Knight Arts Challenge: How to Win Your Own Arts Grant
Applicants came out in droves with pens, notebooks, and laptops in hand to make sure they're prepared to submit the best idea in the bunch. But if you missed Knight's series of roundtables, don't worry. New Times is going to break it down for you step by step.
Since its first Challenge in 2008, the Knight Foundation has sought to invest in artistic excellence, funding projects that enrich and engage the communities that produce them. In the last six years, they've donated $19.4 million to 143 winners out of a total 6,611 applicants. The challenge has been renewed for three more years, with $9 million to give away. This year is the largest pool of applicants it's ever had, and competition is cutthroat.
Tatiana Hernandez, art associate for Knight, referred to the Challenge as being "harder to win than a seat at Harvard, which is actually true according to the math."
1. Come up with a catchy title.
2. Don't write it in isolation. Share your ideas with people who can be objective.
3. Make it simple for readers to understand.
4. Individual artists shouldn't start the application with "I". It's about the community.
5. Submit as soon as you can. Get readers when they're fresh; don't wait 'til the last minute.
"You have 150 words to get somebody to be like, 'You know what? I want to go to that.' Or, 'That's really interesting, I want to hear more about that,'" Hernandez said.
It's a thumbs up or thumbs down decision for the first round, because an average of 1,200 to 1,300 ideas are submitted to a panel of ten community members and three staff members who read every single one.