Saturday, August 2, 2008

Don't be a Starving Artist!

So where can an artist look for funds to do his or her work?
There are some great/smart places to look for arts grants. One is the online Foundation Directory of Grants to Individuals (see the July 24th entry), which can be accessed at a Foundation Center cooperating collection. Or, you can subscribe for at-home access for about $10 a month.
Another great (free) place to look is the wonderful website for grants to individuals set up by Michigan State University. Besides classifying grants by eligible population groups (minorities, women, disabled), and academic levels (graduate, postgrad, etc.), Jon Harris, the creator of the website, has them categorized by subject, including arts, music, photography, writing and film. See all the categories that apply to you, and check them out. There may be some cross-posting between the categories, but you will find excellent resources.
State arts councils are also good places to seek grants for both art groups and individual artists. Programs for individual artists may include artists in residence programs. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has a directory of its membership. The National Endowment for the Arts also has a listing that includes not only state arts councils, but regional ones as well. And, speaking of the NEA, the listings of their grants for both organizations and individuals is another place to look.
Another possibility is public art. Many states have a program where some small percentage of the cost of a new state building project (say, 1%) is set aside to buy art for that public space. To find these state programs, see this Florida website. It has links to many other states. Also, check the local art commission where you live to see if your city has such a program.

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