for professional development in marketing themselves, like headshots, development of your website to market yourself or brand, these funds can help push your marketing initiative forward.

Julie: Talk about the Columbus Makes Art campaign.

DayvonThe Art Makes Columbus/Columbus Makes Art campaign is a citywide marketing campaign to raise awareness of the arts in our city. Among several features, it includes a free arts calendar. Any Ohio arts organization can add their events to the calendar, and it is then pushed out to multiple news feeds statewide. The campaign also features events from the calendar in the weekly Weekend Warriors blog and twice monthly newsletters. Another great resource for artists through the campaign is the Artist Directory. Artists of any discipline can create a profile that includes examples of their work (including video and music files). The directory helps businesses and individuals find artists to hire for anything from a commission to a gig.

Julie: How do you find the artists for your Spotlight on Artists campaign?

Dayvon: There are several ways, in addition to the Artist Directory, that the Art Makes Columbus/Columbus Makes Art campaign features artists. Many people may be familiar with the ads throughout the city including the billboards at Spring & High. Those are created with a small group of campaign artists that have been selected over the years. This is an invitational process and there are a lot of factors that go into the selections. One place that we look to for potential campaign artists is our Artists of Columbus series. We have a nomination button on the website where folks can nominate an artist (or themselves) and the nominee is then sent a questionnaire to fill out if they are interested in participating. Artists that fill out the questionnaire and are eligible, are then invited to be part of the Artists of Columbus series—which borrows from the Humans of New York initiative in allowing artists to share something personal about themselves in a short essay with an image, which is then shared across the campaign’s social platforms.

Julie: What is OPPArt?

Dayvon:OPPArt is our resource for artists to stay in the loop for Calls, Jobs, and funding opportunities outside of GCAC. This information provided on our website is contingent on organizations sending us calls. We include grant and funding opportunities outside of GCAC also to help give artists more resources and support.

Julie: How can artists get the information you have shared and more from GCAC?

Dayvon:Go to www.gcac.orgfor our funding/grant information. You will find on our website the guidelines, forms, applications etc. that you can download or print. You can also contact me directly at 614-221-8569 or email me at  Feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to help you get the best.