Toolkit: A Look Inside the Artist Selection Process

At the GIA 2012 Conference in Miami, the Individual Artists Support Committee hosted a breakfast roundtable conversation to ask funders what they would like our committee to work on throughout the year.

One of the suggestions that rose to the top of the list at that roundtable was that we work to develop a set of resources representing a variety of models of artist awards/grants selection processes. We thought this was a terrific idea, and we quickly organized a subcommittee of diverse funders to create documents that offer a behind-the-scenes look at how our programs work.

This resultant Toolkit: A Look Inside the Artist Selection Process is the first in a series on various subjects germane to our sector.

Our primary goal is to offer examples that might be equally useful to new funders and to funders who simply want to know how other organizations manage their selection processes. The toolkit is predicated on the idea that transparency will help us do our collective work better and will help us unite as a field.

These examples represent four different kinds of funders: A nonprofit grantmaker, a public agency, a family foundation, and a private foundation. Open applications and nomination-jury processes are also represented in the mix. Each resource paper focuses primarily on a snapshot of direct funding for individual artists within the context of each organization’s programs and includes a timeline, information about jury panels and applications, and our thoughts about our various approaches and challenges. Our organizations’ websites and contact information are also included so that funders who have questions may contact us directly.

Finally, and importantly, the information we are providing today represents our work right now. As is true of all funders, we are dedicated to building and improving our systems and programs on a regular basis. Because our work changes over time, we encourage you to visit our websites for updates.

Esther Grimm, 3Arts
Rose Parisi, Illinois Arts Council Agency
Jayson Smart, Rasmuson Foundation
Carolyn Somers, Joan Mitchell Foundation