Information You Can Use- Grants and Foundations

I don’t know if there is something in the air or just a lot of grant deadlines coming due but there were quite a few funding opportunities listed on the WESTAF website last week. I thought I would post on some of the opportunities that caught my eye. These aren’t all of them. WESTAF does good work and I don’t begrudge them their subscription fees which are pretty reasonable given the number of opportunities they list. Based on my assumption that everyone needs money and opportunities these days, it seems a moral imperative to post this information.

Google Grants
The first one is for free advertising for your non-profit from Google. It is similar to their Ad Words service though you don’t get as ready access to keywords and your ad has to be focused on your organization’s mission which is to be expected.

This is actually only one of the services they offer to non-profits. Check out the aptly named, Google for Non-profits for more information.

I have to say, I love PennPAT. They provide nice support for artists and organizations in the Mid-Atlantic States. I just wish I lived in the Mid-Atlantic states! However, no matter where you live, PennPAT will provide assistance with travel costs from anywhere in the US if you are traveling to see one of their artists perform. From the way I read the eligibility requirements, you could be living in Oregon and traveling to California to see one of their artists on tour. Or you could attend their annual showcase in Pennsylvania.

Wachovia Foundation
To receive support from these folks, you pretty much have to live in an area served by Wachovia Bank because they support non-profit organizations with which their employees volunteer. Focus is making artistic opportunities available to people with low to moderate incomes. If you think you are eligible, check out the details. At the very least, it is good to know the bank encourages their employees to volunteer with non-profits and then backs it up with some financial support. (Hey, I also don’t live in a Wachovia state!)

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
As the foundation name suggests, they are primarily focused on contemporary visual arts. However, they do occasionally support performing artists “when the visual arts are an inherent element of a production.” The scope of what they support in visual arts is pretty broad and includes scholarship as well as exhibitions, catalogs and creation of new works. There is also an award for defending the First Amendment right of artists.

Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs
This one is actually a program of the U.S. State Department supporting “cultural exchanges around the world as part of the nation’s public diplomacy strategy. ‘The Department’s agreements support academic, cultural and professional exchange and training programs as a means of seeking mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries and to promote the free exchange of information and ideas.'” If you want to be part of promoting international understanding, you may want to check out the website. I am actually not clear how performers position themselves to be considered since the project proposals apparently originate from what I assume are U.S. Embassies abroad.

The Dana Foundation
The Dana Foundation supports programs that provide professional development opportunities for arts specialists and professional artists who teach preK-12. They are looking for people who have created a curriculum for teaching the teachers essentially. Bad news is the are interested in supporting project originating in 50 mile radius around NYC, Los Angeles or Washington D.C. OR in rural areas. Not so good for those folks in Chicago and Dallas, et. al. but there are still a lot of people able to qualify from rural areas.

National Education Association (NEA) Foundation
The NEA you may not be as familiar with. These folks are also interested in supporting education, but don’t have a geographic limit. They also don’t have a subject area limit so you are potentially competing with everyone from every public school and public higher education institution. On the flip side, this provides possibilities for interdisciplinary and college prep projects.

The Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund
“A program of Creative Capital, supports original new work in all disciplines and traditions of the live performing arts. The goal of the MAP Fund is “to assist artists who are exploring and challenging the dynamics of live performance within our changing society, thus reflecting our culture’s innovation and growing diversity.” I haven’t applied for this but some groups with whom we closely partner have. It is a pretty competitive from what I hear.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
The NEA we all know. Whether Barack Obama will be able to make good on his promises to have a robust arts policy while he is fighting to get the economy stimulated to the point it can be described as tepid remains to be seen. Still, seems like the time to stand up and advocate and apply for some funding.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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