REPOST: BAC Grants basics: start here

This post is updated with info on our current grant cycle – hope you enjoy! – mlt 

This is the time of year the phone doesn’t stop ringing. We get random questions about everything, really, but mostly we get questions about funding.

I love it! It tells me that our applicants are jamming on spring; getting excited for upcoming work and planning ahead for how to get it done. This inspired me to write some posts on basic program info and what applicants can do this spring to get ready for our fall funding deadlines.

Check out our website

My first suggestion will always be to visit the website. We do a lot of work to make sure that it’s as up to date as possible. Don’t get me wrong – I love hearing about your projects and being a resource! But I can be more helpful to you if I know you’ve familiarized yourself with our program.

Join the BAC community

We have a robust Artist Registry and Directory of Arts Organizations. We use it a whole lot for advocacy purposes, and we direct people to it who call us looking for specific artists. Among many other things, joining will allow you to receive our bi-monthly artist news and opportunities emails, which will include information on our upcoming seminars and deadlines.

Caroline Voagen Nelson's  FAKELORE: Fables and Legends of the Americas, Photo courtesy of the artist.

Caroline Voagen Nelson’s
FAKELORE: Fables and Legends of the Americas, Photo courtesy of the artist.

Who we fund

Brooklyn-based artists, arts organizations and community organizations. Brooklyn-based means you have to live here; you must provide proof of address.

We don’t fund artists or organizations that work in, but don’t live in Brooklyn. I know – there’s the whole Ridgewood/Bushwick thing and Queens is the new Brooklyn. I know – Brooklyn is more expensive than parts of Manhattan & you had to move but still do your work here. I know – Staten Island also rules and could also be in the running for “the next Brooklyn.” I know – the Bronx has tons of great artists that work all over the city. Check out the other awesome arts councils for borough-specific funding: Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx.

What we fund

BAC Grants is project-based public funding. We fund arts projects that occur in Brooklyn, by Brooklyn artists and organizations. We’re kind of in love with the whole Brooklyn thing.

Since funding is project-based and we’re on an annual cycle, we don’t fund: capital projects, general operating support, capacity-building, regrant programs or cash awards, public schools, seed funding (funds to start a new organization), major equipment or travel outside the five boroughs. There’s an exhaustive list in the eligibility guidelines.

Projects must have a public component, and for the upcoming cycle must occur in the calendar year 2016.

But I need money now…

Yeah – tell me about it. Seriously, though – I wish we had the capacity to fund on an emergency or short term basis; we just don’t right now. If you are in need of funding to complete or begin a project in 2015, it’s late for the annual public funding cycles. Crowd funding can be highly successful to supplement your short-term specific asks. I suggest Indie GoGo or Ioby (for community-based projects). You can always check out the resources section on our website for other suggestions.

Our funding cycle will be announced…

Seminar dates, funding guidelines and applications will be online in July; Deadlines in fall.

To get a head start on gathering the necessary materials for your application, check out the PDFs on the program pages to reference last year’s application, or the blog post to follow. Brooklyn Arts Fund is a good program to start with.

Our programs

We often get asked what program one should apply to. The answer depends on several factors that are reviewed during seminar time. I usually send first-time inquiries directly to Brooklyn Arts Fund for first-timers, because it’s our largest program and the eligibility is the broadest. All of our applications are similar, so if you’re interested in just familiarizing yourself with our programming, that’s a good place to start.

So now that you’re familiar with the program…

Check out some ideas for early application prep.

Morgan Lindsey Tachco is a creative administrator, actor and writer. She joined Brooklyn Arts Council in 2008 and filled several roles in the Grants and Arts in Education Departments prior to becoming the Grants Program Manager in 2013 and is now Grants and Services Director. Morgan oversees BAC’s grantmaking and Creative Coalitions programs, and serves as a general resource and matchmaker for artists and organizations across the city. She lives and loves in NYC with Zooey, her fuzziest and best friend. 

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