Thursday, August 14

Grant Funding

While Scholarships have yet to be awarded to Conference 10, we know that many others would appreciate funding to attend. We encourage all conferees to seek out professional development grants. General info about these kinds of grants is noted below, along with a few specifics.

These are grants that might be available in your city, region, state, university or other grant-giving entity to fund, or help fund, your attendance at The Conference. The International Encaustic Conference is widely seen as the foremost event of its kind. Our international presenters—artists, gallerists, curators and critics—have exhibited academic and professional achievement at the highest levels. The professional stance and goals of the Conference, as evidenced by the History of the Encaustic Conference blog, and outlined as a mission statement on the Conference blog (sidebar right), should serve as your informational reference.
Conferees have attended on grants from the states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon, as well as on professional development grants from their universities and/or regions. You might also look into grants that might be offered by organizations in which you are a member.

Here’s an example of professional development funding, notes Cherie Mittenthal: “Massachusetts residents can apply for a Cultural Council grant. Every city and town has money available.” A quick look through the site offers this information: Average grants tend to be modest ($200-$500) and are reimbursement-based, meaning the applicant expends their own money, and if approved for a grant, then submits paperwork for reimbursement. A grand of this type would cover conference entry in whole or in part.
Here's a Professional Development Grant for artists in Washington state, specifically the Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. The Fall cycle has just been awarded and one of our conferees, Elise Wagner, was a recipient. There is a spring cycle. Click for more info.

Here's one for Colorado artists, Jumpstart Awards, sent in by Jane Guthridge, who was a recipient last year. One of the categories is for artists selected to present at a conference; another is "enrollment in professional development workshops . . . to build administrative and business skills" (The deadline was October 15, so keep it in mind for next year).  Jumpstart Awards provide fresh energy to artists and creative entrepreneurs to help stimulate their creative business or organization, whether non-profit or commercial. The end goal is that grantees will achieve tangible business benefits, such as increased revenue, new audiences or improved management practices," says the information on the website.

An example of an organizational grant is the Professional Development Grant from the Surface Design Association, which supports travel to a conference or workshop. And here's a Small Event Grant, also from SDA, to support participation in an exhibition: "Funds may be used for curated, group, and juried exhibitions of SDA members’ works, and for SDA-sponsored lectures, workshops . . ." You must be a member of SDA, and presumably there would be a tie-in with fiber. Info here

Be inventive in seeking funding sources! You might  see about securing funding through Kickstarter or through your own entrepreneurial undertaking, particularly if you have friends willing to support your effort to attend the International Encaustic Conference. What might you offer them in return? 

. A slide talk on encaustic punctuated with pictures from the event
. A work on paper or small painting inspired by one of the demos or workshops you attend
. A chance to come to your studio to select specially made postcards
. A studio visit with a talk about your work
. If you are already teaching and are fluent in the medium, you might offer a demo or workshop to your funders; this might take place in your studio or at an institution that . underwrites your funding.
. Both Paypal and Square allow you to set up accounts into which money can be deposited. Set up a "store" or "popup shop" on your blog or website. Be clear that it's is a special event with special prices. If it's a limited selling time, install a countdown clock on your site (Google "countdown gadgets). If you're gallery represented, offer work of a size or style that none of your dealers sells. With Square you also can take credit card payments at the Hotel Fair with the swipe of a card in a reader that plugs into your smart phone.
. Don't forget the Hotel Fair as a way to make some sales! You might also advertise it. Be inventive with emails and FB announcements leading up to the Conference, and don't be shy about promoting your work at the Conference. As always there will be an info table there.
. Make it happen!

A Few Tips to Help You in Your Application for Funding:
If you are presenting

. You are adding to the discourse of contemporary encaustic, indeed to the discourse of contemporary art in any medium
. Your presentation will help broaden awareness of this contemporary medium with ancient roots
. You are a role model for what is possible
. The International Encaustic Conference is the standard bearer for the medium, and you are a valued part of it

If you are attending
. The International Encaustic Conference is the standard bearer for the medium, giving you the opportunity to learn from and interact with the best practitioners in the field, as well as enjoy opportunities for exhibiting and networking
. With a strong presence of curators, gallerists, critics, art journalists and art publishers from the region, as well as around the country, your work has the potential to be seen in a way that might not otherwise be possible
. The Encaustic Conference offers talks and interactive discussions on professional development
. Additionally, the Conference offers you opportunities to acquire books and supplies, via a Vendor Room, book signings, and a Hotel Fair

If you have information to share about other kinds of funding, please post the info and link  in the Comments section below or let me know and I'll post in here. --J.M.

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