Grants offer artists the opportunity to be less dependent on commercial systems.  These types of awards provide equipment and/or monetary support.  Most cash programs award grants for specific projects (these would be called “restricted” grants) and the funds can only be used for expenses directly related to the project you propose.  Other awards offer fellowships or “unrestricted” funding.  They give you money just because they love your work and believe in you!  Another category would be the emergency grants.  This type of money is given to artist who are facing some life catastrophe (e.g. fire, flood, eviction, serious medical emergency…not just unemployment).

Just like residencies research the programs.  Figure out what type of award are they offering (monetary or equipment), the eligibility (some programs are specific for certain regions, don’t waist your time if you don’t fit their criteria), size (how much money are the offering), frequency (how many times a year do they give out this award?), deadlines (it’s better to figure this out by looking it up than finding out last minute from a friend), turnaround (when will they let you know), and alumni (this will give you an idea if and where your work fits in the organization’s objectives).

Not everything is an opportunity for you.  Make sure you do enough research to figure out if making a proposal is worth your time.

Here are some great resources for money:

New York Foundation – This grant offers up to $7,000 for artists living in New York State for at least two years.  Check out the Artists’ Fellowship and Stratigic Opportunity Stipend.  Grants are awarded in 15 artistic disciplines, with applications accepted in five categories each year.

Virginia A. Groot Foundation – Each year the Virginia A. Groot Foundation offers three grants (up to $35,000, $10,000, $5,000) to artists who have exceptional talent and demonstrated ability in ceramic sculpture or sculpture. Application deadline March 3rd.

Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation – Awards are limited to candidates in the early stages of their careers and who are working in a representational style in painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking.  Eligibility requirements are  started or completed training in an established school of art and demonstrated a commitment to making art a lifetime career.

The Puffin Foundation – Offers $1,000 to 2,500 in grant funding for artists.  They are on a two year cycle so every other year they focus on writing artists or fine arts/dance.

Federal Grants – You can search opportunities for governmental funding here.  I recommend searching by category (arts and culture) because if you just type in key words you come up with a bunch of random stuff.

Mira’s List – This is another blog and I fully support it!  On this page you can find grants, residencies, and other calls.

The Santo Foundation – Award between $3,500 and 500 to individual artists.  There is usually no application fee!  Entries excepted between April and June each year.

ArtDeadline – While you have to pay to get complete access, this site offers tons of info on artist opportunities.  You can find most of what you need by scrolling through their free section, but this should be a place you check out regularly.


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