Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants

Overview

Apply for up to $2,000 to take advantage of a milestone opportunity in your career.

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Applications Closed

Applications are no longer being accepted for this fiscal year. The information below is purely for reference. Please subscribe to our emails (on the bottom of this page) for updates.

Detailed Program Description

South Arts recognizes that an invitation to participate in a major, milestone opportunity is not always enough. Even with stipends or payments, overall expenses can make such an opportunity inaccessible. In order to ensure that artists from our region can take full advantage of major opportunities, South Arts now offers Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants.

The Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant is a pilot program to support a milestone opportunity in an individual artist’s career that is likely to lead to substantial and significant career advancement. Grants of up to $2,000 are available to support opportunities taking place between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021. Applications are due at least 60 days prior to activities. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until this program’s funds are depleted.

Prior to submitting an application, artists are strongly encouraged to discuss their application with Leland McKeithan, Director, Presenting & Touring and Special Projects lmckeithan@southarts.org or 404-874-7244 x15.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Applications open: January 2, 2020
Deadline: Rolling deadline, please submit at least 60 days prior to the proposed project.
Grant period: April 1, 2020 - August 31, 2021

Eligible Opportunities

Examples of opportunities that match the intent of this program include, but are not limited to:

  • Accepting an invitation to exhibit, screen, present or perform work in a significant forum such as a renowned/major festival, invitational exhibit, invitational/juried showcase, etc.
  • Participating in a residency to research/create a body of work and build network connections
  • Traveling which is associated with a significant career-building activity

Examples of opportunities that do NOT match the intent of this program:

  • Opportunities that support and advance the career of groups of artists such as musical bands or theatre companies. This program is limited to individual artists only.
  • Cataloging, publication, documentation or archiving of a body of work
  • Undertaking advanced study or an apprenticeship with an influential artist
  • Activities that support participation in a college or university degree program
  • General showcasing at booking conferences
  • General professional development activities

Other types of eligible opportunities not listed here exist. It is incumbent upon the applicant to make a strong and compelling case for the importance of the opportunity and the likely impact it will have on their career.

Guidelines

While preparing your Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant application, please refer to the following guidelines. 

Eligibility

To be considered for this grant, the applicant must:

  • Be an individual artist working in one of the following artistic disciplines: visual arts, craft, traditional arts/folklife, photography, performing arts, literary arts, film, media arts, interdisciplinary arts or multimedia arts 
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Not be a full-time student
  • Be a United States citizen, lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence, or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.
  • Be a resident of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee
  • Expect to maintain residency in the region during the award period. Applicants may be asked to submit a copy of their official state I.D./driver’s license as proof of residency later in the process, in order to confirm eligibility.
  • Submit a complete and accurate application
Awards

Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants will pay up to 2/3 of the total cost of the opportunity, with a maximum award of $2,000. The individual artist must cover remaining expenses. South Arts requires a 2:1 match meaning that (as an example) if the total opportunity cost is $3,000, the applicant may request $2,000 and provide the remaining $1,000 from other sources.

The minimum grant request is $500, the maximum is $2,000. Funds are limited so early application is encouraged. In the first cycle of this program (April – June 2020) South Arts expects to make 10-20 awards.

Grant recipients should note that award money is taxable income and must be reported as such. Grantees must comply with all applicable city, state, and federal laws, ordinances, codes, and regulations.

Grant funds will be disbursed as follows: 75% of grant award up to 45 days prior to the event/activity, and 25% of grant award upon receipt of final report and applicable receipts/documentation of expenses.

Policies

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Leland McKeithan, Director, Presenting & Touring and Special Projects to discuss the opportunity before submitting an application: lmckeithan@southarts.org; or 404-874-7244 x15.

  • Applicants may submit only one Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant application per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30.)
  • An individual receiving this award cannot re-apply for a period of four years.
  • Individuals receiving this award ARE eligible to apply for other South Arts funding (including the Southern Prize and State Fellowships, and the Folk and Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowships).
  • Applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the proposed activity.
  • Applicants will be notified of funding decisions via email within 6 weeks of submission.
  • Applications will be reviewed as they are received until available funds are depleted.
  • Funded activities must be completed within the period of April 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021.
  • Recipients will be required to document grant-funded activities, keep records of expenses, and submit that documentation in order to receive final payment.
  • Recipients will be required to submit a final report within 30 days of the completion of funded activities.
Use of Funds

Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant recipients must use the grant funds as stated in their application and budget. Grants are not transferable to other events or activities. Any proposed changes from the original application must be submitted in writing to, and approved by, South Arts before the activity. South Arts retains the right to approve, revise or revoke the award in light of such changes.

Grant recipients are required to submit receipts/documentation of expenses after the completion of the funded activity in order to receive final payment.

Review Process

Arts professionals will review applications according to these criteria, using the narrative, evidence of invitation or opportunity, budget, work samples, and resumé. The criteria are weighted on a 100-point scale:

Career Impact (50%) – Likelihood that the proposed activity will lead to substantial and significant career advancement. The opportunity, at this time, is a milestone career-impacting activity.

Artistic Quality (30%) – Artistic excellence of the applicant as demonstrated through work samples and resumé; and the artistic excellence of the opportunity (the host organization; any other artist(s) invited or selected for the opportunity; etc.).

Capacity/Budget (20%) – The applicant demonstrates the ability to complete the proposed activity and leverage the experience into career advancement. This is demonstrated through answers to narrative questions as well as the proposed use of grant funds.

Narrative Questions

The applicant must answer each question. Applicants should include links for websites relevant to the application (e.g. the applicant’s website; that of the host/inviting organization or program in which the applicant wants to participate; etc.).

Applicants must also include letters of invitation or opportunity for exhibitions, residencies, performances, or programs (if applicable); relevant information about venues/locations, festivals, screenings; and any information about other guest artists or participants and their credentials that are likely to aid in career advancement. Applicants should provide the 3-5 most relevant links.

Brief Description

  • In a few sentences, provide a brief summary of the proposed activity for which you seek grant support including the location, date(s), name of the opportunity/event, and the host organization. (350 characters)

Career Impact 50% (limit 1500 characters)

  • Describe how this proposed activity will lead to significant and substantial advancement in your artistic career. What about this particular opportunity, at this time, elevates it to a milestone career-impacting activity?
  • Describe your plan for moving your career forward after the completion of this activity. How will you use your experience (artistically; through new connections and networks; competitively) to ensure the highest impact on your work?

Artistic Quality 30% (limit 1500 characters)

  • Describe your artistic practice. How long have you been engaged in this artistic pursuit? What significant milestones have you reached thus far?
  • Describe the artistic quality of the opportunity and how it relates to your own artistic practice and goals. Is this a juried or invitational activity? What is the history of the host organization?
  • If you will be working with/learning from other artists, please identify them and describe their work. Describe any collaborations, partnerships or other relationships that will be important for undertaking this opportunity and leveraging it for further success.

Capacity/Budget 20% (limit 1500 characters)

  • List the timeline of activities related to the proposed opportunity, including preparatory and post-activity milestones. (Note that budget information required later in the application will be considered as part of Capacity.)
Budget & Eligible Expenses

Grants will pay up to 2/3 of the total cost of the opportunity, with a maximum award of $2,000. The applicant must cover remaining expenses, and South Arts requires a 2:1 match (2 South Arts: 1 grantee). Artists may include self-funding in the match. Example: If the total opportunity cost is $3,000, the applicant can request $2,000 and provide the remaining $1,000 from their own resources.

Budget details should identify the source of funds (including self-funding) not covered by this grant request. Total projected expenses must meet or exceed request by 1/3.

Funds can be used for these eligible expenses directly related to participation in proposed activities:

  • Travel (air, ground, lodging, per diem)
  • Equipment rental
  • Materials
  • Services/professional fees (preparators, photo/videographers, visa services, master artist stipends, etc.)
  • Facility/space rental or fees
  • Freight/shipping
  • Documenting funded activities or work resulting from the activities
  • Insurance
  • Other (applicant must provide specifics)
Work Samples

Artists may submit a total of three samples of their own work. All work must have been completed within the last five years, and be dated. A mix of media is acceptable. Work samples will be used to evaluate artistic quality. Work samples should be uploaded, or links to online samples be provided, through the online application form. If files are larger than 25MB, artists are encouraged to link to a web-hosted sample of work.

Samples should not be mailed to South Arts. No hardcopy or physical samples will be accepted.

  • Photographs: Clearly labeled high resolution images of the applicant’s work. Acceptable file formats include jpg, jpeg, gif, png, bmp, tif, psd, pdf, doc, and docx.
  • Audio Recordings: While .wav files are recommended, all standard file formats are acceptable.
  • Video Recordings: URL links to YouTube, Vimeo, or other publicly-accessible internet sources.
  • Other: If the applicant’s artform requires work samples to be submitted in another format, please contact us to discuss options.
Resumé

Applicants must submit a current resumé as an attachment; we recommend resumés be no more than two pages.

Demographic Information

Demographic information is for South Arts’ use only; this information will not be shared and will not have impact on the adjudication process.

  • Birth Year
  • Gender identity
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Category/Discipline 
Readiness & Emergency Preparedness

Are you prepared for a crisis? Don’t let an unexpected event, whether natural disaster or human-caused, devastate your career. CERF+/The Artists Safety Net provides multiple resources for artists of any discipline to protect their work, studio, records and physical health and safety.

Certification

Applicant affirms that all information in the application is correct and agrees that they have read the guidelines and will abide by the grant terms.

Application Requirements

  • Applicant Contact Information
  • Narrative Responses 
  • Evidence of invitation/opportunity (included as link(s) within narrative or provide attachments)
  • Budget (match = South Arts 2: Artist 1)
  • Work Samples (limit 3)
  • Resumé
  • Demographic Information
  • Online certification that application is accurate and applicant agrees to the terms

Questions?

For questions about Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants, contact program director Leland McKeithan.

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