Making art can be an expensive and, at times, unpredictable living.
Securing grants can not only give you an extra line or two on your CV, it can provide the stability and resources you need to be your most creative self.
Not all grants are created equally, however.
Some grants have residential requirements, others you have to be nominated in order to be considered. We put together a mix of unrestricted grants for individual artists—both emerging and established, that will make you start drafting up your next proposal right away (plus a few with opportunities abroad).
Fellowships for Emerging Artists
LEAP Award Lydon Emerging Artist Program
The LEAP award provides a $1000 grant to one grantee for an early career artist in the contemporary craft field. The gift is intended to be used towards a new product line or body of work. The Society for Contemporary Craft will commit to promoting the work for the duration of one year along with providing special features on six finalists.
WHO: Emerging Artists
FIELD: Contemporary Craft (ceramics, wood, metal/jewelry, glass, found materials, mixed media, fiber or a combination of these materials)
DEADLINE: 2019 deadline to be announced.
FINE PRINT: One artist chosen for a cash prize; six chosen for auxiliary benefits. $25 application fee.
The Aaron Siskind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) set up by preeminent photographer Aaron Siskin’s estate, which he had asked to become a resource for contemporary photographers. The award was established to support and encourage contemporary artists working in the photographic field.
WHO: Any US artist over 21 years of age.
FIELD: Work must be based on the idea of still-based photography, but can include digital imagery, installations, documentary projects and photo-generated print media
AMOUNT: Up to $10,000
DEADLINE: May deadline for the following year deadline
FINE PRINT: Varied amounts of grants gifted up to $10,000. Students not Eligible. Doctoral candidates considered on case-by-case basis. Check out the FAQ here.
A micro-granting organization, funding “awesome” ideas, The Awesome Foundation set up local chapters around the world to provide rolling grants of $1000 to “awesome projects.” Each chapter defines what is “awesome” for their local community, but most include arts initiative and public or social practice art projects. There are also a few worldwide grant chapters that give a pretty succinct summary: “We give no-strings-attached weekly grants to awesome initiatives which solve a problem, cultivate community, and spread joy.”
WHO: Anyone is eligible for a grant — individuals, groups, and organizations alike.
FIELD: Any Field. Each chapter has their own requirements, most consider arts projects.
DEADLINE: Rolling—monthly grants offered.
FINE PRINT: Grants not given for studio space or strictly salary or supplies. Needs to make the community more “awesome.” Think public works. More info here.
Established in memory of acclaimed painter Clark Hulings, The Clark Hulings Fund offers strategic business training and support to professional artists. Through this unique program, The Clark Hulings Fund helps artists better manage their business and tackle specific business obstacles, so that they can get a leg up on making a living through their artwork. The program gives access to business tools, PR outreach, networking events and many other opportunities as well as mentoring and financial support.
WHO: US citizens who have had their work exhibited or published professionally.
FIELD: Painters, artists working on paper, and/or sculptors who employ traditional media, not including photography, film, or video.
AMOUNT: Up to $10,000.
DEADLINE: Applications next accepted September 2018.
FINE PRINT: 20 artists selected receive full tuition to the Clark Hulings Fund Business Accelerator workshop course. Ten of those artists will receive up to $10,000 to carry out their business plan.
And now some grants for more established artists ...
Established as part of Lee Krasner’s legacy, the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant was set up to support and strengthen the creative lives of artists. Since its start in 1985, the foundation has granted over 65 million dollars in award money to artists in over 77 countries. A competitive grant for artists with extensive exhibition records, this grant has a long list of impressive alumni.
WHO: Mid-career professional artists with demonstrable financial need. Artists must be actively exhibiting their current work in professional artistic venues, such as gallery and museum spaces.
FIELD: Painters, sculptors, and artists who work on paper, including printmaking.
AMOUNT: Awards range from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on need and circumstance.
FINE PRINT: Commercial artists, video artists, performance artists, filmmakers, crafts-makers, and computer artists are not eligible. Students not eligible. Detailed FAQ here.
Artslink is now entering it’s 19th cycle of exchanges, though the organization has been around for more than 50 years. Artslink promotes international citizen diplomacy through innovative arts projects. Grantees work on proposed projects that build relationships, share ideas and explore cultures. Want to take on an art project while building relationships between international communities and seeing the world? See if you qualify below, and then give it a shot!
WHO: US artists, curators, presenters and non-profit arts organizations.
FIELD: Visual and media artists eligible to apply. Performing arts and literature deadline January 15, 2018. Students, administrators, critics, and amateur groups are not eligible to apply. Projects focusing solely on research and film/video post-production are not eligible.
AMOUNT: ArtsLink Projects awards will generally range from $2,500 to $10,000 depending on the project budget.
FINE PRINT: Artists who propose solo exhibitions or performances can be supported by ArtsLink only if the exhibition or performance is a component of a more comprehensive proposed project. Check here for a list of eligible countries.
Fulbright Fellowship for the Creative and Performing Arts
Perhaps the most established and well recognized of the grants, the Fulbright Program has been sending students, academics and professionals across the world to conduct research, study, teach and act as ambassadors to the US since 1945. A rigorous process of securing recommendations, outlining a proposal and finding a host sponsor, it’s best to get started on this application early. But with approximately 8,000 grants annually awarded, it’s worth the time to see if you can’t be on of the artists who embark on an international adventure while doing some good.
WHO: US artists who have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant. In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional training and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement. See more Eligibility.
AMOUNT: Varies, but generally includes round-trip ticket to the host country and funding to cover room, board and cost of living for the duration of the project as well as health benefits. Depending on the scope of the application, tuition and educational courses may be available.
FIELD: Visual arts fields include Animation, Design and Crafts, Drawing and Illustration, Film, Installation, Painting/Printmaking, Photography and Sculpture.
DEADLINE: October, 2018 for 2019-2020 Competition.