Landing Grants & Opportunities

Writing applications and trying to land grants can be tricky (and expensive!)… Those fees add up, we’re unsure of what to say, and there are so many opportunities to choose from… Here are some key tips for making the most out of every submission.

Choose Free Applications 

While $25 may not seem like a big deal right now, if you pay multiple application fees- that’s going to add up FAST. There are so many open calls, grants & events out there with no application fee. Choose those- it’s risk free on your end & allows you to cast a wide net. If you insist on applying to an opportunity with associated fees- make sure it’s really worthwhile & keep track of how much you’re actually spending.

Write A Solid Artist Statement 

This tip will spare you from so much stress and procrastination! Applications usually require the same information from Artists- this includes the dreaded “Artist Statement”.  Having a pre-written statement you feel confident with makes applications a breeze. Create a system for yourself where you can easily copy & paste essential info, making minor adjustments as needed.

Know Your Limits

With so many opportunities out there, it’s easy to get carried away. We don’t know in advance which submissions will lead to a “yes”- so overbooking can really sneak up on you. Remember- just because you’ve been accepted into something- doesn’t mean you have to fully commit. The process of applying is a conversation, you are able to collect viable options and discern which ones you can actually participate in. It’s better to politely bow out of something in advance, than to overwhelm yourself and bail at the last minute or show up in a chaotic state.

Do Your Research

Every event, grant, show, etc- has its own set of goals. By understanding what the people reviewing applications are looking for- you can adjust your submission accordingly. Not every event is going to be a good fit for you, and that’s ok! Do your research beforehand & if possible attend a similar show or look into the opportunity ahead of time. By gathering info on the space, jurors & artists previously accepted- you can decide whether or not your work will fit & save yourself a lot of time. You can also highlight certain things in your application that will stand out & edit what doesn’t make sense in the context of that application. The key takeaway here is to know your audience.

Follow Through

So you got accepted! Now what? It’s time to follow through. Participation goes beyond acceptance and just showing up. Support the show, event or opportunity you’re now a part of. Share it on social media, communicate with the other artists, lift each other up. The key here is to participate! Invite friends & family to opening night, share about how much of a difference this grant is making in your creative process, prime your audience with upcoming dates. Yes, events should do the lion’s share of marketing, but you should also participate in your own success. Proactive Artists stand out & cause people to WANT to collaborate with them.

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