BAC Grants: What’s new for 2016

We just released the guidelines, applications and info session dates for BAC’s 2016 Community Arts Grants!

If you need to familiarize yourself with our programs, check out my posts about BAC Grants Basics and Getting an early start on your proposal.

This post will highlight some of the additions & improvements we’ve made for 2016. Hope to see you at an info session!

Narrowed request range from $1-5,000 to $2-5,000
Applicants can now ask for funding in the range of $2-5,000.  This is in response to the amount of each individual grant we’re traditionally able to award vs. the amount of work it takes to apply for and manage a grant. In narrowing the request amount, we will be awarding larger individual grants, hopefully reducing the amount of additional fundraising grantees have to do to complete a project, and ideally creating a larger impact. In 2015, we asked the panel to really consider these things when determining funding amounts and our average grant size went from $1,500-$1,800 to $1,800-$2,000. To progress!

Goodbye CAF, hello BAF
Community Arts Fund is now Brooklyn Arts Fund. It may seem semantic, but it’s really an effort to further clarify each program’s funding goals – the next phase in some of the work we started last year. The program funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs aims to cultivate Brooklyn’s artists, arts organizations, and audiences through its support of high-quality arts projects in all disciplines, genres and styles: Brooklyn art for Brooklyn audiences. Brooklyn Brooklyn Brooklyn!

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You Got This: Thoughts From A Grant Program Officer Before Deadlines

Things are heating up over here now that we’re about a month to deadline. I thought it may be helpful to address some things that usually come up this time of year. I won’t speak for my fellow grant officers (I’d love to have them weigh in!), but I have a feeling some of these apply to many funding programs.

You will not be denied funding for marking an X next to your name on the seminar sign in sheet instead of signing your initials.
I’m not sure if it’s back-to-school trauma or what, but starting around now there seems to be a sense that every step you make from now until January goes on your permanent record, and could be taken into consideration for whether or not you get funded.  The panel doesn’t see the seminar sign in sheets, so they don’t know how you made your mark on them. If there’s something next to your name, we see that you came. (PS – it becomes pretty clear closer to deadline who didn’t come to a seminar.)

The panel sees your proposal: your narrative, budget, work sample and supplemental materials. Read the guidelines and instructions and try to focus your energies there.

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BAC Grants: 5 new things for 2015

This year marks BAC’s 35th year of funding. Such an established program needs some fine tuning every few years – here are just a few things that are new in 2015.

new year, new logo 1. More application resources
We’ve expanded the resources we make available to our applicants. Make sure you check out the Application Resources page as you’re creating your proposal. It includes grant writing links and info we think will be useful, as well as links to find your legislative information and a panel discipline guideline that has info about previously successful projects.

2. We’re accepting online work samples!
It’s 2015! We’re accepting online work samples! We can’t express how excited we are for this. If you’re not quite up on the digital yet, don’t worry – we’re still accepting CDs & DVDs. Check out the updated instructions for full submission details.
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REPOST: 6 tips on getting a head start on your BAC Grants proposal

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

Out of town working or playing this summer? Planning your 2016 funding calendar? Whatever the reason, we’ve received a lot of inquiry as to what artists and organizations can do to start prepping for their 2016 application now.

Taking the main aspects of the application into consideration, I’ve gathered some tips on what you can do now to get a head start on your 2016 application. So familiarize yourself with our program & get ready for some creative planning.

1. Project Narrative: dream big
This is a great time to dream big about your 2016 project. While September is the time for brevity (we only allow 500 words in the application’s main project description), now is the time for being passionate and illustrious! This is a great time to brainstorm and expound on what you intend to do. Write at length about your dream project; who you want to work with, where you want it to occur, and why it would be the best thing for someone to fund – just go for it! Whether you’ve applied to our program successfully or unsuccessfully before, take out your previous application, shake the dust out, write & re-write. Think big & edit later. Spring is also a good time to polish your grant writing skills: take a workshop, or read a grant writing book.

just - serenity now.

just – serenity now.

2. Project budget: plan your resources
While you’re in dream state about your upcoming project, start thinking about using the budget as a different tool to tell the same story as the project narrative. They benefit from being created together. While I suggest holding off on the nitty-gritty bubble-bursting line items until at least the second draft of your narrative, start planning your resources: where else you will go for funding support? Are you planning on supplementing with a crowd funding campaign? What are your options for earned income or in-kind donations? Will you have to rent space? Will you be working in conjunction with another organization? What resources can they provide? Thinking of your budget as another tool to help craft your dream project may help curb some anxiety later on.

3. Work sample: document now
Always Be Documenting! Spring & Summer are busy months that provide great opportunity to build on or begin creating your work sample. Take pics and video of your spring & summer shows, or make arrangements to get copies of the work if someone else is documenting it. There is no such thing as documenting too much. NYFA has put together a great three part blog series on video samples; check it out.

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