By Jacinta Macheel
Are you a musician, visual artist, writer, poet, dancer, designer, folk artist, theater performer, crafter or designer? Would you like funding for touring, events, publication or something else that could enable you to make a creative dream a reality?
There is a way you can do this, my fellow creative people: apply for grants.
Maybe you are thinking that the process is overwhelming, or that you don’t know where to begin, or that there is too much competition and don’t stand a chance.
I know these are the perceptions because I have spent the last six months talking to my fellow creatives, trying to understand the real and perceived barriers that are preventing people from applying for grants.
Though did you also know that that some of the Minnesota-based organizations that supply grants (such as The Minnesota State Arts Board and The McKnight Foundation) are concerned about the low number ofgrant applicants from the greater Minnesota region?
Not only that, the Lake Region Arts Council, a regional granting institution, and The Arts Partnership, a Fargo-Moorhead based arts organization dedicated to serving the needs of artists in our community, are both looking to raise local awareness about their funding opportunities and grants.
When I found that all of this was happening simultaneously, I was shocked. How could so many artists be unaware of accessible funding opportunities?
There are so many brilliant people in our region that would greatly benefit from receiving grant funding. People could throw more events, bands could tour, artists could purchase materials and afford professional development and there could be more festivals; the list goes on and on.
After much consideration, I decided that I wanted to not only personally figure out why people are not applying for grants, but also help people communicate exactly why they are not applying for grants directly to the organizations that can help correct this situation.
I am pleased to announce that I have found a way to begin this process.I am now working with the Lake Region Arts Council, with funding from the McKnight Foundation, and partnering with The Arts Partnership to conduct a survey to better understand what support is needed to help overcome the obstacles that prevent people from greater Minnesotaapplying for grants.
Is it that you are not sure of where to begin? Or, perhaps, that you are not sure where to look? Could it be that you would like someone to talk to about grant writing? We want to know the answers to those questions -- but we need you to tell us.
The survey has been specifically designed to get as much of your feedback as possible. We have acomment section available to give you the opportunity to help us understand exactly what you need. We want more art in our communities and want to help you make that happen.
The survey results will be shared not only locally but statewide with arts organizations that can offer grants and services to artists. This survey has the potential to greatly impact the regional and statewide dialog about the needs of artists and how granting organizations can better serve them. We cannot do this without your participation.
Please help us help you by taking the time to fill out our survey. Visit the following link in your favorite web browser: http://tiny.cc/LRAC
Together we can build a stronger and more varied regional arts community.
(About the author: Jacinta Macheel is an independent curator, arts organizer and visual artist. She resides in Moorhead.)
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