Support for Individual Artists

GIA members have been working together to promote and improve funding for individual artists for over 20 years. This has been one of the most active and energetic groups of funders within GIA and the Support for Individual Artists preconferences have been the flagship program of this group.

The GIA Library features a number of recommended articles on Support for Individual Artists.

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Monica

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the names of the 2016 MacArthur Fellows. Among the awardees are author Claudia Rankine, who presented an inspiring keynote at the 2015 GIA Conference, and theatre artist and educator Anne Basting, who has worked with GIA to support arts and aging. Each of the 23 MacArthur Fellows will receive a stipend of $625,000.

View the announcement.

Posted on September 19, 2016 by Monica

National Endowment for the Arts and the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) have launched a new report examining the needs and values of artists. Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting U.S. Artists examines artist funding and training, as well as the effect of other forces shaping the work environment for artists including technology, the gig economy, student debt, and the growth of cross-disciplinary work.

Read the report.

Posted on August 3, 2016 by Sustainable Arts Foundation

The Sustainable Arts Foundation has recently committed to increasing racial equity in the arts. Starting this fall, at least half of our awards will go to applicants of color. Visit their website to read more about this decision and the thinking behind it.

Posted on May 13, 2016 by Sustainable Arts Foundation

The Sustainable Arts Foundation supports artists and writers with children by offering unrestricted cash awards to parent artists whose work is of the highest caliber. We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2016 Spring Awards. The demand for these grants continues to be high: we received over 1,300 applications. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding artists and writers.

Spring 2016 Awards ($6,000 each)

Radhiyah Ayobami, Nonfiction
Lisa Myers Bulmash, Mixed Media
Carmen Lizardo, Photography
Abby Murray, Poetry
Joshua Rivkin, Nonfiction

Spring 2016 Promise Awards ($2,000 each)

Todd Anderson, Printmaking
Rebecca Grabill, Early and Middle Grade Fiction
Terence Hannum, Mixed Media
Tania James, Fiction
Kim Piotrowski, Painting
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Nonfiction
Maya Jewell Zeller, Poetry

Spring 2016 Finalists

Larissa Bates, Painting
Adriana Carranza, Printmaking
Madeline ffitch, Fiction
Carribean Fragoza, Fiction
Tytia Habing, Photography
Toni Jensen, Fiction
Rachelle Mozman, Photography
Cindy Pon, Young...

Posted on February 5, 2016 by SuJ'n

Jennifer Rivera, mezzo soprano and blogger, writes for HuffPost:

...I spend a lot of time trying to imagine solutions to a problem that feels like an impossible mathematical equation: How do we balance the amount of talent in the world of the arts in this country (specifically classical music and opera) with the seeming dearth of opportunities, the lack of funding for the arts, and the challenges all non-profit music organizations face in raising the funds to do their best work without either sacrificing their artistic integrity or going bankrupt? This ongoing problem is the reason I took a job at the Center for Contemporary Opera (I wanted to help make more operas happen), why I write these articles, and why I continue to sing and work with young singers. Well, the singing also pays my bills -- most of them anyway (more on that later).

Read the full post here.

Posted on December 11, 2015 by cstrokosch

Artists frequently tell us the thing they need most is access to decision-makers, to connect to opportunities outside their usual networks and get past some of the myths and mysteries of how artists receive support.

TransCultural Exchange’s 2016 International Conference on Opportunities in the Arts does just that. One of the few conferences specifically for artists and their career development, the event gives artists the chance to connect with international curators, presenters, residency directors, funders, and others and open the door to career opportunities around the world. 

More than one-third of past attendees received invitations to residencies and exhibitions and/or successful grant...

Posted on October 12, 2015 by SuJ'n

3Arts recently announced the ten recipients of its 8th annual 3Arts Awards. The awardees were women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts and selected by national jury panels of their peers. For more information about the artists and the awards, find the full press release here. Video highlights of the Awards ceremony, including performances from by past awardees, can be found here.

Posted on August 10, 2015 by SuJ'n

Last summer, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Santa Fe Institute convened a 15-member working group to: "a) evaluate the legacy of creativity research, and b) explore new knowledge at the intersections of cognitive psychology, neurobiology, learning, complex systems, and the arts." The NEA recently published "How Creativity Works in the Brain," which shares the working group's insights.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on March 3, 2015 by SuJ'n

In a speech delivered at a symposium held by UK-based Circus Futures, Owen Calvert-Lyons, artistic director of The Point, Eastleigh, and The Berry Theatre, implores the arts eco-system to make emotional in additional to financial investments in its artists. He asks:

Artists are constantly being asked to be financially resilient. But what about emotional resilience? When artists face rejection from a funder or a programmer, who is there to provide that sense of community and solidarity and empathy? So often the work that artists subsidise with time, money, love and belief is treated as a commodity, or just a product by venues. In an era in which our sector is constantly being asked to commercialise, this will only increase.

Read more of his edited speech here.

Posted on January 28, 2015 by SuJ'n

In an article entited "The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur", published in the current issue of The Atlantic, William Deresiewicz argues that the traditional notion of the professional artist as solitary genius is hopelessly outdated. He writes:

So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, and has been since about the turn of the millennium, one that’s in the process of reshaping what artists are: how they work, train, trade, collaborate, think of themselves and are thought of—even what art is—just as the solitary-genius model did two centuries ago. The new paradigm may finally destroy the very notion of “art” as such—that sacred spiritual substance—which the older one created.

Deresiewicz goes on to comment on what the death of the artist and the rise of the creative entrepreneur means for our field. Along with the rise of the creative entrepreneur comes heightened emphases on networking, multiplicity, commodification, democratization of...

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Steve

On January 29 you are invited to join representatives from a state arts agency, a foundation and an artist service organization for the first web seminar in 2015 from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Individual Artist Support: Trends in Funding and Services. Learn about current trends, challenges and strategies from three experts in the field:

  • Rose Parisi, Director of Programs, Illinois Arts Council Agency
  • Judilee Reed, Program Director, Thriving Cultures, Surdna Foundation
  • Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts

The session takes place on Thursday, January 29, 3:00pm EST / 12:00pm PST. Register online. Contact Eric Giles if you need assistance.

Posted on January 15, 2015 by SuJ'n

In a study commissioned by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Arizona State University's Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship inventories business training programs and opportunities for artists outside of academic settings. How It's Being Done: Arts Business Training Across the U.S. looks at where arts business training programs exist by region, what kinds of organizations provide training, training modalities, topics, and costs among other distinctions.

If you are an organization that offers business-related training to artists and not included in the web-related research, please contact Tremaine Fellow Mollie Flanagan.

Download the full report here.

Posted on January 7, 2015 by SuJ'n

Creative Capital announced today its 2015 awardees in the categories of Moving Image and Visual Arts. The list of its innovative and genre-stretching awardees includes 50 artists from all stages of their careers, 46 projects, 13 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada. The total investment in these artists and projects nears $4.4 million.

Ruby Lerner, Founding President & Exeuctive Director, says:

We believe it is so critical to sustain a commitment to invention and experimentation, to provocation and beauty. This class of Creative Capital awardees does it all; these artists are engaged with the world, and the immediacy of their projects is breathtaking.

Read the full announcement, including the list of awardees here.


Posted on December 3, 2014 by SuJ'n

The Alliance of Artists Communities announces applications are open for its 2015 Creative Access residency awards. This program, supported by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, provides visual artists and writers living with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) month-long, funded studio residencies. Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities, shares:

'Creative Access' reflects our ongoing commitment to develop greater resources for underserved artists of all kinds and model best-practices for the entire residency field. We are thrilled to launch this new program with our residency partners, and so grateful to the Neilsen Foundation for its leadership and support.

The application deadline is: January 15, 2015.

Read more about the application announcement here.

Posted on December 2, 2014 by Sustainable Arts Foundation

The Sustainable Arts Foundation supports artists and writers with children by offering unrestricted cash awards to parent artists whose work is of the highest caliber. We're delighted to announce the winners of our 2014 Fall Awards. Once again, in this round demand was high: we received over 1,000 applications. To ensure that all applications received broad consideration, we enlisted previous awardees to serve as jurors. As talented artists and writers, they are eminently qualified to evaluate these portfolios; as fellow parents, they are particularly attuned to the particular circumstances of our applicants.

As with previous rounds, we've also selected 10 finalists whose work showed such strength we felt compelled to acknowledge it publicly. 

2014 Fall Awards ($6,000 each)
John Brandon, Fiction
Gabe Brown, Painting
Susan Graham, Sculpture
Kate Leary, Fiction
Maggie Smith, Poetry
2014 Fall Promise Awards ($2,000 each)
Skye Anicca, Fiction
Brandon Lingle, Nonfiction
Kathleen McGookey, Poetry
Thorpe Moeckel, Nonfiction
Susan Montgomery, Mixed Media
Posted on November 18, 2014 by cstrokosch

The Alliance of Artists Communities, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, is pleased to announce the inaugural awardees for “Artists as Change Agents: Beyond Bellagio”. The two exceptional artists are Tiziana Panizza from Santiago, Chile, for her project Solitary Land; and Samir Parker from Thane, India, for his project Re-Flexing the City. Each artist will receive a $20,000 award, made possible through a grant to the Alliance of Artists Communities from The Rockefeller Foundation.

Administered by the Alliance of Artists Communities, “Artists as Change Agents” was established to advance new work initiated at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center and extend the impact of a Bellagio Center residency by providing support to artists whose work addresses the challenging issues of our times and exemplifies the Foundation’s goal of promoting the wellbeing of humankind around the world. Recognizing that such work often struggles to find mainstream support, these prestigious awards provide critical resources for the completion and dissemination of promising new work.

“Solitary Land” — Tiziana Panizza; Santiago, Chile

Project Summary

Tiziana Panizza’s...

Posted on November 8, 2014 by Tommer

Those of you who attended the 2013 Support for Individual artists Preconference will remember Conflict Kitchen, the Pitsburgh Artist-run take out restaurant thet provided our lunch. They are currently closed after a death threat from an unknown individual who interpreted their Palestinian lunch wrapper as anti-Israel.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has coverage. And here's a quote from Conflict Kitchen form their Facebook page:

The Post-Gazette's (and other media and lobbying groups) insistence to continually misrepresent our food wrappers as "anti-Israeli messages," shows a distinct lack of research into what is actually on the wrappers, a reinforcement of right-wing accusations, and thoughtlessness about our current situation. Like we have done for four years with every other country of focus, our food wrappers contain the viewpoints of multiple people within our focus country on a wide variety of topics. Our Palestinian...
Posted on November 7, 2014 by SuJ'n

When composer and Director of the Center for Performing Arts Medicine at the Houston Methodist Hospital Jefferson Todd Frazier tells people that he works for a center for arts and medicine, he says he receives some odd looks. Arts and medicine are two things that most people would rarely combine, and yet the Center for Performing Arts Medicine, or CPAM, has been doing just that successfully for 25 years. It was founded by a doctor known for treating opera performers, Dr. C. Richard Stasney, after he received a phone call from a performer in need of specialized care.

Read the full article here

Posted on August 6, 2014 by Tommer

The American Music Project is a nonprofit foundation that hopes to put a brighter spotlight on the American repertory, old and new, and to commission new works. “The goal of the foundation,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement, “is to facilitate more performances of our great musical legacy, as well as to raise awareness and, ultimately, help increase the amount of American music that is performed regularly in our concert halls and opera houses.”

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Tommer

This strategy sampler summarizes funding trends, policy goals and key programmatic issues of state arts agency individual artist fellowships, including eligibility parameters and application evaluation criteria and protocols. The information herein is based on publicly available fellowship program guidelines in fiscal year 2014 as well as 10 years of data tracking fellowship awards.