Philly: Small But Mighty Arts Grants Accepting Applications

sbmagrantPhilly’s Small But Mighty Arts is launching their first round of a grant cycle next week. The micro-grants of $200-$1000 are intended to help artists in the region take a small but significant step forward in their career.

Sometimes several hundred dollars can make all the difference in your ability to be able to afford framing of prints for a solo show or film festival submission fees. For more information and to download the application click here.

May 15 Deadline for $15,000 Grant for Women & Transgender Artists in Philly Area

Make sure this year’s Leeway Foundation deadline for the $15,000 Transformation Award doesn’t pass you by! Get ready for the May 15th deadline by attending one of their upcoming information sessions or setting up time with staff members to review your application.

The Transformation Award provides unrestricted annual awards of $15,000 to women and trans artists living in the Delaware Valley region who create art for social change and have done so for the past five years or more, demonstrating a long-term commitment to social change work.

The Award is unrestricted (it is not project-based) and open to women and trans people working in any art form, traditional or non-traditional.

For more information and for a copy of the application visit their website here.


The Grant Decline

Any artist who has mixed money with their craft has had this experience: the grant decline letter.

2009 has been good to me in terms of grant funding so far. So I thought I’d be more crushed when I recieved the decline letter yesterday from the Leeway Foundation for their Lifetime Transformation Award–their largest grant.

But I wasn’t crushed. I didn’t get insecure about whether my art was good enough, because I felt honored that I had even made it to the final round.

And of course, the people I do know on that list are AMAZING artists. (Like, this film by Heidi Saman–you should see it if it comes to your town.)

Mostly, I just paniced and realized I needed a plan. I hadn’t realized how many things in my brain I was pushing aside with the line “I’ll just wait until I get the chunk of money.”

My soundbites for how to carry on after a grant decline letter:

  • Always have a plan B. Do not sabatoge yourself into a mindset that your creative work is only possible with money, therefore no grant=no art. If you do, you are leaving it to the people who control the money in the art world to decide what gets made. And, well, we know where that will get us.
  • Think social capital, not just financial capital. What are other ways you can get access to the resources you need? Example: last night I posted that I needed a 16mm projector. A few hours later I had been offered two working projectors that were abandoned from someone’s old workplace.
  • Remember it’s about process, not product. A painter friend, B. Aufdenberg, said something to me years ago that stuck with me: “You don’t eat to shit. Your art is not about the product it produces.” Word.

Onward and backward

This week is all about archival research.

I’m preparing for a field trip in two weeks to the National Motion Picture Archives where I’m going to review old newsreels of Norman Schwartzkopf, Sr. in Iran in the 1950s as well as Jr. in the 1990s.

I’m also coordinating with the University of Florida library archives to get high resolution copies of news articles about my Schwarzkopf encounter on thier campus over ten years ago.