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 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William Deresiewicz argues that the traditional notion of the professional artist as solitary genius is hopelessly outdated.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So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date.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.

Posted on May 23, 2014



At its March 3, 2014 meeting, the Foundation's Board of Directors approved substantial changes to Jerome's New York City and Minnesota Film and Video Programs. Effective June 15, 2014, the names of the programs will be changed to the Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Program. Each program will continue to support emerging independent film and video artists who produce experimental, narrative, documentary, and animated work, but will be expanded to support artists who create work using non-traditional hardware such as mobile devices and computers. This provides artists who prefer not to work in traditional film and video formats an opportunity to receive support from the Foundation for their narrative, documentary, animated and experimental projects.

The New York City and Minnesota Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Programs will consider projects created for exhibition in traditional venues such as theaters, television, or festivals, as well as non-traditional exhibition venues such as projections in public spaces; distribution through smartphones, electronic notebooks and other mobile devices; and virtual environments such as internet sites. It...

Posted on May 14, 2014 by cstrokosch

The Open Society Documentary Photography Project is soliciting calls for the 2014 Audience Engagement Grant Program. Since the program’s inception in 2004, Open Society Foundations has funded 54 photographers who have gone beyond documenting a human rights or social justice issue to enacting change.

As in the past, project grants are available to documentary photographers, photo-based artists, and socially engaged practitioners who use their work to move target audiences beyond the act of looking, to directly participate in activities or processes that lead to change around an issue. And while past funding has successfully supported a diverse range of projects from photographers highly skilled at developing meaningful partnerships and audience engagement, the Foundation recognized that many artists have less experience in this work but are interested in further developing these skills.

In response, beginning in 2014, artists are also able to apply for Project Development support, with grantees receiving funding to attend an Open Society-organized retreat in December of 2014. This event will be designed in collaboration with Creative Capital’s Professional...

Posted on March 7, 2014 by cstrokosch

Posted to Supporting Today’s Artists by Caitlin Strokosch, executive director, Alliance of Artists Communities

One of the reasons I love serving on Grantmakers in the Arts’ Individual Artists Support Committee is that every conversation centers on how we can do more to support artists. Again and again we ask: What else do artists need (besides more money)?

For the Alliance of Artists Communities—an international coalition of artist residency programs—our currency is time and space. Few artists have in their everyday lives the luxury of concentrated time to dive deep into their work with the focus it deserves, even when granted the funds to develop new work. As such, residencies form a critical part of the artist support ecosystem by offering an environment that combines nobody’s-looking-over-your-shoulder solitude with a community of other artists engaging in the challenging R&D work that occurs during a residency. And while time and space are extraordinary, time+space+money is even better!

That’s why in the past few years we’ve seen more funders and residencies team up to extend the support given to...

Posted on March 6, 2014 by Abigail

The Committee welcomed Paul Tyler, grants director of ArtsKC, a regional arts council in Kansas City, Missouri. Also new to the Committee is Ruby Lerner, executive director of Creative Capital, a nationally-focused support organization serving artists with funding, counseling, and career development services.

A subcommittee has been working on establishing a new blog, Supporting Today's Artists, which is now live on the GIA website and features content from GIA members and the broader field. All GIA members are invited to submit content; information may include new program initiatives, collaborations, program evaluations, research, press releases, and leadership transitions related to the artists support field. Suggested content for the new site may be directed to Tommer Peterson at GIA:

GIA deputy director Tommer Peterson provided an update on the Artist Support Benchmarking Initiative. The research team working on the project is beginning to develop a method for collecting data that illustrates the ecology of artist support throughout...

Posted on March 4, 2014 by cstrokosch

The Creative Interventions Tour, a new placemaking project led by artist Hunter Franks, will travel through Akron, Detroit, Macon, and Philadelphia, where Franks will lead workshops that bring people from diverse social and economic backgrounds together. He will craft the interactive activities with input from local organizations, taking into account specific community needs. Franks will document his experiences in each of the cities to share lessons and assess how small-scale, temporary interventions can create wide community impact.

For example, one activity, Vacant Love, will mobilize people to write love letters to their neighborhood; the letters will then be posted on a vacant building and a fundraising event will be held to help restore the building. Another activity, the Free Portrait Project, will provide locals with a personal Polaroid portrait in exchange for a story about their first love. A copy of their portrait will then be displayed in a public space along with the story for passersby to peruse, ultimately creating connections between neighbors.

More information on the Knight Blog,...

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Paul Tyler

Posted to Supporting Today’s Artists by Paul Tyler, Grants Director, ArtsKC

We’ve had limited financial resources to invest in direct support for artists over the past few years, but I have come to realize that our work supporting artists through professional development training may have substantially more impact than our grantmaking over the long run.

Artist INC is a professional development initiative for artists that began in Kansas City in 2009 as a collaborative partnership of ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council, Charlotte Street Foundation, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center. The Artist INC synergistic array of programming is designed to connect artists of all disciplines to the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary to develop their entrepreneurial skills and strengthen their artistic practice. The program menu offers an assortment of seminars, workshops, online options, community training, a university course, and direct individual support in order to reach a variety of artists at different...

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Abigail

Since 1998, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation has supported contemporary art exhibitions through its biennial Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. This opportunity provides funding for thematic exhibitions that are fresh and experimental in nature, and for which other funding is not yet forthcoming. The award provides assistance at the beginning stage of the exhibition’s development and offers the curator the support needed to realize the concept.

This year is the first time the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation will support not only the curator of these winning exhibitions but also the artists that participate through the Living Artist Stipends. When the 2012 Exhibition Award winners, Choreography at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, open this fall, each living artist, collaborative, or collective with a piece of existing work in the exhibits will receive a $1,000 stipend. The Foundation developed the Living Artist Stipend to provide financial recognition for work an artist has previously completed that contributed...