Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Applying for Fellowships: Debby Kaspari

In preparation for a workshop focused on grant funding for artists, Norman artist Debby Kaspari reflected on some incredible Fellowships she's received and dealing with realities of the opportunities. See the interview with Kasapri's co-presenter Liz Roth, Stillwater, for more introduction to the topic. 

Debby Kaspari leads a workshop
funded in part by an OK Visual Arts Coalition grant
Q: What are a few of the key grants you’ll address in the workshop? 
Debby Kaspari: I'll be talking about my three grants: the Eckelberry Fellowship, the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and the Charles Bullard Fellowship. I was awarded two out of three, and I'll discuss why, and why not.

Q: Why have they been so pivotal for your artistic practice?
DK: These were high-profile grants which allowed for some interesting travel, research and showcases for my work. The Bullard, in particular, funded 8 months of art-making and scholarly research and exploring new ground.

Q: What is the biggest opportunity to which you’ve applied? Why did you want to apply?
DK: The Bullard, with the Smithsonian a close second. The Bullard is through Harvard University, funded my work for 8 months and opened many doors that are still leading me to other interesting places.
Debby Kaspari's sketches of lesser prairie chickens from a project 
funded in part by an OK Visual Arts Coalition grant
Q: What do you do when you get a rejection letter?
DK: Try to find out what I could have done differently, ask someone in the know, if possible. If I'm still interested in a particular grant or residency, I'll reconfigure my proposal or redesign the study and resubmit in the next cycle. 

Q: What else should I have asked?
DK: What do you do when you get accepted? (after you finish doing the happy dance) You need to find out what's expected and how to physically carry out your project. For instance, the Bullard Fellowship meant moving cross-country to Massachusetts for 8 months, renting an apartment, setting up an automatic deposit for the fellowship payments, getting a Harvard ID, meeting people to work with, scouting locations and learning how to use the archives. Once that's in place, you can get into the creative work and have fun.

Kaspari and Liz Roth will lead artists through funding options and proposals at the "Applying for Artist Grants" workshop on April 28. See www.ArtistSurvivalKit.org for more information and to register. 

1 comment:

Sandra Dunn said...

Good informative post. Thank you.