biz ladiesLife & Business

biz ladies 09: funding + grants for artists

by Grace Bonney

funding and grants can be a scary, but necessary, part of life as an artist and today artist lena wolff is sharing a few great ideas for raising money in tough times. no matter how well your business doing it’s always helpful to have additional funding from organizations that can help lighten your load. thanks to lena for sharing her resource list with us!

CLICK HERE for lena’s full post about funding + grants after the jump!

[ps: i’m looking for some bedding advice on twitter, if you know of a great light summer quilt please share your favorites. ours is in dire need of an update]

First of all, thanks to ds for these biz ladies posts! It’s so great to share, pool our ideas and reinvest in community in times like these. Overall, I think the upside of this whole downturn is that it makes us think of new approaches to our work, re-evaluate what matters most and seek out new paths that might have otherwise been overlooked. Here are a few resources & ideas I’ve found useful.


* Apply for grants. A pretty comprehensive list of grants open to individual artists, performers and writers can be found at: http://www.artheals.org/artist_support/grants.php

* Apply for artist residencies. These are great if you’re basically unemployed or work for yourself and you want some time to work on a project in relative seclusion in a beautiful place. Many of these are competitive to get into but offer free room, board and studio space to accepted applicants. Lists of residencies can be found at The Alliance for Artist Communities (national) http://www.artistcommunities.org and Resartis (international) http://www.resartis.org.

* Apply for public art opportunities and exhibitions. A really user-friendly site with ongoing listings is at Call for Entry.Org: https://www.callforentry.org/login.php. The service they provide is free, although some of the individual calls require a small application fee. (The most interesting listings here are usually free to apply for!)

* Seek out the local arts commission in your city/town/county and find available opportunities for artists from your region.


* Stay connected & involved in your local arts community!
o collaborate and trade skills with other artists & craftspeople
o start an artist collective and plan projects together
o create free arts events: host drawing nights at your house or during the day in a park, etc.
o if you can, support your favorite local arts organizations by donating artwork to their auctions.
o organize exhibitions/events in all of those newly emptied buildings in your neighborhood (I don’t know about your town, but dozens of businesses have closed and left vacant retail space where I live that could be occupied with art)

* Advocate for public policy that supports the arts!
o Join Americans for the Arts at: http://www.artsusa.org. They recently helped secure $50 million in funding for the arts as part of Obama’s economic stimulus plan.

* And of course, keep your website up to date (advice I sorely need to use myself)

I hope this is useful and carry on! We need art now more than ever.

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  • Does anyone know if a for-profit company can accept donations? Or is that just for non-profit 501(c)(3) companies?
    Thank You for the helpful tips above!

  • Hey Grace, I don’t twitter, but I have a quilt recommendation for you. I have a Les Indiennes quilt and I love it. We use it year-round (with layers) but it’s perfect for the summer since it’s lightweight. Calypso Home carries a lot from their line. I’m also a fan of Raksha Bella Organic + Plover Organic quilts (though I think Plover’s a bit heavier than my Les Indiennes one.) Ironically, I just did a post on organic cotton bedding yesterday— all of these lines are organic which is sweet.

  • such a fantastic post with so many helpful ideas! thanks so much!

    it is so true that now more than ever we need art in the world and in our lives <3

  • Thank you so much for doing this post.

    I am inspired. I have just moved to Germany after teaching art and am at a bit of a loss when it comes to art community.

    Thanks a bunch.


    I have been reading all the Biz Ladies posts. They are incredibly valuable

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