Katrina is going to be teaching later this month ~ Application Nation: Grants, Residencies, and Fellowships for Artists
We're so interested in this topic and in learning more about how to go about these applications that we interviewed Katrina to get more in depth before the workshop. We hope you can join us.
Hello Tiffany, Stef, and Mati!
Thanks for inviting me to teach this upcoming workshop at Teahouse Studios. I’m so excited to work with you to offer Application Nation: Grants, Residencies and Fellowships for Artists. Having written and received grants and also been awarded residencies and fellowships, I’m thrilled to offer this information to other artists.
I worked in nonprofit arts organizations for over twelve years, most recently as the Program Director of Artists Resources at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. I’ve helped hundreds of artists write, edit, submit, and receive funding, residencies, and fellowships. I firmly believe that all working artists should have access to this information to allow for greater support and a larger community in pursuing their creative work. In addition to selling our artwork we can also receive funding for creating work that might not be viable in a commercial market.
Meaning, we can access support (financial and otherwise) for work that we cannot sell such as installations, collaborations, performances, publications, social practice, street art, public art, and any community-based projects we might envision. We can access funding and other support for more traditional practices like drawing and painting too, of course.
1. What exactly do you mean when you talk about grants and funding?
There are two types of income sources for most artists: contributed and earned. Earned income is money that results when goods or services are exchanged. Meaning, we receive earned income when we sell a painting, a book, a class, tickets to a show, or anything that can be considered “earned” income.
Contributed income is money that is exchanged without involving goods or services. This is a large income source for nonprofit organizations. As individual artists we can partner with nonprofit organizations (more formally through what’s called, “fiscal sponsorship”) to receive contributed income. This means we can receive funds from grants, foundations, corporations, city/ state/ national sources, or individuals like our family members or friends. And, these individuals can take the donation as a tax write-off once we have a sponsor.
In Application Nation, we’ll cover the various forms of contributed income but we’ll focus on those sources that require an application. Mostly grants through foundations and corporations and also non-income applications that provide support through time or community—like residencies and fellowships.
2. How has access to this information changed your work and the work of your artist friends?
Access to this information is important for working artists anywhere! Once you’ve secured a fiscal sponsor (or in some cases you don’t need a fiscal sponsor as some foundations—like the Puffin Foundation [hint, hint]—grant directly to an individual artist) you can receive funding for the creation of your work, the support of your community, and for creative projects that might fall outside of traditional mediums.
It’s changed my own practice as I’ve been able to secure time to attend residencies to create new work and grow my community, successfully received fellowships to pay for my training and teaching, and also received grants to offset the costs of installations, photography shoots, and the creation of community-based work like large-scale collaborations. It’s a great way to diversify your art practice and your income stream.
Of course, you can sell a painting but maybe you can’t sell a mural to your neighborhood school. Or maybe you want to create a support group of artists in your practice but you want to be paid for your coordinating efforts. There’s an infinite list of creative projects that could benefit from this support. The list of projects is limitless.
3. What's important about this for individual artists to know?
Everything. Truly, I want individual artists to know everything about applying for this support. Because I want them to feel like they have the resources they need to create their work. And “resources” might mean funding and learning about applications and budgets but it also means community building and skill-sharing and securing the time and the support to create the best work.
Of course, I can’t teach individual artists everything about grants, residencies, and fellowships but I’m confident I can meet them where they are in their career and I can help them identify goals, prospect support/ funding, and create a strong application to gain the support they need. I’m passionate about artists’ resources and I want to share that passion with my fellow artists. Yes, I do.
4. What's the most surprising thing you've learned about applying for funding as an artist?
It’s available to everyone. That can be surprising because we often think, “Oh, that’s great for so-and-so artist but my artwork doesn’t fit within that context”. Not true. With the right tools and information anyone can create a compelling application for funding, residencies, or other forms of artist support. Truly.
Artists who receive this type of support come from various levels of experience and expertise. They have various backgrounds and interests and income levels and educations. It’s really about making a strong pitch, having good work samples, and being familiar with the application and guidelines. Of course, there are some tips and tricks you learn along the way and that’s what I’ll share in the workshop. Come join! It promises to be informative and, I dare say, fun.
Thank you Katrina! This was so awesome and informative, can't wait to learn more in class!