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Top Picks for U.S. Artist Grants

2016 draws to a close and we look toward a new year, now is the perfect time to begin planning how you will reach for new opportunities 2017. The idea of grants has been widely discussed in my blog as well as in some of my courses, but just exactly what are some of the grants available for artists hoping to fund their upcoming work? There are hundreds and hundreds of grants out there for every medium, region, and demographic. The landscape of artist grants can be overwhelming so we have done some of the leg work and come up with ten of the top artist grants available for 2017 and beyond. And there are always updates on grants and other opportunities on your resources page.

Harpo Foundation Founded in 2006, this foundation awards 7-10 grants per year as well as offering two artist residencies based in Vermont and Santa Fe. Artists must submit a 200 word artist statement, up to ten samples of work, their full resume, and there is a $15 application fee. Keep an eye on the foundations website for 2017 deadlines to be announced in January. Harpo is committed to nurturing emerging artists and encouraging new ways of thinking. Despite the name, Harpo Foundation is in no way affiliated with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios.

Joan Mitchell Foundation Joan Mitchell was a twentieth century abstract and expressionist painter. The Joan Mitchell Foundation was started in 1993 to continue her legacy of supporting young artists. During her lifetime, she personally supported many artists at her home in Vetheuil, France. The foundation awards grants for painting and sculpture as well as grants for emerging artists, emergency grants, and an MFA grant.

Warhol Foundation Although this foundation typically funds organizations that support the work of artists, there are a handful of grants awarded to individuals. Most notably, the Warhol Foundation offers grants for those wishing to further the pursuit of art writing. The grants cover media from articles and blogs to books and new/alternative media. Visit the foundations website for more information about this and other grants offered to organizations and individuals.

National Endowment for the Arts Despite its government status, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has been funding the work of artists since 1965. Grants are awarded across the wide field of artistic disciplines, and there are multiple grants available depending on your medium.

National Parks Artist in Residence Program Strictly speaking, this is a residency and not a grant. But the opportunity to take up residence in one of our glorious national parks is just too good to leave off the list. Artists have been an integral part of shaping the public view of national parks since the 19th century. Programs vary in length from two to four weeks and typically include lodging. Visit the website for details.

Pollock-Krasner Foundation The Pollock-Krasner Foundation was established after the death of Lee Krasner, an abstract expressionist painter and the widow of famed artist Jackson Pollock. The foundation seeks to financially support working artists who demonstrate both merit and financial need. Artists must be currently exhibiting work in order to apply. Grants are intended for a year and cover expenses ranging from professional to personal including medical expenses. There are rolling applications for grants at Pollock-Krasner.

William H Johnson Prize William H Johnson was a twentieth century African American painter. The William H Johnson Prize is awarded annually to an emerging African American artist in the field of painting, photography, sculpture, installation, or new media. The deadline for applications in 2017 is November 16 for a December prize announcement. The award for 2017 is $25,000.

Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Grant This grant, established through the generosity of Cape Cod artists Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed, is available to under-recognized American painters over the age of 45. The deadline for application is April 3, 2017. Award amounts vary and typically there are four awarded each year.

Creative Capital Grant Grants are available for those working in visual and performing arts, film and video, and emerging fields. Applicants must be at least 25 years old, cannot be full time students, and have been working in the arts for five years. Applications are currently closed until 2018, but with $40 million awarded to 642 artists to date, it is worth putting on your grant application calendar.

MacArthur Fellowship Chances are, even if you have no first-hand experience, you are at least aware of the MacArthur Fellowship program. This venerable institution has been supporting people in creative fields, as well as those who work to build “a more just, verdant, and peaceful world” since 1981. John D. and Catharine T MacArthur were philanthropists during their lifetime and sought to continue this legacy long after they were gone.






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