I had the good fortune to be part of a team that awarded a $25,000 arts grant.
It all started when the digital agency rtraction came to the conclusion that they have the creative, and technical capacity, to truly make a difference to the growth and development of an arts organization.
They really wanted to reach out to Canadian artists, and arts organizations.
So rtraction created the $25,000 Arts Grant.
2014 is the inaugural year for The Arts Grant which received 81 applications from talented, exciting, groundbreaking artists and organizations across Canada.
Apply Next Year
rtraction is committed to awarding $25,000 of digital services again next year. The process for entering the competition is simple.
All you have to do is sign up at the Arts Grant website and you’ll receive updates about the 2015 rtraction Arts Grant.
Speaking as someone who has both applied for many grants, and sat on juries, here’s a couple of tips when applying for any arts grant.
1) Most grants are awarded through a competitive process. Therefore it’s important to get the message across about why your project needs assistance and how it will complement the work you’ve already done.
Plus, you have to build confidence in the jurors. They need to believe that if your organization receives a grant you’ll be able to execute your plans in a timely and efficient manner.
2) Don’t assume the jury members will understand the specifics of your project or your artistic discipline.
Jury members often come from a variety of disciplines. It’s important to write clear and concise descriptions about what you do and what you are proposing.
3) Be sure to respond to all assessment criterion.
In other words, answer every question with compelling facts, not general statements about future plans.
Many years ago I applied for several grants to fund a short film. My grant applications included an artistic statement and an outline of what I planned to do.
I also submitted a lot of photographs. That made it easy for jurors to understand exactly what I had in mind and I was fortunate enough to receive a few grants.
The film I made was shortlisted for an Oscar Nomination and received a National Screen Institute Drama Prize and a Genie award nomination.
The Arts Grant Judges
The other two judges on the 2014 Arts Grant were:
Antony Hare an award winning illustrator. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, The New Yorker, Toronto Life, and The New York Times. Before becoming an illustrator, Ant worked as an Art Director.
Christine Nobel, who received her Bachelor of Fine Art from Concordia University. She is currently working at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. She recently received a Visual Artists Grant from the Ontario Arts Council and has upcoming exhibitions with the City of Ottawa and at Fieldwork.
The 2014 Winner
Charles Ketchabaw, managing director of Fixt Point, the not-for-profit theatre and media company producing The Tale of a Town – Canada, describes the project as “a national oral history and theatre initiative aiming to capture the collective community memory of our country’s main streets, one story at a time.”
They do some really cool things. They go from town to town across Canada and collect stories. The stories are recorded and mixed together to create wonderful podcasts, each as unique as the towns themselves.
Working with local professional artists they also put together performance installations that both celebrate the past, and future, of the regions they visit.
Follow the Arts Grant on Twitter.
by Keith Tomasek