Thursday, October 27, 2011

Artists Finding Funding

Most of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition staff  is soaking up knowledge and enjoying colleagues at the Oklahoma Arts Conference in Tulsa. We value learning from experts in the community development, advocacy and other cultural topics thanks to the Oklahoma Arts Council (a state agency). 

In this morning's workshop, Molly O'Connor & I outlined funding options for artists, especially focusing on grants. As soon as I finished the presentation I thought of the introduction I should have given.  Here's a stab at it:

Artists need different types of money for their practice. To seek outside funding, artist need to distinguish between the two. 

One type of funds cover the ongoing sustenance of their practice-- day in and day out expenses like rent, normal materials, etc. Let's call this ongoing expenses. 

Other types of funds pay for special things like a one-time project, travel, specialized training, major changes in scale of your practice and such. This could be considered "project" funding.  

Projects are mostly what grants will fund.  Usually grants pay for one-time, special, or time-delimited projects.  

Meanwhile, things like art sales and day jobs are more reliable income to cover ongoing expenses. Merit-based awards can be bonus funds to help as needed also. 

Artist with the ability to make more of their expenses fit into or a part of projects are able to package their work better for grants. 

Feel free to check out the resource pages we created for the workshop here and I welcome your comments.  

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