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 March 21, 2013 by Abigail

New Members:

We welcomed Tony Grant of the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Vincent (Vinnie) Murphy of the Tanne Foundation, Melissa Franklin of The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, and David Terry of the New York Foundation for the Arts to GIA’s Individual Artists Support Committee. The committee now comprises eighteen representatives of organizations that support individual artists nationally.

Our winter meeting focused on representing, sharing, and understanding our work to support artists.

Communicating our Cause:

At nearly every meeting, we review conference and panel proposal opportunities with the goal of proposing sessions that include artists and keep their concerns front and center. We discussed the inclusion of artists at the Americans for the Arts conference and learned about a panel for that conference organized by Heather Pontonio of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, called “The One About Helping Artists to Succeed,” for an intended audience of local art agencies. We discussed our hope of having more panels related to artists and featuring artists...

Posted on January 8, 2013 by Abigail

Co-Chair Transitions:

After serving three years as the co-chair of our committee, Michael Royce of the New York Foundation for the Arts, stepped down at the end of 2012. We thanked Michael for his leadership and his unswerving commitment to supporting artists. We then welcomed Rose Parisi of the Illinois Arts Council as the new co-chair who will serve along with Esther Grimm from 3Arts. Later in 2013, several new members will be announced, along with a new name for the committee.

GIA’s Individual Artists Research Project:

After receiving a great deal of feedback from funders at the GIA 2012 Conference and the Support for Individual Artists Preconference, this project will be honed to reflect both the process of data collection and the desired results. The next steps in 2013 will be to draft a proposed standard taxonomy for individual artist support, as well as proposed demographic data fields, and to solicit input from a broad range of individual artist funders on these standards. Our committee will hear more about the final direction of the research project at our next...

Posted on November 13, 2012 by Abigail

The last two meetings of the GIA Individual Artists Group Steering Committee focused primarily on the preconference, sessions, and roundtable gathering in preparation for the Miami conference, in addition to the research study GIA is conducting on the support of individual artists nationwide.

With an overarching goal of creating a network of mutual support, the committee worked to strengthen communication with like-minded funders and increase efforts to connect the sector and reach new funders.

Nicole Chevalier of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation attended her last meeting as a member of the committee and we welcomed new committee member Jayson Smart of the Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. We also voted to the committee Heather Pontonio of Tremaine.

The committee voted on the guidelines for membership, as follows:

The steering committee is comprised of up to twenty GIA members in good standing, representing a spectrum of grantmakers who support individual artists.

Membership will include a diversity of:

  • Geographic representation, including...
Posted on October 3, 2012 by Tommer


   Artist Support Benchmarking Initiative, Preliminary Report, 28 Sept 2012 (2.7Mb)

Attached is the Field Scan Preliminary Report, marking the first phase of this work.  This has been an educational and fascinating process so far. This first report was designed to frame the issues around this research and advance the conversation, so we look forward to your responses.

We are seeking your comments and responses to this draft, and there are a couple of ways to respond. You can respond by email to If you plan to reply by email, please do so by October 26th.

We will also be presenting the report at two times at the GIA conference:

Sunday, October 14 at 11:00 AM
for those registered for the Support for Individual Artists Preconference

Monday, October 15 at 2:00 PM
for those attending the main conference.

This presentation will also be available by...

Posted on June 11, 2012 by Abigail

The Steering Committee co-chairs opened the May meeting by welcoming new members Denise Brown, Leeway Foundation; Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Julie Dalgleish, CERF+; Ruby Harper, Greater Columbus Arts Council; Jayson Smart, Rasmuson Foundation; and Sacha Yanow, Art Matters. The Committee then discussed the guidelines, put forward by the subcommittee formed during the February meeting, for ensuring a dynamic, involved membership, including the staggered, two-year terms of the co-chairs that ensure renewed and shared leadership of the committee. Responding to Committee feedback, the subcommittee will update the guidelines for final review and approval during the next Committee meeting.

Members of the Steering Committee also serving on the individual artists preconference committee—Ted Berger, Rose Parisi, and Caitlin Strokosch—reported on the planning for that gathering in Miami. The preconference committee, of which Adrianna Perez and Brandi Reddick of the Miami-Dade County Office of Cultural Affairs are also members, is designing a participatory program that focuses on grant and non-grant support for individual artists and includes topics that address the main conference themes of equity, livable...

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Abigail

The GIA Support for Individual Artists Group Steering Committee met in February to discuss four topics: Committee membership; the 2012 GIA conference and preconference in Miami; future activities surrounding the case statement developed by the committee in 2011 to advocate for the support of individual artists; and participation in other associations’ conferences.

Over the course of the past two years, several GIA members have expressed interest in joining the committee. In order to make way for new voices and visions, the committee agreed to examine terms of membership to ensure a healthy rotation of members. A sub-committee will make recommendations regarding length of service at the May meeting, when new members will be welcomed.

The committee discussed participating with colleagues in Miami to develop a preconference for grantmakers who support individual artists. A suggestion was made to consider an “open space” format that includes both philosophical and practical approaches and that would allow for more direct conversation and communication among funders than might a fully programmed day of panel presentations. Because of the wealth of residency programs in Florida, the committee also suggested that...

Posted on January 12, 2012

The GIA Support for Individual Artists Group Steering Committee completed its case statement advocating for support of individual artists, now posted on the GIA website. It forms the cornerstone of an article that will appear in the winter issue of the GIA Reader. The Steering Committee will use various strategies for disseminating this statement and advocating for its message.

The Steering Committee met in September and December. Cynthia Gehrig of the Jerome Foundation, Co-Chair with Michael Royce of the New York Foundation for the Arts, is rotating away from that position and will be replaced by Esther Grimm, 3Arts, Chicago, Illinois. Esther and Michael will chair the Committee in 2012.

The 2011 Grantmakers in the Arts Conference in San Francisco featured a number of sessions providing information and opportunities for networking on the topic of support for individual artists. The Steering Committee’s appreciation goes to all GIA members who attended those sessions.


Posted on October 6, 2011 by admin

A Case Statement from GIA’s Support for Individual

Artists Group Steering Committee, October 2011


   Support for Individual Artists Case Statement (89Kb)

Our commitment to supporting individual artists is a testament to our understanding of the importance of artists in our world. We support artists to allow them time to reveal the truths of our existence. We support artists to promote diverse, creative communities engaged in civil dialogue and public service. We support artists to ensure the freedom of their expression and the preservation of our own.

Though artists’ impressive impact on the economy is quantifiable and therefore commonly used in their defense against threats of budget cuts and the whims of prevailing tastes, it is their constructive influence on the social development of communities, states, and nations that represents their most valuable and lasting contribution. The generative power of art accosts our senses and demands our...

Posted on July 25, 2011 by admin

The GIA Individual Artists Group Steering Committee is developing a case statement advocating for support of artists, based in part upon survey data collected from GIA members who have programs of support, direct and indirect, for individual artists. A draft statement will be the subject of a salon session and discussion during the annual conference in San Francisco this October. The Group will use various strategies for disseminating this statement and advocating for its message.

Grantmakers in the Arts convened a committee to advise on the possibility of making funding for individual artists a part of the GIA research agenda. There will be a San Francisco conference salon session on this research agenda item.

The Committee received an update on the program content and approach for the joint Preconference of the Individual Artists Group and the Arts and Social Justice Group: Artists and Social Justice. The focus will be on artists who are working to effect positive change in the world and the support mechanisms they need to act and be successful. By combining forces with another interest group, we hope to attract a larger number of attendees to the preconference and provide opportunities for...

Posted on April 10, 2011 by admin

Grantmakers interested in support for individual artists and in arts and social justice will have a special opportunity to meet together for a preconference day on October 9 in San Francisco, part of the 2011 Grantmakers in the Arts conference. It promises to be a full and vibrant day. Members of the Steering Committee will propose sessions within the main conference track and plenary/keynote speakers that will address support for individual artists.

The Steering Committee is working on a case statement drawn from responses to a national survey on why grantmakers support individual artists. The Steering Committee wants to advance this case statement in as many ways possible as an advocacy tool after it is released in a few months.

Grantmakers in the Arts offers webinars throughout the year to educate its members and other interested persons. There will be a webinar on non-grant support for individual artists on August 2, 2011 from 1:00-2:00 PM Central. A subgroup of the Steering Committee is working on the content for that session, which will be focused on innovative practices in promotion, recognition, and validation of artists and their contributions to society.

Grantmakers in the Arts...