Individual Artist Grants
Artist grants are intended to support collective and individual artistic initiatives. If you are an artist who needs money to fund your artistic initiatives or you are not earning enough, you can submit an application for any available application. Such programs are incredibly valuable to artists.
This phenomenon has a very long history but has recently expanded due to the development of public and private organizations willing to promote the arts with the best tools they can offer. Artist grants are specifically designed to help young artists overcome financial problems. These programs can be categorized according to the public and private institutions that developed them.
If you’re intimidated by the idea of applying for Artist Grants, you’re not alone. Long applications and complex criteria can make even the seasoned professional artist shy away. But dipping your toes in the water might pay off: The average cash award among the 25 scholarships in our list is just over $5,000.
Artist grants fall into one of three broad categories. The first is for general business development and growth, where the grant is awarded to an artist to help grow their overall art business through a variety of means, sometimes including a mentoring or “incubator” program in addition to a cash award.
The second type of funding is project development. These grants generally provide funds to research, develop and complete a specific project, e.g. B. a show, installation or a specific series or collection of works.
These grants are often awarded to artists engaged in various forms of activism or work with a high level of community benefit.
The third category is unrestricted funds. Professional and project development-based grants typically cannot be used for immediate financial needs like rent, but unlimited funds take the form of a simple no-obligation monetary award. Some require the artist to show immediate financial need, while others are simply awarded to artists who excel in their field.
How Do You Research Artist Grants?
Our extensive list only scratches the surface of the grants available to artists around the world. The catch is that many grants have very restrictive criteria. If you’re attempting a Google search, rather than simply searching for “artist grants,” try adding your city, region, and state in separate searches to narrow them down. You can also try these search terms for better and more specific results:
“Artist grants + (Medium)”
“Artist grants + (Art Subject)”
“Artist Grants + (Emerging or Mature Artists)”
Making a list of all the unique descriptors that apply to your art and you as an artist can help when deciding on search terms. There are many grants available for minority artists as well as artists engaged in different types of activism. So when you describe this, be sure to include those details in your search criteria so you don’t miss out on any available opportunities.
If you are looking for a grant for a group or organizational project, put that in your search term. Otherwise, searching “individual artist grants” will help eliminate group grants that may not apply to you.
Grant applications can be lengthy, complicated processes with multiple steps over many months. Try searching for scholarships for the next calendar year to find larger scholarships that are currently accepting new applications.
If you’re looking for a specific scholarship under the three criteria we’ve identified: professional development, project development, or unrestricted (or emergency), make sure to include those terms in your search as well.
Have you ever received a grant for your art business? What difference has it made for you? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments.
Professional Development Artist Grants
- Individual Artist Grant Program – Oregon Arts Commission. This grant offers between $3,500 and $5,000 for individual artists based anywhere in Oregon who work in the visual arts. Criteria considered include the aesthetic quality of the applicant’s submitted artworks; the sustained professional performance of the artist; and the potential for the artist’s future contribution in this field.
- Creative Capital Award – Creative Capital. The Creative Capital Grant offers up to $100,000 for “artists who are at the forefront of their fields or have ideas to advance their artistic practice.” To see the full criteria and application process, visit their website.
- Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program – Harvard University. The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program is a residency for distinguished visual artists held at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Fellows receive a stipend plus an additional $5,000 for project costs. In particular, while focused on a specific project, this scholarship is a significant career accelerator as it is exposed to a network of highly successful mentors and peers.
- Individual Support Grant – Gottlieb Foundation. This $25,000 prize is available to artists working in the fields of painting, sculpture or printmaking. Successful applicants can demonstrate that they have been active in a mature phase of their art for at least 20 years.
- Professional Development Grants – (your state arts council). Professional development grants are available to artists across the country through regional and state arts councils. The grant linked above is an example specifically for artists working in the Portland Metro area of Oregon, including Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. They vary from $100 to $2,000 per award. Check with your own regional arts and culture organizations for similar grants.
- Art-Business Accelerator Fellowships – The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists. The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists awards grants to artists working with paper mediums, paint and sculpture. In lieu of a cash stipend, this award offers a free, one-year online educational program and a business incubator with online classes, coaching, and workshops. CHF also promotes and sells Fellows’ art through group exhibitions and their online art portfolio.
- Visual Artist Grants – The Harpo Foundation. The Harpo Foundation is providing up to $10,000 to self-identified underrepresented visual artists over the age of 21 working in any medium. Grants are awarded to support the development of artists’ work, and a grantee may use their award to support activities to this end, allowing this award to be used for specific projects as well, and not just for professional development.
- Lyndon Emerging Artists Program – Contemporary Crafts. This grant is for artisans working with ceramics, wood, metal/jewelry, glass, found materials, mixed media, fibers, or a combination of these materials. The award offers a $1,000 stipend and one year of marketing and promotion for artists who have excellent work but are not yet well represented in traditional galleries.
Unrestricted Artist Grants
- The Hopper Prize – HopperPrize.org. The Hopper Prize welcomes applications from artists of all ages and levels of experience, working in all disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, video, documentary, performing, experimental, conceptual and installation practices.
- Emergency Grants – Foundation for Contemporary Arts. The Contemporary Art Foundation offers an unlimited opportunity to visual artists who either have an unexpected opportunity to display their work but lack the funds to produce the exhibition, or a planned exhibition and sudden additional financial need to make the exhibition happen emergency funding happen. Grants range from $500 to $2,500 depending on need.
- The Anything Artist Grants – Spectro Art Space. The Spectro Art Space Anything Art Grant awards prizes of $250 and $500 to artists who work in any medium and can express their passion for their work in a way that inspires the award judges.
- Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant – The Pollock Krasner Foundation. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant requires artists working with paint, paper, or printmaking to provide proof of financial need. The award runs throughout the year and varies based on need. Qualified artists must have worked professionally for an extended period of time.
- Individual Awards – Sustainable Arts Foundation. This unique award is specifically aimed at working artists who are also parents of at least one child. The award offers $5,000 for artists with a strong portfolio of polished work working in the fields of book art, drawing, fiber arts and textiles, illustration, installation, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
- Artadia Grants – Artadia. Artadia is offering up to $10,000 for artists living and working in one of 6 sister cities – Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Houston.
- Artist Grants – Artist Grant.org. The $500 Unlimited Artist Grants is offered 4 times per year for visual artists working in any medium.
- Financial Interim Assistance – The Haven Foundation. The Haven Foundation awards emergency funds to artists working in each medium as needed. Qualified Artists have recently experienced an unforeseen emergency or triggering event that materially and adversely affected their ability to produce, perform and/or market their work.
- Individual Support Grant – The Gottlieb Foundation. The Unrestricted Individual Support Grant, offered by the Gottlieb Foundation, provides $25,000 to qualified artists working in the visual arts, including sculpture. This scholarship is exclusively for mature artists who have been developing their craft for at least 20 years.
Project Development Artist Grants
- A Blade of Grass Grant for Socially Engaged Artists – A Blade of Grass. The Fellowship aims to support artists who use great art to bring about social change in the world. Criteria include projects with artistic merit, a plan to implement social change, and high quality of engagement practice. The award is $20,000 to allow the artist to continue their project and includes a two-day orientation retreat in NYC to engage a cohort of fellow artists and A Blade of Grass staff and board.
- Awesome Grant – The Awesome Foundation. The Awesome Foundation is a minimally regulated organization that produces autonomous “chapters” across the country. Each chapter is created by individuals who give monthly cash prizes of $1,000 to artists of their choice. The criteria vary by chapter. Projects receiving the award include initiatives in a variety of fields, including arts, technology, community development and more. Visit the website for more details on the chapter nearest you.
- Global Art Grants – Burning Man. Don’t worry… you don’t have to hike to the playa for this scholarship. In fact, the Global Art Grant awarded by Burning Man requires that the art is NOT present during the annual festival. The main criteria is that the art produced can be touched, heard or experienced and is highly interactive and encourages community participation. The average grant is between $3,000 and $6,000.
- ArtsLink International Grants – CEC Arts Link. CEC ArtsLink awards art grants to international artists to help them come to the United States to work with an American artist or organization. Their criteria for selecting an artist includes the artist’s plans to share the benefits of the experience with artists and institutions in their home country. A full list of participating countries can be found on the website.
- Open Call Mentoring – AFIELD. The AFIELD mentoring is aimed at 3 people engaged in social and artistic experimentation. They will receive $1,500 in seed funding to develop their initiatives and an 18-month mentorship.
- Individual Artist Grants – Ruth & Harold Chenven Foundation. These individual grants provide $1,500 to artists living or working in the United States who are involved in a new craft or art project.
- Project Development Grant – Visit Center. This grant supports ongoing art or documentary projects that have not yet been widely disseminated or published. This scholarship includes a $5,000 award, as well as feedback and various professional development opportunities.
With limited methods of accurately tracking individuals whose primary source of income is art, the estimated numbers of all artists (from literary to performing, cultural and visual) working in the United States are approximately 1.4 million.
Due to their relatively low income, it is often very difficult for working artists to comfortably fund the creation, exhibition and marketing of their art. This almost always makes them dependent on financial support for art materials, manufacturing costs, travel, studio space, exhibitions, marketing, and other expenses.
Best Of Luck for Artist Grants.