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Grant Writing Tips From The Artist to the Artist
 

Grant Writing Tips From The Artist to the Artist

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Bootstraps \"Develop Your Music Career\" Session 2

Bootstraps \"Develop Your Music Career\" Session 2

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    Grant Writing Tips From The Artist to the Artist Grant Writing Tips From The Artist to the Artist Presentation Transcript

    •  
    • Presents
    • Grant Writing Tips for the artist from the artist
      • Writing grants can be a challenging endeavour.
      • It takes:
      • patience to constantly reassess one's achievements, goals, and progress
      • an understanding of who your grant is for
      • a keen ability to explain yourself in direct and attractive terms
      • This session will help you navigate standard grant topic questions.
    • The Beginning who I am…
      • I am a composer, an educator, a performer, and an entrepreneur. I direct many programs in the city: I am the Associate Director of Making Score, I teach with the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer Program, and I am the director of VisionIntoArt Presents, Inc.
    • Then…1998 VisionIntoArt began as a school project in 1998, with performances held in dance studios. VIA won an interdisciplinary grant from Juilliard which funded our first public performance at Lincoln Center Institute. The following year VIA went on to perform at key note performances at the Council on Foundation, North Carolina School for the Arts and Dickinson College.
    • Now…2008 VIA has performed over fifty trans-media performances in festivals, halls, museums, theaters and clubs across United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Mexico. VIA has commissioned fifteen new works from composers since 1999, and has performed over one hundred works by emerging and established composers of our day. VIA has additionally commissioned five poets, four visual artists, six filmmakers, six choreographers, four directors, five writers, three lighting designers, three sound designers, and has worked with over sixty musicians, actors and dancers as guests to the VIA core group, creating a truly interdisciplinary community.
      • Your grant writing should give a clear map to your objectives. Simple descriptions are best. Remember to be patient. Rejection is the name of the game at the beginning. This process helps grantmakers know who you are, and your persistence ensures your staying power and consequently, their interest and trust. Make your grant-writing enjoyable by adding personal touches and drinking lots of good coffee.
      • Being an artist today entails multiple talents:
      • performance and collaboration (be it musical or cross disciplinary)
      • education--ensuring the future of what we do
      • production--new avenues of expression; collaboration; multimedia; technical theatrical worlds (A/V)
      • administration--managing your career
      • publicity and marketing--how do you spread the word?
      • Meaning, you can apply for grants in all these areas!
    • Different kinds of support:
      • Operating Support
      • This kind of support is for your ‘house’ operating costs, such as:
      • administrative fees, marketing, business and legal fees, office costs, etc.
      • This support is difficult to receive, and usually is awarded to non profits, but only once your group has established itself. Most foundation support is not awarded within your first three years of status. Note that most foundations will not fund an organization if you spend more than 25% on operating costs.
      • Look up Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, NYSCA, and NYFA, for specific operating support grant.s It is always a good ideas to send support materials such as a detailed brochure describing your programming.
      • As your group gets started, you can choose to work under the umbrella of another non-profit organization and apply for grants if they agree to be your fiscal sponsor. If you are within your first years as a non profit, this can be a good idea, as it allows you to also learn the ropes through the more experienced company offering host you. There are companies that specialize in fiscal sponsorship, such as the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
      fiscal sponsorship
      • Umbrella-ing
      • Pros:
      • This is a good idea if your group does not have the funds, clocked time as a non profit, or the skills to start this venture alone; or, if your see your idea as a short-term plan. Umbrella organizations sometimes take a small percentage of the grants you receive, yet they offer you a roadmap which can be very useful. If you choose to go through another non-profit, make sure you get solid legal advice for this and, as always, keep good records.
      • Cons:
      • You do not want to find yourself in a situation where your money is poorly tracked and ends up misplaced.
      • To help prevent this, it is imperative that you have a solid contract in place before any transactions occur.
      • Filing with an umbrella organization:
      • NYFA has a great umbrella program for emerging organizations. NYFA will require projected budgets, plans and fundraising sources (http://www.nyfa.org)
      • These are all important plans to have (good tips for all grants): For ‘plans’, you want to think about mission, how many people are in your org, what audience you are serving, what services you are providing to your community.
      • Think of a five year plan: where do you see yourself providing a unique service to your community and how will you evolve through their program? What are your goals and benchmarks ?
      • Acceptance into NYFA's Fiscal Sponsorship program is determined by the readiness of the group to approach public and private funders. Emerging organizations must have a future plan document, projected budgets, and fundraising sources in mind at the time of application.
    • Future Plans: Sample Goals and Benchmarks First, identify your dreams and your challenges. This will help clarify your intentions, and will help you strategize more effectively.
    •  
    • Sample Benchmarks What is a benchmark? Measures of progress toward a goal, taken at intervals prior to the program's completion or the anticipated attainment of the final goal.
      • For budget, also think of a three to five year plan--how much you make from admissions, from grants, from private donations, and if any, corporate sponsorship.
      • List what you estimate to pay in terms of artist fees, technical fees, space, marketing, administration, travel (if any), and other relevant spending.
      • Some term explanations:
      • Contracted Services:
      • Funds paid to a second party providing services to the fiscal agent.
      • So, for example, your concerts and performances would fall in this category.
      • Fiscal Year:
      • A fiscal year (or financial year, or sometimes budget year) is a period used for calculating annual ("yearly") financial statements in businesses and other organizations. This is determined when you apply for status.
      Budget
    • Sample Budget
      • Project Support
      • This kind of support is for the artistic expenses associated with your programming. It covers artist fees, and is specific to each foundation in terms of what additional costs they cover. Most typically, these are awarded to non profits.
      • You will need a detailed brochure and work sample for these types of grants.
      • Look up Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, NYSCA, the Greenwall Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, American Music Center, Meet the Composer, BMI Fund, Jerome Foundation.
      • Education grants
      • This kind of support is for education projects. It can cover teaching fees, instrument fees, and project costs. Most typically, these are awarded to non profits.
      • Look up ASCAP Foundation, NYSCA Education, Starr Foundation, Allstate Foundation.
      • Individual Artist Support
      • This is support that is specific to one artist’s vision. You can usually apply for these without a fiscal sponsor; however, some grants require it, such as NYSCA. Look up NYSCA Individual Artist Fund, Guggenheim, MAP Fund, Creative Capital Foundation. For these grants, the emphasis lies on you! Meaning, a personal mission statement, work samples, and a detailed idea of your project is of the essence. The funds can usually be used for your stipend, travel, artistic fees, and other associated costs.
      • Corporate Support
      • This support is usually the last kind of support to attain. Board members can help with this, and many companies have matching grants, which is a great way to start. You can ask a donor who works for a business to help you apply. Look into UBS matching grants; other corporations have these as well.
      • Make sure you research service organizations, grantmakers and foundations for potential funding that is inline with your mission.
      • Make a grant schedule and list potential fundraising sources and review this schedule yearly as contacts and the missions of certain organizations change.
      • Remember to get advice and always meet grantmakers and staff before applying to anything. This personal contact is invaluable, and you may learn if it is a right fit for you.
    • What are Service Organizations?
      • Service organizations provide helpful services and information; often you must be a member to reap full benefits.
      • Here is a small list of NY based Service Orgs.
      • Alliance of NYS Arts Organizations
      • American Music Center
      • ASCAP
      • BMI
      • Center for Arts and Education
      • Chamber Music America
      • Electronic Music Foundation
      • The Field
      • Meet the Composer
      • http://www.nycmusicspaces.org/
      • Opera America
      • Theater Communications Group
    • The fields
      • Following are examples of standard grant inquiry fields:
      • brief history and description of the organization
      • *Remember to keep this brief. You can include your mission statement here. Include any recent achievements or honors.
      • A brief description of the program(s) to be considered for funding or which should be considered in the context of a request for general operating support
      • * This is an interesting category. Presenters and grant-makers want to know about your programs, or main interests, as a way to understand your goals and direction. Even if you are starting out, this is a constructive way to clarify and codify your patterns and interests. Remember these are broader categories that summarize your main activities and projects.
      • A brief description of the needs/goals to be addressed
      • * This is where your challenges and goals and strategies should be itemized
      • A precise description of the project outcomes, method of project implementation, the assessment or evaluation plan, and quantifiable goals by which the project can be measured
      • *What audiences will you reach? Can you give a detailed description of your process? Do you evaluate your programs? List your benchmarks here.
      • An itemized budget for the project
      • * This is where you list all costs associated with one specific project: artistic fees, administrative costs, technical fees, travel costs, etc.
      • Current organizational annual budget
      • The most recent audited financial statement must accompany the proposal (note that foundations rarely fund organizations that spend more than 25% of their annual expenses on administration and fundraising)
      • Addressing Issues of Cultural Diversity in terms of:
      • Governance, Board & Staff, Artist Selection, Programming, Audience Development
      • eg. The VIA collective is comprised of artists from diverse backgrounds and countries including Mexico, Iran, Serbia, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Canada, and the United States. VIA collaborates with artists from around the world and this cultural synthesis helps to create works that reflect this plural understanding of American society. VIA believes this international and political bent, and inclusiveness attracts larger, diverse audiences and contributes to a larger dialogue.The collective is not just rooted in performance, but is a community insomuch that even the creative process and the administration of VIA is a vital part of the collective. All aspects of VIA aim at collaboration and synergy across the board, as a seamless artistic expression. VIA’ s dedication remains a commitment to the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution by advancing the responsibilities of citizenship in a free society. a group of young professionals, largely immigrants who have chosen to live in this country, we take equal opportunity very seriously. Therefore, all governance, board and staff, artist selection, and audience development reflect these ideals, and most VIA programming promotes civic discourse through challenging thematic content and all performances aim to broaden new art audiences.
      • Are Particular Audiences a Priority?
      • This is where you want to specify what audiences your programs reach, and if a specific work reaches a specific audience.
      • Annual report
      • *This is a written summation of your taxes filed, your accomplishments, who your team is, and benchmarks achieved.
      • A list of the five highest paid officers and employees, their titles and annual compensation *It is OK if you have a volunteer based team.
      • A list of other funding sources and amounts (actual or anticipated) for the proposed project and/or for the organization to the extent they are not listed in your annual report or audited financial statements
      • A list of all directors and senior management, to the extent these are not provided in your annual report
      • I.R.S. 501(c)(3) determination letter
    • IRS Determination Letter
      • A determination letter is the most important legal document your organization possesses. The IRS sends you this letter after you have successfully applied for the recognition of your organization's tax-exempt status. In this document the IRS indicates under which section of the Internal Revenue Code your organization is qualified.
      • For instance, if you file Form 1023, you expect to be recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. In order to avoid revocation of your status, your organization must continue operating according to the manner you described in your application.
      • The determination letter is the only official document and proof that your organization is recognized as a tax-exempt organization. Keep it in a safe place
      • Who is your Audience?
      • Grant makers will often ask who is your audience, and what are you doing to reach them. Knowing yourself and your product is the first step. Then identify your current audience base, and who you still want/need to reach. How to reach them is part of your marketing/audience development plan.
      • Knowing what AUDIENCE your activities are targeting helps grant makers and curators understand your intentions better.
      • As an example, VIA targets three primary audiences through its performances:
      • 1) High School Students - High school students are highly creative, yet may be turned off by musical and artistic educational experiences traditionally offered by public schools. Furthermore, high schools are increasingly dropping funding from their arts programs, and outside programs are relied on more heavily than ever to take the place of traditional outlets. VIA is dedicated to providing students with access to high-quality art and music as a way to expand their education and involvement in their community.
      • 2) Young Adult and Young Professional audiences - Young Professionals (25- 40) are looking for a way to connect to their culture in an authentic way, to truly enjoy a concert-going experience, and to socialize in unique settings. VIA is committed to reaching audiences outside of the immediate artistic community.
      • 3) Visual art, music, and film/poetry enthusiasts -
      • When VIA was formed, we understood the need to unite audiences divided by the barriers of genrefication. The gallery audience was not attending classical music events, and similarly, the music public was not necessarily attending gallery or poetry events. VIA's collaborative community of artists draws audiences from each discipline, creating an audience that transcends genre and allows art to be organic, collaborative expression.
      • By performing in different venues, museums, clubs, theaters, schools, etc. VIA continues to expand its audience base. VIA targets new audiences through myspace, various blogs, websites, and radio stations (WNYC, ASCAP radio).
    • Marketing Strategies
      • Knowing your mission, and your audience helps you market yourself.
      • This is incredibly important. Take what you have learned thus far about yourself, coupled with people’s first impression of your work. Put a positive spin on it, and work on making yourself marketable through a mission statement!
      • Mission Statements
      • Below are examples for the points we think about when VIA markets itself, and how we created our mission statement:
      • We are a collaborative group based in new music
      • We hail from different countries
      • Many of our works have a political edge
      • Our brand of multimedia includes popular interests and can be marketed to a wide audience
      • We are invested in education
      • New Music: New collaborations: VisionIntoArt
      • Collaborating across forms and cultures, VisionIntoArt creates transmedia works drawn from today. Transcending genre--from New Music to Politics--VIA challenges audiences to see and hear art differently. A diverse, multi-disciplinary collective, inhabiting sound and sharing process, VisionIntoArt embraces the role of the artist as public intellectual and political touchstone.
    • Summary for Marketing
      • FANS
      • The ultimate goal for your site is to cultivate a fan base. Most of the fans visiting your site won’t be attracted to your site because of your awards, or who produced your CD.
      • They will be attracted to your product:your music.
      • The best response you can get from someone is based on an emotional response, a type of “state change”.
      • Meaning: invest in your product, your music, as that is what will sell your site.
      • No other factor will affect your success like a large fan base. You can still achieve success if you don’t have a record deal or manager as long as you have lots of fans.
      • Add some interactivity to you site. A poll, guest book, message forum to your blog, e cards, are a great way to start.
      • Title tags are the html code for your pages. The words you use between the <title> and </title> determines what appears in the top title bar of your browser. Search engines use this to determine your site; so….
      • Make sure you define yourself succintly through key words: meaning, <Paola Prestini, composer> may not be enough. <Paola Prestini, Composer, Multimedia Artist and Educator> will land me more hits.
      • Using taggers will help you generate more traffic
      • Research Radio Stations to play your work
      • Research Internet Radio Stations to play your work: there are independent sites, and spin-offs from local NPR stations that are a great source for online airplay.
      • Blog is short for web log. It helps your fans know more about you. Make sure you stay focused on your identity as this will help you develop your base from a marketing perspective.
      • A good newsletter:
      • http://www.ps122.org/newsletter/
      • We use this, which also assembles and maintains your mailing list:
      • http://www.ymlpr.net/
      • Here is a constructive site on how to build a newsletter:
      • http://desktoppub.about.com/od/newsletters/a/newsletter_part.html
      • You don’t need an iPod to create your own cast. A podcast is like an interactive visual blog, and you can use several different sources like iTunes, Yahoo! Music Engine, and FeedDemon. It’s a great way to show off your new studio work, a new collaboration, and you can even speak directly to your fans.
      • Developing your Myspace page in tandem with your Facebook and YouTube music pages and linking it to your website is essential. This cross-pollination broadens your marketing scope.
      • Additionally, consider having a presence on sites where music fans visit such as:
      • www.ReverbNation.com
      • www.garageband.com
      • www.ilike.com
      • Make friends with other artists and share contacts and strategies.
      • List your reviews. If you do not have reviews from well-known critics, ask mentors or artists you respect to review a concert or work of yours. These are important validations of your person and career.
      • Ask your fans to post reviews on Amazon, Myspace, and CD Baby
      • Remember to gather email addresses at each of your events, and also to gather them and keep up to date with your mailing list on your site.
      • Tracking your visitors is easy by installing http://extremetracking.com which helps track what states your visitors are from, what time of day they visit, and which pages are most frequented. This is a free service.
      • You can upload and sell your music once you have it at a place that you are proud of at the following sites:
      • Amazon mp3
      • Rhapsody
      • eMusic
      • Napster
      • Assemble a list of contacts you have in the foundation world. Always begin with contacts that are closest to you and then spiral out from there. If you do not know many people, then it’s time to do some research, and ask for introductions. This is where having a friend in the field who is willing to share contacts can help.
      • Look online and create a database;
      • The database should include:
      • service organizations, educational institutions and foundations as well as the directors, assistants, and secretaries who populate them.
      • Remember: we are all in this together!
      • Once your list is assembled your goal should be to meet with as many people in person to ask for advice. Email introductions can work, but a direct phone call is always better. These meetings are the best way to learn from others’ experiences while letting people know you are seeking work.
      • Do not be afraid to ask for introductions that can potentially open other doors and opportunities. I found that most influential figures are often generous with their advice and time. They will admire your effort, and it will remind them of the paths they once took.
      • You will need to create promotional materials for your applications. This is how you market yourself, so the language you use and style you choose is very important.
      • Remember, it is important to begin somewhere, so don’t be discouraged if you do not have material to fill out the topic fields below.
      • Philosophy is equally important, and as long as you keep it succinct, supplement the fields with short philosophical statements about the direction you are headed in. There is only one way to grow and improve, and it’s by trial and error!
      • Cover Letter
      • Mission
      • History
      • Awards
      • Programs and Season
      • Bios (optional)
      • Reviews
      Trial and error…
    • Cover Letter
      • Make sure you list your Board, and give all contact info.
      • Your letter should always include your mission statement, and the intent of your application.
      • Having a logo helps make you look more professional.
      • Logos A good logo should capture your eye and should give an idea of your organization in a snap shot. It should copy well and should be timeless.
    • May 29, 2008 The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc. 350 FIFTH AVENUE, SUITE 4301 NEW YORK, NY 10118 To whom it May Concern: VisionIntoArt is requesting $15,000 for commissioning fees and performer fees for the upcoming production of VioLens by VisionIntoArt. Music will be written by Paola Prestini and Milica Paranosic and performed by the members of VisionIntoArt. Collaborating across forms and cultures, VisionIntoArt creates trans-media work drawn from today. Transcending genre--from New Music to Politics--VIA challenges audiences to see and hear art differently. A diverse, multi-disciplinary collective, inhabiting sound and sharing process, VisionIntoArt embraces the role of the artist as public intellectual and political touchstone. The duration of the score will be 70 minutes of individually composed music and collaboratively conceived soundscapes and electronics for this interdisciplinary work. The work will be scored for the VIA Ensemble: soprano, clarinet, violin, viola, electric bass, percussion, electronics, keyboards. Everyone in VIA sings and moves. The VIA composers created the concept of the work, and perform by triggering electronics, playing keyboards and singing in the ensemble. VIA composers will collaborate with two brilliant leading NY based visual artists (Erika Harrsch and Martha Colburn), as well as the usual VIA team, comprised of the musicians listed above, a spoken word poet, filmmaker, sound designer and lighting designer. VioLens is an interdisciplinary story that explores the mutation of three fictitious children's tales and their real life counterparts. The stories focus on fire, food, and racism, the three themes inter-relating to create a work that questions society's perceptions of morality, violence, and family. The multimedia basis of Violens lends itself to a wide variety of performance opportunities such as museums, concert halls, theatres, and clubs. This particular style has allowed the VioLens project to develop significantly in regards to its performance goals and touring. We have outlined those developments in our projected timeline. Sincerely yours, Paola Prestini, VisionIntoArt Director Board of Directors VIA Director Paola Balsamo Prestini Founder & Co-Director, Composer   Pablo Rieppi Music Director Misty Tolle Director Music Education Programs, Carnegie Hall Melville Strauss, Director of Strauss Asset Management   Diane Volk Arts Advocate, Lawyer  Advisory Board Eric Booth, Arts Advocate   Mary Rodgers-Guettel, composer   Warren Ilchman, Director, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship   Richard Kessler, Director, Center for Arts and Eucation   Fran Richard Director, ASCAP   Jeffrey Zeigler, Cellist, Kronos Quartet OFFICE 275 West 73rd Street #2A New York, NY 10023 Phone 917-544-1482 Email [email_address] Web www.visionintoart.com
      • Current Programs
      • This is an interesting category. Presenters and grant-makers want to know about your programs, or main interests, as a way to understand your goals and direction.
      • Even if you are starting out, this is a constructive way to clarify and codify your patterns and interests. Remember these are broader categories that summarize your main activities.
      • The following are VisionIntoArt Programs:
      • 1. VIA Thematic Performances (works presented in theatrical venues)
      • The development of interdisciplinary work with resident artists in an arduous, process based fashion resulting in one large multimedia work per year
      • These multimedia performances are presented more often on tour in national and international venues such as Teatro Manzoni in Italy, MACO in Mexico City, and in NYC at venues such the Whitney at Altria, and Symphony Space.
      • 2. VIA Medleys (shows presented in museums, halls and clubs)
      • VIA Medleys are non-thematic shows that feature the ensemble collaborating with visiting artists to VIA-they are our playground for new ideas. These shows are presented in clubs such as Joe’s Pub, the Stone, Bam Café, and the Whitney Live series in New York City.
      • These performances are generally $12 and under or free, and generally attract a younger, club going audiences who follow the music and spoken word scene. Audiences: students from our education programs; fellow myspace bloggers; diverse audiences from all New York boroughs.
      • 3. VIA Education
      • VIA believes the future of new art lives in education. All VIA artists are experienced and committed teachers. VIA has taught and conducted educational residencies with organizations such as the Whitney Museum in collaboration with Youth Insights, the American Composers Orchestra, Presbyterian University, Dickinson College, and EtnaFest in Italy. Each VIA Project has a designed education segment offered for elementary school through college.
      • VIA holds a longstanding partnership with Brandeis High School, an empowerment school in NYC. VIA focuses on teaching the principals of composition through music technology.
      • 4. VIA Recordings
      • All VIA works are recorded, and all shows include electronics and recorded backing tracks that are created throughout the year. VIA works in a loft in Greepoint Brooklyn that doubles as a recording studio.
      • This type of documentation of the VIA repertoire broadens exposure and assures a longer &quot;listening life”.
      • Current Projects and Season
      • This is where you want to share season dates and upcoming projects. Presenters and curators are always looking for innovative programming, projects and collaborations.
      • You can list proposed projects, but in general it’s best to list projects you are already in the process of trying out and that have a completion date. This is what open rehearsals are for: they allow you to experiment in safe settings.
      • I encourage any artist or group to open up rehearsals for constructive criticism, and for potential engagements with curators or presenters.
    • Short Comprehensive Press Kit
      • The following is a presskit for VIA that tells our story succinctly:
      • Mission
      • Background/History
      • Projects/Programs (with reviews interspersed throughout)
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    •  
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    •  
      • Friendships are important-everyone you meet along your path to success should not merely be considered a contact, but a window into a new perspective or world. People are attracted to honesty. Offer people a direct view into who you are, and success will be yours.