Grant Criteria

Grant Criteria and Application Instructions

We have begun accepting Letters of Inquiry (LOI’s) for our 2014-2015 grant cycle. Read on to find a link to the LOI submission form. The deadline to submit an LOI is December 1, 2014. Late LOI’s will not be accepted, with no exceptions.

Full proposals will be accepted by invitation only, with LOI applicants either invited to submit a proposal or rejected by early January 2015 (exact date TBD).

Please read the following criteria and instructions carefully before submitting an LOI.

Grant Criteria

Your project should meet the following criteria.

What kind of art does this program fund?

We prioritize funding highly interactive, community-driven, collaborative works of art that are accessible to the public and civic in scope.

We suggest you browse our website and look at the past grant recipients to get an idea of what we’ve funded in the past.

 What is ‘interactive’ art?

  • Art that requires human interaction to complete the piece.
  • Art that involves the community and the audience in its creation, presentation and display.
  • Art that prompts the viewer to act.
  • Art that can be experienced in more ways than visually. We are fans of art that is can be approached, touched, heard or experienced, as well as viewed.
  • Art that prompts people to interact with one another.
  • Art that responds to participants and to its environment.
  • Art that causes people to reflect on the larger community.
  • Art that challenges the viewers’ traditional perspective on art.
  • Art that belongs to the public and exists for the benefit of all.

What kind of work does this program not fund?

Although we are open to all proposed forms of media, there are some common projects that typically fall outside the scope of our criteria. The exception to all of the examples listed below would be if the project had a highly interactive element that moves the project outside the definitions of its genre.

We typically do not fund:

  • Static work, such as sculpture with no interactive component
  • Gallery work, such as paintings in a gallery
  • Publications – poetry books, photo books, fiction, etc
  • Photography
  • Screenplays or films
  • Musical, theater or dance productions
  • Social aid/relief efforts
  • Entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Art destined for the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City. There is a separate grant process to fund playa-bound artwork. Please visit the Burning Man website to learn more about the BRC Honorarium application process. (This program does, however, sometimes fund works headed to regional Burning Man events)

We are open to your ideas. If your work is extremely collaborative and participatory, please feel free to apply, even if your media is listed above. Feel free to call or email us with questions.

Who can apply?

  • We give grants to individual artists, artist collectives or organizations.
  • Grants can be applied towards the creation of interactive artworks or towards the development of community programs or organizations that support the creation of interactive artworks.
  • We fund projects worldwide. There are no geographic restrictions placed on those who can apply.
  • If you’ve applied for or received a Burning Man (or BRAF) grant previously, you may apply again.
  • Individuals, groups and established 501c3 non-profits are all eligible to apply.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

What level of funding is awarded through this Grant Cycle?

Our grants range between $500 and $10,000, but we most commonly award between $2000 and $6000. We typically fund approximately from 10 to 15 projects a year and receive as many as 300 proposals.

Many of our grantees receive funding from other sources, aside from this grant. Applying for partial funding or a matching grant to funds you’ve received from other sources is encouraged. We do occasionally fund 100% of a project’s budget.

What can I expect if I am awarded a grant?

Awarded grantees receive their first funding in April, and are expected to complete their project within the proposed time line. The payment schedule for each grant is specific to the project. The foundation is committed to working with each artist to arrive at a schedule that best suits the needs of the artist and the project. Generally, grants are awarded in two or three payments over the course of approximately a year, with the first payment sent on signing of a grant agreement and each subsequent payment being contingent on a report of the project’s progress.

Do I have to have a fiscal agent or sponsor?

No, although some projects do have one.

Please be aware:

This grant program DOES NOT fund any art destined for the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, NV. There is a separate process for providing honoraria for artworks destined for Black Rock City. If your artwork is destined for the playa, please visit the Burning Man website for details about the BRC Honorarium process, which will begin later in the fall.

Grant awards such as this are usually considered taxable income to the recipient, at least in any amount in excess of the project’s costs. We will send both you and the IRS a form 1099 documenting the grant payments. We cannot offer any tax advice or information. Please consult a tax professional in your area if you have any questions about this.

Because of the number of proposals we receive, please know that we prioritize funding to highly interactive, publicly accessible and truly innovative works that meet most if not all of the above criteria.

Application submission instructions

If your project or program fits our criteria and aligns with our mission and values, please follow these instructions to be considered for funding.

Full proposals will be accepted by invitation only in early 2015. To be invited, you must submit a Letter of Inquiry by December 1st.

Timeline

  • Our online LOI application for our 2015 grant cycle is live!
  • LOI’s are due December 1, 2014, 5:00 pm, Pacific Standard Time.
  • Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by early January, 2015 (exact date TBA).
  • Proposals are accepted by invitation only, and will be due in February, 2015 (exact date TBA)
  • Selected grantees are usually announced March 15 of the year of the award.
  • Funds are usually released to new grantees April 1 of the year of the award.

Late Letters of Inquiry and proposals will not be accepted. No exceptions. Please read our application instructions below for more details on how to apply.

Letter of Inquiry Instructions

Our online Letter of Inquiry will give you the opportunity to provide us with the following:

  • Name of contact person, contact person’s phone number, email address and mailing address
  • Name of the lead artist or program manager if different from the contact person
  • Name of project or program
  • An invitation code, which is “GrantsForArt-LOI-2015
  • Brief description of the physical manifestation of project or program (1500 characters, about 250 words or 1 double-spaced page)
  • Brief description of how the project or program fits the program’s grant criteria and definition of interactivity. (1500 characters, about 250 words or 1 double-spaced page)
  • One to three images or other media files
There is a $5.00 fee to submit your LOI. The entirety of this fee is payment to Slideroom.com, the online application service we use. You will be asked to pay with a credit card upon completion of the LOI. You will need an invitation code to submit the online LOI, which is posted on this page, above.
Complete the LOI online in Slideroom.

Proposal Instructions

Invitations for proposals will be extended to selected projects in late December 2014 or early January 2015. If selected, you will be invited to fill out our full application online. Uninvited proposals will not be considered.

In our online application, you will have the opportunity to tell us about your project, its goals, audience and interactive potential.

A complete proposal includes:

  1. The completion of the online proposal. We do not accept printed and mailed proposals.
  2. A timeline. Our online application has a form where you may describe your timeline, or you may upload your own format. We prefer you use our online form.
  3. A budget. Our online application will have a link to a template you may use, or you may upload your own format. We prefer you use our template.
  4. Supplemental images and materials. You will have the opportunity to upload images or other media files. We highly recommend you submit visual representations of your proposed project.
There is a $5.00 fee to submit a full proposal. The entirety of this fee is payment to Slideroom.com, the online application service we use. You will be asked to pay with a credit card upon completion of the proposal.

If you have any other questions, please contact:

Eli Peterson
eli @blackrockarts.org
415.626.1248