Grants for Artists: Funding Your Talent

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Image source: http://3elliottstudio.com/

BY DT THE ARTIST

As an artist we often get into these moments of creativity and then start to scheme on how we can make the most magnificent projects come to life. It is then that we usually realize that their must be some type of investment, which is usually way more than the resources that we have at our disposal.

So now the question must be asked, how do we make these things happen. In Canada, we are fortunate that the government and many Not for Profit organizations offer grants that can be used for investing in and advancing great ideas. BUT, before I give you the Holy Grail of information, let me clarify a few things. There are no guarantees when it comes to grants. Always meet with a grant advisor and build a relationship. You have a one in ten chance of getting a grant, which means you should write a few. Always share your story, make it personal. Do your research. Have all necessary information available. Always submit early, not on the day of, because that is when everything goes wrong.

Now lets get to the good stuff. Artists often tell me that they don’t know where to look when it comes to this information. So now I am making it available to you. All of these grants and sites that I am going to list, are available for artists of all types of disciplines, you just have to look for which one applies best. Also you are allowed to apply for more than one grant through different organizations.

Here is my list of granting organizations: (this is in no way exhaustive, but more of a start for those that need it). www.artreach.org (for youth 18 to 29) (grants, and a pitch contest). http://cueartprojects.ca/ (grants up to $1000 for youth 18 to 29). http://vibearts.ca/tag/micro-grant/ (grants up to $1000). Toronto Arts Council (multi arts discipline for all ages and skill levels). Ontario Arts Council (multi arts discipline for all ages and skill levels).My personal recommendation: Popular Music (grants for music artists up to $10,000). Canada Arts Council (multi arts discipline for all ages and skill levels). http://www.laidlawfdn.org/ (various grants for youth 18 to 29). http://torontofoundation.ca (various grants). https://www.factor.ca/ourprograms (specifically for music artists). http://www.starmaker.ca  (specifically for music artists).

So here is where to start. Each of these organizations has multiple grants that you may be eligible to apply for. Look into each one and measure yourself against the criteria, and if you are a fit, then apply. When writing grants, you want to create some type of system that will keep you up to date. Things like due dates and numbers for grant advisors are important to keep handy.

Some of the granting organizations will give grants for other important components of building your career as an artist, such as music videos, press kits, artist development and even some will fund certain aspects of tours and travel to showcase your talent in other markets. Most grants will place you in categories. The best thing to do here is be realistic in terms of where you are in your career which will help funders work with you at your level.

Grants are a great way to build your career and become more professional looking to the public, as well as the artist community in general. Make sure that when applying you are ready to take on the project that you are applying for, full time, because there are specific deadlines that need to be met.

When you apply for a grant, from the writing and application to the time that you receive the notification if you received the grant or not, is usually around six months, so be prepared. The last word. Always make sure to do your final report. It is paramount and sometimes can mean having to give back the money you receive if you don’t.

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