Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tips on Getting Grants

I doubt that there is an occupation more obsessed with money than artists. Despite all the high-toned rhetoric, most conversations with artists boil down to potential sales, uncooperative galleries and,, money, money.

Whether artists get the short end of the stick or whether they are so divorced from reality as to not even know that there is a stick and where to find it is another question. The reality is that there are all sorts of opportunities for the artist willing to put in the time to find them and apply for them.

That's where Mira's List comes in. If you are looking for a residency in Helsinki, a grant for your film project or that all-time favorite...a hand-out for "woman's art" (don't ever offer a grant for men-only's illegal and immoral to aid that gender), there's something for anyone willing to slog through the paperwork and learn how to write grants.

Here are a couple of references to grant writing from Mira's List. For those who want grants, residencies and fellowships, this is a good site to bookmark.
A couple of similar socio/political artists sites are at and which is basically a Bay State lobbying group for artists "of any discipline" that means followers of Piero Manzoni.

If you're up for playing the game, realize that very little of this is based on the merit of the art itself. It's all about the artist (of any discipline) thus, pictures of a recent demolition site can be used to apply for a grant for Earthworks and, if you know the key words and where to apply, and if you are persistent, you will get some money to tear down walls and photograph them.

Remember, anything is considered art here's another example so, just because you don't have formal art training...or maybe because you have been afflicted with it, you can write your way into a constellation of grants and remember, one grant begets another. If you have a history of getting grants on your c.v. it betters your chances for grants in the future.

Sure, I sound cynical but the reality makes it impossible to sound otherwise. Take the money and Helsinki.