Application opens July 15, 2024

Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants

Upcoming

See All Grants & Opportunities

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

The next application cycle opens July 15, 2024.

Program Description

South Arts recognizes that more than an invitation to participate in a significant milestone opportunity is required. Even with stipends or payments, overall expenses can make such an opportunity inaccessible. South Arts offers Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants to ensure that artists from our region can take advantage of significant opportunities.

The Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant supports a milestone opportunity in an artist's career that will likely lead to substantial career advancement. Grants of up to $2,000 are available for opportunities taking place between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025 (FY25)

Individuals receiving this award are eligible to apply for other South Arts funding (including the Southern Prize and State Fellowships, Jazz Road, and others) for projects unrelated to the IACOG activity. However, you may not use South Arts' funds as a match for this program. 

South Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). Artists with disabilities, artists who are Black, Indigenous, or Other Persons of Color (BIPOC), and those who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) are encouraged to apply.

South Arts recognizes the importance of this support and is enhancing the program to provide two application cycles. The first cycle will be July 1 – December 31, 2024, and the second cycle will be January 1—June 30, 2025.

Artists are strongly encouraged to discuss their applications with Program Director Emmitt Stevenson at estevenson@southarts.org or Assistant Program Director Joseph Crawford at jcrawford@southarts.org prior to applying.

Important Dates & Deadlines

FIRST APPLICATION CYCLE:SECOND APPLICATION CYCLE:
  • Applications Open: March 26, 2024
  • Applications Due: May 7, 2024
  • Activities Start Date: On or After July 1, 2024
  • Activities End Date: On or before December 31, 2024
  • Award Notifications: June 2024
  • Grant period: July 1, 2024 – December 31, 2024
  • Application Open: July 15, 2024
  • Applications Due: September 3, 2024
  • Activities Start Date: On or After January 1, 2025
  • Activities End Date: On or before June 30, 2025
  • Award Notifications: November 2024
  • Grant period: January 1, 2025– June 30, 2025 

Additional Details

South Arts reserves the right NOT TO

  • Consider incomplete or improperly submitted applications.
  • Inform applicants of incomplete or improperly submitted applications.

Panelists will not provide comments on any applications.

Given the volume of applications received, staff cannot provide feedback.

Applicants who move from the South Arts region after submitting their application are encouraged to notify South Arts and will not be eligible for an award.

Eligible Opportunities

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

  • SOLO or GROUP EXHIBITIONS at recognized national or international galleries or museums.
  • SELL, PRESENT, OR PERFORM original work at a significant in-person forum, such as a major festival of renown, a juried showcase, or similar.
  • SCREENINGS and panels associated with Media Arts projects.
  • ARTIST RESIDENCIES for research or to create a body of work and build national and/or international networks.
  • TRAVEL that 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, dance groups, or theatre companies. This program is for individual artists only.
  • Cataloging, publication, documentation, promotion, or archiving of a body of work.
  • Undertaking advanced study, an apprenticeship with an influential artist, or other master classes.
  • Activities that support participation in a college or university degree program.
  • General performance showcases at booking conferences.
  • General professional development activities like attendance at professional conferences or workshops.

Other types of eligible opportunities not listed here exist. The applicant must make a solid and compelling case for the opportunity's importance and its likely impact on their career.

Guidelines

Please refer to the following guidelines while preparing your Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant application.

Download the Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants guidelines (PDF format)

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, media arts, interdisciplinary arts, or multimedia arts.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Cannot be enrolled as a student in a degree-seeking program.
  • Be a United States citizen, lawfully admitted to the US for permanent residence, or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the US.
  • Be a resident of the South Arts Region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee
  • Expect to maintain residency in the region during the award period. Applicants must submit a copy of their official state ID/driver's license as proof of residency later in the process as verification of 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 minimum award of $500 and a maximum award of $2,000. The individual artist must cover the 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. 

Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants is a competitive grant program, and South Arts expects to award between 10 and 15 grants during this cycle.

Grant recipients must report should note that award money is taxable income. 

Grantees must comply with all applicable city, state, and federal laws, ordinances, codes, and regulations.

To receive final payment, grant recipients must submit receipts/documentation of expenses within 30 days of completing the funded activity.

Grant funds will be disbursed as follows: 75% of the grant award upon acceptance of terms and completion of grant paperwork, and 25% of the grant award upon receipt of the final report, applicable receipts, and documentation of expenses.

Policies

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Emmitt Stevenson to discuss the opportunity before submitting an application at estevenson@southarts.org or Joseph Crawford at jcrawford@southarts.org.

  • 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 four years (awardees in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 are not eligible to apply)
  • Individuals receiving this award are eligible to apply for other South Arts funding (including the Southern Prize and State Fellowships, Jazz Road, and the Folk and Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowships) unrelated to this project. However, you cannot use South Arts' funds as a match for this program.
  • South Arts will notify applicants of funding decisions via email.
  • The program funding cycle 1 is July 1 – December 31, 2024, with award notifications by June 2024; cycle 2 is January 1 – June 30, 2025, with award notifications by November 2024. 
  • NEW: All activities and expenses must occur within the program funding cycle dates. 
  • Recipients will be required to document grant-funded activities, keep records of expenses, and submit documentation and receipts 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 except in extenuating circumstances and with written approval from Program Director Emmitt Stevenson. Grantees must submit any proposed changes from the original application in writing and be approved by South Arts before the activity. South Arts retains the right to approve, revise, or revoke the award due to such changes.

Review Process

Arts professionals will review applications according to these criteria, using the narrative, evidence of invitation or opportunity, budget, work samples, and resumé. 

Career Impact (up to 50 points): The likelihood that the proposed activity will lead to substantial career advancement. The opportunity is currently a milestone career-impacting activity. It may be significant because your artistic practice is informed by being an artist who self-identifies as LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, or with a disability.

Artistic Quality (up to 30 points): The 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 (up to 20 points): 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.

Application Requirements

To complete and submit an application, you must log into our Salesforce application platform using the Application Portal section below. The application consists of the following information.

  • Applicant Contact Information
  • Narrative Responses 
  • Evidence of invitation/opportunity (provide attachments) *
  • Budget (match = South Arts 2: Artist 1)
  • Work Samples (limit to 3 samples total)
  • Resumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Demographic Information
  • Online certification that the application is accurate, and the applicant agrees to the terms.

*Please note that applicants must submit an invitation on the inviting entity's letterhead or via the entity's email accounts with the application by the application due date. Missing invitations will disqualify the application.

The applicant must answer each question. The application should include 3-5 links to websites relevant to the application (e.g., the applicant's website, the website of the host/inviting organization or program in which the applicant wants to participate, etc.).

Narrative Questions

Brief Description (not scored)
In a few sentences, provide a 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 (UP TO 50% - Maximum of 1,500 Characters including spacing)
Describe how this proposed activity will substantially advance your artistic career. What about this opportunity elevates it to a milestone career-impacting activity? Describe your plan for moving your career forward after completing this activity. How will you use your experience (artistically and competitively) to ensure the highest impact on your work? If applicable, describe how the career milestone activity furthers your career as an artist who self-identifies as LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, or other Person of Color (BIPOC) or as an artist with a disability. 

ARTISTIC QUALITY (UP TO 30%- Maximum of 1,500 Characters including spacing)
Describe the opportunity's artistic quality 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 are working with or learning from other artists, please identify them and describe them.

CAPACITY (UP TO 20% - Maximum of 1,500 Characters including spacing)
Please provide an activity timeline related to the proposed opportunity. Include preparatory and post-activity milestones. Describe any collaborations, partnerships, or other relationships that will be important for pursuing this opportunity and leveraging it for further success.

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, institutional stipends, or additional grant funding) not covered by this grant request. Total projected expenses must meet or exceed the request by 50%.

Eligible expenses related to participation in proposed activities:

  • Travel (air, ground, lodging, per diem)
  • Equipment rental
  • Materials
  • Services/professional fees (preparators, photo/videographers, visa services, artist stipends, etc.)
  • Facility/space rental or fees
  • Freight/shipping
  • Documenting funded activities or work resulting from the activities
  • Insurance
  • Childcare or eldercare costs that arise because of the participation in the proposed activity.
  • Foregone income because of participation in the proposed activity.
  • Other (applicant must provide specifics)
Work Samples

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

Applicants should not mail samples to South Arts. South Arts will accept no hardcopy or physical samples. 

  • Photographs: Clearly labeled high-resolution images of the applicant's work. Acceptable file formats include BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, PSD, DOC, and DOCX.
  • Audio Recordings: We recommend WAV files, but all standard formats are acceptable.
  • Video Recordings: URL links to YouTube, Vimeo, or other publicly accessible internet sources.
  • Other: If the applicant's art form requires the submission of work samples in another format, please contact us to discuss options.
Resumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae or resumé as an attachment; we recommend these documents be no more than two pages.

Demographic Information

Demographic information is for South Arts' use only; we will not share this information.

  • Birth Year
  • How do you describe your gender identity? 
    • Female
    • Male
    • Non-binary/Genderqueer/Gender non-conforming
    • My gender identity is not listed
    • Prefer Not to Answer
  • Do you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community? 
    • Yes
    • No
    • Prefer Not to Answer
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Artists with Disabilities
  • Category/Discipline
Readiness & Emergency Preparedness

Are you prepared for a crisis? Do not 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

The 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.
Applicants must also include:

  • Letters of invitation or opportunity for exhibitions, residencies, performances, or programs (if applicable).
  • Relevant information about venues/locations, festivals, and screenings.
  • Any information about other guest artists or participants and their credentials that are likely to aid in career advancement.

Technical Assistance

To schedule one-to-one Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grant technical assistance consultation please click here

Schedule A Consultation

Are you prepared for a crisis? Do not 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

View frequently asked questions and information on managing your grant.

FAQs

Applications Portal

After reviewing the priorities and guidelines above, visit our Salesforce portal to begin your application or edit an application in progress.

Log In to Salesforce

Questions?

For questions about Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants, contact Emmitt Stevenson.

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