It’s a brand new year. You’ve rested, reflected, and refocused, determined to take your art business to new heights in the year to come!
So, what’s one major part of your new business plan you should be considering?
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.
To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some amazing grants to apply for in 2018, with details like amounts, deadlines, and specific artist fields included.
Then take a look at some of our favorite opportunity sites to search, and finally, learn how to make sure your portfolio and professional documents are ready to apply. Happy hunting!
Top Opportunities for Artist Grants
Creative Capital supports adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, and career development services. This impact-driven arts organization provides each funded project with up to $50,000 in funding and career development services valued at $45,000.
WHO: Artists in any discipline working on a specific project.
FIELD: Painting, Sculpture, Works on Paper, Photography, Public Art, and more.
AMOUNT: Up to $50,000 in direct funding.
DEADLINE: Letter of Inquiry must be submitted between February 1 - February 28, 2018.
FINE PRINT: Besides funding, you’ll have access to consultations with legal, financial, marketing, public relations, and web consultants; artist retreats and regional gatherings; ten meetings with a strategic planning coach; and more. You can learn more here.
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. A competitive grant for artists with extensive exhibition records, this grant has a long list of impressive alumni. Since its start in 1985, the foundation has granted over 65 million dollars in award money to artists in over 77 countries.
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.
The Harpo Foundation seeks to stimulate creative inquiry and to encourage new modes of thinking about art. Applications are evaluated on the basis of the quality of the artist’s work, the potential to expand aesthetic inquiry, and its relationship to the foundation’s priority to provide support to visual artists who are under-recognized by the field.
WHO: Under-recognized US visual artists over the age of 21.
FIELD: Any field.
AMOUNT: Awards are made of up to $10,000.
DEADLINE: Not yet announced for 2018. You can sign up at the bottom of their website to receive email notifications of upcoming deadlines.
FINE PRINT: Students are not eligible. $15 application fee is required. You will need to submit an artist resume, artist statement, and work samples on the online application. Detailed FAQ here.
Artadia is a national non-profit organization that supports visual artists with unrestricted, merit-based awards and fosters connections to a network of opportunities. In the past 18 years, Artadia has awarded over $3 million to more than 300 artists throughout its participating award cities of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
WHO: Visual artists who work in the program city (or its eligible counties) and who have resided there for at least two years.
FIELD: Any field.
AMOUNT: Ranges between $5000 to $20,000, plus ongoing assistance through the lifetime of your career.
DEADLINE: Applications dates for participating cities are as follows—Los Angeles: January 1 – February 1, New York: March 1 – April 1, Houston: April 15 – May 15, Chicago: May 1 – June 1, San Francisco: July 1 – August 1, Atlanta: September 15 – October 15.
FINE PRINT: Students are not eligible. Award money can be used however the artist sees fit. Continued support is achieved through close collaborations with its host cities to create exhibition opportunities for artists, arrange studio visits with local as well as national curators, source residency programs, and make introductions in the field. Learn more here.
Adolph Gottlieb, one of the artists known for initiating the Abstract Expressionism movement, achieved artistic and financial success far beyond his early expectations. But, he had several colleagues who, despite their artistic achievements, were not able to support themselves financially. The Gottlieb Foundation wishes to encourage artists who have dedicated their lives to developing their art, regardless of their level of commercial success.
WHO: Artists who have been working for at least 20 years in a mature phase of your work, and can demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
FIELD: Painting, printmaking, or sculpting.
DEADLINE: The 2018 Individual Support application was due by December 15, 2017. Stay tuned for the 2019 cycle application deadline later this year.
FINE PRINT: Maturity is based on a high level of intellectual, technical, and creative proficiency that has been maintained over time. It is based less on an applicant’s age than on the development of and commitment to an artist’s work that has progressed over time. Detailed FAQ here.
The Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions.
WHO: Visual artists from the US and Canada.
FIELD: Any field.
AMOUNT: The amounts of grants vary, and the Foundation does not guarantee it will fully fund any project.
DEADLINE: Applications for 2018 grants were due by September 19, 2017. Stay tuned for the 2019 grant cycle application deadline later this year.
FINE PRINT: On the application, you must include a chronological list of shows, citing dates and places, and a list of collections in which your work is represented. Work exhibited on websites and blogs alone does not constitute a sufficient record of accomplishment for our competition. Learn more about applying here.
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: Grant cycle dates will be announced in Spring 2018
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.
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.
Opportunity Sites for Artists
Always be on the lookout for new opportunities that pop by checking out these websites:
While you may know this site for its wide array of calls for shows, exhibitions, and residencies, this site also boasts a collection of grants and awards. Search through the listings at no cost which covers all the need-to-know details for applying, including entry deadline, fees, location eligibility, and more.
AOM offers a free monthly opportunity list: AOMFree. All you need to do is sign up with your email and they send you thoroughly screened opportunities every month, including grants. AOM prides itself on ensuring each opportunity is worthwhile. A more comprehensive monthly list is offered at $30 a year, in addition to the free version.
Another site you may have heard of is ArtDeadline.com. According to their website, it is “the largest and most respected source for artists seeking income and exhibition opportunities.” The site may cost you a subscription fee of $20 a year to view the majority of its opportunities, but you can still browse many grants listed for free on their homepage and the @ArtDeadline Twitter account.
Not sure if you want to apply through a third party, Art Guide is the free artist opportunity site for you. This call for entries website allows you to apply directly to the organization offering the grant. The list is updated daily so there'll always be a great new opportunity to pursue.
Are you ready to apply?
It’s no secret that grant applications can be extensive. After all, these organizations need to ensure their funding will be in good hands!
But, that’s why you should be prepared for the wide array of detailed information and professional documents you’ll be asked for in your submission—and especially not leave applying to the last minute.
An easy solution for applying for artist grants and opportunities without the hassle is by staying organized with an art inventory software.
With Artwork Archive, you can manage jury-ready photos of your work and their inventory details, as well as generate professional documents like portfolio pages. If asked for a list of past exhibitions and competitions to validate your professional status, you can see your complete show history with the click of a button. Just think of the time you’ll save not having to remember or dig up all of this information!
You can even add application deadlines to the “My Schedule” feature and receive email reminders before it’s time to submit so you never miss out on these opportunities.