Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

I hope all of you have a safe and Happy New Year! Wishing you great things in 2010! Thanks for being such loyal readers....See you next year!

Peace,
Mira

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ARTIST RESIDENCIES & FELLOWSHIPS: WINTER DEADLINES

I hope you all had a good week....here are a few deadlines in case you are in the mood for applying for something this coming month. January is a BIG month for application deadlines, for residencies as well as grants, so you might want to do some serious hunting on my blog. Below are only a few among many. If you are hankering to apply to the residency of your dreams, I highly suggest going to the residency links on my sidebar and do a search for specific places. Until next time....Have a Happy New Year! Yours, Mira

(ALL) Residency at I-Park, Connecticut: Residencies will be offered to national and international visual (including digital) artists, music composers, environmental artists, landscape and garden designers, creative writers and architects. Work samples are evaluated through a competitive, juried process. There is a $25 application fee. I-Park is introducing a modest food program for 2010 where most, though not all, of the food will be provided. The facility is otherwise offered at no cost to accepted artists. To defray the cost of travel, six $750 grants will be offered in 2010 to international artists whose work is held in particularly high regard by the grant committee. Deadline January 11, 2010. For additional project information: I-Park, 428 Hopyard Road, East Haddam CT 06423 OR 860-873-2468 OR http://www.i-park.org OR [email protected]

(ALL) Blue Sky Summer Collaborative Residencies: Collaborative Residencies in Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. Because of the collaborative nature of Blue Sky Project, your project must have an open-ended structure, be achievable in eight weeks, and stay within a $1,000 budget (excluding final exhibition expenses) and must engage others in its articulation and production. Previous projects have included: sculptural sound installation, video installation, performance, musical composition, dance installation, 2D visual-art and photography, self-published magazines, and site-specific interventions. Contact: Benkendorf, Blue Sky Project, Box 10506, Dayton OH 45402 OR 937-732-5123 OR http://www.blueskydayton.org OR [email protected] Deadline is January 23rd, 2010.

(ALL) Elsewhere Collaborative Residency: Elsewhere Collaborative, a living museum and experimental production environment in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, USA is now accepting applications from artists of all genres for residencies in 2010. Elsewhere is set within a three-story former thrift store, boarding house, and warehouse containing one woman's enormous 58-year collection of American surplus, thrift, and antiques. Elsewhere residencies invites experimental creators to join their collaborating community in utilizing this immense collection of objects. Artists live and work within interactive installations that provide evolving frameworks for investigating collaborations, community structures, and creative processes. Residency fellowship funding for travel, room and board, is available in exchange for hosting an educational workshop during the residency. Deadlines are rolling every other month; the deadline for fellowships is January 31 2010. Read more and download a brochure at http://elsewhereelsewhere.org/programs/residencies.

(ARTISTS & WRITERS) Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Residency Fellowships: The Vermont Studio Center is offering fellowships for artists and writers who live with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Spinal Cord Disease (SCD) or who use a wheelchair and/or have a spinal cord injury. Deadline is February 15, 2010. The Vermont Studio Center has been dedicated to supporting a multidisciplinary community of contemporary painters, printmakers, sculptors and writers for 25 years; and offers more than 50 mid-career and emerging artists and writers per month distraction-free working time and space and the inspiration of distinguished mentors. These fellowships provide a 4-week VSC residency at the Studio Center, including uninterrupted studio time, accessible accommodations and a supportive community of international peers and mentors. Please visit the website for more information: http://www.vermontstudiocenter.org.


(WRITERS) The James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence Program: Writers can apply to live and work in James Merrill's Stonington, Connecticut, rent-free for five or eleven month terms. A stipend is provided as well. Application deadline is January 15, 2010. Please visit the website for more info: www.jamesmerrillhouse.org.

(WRITERS) University of Arizona Poetry Center Residency: Each summer, the University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson offers a month-long residency, including a stipend of $500, to a poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer who has published no more than one full-length book. This year's residency is for prose writers. Residents are provided with housing. Deadline is February 26. For more information, go to: www.poetrycenter.arizona.edu.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

MERRY XMAS TO EVERYONE!

Happy Xmas everyone! I'll be back after the weekend with some new residency deadlines....until then, have a safe and cheery holiday. Peace....Mira

Sunday, December 20, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH DAN BLASK, PROGRAM COORDINATOR FOR THE MASSACHUSETTS CULTURAL COUNCIL

Greetings all! Recently I was fortunate to interview Dan Blask from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) who spoke candidly and quite encouragingly about applying for fellowships and grants. Dan coordinates programs for individual artists at the MCC, including grants for filmmakers, composers, and writers of fiction, nonfiction, dramatic writing, and poetry. He also writes for ArtSake, MCC's blog about new art and the creative process. Dan received his MA in Creative Writing (Playwriting) from Boston University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. By the way, although MCC is regional program in Massachusetts, the things he talks about are applicable to many grant programs both here in the US and abroad.

Dan, thanks so much for joining us! I know this is a busy season for you. Anyway, I noticed on your bio that you studied playwriting at Boston University. How do you balance your creative life while working full-time at the MCC as well as writing for ArtSake, the MCC's blog?

A lot of the staff members at MCC are also artists: writers, painters, dancers, musicians. I think the job lends itself to doing creative work, since the hours are, for the most part, consistent, and we’re all exposed to a lot of different ideas and art in all disciplines. But finding that life/work/artwork balance is a big, ongoing, back and forth struggle for almost every artist-with-a-day-job I know. Do you work an arts-related job and risk spending creative energy you should save for your own art? Do you work in an unrelated field and risk not enjoying it or being detached from daily exposure to a field you love? I certainly don’t know. You try different things, I guess. For now, I’m trying this, and I’m enjoying it.


You certainly nailed the classic dilemma of a working artist! And speaking of dealing with that balance and trying to find extra funding, what advice do you have for someone applying for a grant or fellowship for the very first time?


Basically, I advise a sort of zen hyper-focus/total emotional detachment. (Not possible, I know, but a worthy goal.) In other words, focus on exactly what the grant is asking for, and shape your grant application accordingly. Then, after it’s sent, you have to disallow yourself from getting too attached to any one grant or fellowship application. This is really, really hard to do. But you’re doing yourself a disservice if you dwell on, or, even worse, count on, receiving a competitive grant, because while receiving a grant means your work spoke to someone, not receiving a grant doesn’t mean the opposite of that. There are inevitably more artists of excellence than there are grants, fellowships, or slots at a residency. I know not winning a grant feels like it has a deep meaning, about you, about your work. But believe me, all it means is that this group of individuals, on this particular day, went a different direction. So, onward.


As to other thoughts: send your strongest work as your work sample, especially in a grant review like MCC’s Artist Fellowships, where it’s anonymously judged based only on artistic quality and creative ability. If you have any doubts about what is your strongest work, it’s always a good idea to ask the opinion of a trusted associate what work that is. Another viewpoint can be very helpful. And otherwise, my advice would be to prepare yourself but don’t be intimidated. If you need some clarification, don’t hesitate to contact the organization. I know I’d rather hear from an applicant than receive a mishandled application, or worse yet, receive no application at all because the applicant was discouraged.


That's great advice. So what are some things in an application that make someone really stand out from the crowd?


It’s an interesting question. In the Artist Fellowships, there are two rounds of review. The first round is an elimination round of sorts, and standing out in the wrong way – generally, because the craft is weak – can get you eliminated. So you have to make sure the craft is there.


Then, in the second round, the panelists are really drilling down and looking closer. And here, an artistic voice that feels truly unique and fully realized can stand out in the best way, especially when you’re dealing with dozens of applications. As you pointed out, I have a theater background, and in drama we talk about “lean forward” moments, a point in a play where an audience member is so suddenly drawn in that there is almost a physical reaction. That can happen in any discipline. Think of the panelists as people seriously in love with art (which they almost certainly are) rather than bureaucrats (which they probably aren’t). Most of the panelists, despite their fancy-pants titles, are just reg’lar humans who want to be moved by art. So don’t let other considerations overwhelm your work’s ability to transport them.


I always tell people that same thing when I speak about this subject—that panelists are real people who participate in these things out of their love for art. I've been a panelist for competitions before and I'm certainly no bureaucrat! So thanks for mentioning that. On the same note, I know that some of my readers would be curious to know how the MCC picks the judges for the artists fellowship program. Would you mind telling us a little bit about how that process works?


My colleague Kelly Bennett and I divide up the disciplines, then each solicits panelists and (if applicable) first-round readers for the different panels. The panels are anonymously judged, and the range of the work submitted is, aesthetically, very wide. So we have to make sure the panel represents as many aesthetic perspectives as possible and is diverse in every way, including background, geography, and gender, as well as the different perspectives of artists, presenters, critics, etc. We search online, we ask for recommendations, we read trade magazines, we look at other grant and award programs. There is a mixture of in-state and out-of-state panelists, and we work hard to ensure there are no conflicts of interest.

Obviously we want knowledgeable and accomplished panelists, not only for the functional reason that they’re doing a very important job for us – the most important for the purposes of this grant - but also because applicants deserve to know that their work was reviewed by respected voices in their respective fields.


Dan, do you have any encouraging words for readers out there who might be discouraged about the economy and funding for the arts in these hard times? I like to instill optimism in my readers as much as I can!


My broadly optimistic comment would be that artists are uniquely qualified to find creative solutions in troubled times. A perfect example would be your terrific blog, which is, it seems to me, a creative person’s creative solution to the always tricky issue of finding funding and other support as an artist. More specifically, I’d point to the fact that, though our budget is somewhat reduced from last year, the MCC is still giving direct funding to individual Massachusetts artists through our Artist Fellowships Program. We’re accepting applications from Massachusetts artists in the categories of Choreography, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry, through January 25, 2010. Check here for more info: http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/programs/artistfellows.html.


Dan, thanks so much for your time and for your great comments! I'm sure they will be most enlightening to a lot of my readers. And have a great holiday!


Have a great holiday break and stay tuned for more interviews coming up, as well as some new deadlines for residencies and grants. Best wishes, Mirabee


Friday, December 18, 2009

COMING SOON: NEW INTERVIEWS

Greetings everyone! I'm back in town and wanted to send all of you good wishes for the holiday season. Also, I'll be posting a new interview in the next day or so with Dan Blask, Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship Program, so please come back to visit! And soon after that, great interviews coming with author Kenny Fries, Susan Page Tillett, Executive Director of Ragdale Foundation and many more, not to mention new deadlines for upcoming grants and residencies. Stay tuned.....cheers, Mirabee

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Just wanted to let you all know that I will be out of town and offline until Friday, December 18th. I'll be posting a new interview shortly after that so stay tuned! Also, if any of you are planning to buy holiday gifts from Amazon this month, think about doing your Amazon search through my website so that I can get a teeny, tiny percentage of the sale. Two cents here, twenty cents there! All you have to do is scroll down on the right hand side bar to where it says "Search for Grant Books" and type in what you are looking for. It doesn't even have to be grant books. Also, at the bottom of this page is a large selection of not only books related to my blog (grants, residencies, etc.) but also, many of my own children's books). Thanks!

Have a great week....see you when I get back.
Mira

Monday, December 7, 2009

ARTISTS RESIDENCIES IN ITALY & FRANCE, TRAVEL GRANTS AND MORE!

Just so you know, I'll be gone from around the 10th to the 18th so no posts during that time. For now, I'd like to tell you about some upcoming deadlines for grants and residencies. The first is a relatively new one, which opened in the south of Italy in 2008. Unfortunately, there aren't any stipends available yet, but they are working on that with various foundations. The cost to stay there isn't bad though and I recommend checking it out. I used to live in Italy years ago and this is one of the most beautiful places on earth. To see a short video by Francis Ford Coppola about the area (his ancestral home), go here.

(ALL) RESIDENCY IN SOUTHERN ITALY: Applications are now open for summer residencies at Palazzo Rinaldi, a historical property dating back to 1822 located in the charming hilltop village of Noepoli, in the Pollino National Park (south of Italy). The Palazzo provides artists of all disciplines with a unique and inspiring retreat away from the stresses and distractions of urban living. Resident artists are provided with elegant private accommodation, 24 hour access to in-house studios, free wi-fi Internet and home-made full traditional breakfast daily. For details, price information and application forms please visit the website at: http://www.palazzorinaldi.com .

(ARTISTS) RESIDENCY AT FLUX FACTORY IN NEW YORK: Five spots are available in Flux Factory's residency program in Queens, NY, beginning January 1st, 2010. Flux Factory offers housing, studio space, studio visits by curators, exhibition opportunities and more. URGENT DEADLINE is this friday, December 11th so if you are interested, go to the website for more info (www.fluxfactory.org/residency) or write for more information: [email protected] fluxfactory.org.

(COMPOSERS & SOUND ARTISTS) VAN LIER FELLOWSHIP: The purpose of this fellowship is to provide financial support for young composers in the early stages of their careers, working in any style of music or sound art. The fellowship is open to African-American and Latino composers 32 years of age or younger. The applicant must be a full-time resident of New York City (any borough) and show financial need. The applicant must not be enrolled in a degree-granting program at the time of application (i.e., no students).

The one-year fellowship award is $8,500. Funds can be used for any purpose, including the creation of new work, the purchasing of music/tech equipment, travel, or research and development. An additional $1,500 will be allotted to each fellow to design and execute an educational outreach program to benefit students and/or youth groups. This educational proposal is not part of the original application; those who win a fellowship will design the proposal after the award is conferred. For more info, go to: http://www.meetthecomposer.org/node/47. Deadline is SOON: December 14th, 2009.

(ALL) RESIDENCY/FELLOWSHIP AT SPIRO ARTS, UTAH: Open to all artists at all stages of development from all over the world. Fellows receive studio space, housing and a $600 stipend. Deadline is January 2nd for the Spiro Arts Residency, located in Park City, Utah. For more info, visit the website: http://www.spiroarts.org/residencies/eligibility.

(ALL) CAMARGO FOUNDATION RESIDENCY IN FRANCE: The Camargo Foundation, located in Cassis, France, is an interdisciplinary center for scholars and artists of all disciplines pursuing creative projects. The Foundation provides furnished apartments, a reference library, a music/conference room, artist studio with darkroom, composer's studio, and a studio for either artist or composer. Residencies are one semester long. The Camargo Fellowship is a residential grant (they used to give money as well, although I think they only offer housing and studio space now, plus a $1500 stipend.) Deadline is January 12, 2010.

(ALL) ARTSLINK TRAVEL GRANTS: CEC ArtsLink is dedicated to creating cultural exchanges between artists of all disciplines in the United States and artists in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Several kinds of opportunities are available from CEC, for both artists and arts managers in the U.S. and the countries listed above. The following announcement is for U.S. artists but please check the website for grants and residencies for non-US citizens.


ArtsLink Projects provides support to US artists, curators, presenters and arts organizations undertaking projects in Central Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Applicants must be working with an artist or organization in that region and projects should be designed to benefit participants and audiences in both the US and the host country.

Maximum award this year will be $10,000. ArtsLink has a cycle of alternate year deadlines according to discipline. In 2010, applications will be accepted from individual artists, curators and non-profit arts organizations working in dance, music, literature and theater. In 2011, applications will be accepted from individual artists, presenters and non-profit arts organizations working in visual and media arts. To consult with ArtsLink staff or to receive information about ArtsLink, please call 212-643-1985 x22 or e-mail [email protected].

Deadline: Performing arts & literature application deadline: January 15, 2010. In 2011 the grants will be for visual and media arts. For more info, go here: http://www.cecartslink.org/grants/usa.html.

(CONDUCTORS) WOMEN CONDUCTORS GRANT PROGRAM: The Leaugue of American Orchestra's Grants to Outstanding Women Conductors are designed to contribute to the career development of women conductors at the highest level of potential. They are intended for those who are primed for national and international recognition and who are ready for top conducting posts. Deadline is January 15th, 2010. For more information, please visit the website.

That's it for today. There are so many deadlines coming up around January 15th, it is impossible to even count them. If you are interested in a residency for this coming year, I highly suggest that you visit the links on my sidebar under the heading "Residencies." Scroll down on the right hand side and you'll find it. Also, in the U.S., there are many deadlines coming up for state and local arts council grants. You can probably find your state arts council website link here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NEW EMAIL ADDRESS

Hi everyone....I apologize for the continual mishaps with my gmail account. Let's try yahoo for a while, shall we? My new email address is: [email protected] I still can't figure out how you can immediately link to it (duh) so you will have to just copy and paste it. Anyway, as most of you know, I do get dozens of letters every day so please first check my FAQs on my right hand side bar at the top before you write me. Your answer might already be there!

I just got my final edits back for my book and it will be a little crazy from here on in until the middle of the spring. I'll do my best to attend to your needs though! Wish me luck!

Yours,
Mira

p.s. Thanks so much to those of you who recently donated to this blog to help me out with my health insurance issue. I really appreciate the help!

Welcome to Mira's List

This blog provides information on upcoming grants, fellowships and residencies for artists, writers, composers, and media artists. It is for serious professionals only, from emerging to mid-career to established. I also publish information for graduate students from time to time. However, I do not publish information on exhibition or publishing opportunities, nor do I advertise artist retreats and workshops that charge money. At least that is my current policy. For more info on where to exhibit or publish, please see my links section which I try to periodically update. I sift through hundreds of search engines and websites to find opportunities for YOU dear artist. In return, I ask you to pass the information along to those who need it. Also, since this is a free blog, I don't always have the time to weed carefully through everything. If you find a grant or website or residency that is not up-to-date, is dodgy in some way, or is no longer in existence, please let me know! Also, if you stay somewhere at one of the residencies I suggest and have a good experience, I want that feedback too. Please check my FAQs at the top right side bar if you have questions before starting your search. Best wishes and happy hunting!