Applying For Grants

There are thousands of grants out there. Some are by application and some are by nominations. Since there is no control over the nominations, I suggest you seek out grants which you may apply for. If you have never applied for a grant do a search for them based on who you are, where you live, and what age group or level you are at in your career. See what comes up. Do a practice run and see what is required for these. If you feel you qualify for them fill out all the forms required and go through the process even if you decide not to hit the submit button when you are done. This will help you get all your materials ready for when you are ready to hit the submit button.

Being published, curated or belonging to a community such as ours is a great asset to have on your list of accomplishments when applying for grants. Several writers and artists I have published and shown have won grants such as the National Endowment for the Arts, The Guggenheim Fellowship, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, and many others. Many of our artists have also been granted tenure because they were published and in some cases were “granted” a job.

A Grant is not necessarily a competition. It is a source of income which is “granted” so that the person applying for the Grant may continue to do whatever groovy thing it is that they do without sacrificing their groovyness so they may continue to have a roof over their heads. Many poets have won both the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim Fellowship because being a poet is not necessarily a luxurious job. Professors also are “granted” many times awards, residencies, sabbaticals and such so they may finish writing that book or series of artwork for a noble cause. Although the cause does not necessarily have to be noble, it helps if you are working towards something of relevance towards society.

For example see the story of how Amy Sherald was granted the Anonymous Was A Woman prize of $25,000.

Another form of a grant is a Prize such as the Bennett Prize for Female Realists. Recently several of our members became finalists. In this case, the winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced at the opening ceremonies for the 2 year exhibition.

What I am finally trying to say is that our members are surrounded by a great resource which should be used whenever possible to apply for grants. Whenever applicable, ask me for letters of recommendations. State in your applications that you were selected by a jury or curator to exhibit and/or were a finalist or an honorable mention in a prize. Mention that you were published and have shown in museums and galleries. Say that you were acquired into a collection after being published or shown. Tell them you write reviews or are a regular contributor to PoetsArtists. Tell them you were listed in a Buzzfeed of 100 Working Artists or any other listing we have worked on. Look at the list of accomplishments you have finished this year and use that towards your applications.

Although I myself have never applied for grants, I have helped many receive them. Use being part of this great community to become a part of something greater than all of us combined.


Didi MenendezComment