How do I get sponsorship for art projects? Are grants available? How has the current economic situation affected grants and funding for the Arts? In this article, you'll find a number of ways to apply for art sponsorships or grants. With some dedication and a willingness to do your homework, you can find a sponsor for your art. Be positive about getting your funding, and let's get started!
ARTISTS' COALITIONS - Through an internet search and through your networking skills, determine if your town has a local artists' coalition. Artists' coalitions exist, in large part, to support and promote the artistic community. Here are a number of examples:
Chicago Artists' Coalition - http://www.caconline.org/
Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition - http://www.bwac.org/
Kansas City Artists Coalition - http://www.kansascityartistscoalition.org/
Sedona Visual Artists Coalition - http://www.sedonaartistscoalition.org/artists/home.php
Tulsa Artists' Coalition - http://www.tacgallery.org/
Global Artists Coalition - http://www.globalartistscoalition.org/home.html
CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP - This avenue is more difficult, especially now. Although corporations may still have it in their budget to sponsor in-school art programs or local museums, they are not as likely to support individual artists. Corporations are tightening their collective belts, so unless you have knowledge of a particular program being offered by a corporation in your community, you may want to put this lower on your list.
MUNICIPAL SPONSORSHIP - Many municipalities sponsor artists with the aim of improving the city. Here are a few examples. Check with your local city government.
Gaithersburg, Maryland Art Train - http://www.gaithersburgmd.gov/images/arttrain/FAQ_Arttrain.pdf
Estill County, Kentucky LocoMagic - http://www.locomagic.net/index_files/Page962.htm
Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation - Providing leadership and support for artists and art organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond - http://www.midatlanticarts.org/
Butterflies in Flight - http://www.shorewoodnow.com/userstoriessubmitted/41377187.html
Project for Public Spaces - http://www.pps.org/info/pub_art/art_funding
Hamiltonian Artists - Hamiltonian Artists offers a competitive two-year fellowship program for new innovative visual artists in all media. All promising visual artists who are currently not represented by a gallery are eligible to apply - http://www.hamiltonianartists.org/program.html
Funding Arts Network (FAN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the visual and performing arts programs offered in Miami-Dade County through member-supported grants to arts providers, capacity-building workshops for grant applicants, and forums for members which foster arts involvement, appreciation, and awareness - http://www.fundingartsnetwork.org/
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS - There are a large number of 501c3 non-profit organizations whose purpose is to support or promote artists.
Charity Navigator rates national charities and gives information on what their purpose is - http://www.charitynavigator.org/
Springboard for the Arts for Minnesota Artists - http://www.springboardforthearts.org/
TransCultural Exchange Conference - http://www.transculturalexchange.org/conference_2009/sponsor_rates.htm
Virginia Artists - http://www.theartleague.org/
Alliance for the Arts - NYC - http://www.allianceforarts.org/
Arts for LA - http://www.artsforla.org/
Black Rock Arts - http://www.blackrockarts.org/grants/2009-grant-cycle
Global Art Project - http://www.globalartproject.org/about/purpose.html
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS - Here's the good news! $50 million has been appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the NEA. These funds are to be distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.
National Endowment for the Arts - http://www.arts.endow.gov/grants/apply/index.html
NEA Recovery Act funding will be posted at this site - http://www.nea.gov/recovery/nea-recovery-grants-awarded.html
SPONSORSHIP MATCHING SITE Funding the Arts - Fundingthearts.org helps artists and art organizations list projects that are in need of funding by matching artists in need of funding with potential donors who support the arts - http://www.fundingthearts.org/faqs.cfm
GRANT or PROPOSAL WRITING - A final requirement for getting sponsorship or a grant is to convince the potential sponsor that your project is worth support. Here are a few tips on grant or proposal writing.
The long proposal is the most common document that funders seek. Three to forty pages or longer, it contains the cover letter and proposal summary. The usual format for a long proposal includes the need statement, goals and objectives, methods, budget, and evaluation.
Grant proposals must include specific details about the objectives, process and product resulting from your art project.
If you've never written a proposal, you may benefit from asking a friend who has business writing skills to assist you.
Sponsorship sites with a '.com' at the end exist - read the fine print before deciding to use them.