How to Apply for Art Grants and Funding

Get to Know the Process for Applying for Art Grants and Art Funding

An artist fills out a grant application.
••• Photo courtesy Getty Images

The arts are notoriously known for always being chronically short of funds.

Luckily, there are art grants and funding for fine art professionals such as artists, curators, and researchers, who can apply for such programs to put on an art exhibition, conduct research, or to create artwork.

However, competition is stiff, and it is more the norm to receive a rejection rather than acceptance. Yet, there are key ways to apply for art funding. This article will show you how to apply for an art grant and increase your chances for success.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: According to the Funder's Deadline

Here's How:

  1. Have a Clear Goal
    1. Identify your objectives. Are you seeking time, money, or space? Do you need money for travel, research, and production, or do you need a specific project funded?
  2. Research Funding Sources
    1. Make use of your local library and the Internet to research all avenues of funding.
    2. The Foundation Center is a great place to start.
  3. Think Outside the Box
    1. Besides all the common sources of funding, such as state art councils and governmental and institutional grants, think of alternative, unique sources.
    2. Perhaps part of your art exhibition can take place at some local businesses which can provide some financial and logistical support.
  1. Attend a Grant-Writing Workshop
    1. Hearing the inside view of the grant application process is immensely helpful. Many of these workshops are also free to attend.
  2. Read Application Rules Thoroughly
    1. It is the simplest advice, yet not often heeded.
    2. Follow the details exactly. Only provide what is requested and in the required format.
  3. Talk to a Staff Person
    1. When you have a question regarding the application process, it is best to telephone the office staff and develop a personable, yet professional relationship with them. They can advise you on details that otherwise, you may miss.
  1. Write a Winning Proposal
    1. Some ideas are more grant-worthy than others. Often projects that enrich communities or selflessly involve others tend to be more successful than those that seem self-preoccupied and only catering to the ego of the grant applicant.
  2. Edit Your Writing
    1. Your written proposal must be free of grammar and spelling errors. It should read as if written by a professional writer.
  3. Make a Powerful Presentation
    1. Your photo documentation must be dazzling and professional.
    2. All parts of your submission must look clean, sharp, orderly and not dog-eared or coffee-stained. Put CDs in crisp, clean sleeves. Place written texts in clear folders. Do not fold your proposal, but mail everything as a neat flat parcel.
  1. Submit before the Deadline
    1. Get your submission postmarked before the deadline or your proposal may be disqualified.
  2. Don't Forget to Cross Your Fingers
    1. C'mon, a little superstition isn't going to hurt.

What You Need:

  • A dynamic idea
  • Research time
  • Application form
  • Computer
  • Photos
  • Envelope