How to get grants as an artist

How to get grants as an artist



when I was first starting out as an artist I didn't want to pursue any grants and my logic for this is sort of cloudy for me now but it had something to do with pride I think with wanting the funding for my work to come from me as it turns out you know in retrospect it's clear to me that I wasn't qualified for any of the grants that I might be pursuing at the time so it didn't really matter but I eventually got over this weird pride thing that I had and realized that grants aren't just about the funding they're also about a stamp of approval that a community can put on an artist to say this artists work is worthwhile and that is so important for the career of an artist as is obviously funding so when I first started to pursue grants I wasn't very successful at it and today I want to talk about a little bit about why maybe help you to avoid the headaches that I had early on so for one thing it's really important to research the former recipients of the grants that you're going after and oftentimes organizations will publicly publish a list of former recipients but if not you can always just search online the name of the grant and I'll take you directly to the resumes of the former recipients of the grant and that's exactly where you wanted me because what you want to be doing is trying to find patterns in the resumes of former recipients and compare those patterns to your resumes to see if it's even a good idea to spend time on its grant proposal or not so for example if a granting body seems to be a little bit old-fashioned and it seems to be only giving grants to artists with commercial gallery representation and you're an artist like me who represents yourself maybe you don't need to go after that grant maybe you shouldn't spend your energy that way that's the sort of thing that you're looking for next you want to start local in your applications you probably have made a name for yourself locally and maybe not so much nationally it's harder to break onto the national scene and so you want to go after the grant the grants that are available locally not only because it's maybe a smaller applicant pool but also because you have more visibility on the local level so there's more likelihood that someone's going to want to reward that visibility and that work that you're doing so start local also use any feedback opportunities that are available so locally in the Portland Oregon area there's an organization called the regional arts and culture Council that if you're a first-time applicant with them you can actually get feedback from them and the people who are giving you feedback on your proposal before you even turn it in are the same people who are training the committee members who are going to decide whether or not you get the grant so this is really useful feedback and you should definitely take advantage of opportunities like this one even if a grant doesn't have that kind of opportunity once you've been rejected from it you can always ask the granting body why you're rejected they may or may not answer but you're within your rights to ask and finally I would say focus on your budget when I was first starting out I wasn't really understanding the importance of a budget in a grant it's not so much about the numbers it's about proving to the granting body that you understand numbers that you understand the value of money and in that way that you won't be wasting the money that they give you so for things research former recipients start local pursue any feedback opportunities available or make them available to yourself and focus on your budget happy grant writing

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