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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Secrets of an Arts Administrator

Secrets of an Arts Administrator is a weekly blog post written by BAC's Executive Director Leigh Anne Chambers.

Topic: Why grants aren't scary

Okay.  Maybe they are a little scary.  What I really meant to say is you shouldn't be afraid to write them.  Like all things that most artists have to do rejection is a possibility.  But that's okay.  It's alright if you try and don't succeed.  And the first few times you probably won't succeed.  Practice makes perfect.

What I can give is a few tips when writing grants.

  • Read the Guidelines: Guidelines are directions.  They tell you all that you need to know about the grant what it will fund, who it funds, what it WILL NOT fund, how much they give, when it's due, etc.  This is where most individuals make their first mistake they glance and miss important details.  So below is some hints on how to read guidelines.
    • Print them off.
    • Just read it through once without stopping
    • Step away.
    • Come back with a highlighter.
    • Highlight important information
    • Step away.
    • Come back with a friend and make them read it.
    • Quiz your friend about what they thought was important details.
    • Now re-read
    • If you have questions email the contact person BEFORE you start writing the grant.
  • Give yourself time: Grant writing is best done over a period of time. NOT THE NIGHT BEFORE IT'S DUE.  So when approaching a grant schedule time over a few weeks to work on it.  A couple of hours a night spread over a few days or weeks.  Do it in stages.  
  • Narrative: This is the section where you have to provide written details. Here are some hints.
    • Be specific but brief.
    • Don't assume your reader will understand jargon.
    • Grammar matters.
    • Know the difference between character limits and word limits.  (Character is each letter and space and words are words.)
    • Get a proofreader.  
  • Budget: Don't think that this is not important.
    • Research numbers don't guess at the price of things.
    • Be specific about how you will use their funds.
  • Supplemental Materials: These are additional items you have to provide.  It varies from grant to grant but it could be images of work, resume, support letters, examples of what you plan to purchase, etc.  Remember the following.
    • Format matters.  Follow the guidelines on WHAT FILES SIZES AND TYPES ARE ACCEPTED.
    • Make sure you treat your supplemental materials like they are primary materials..
So now that you know it's not scary let me list a couple of grant opportunity for you to seize!  

If you are still hesitant you can schedule a time to utilize our Artist One Stop resource center free to all BAC members.  Call 741-8310 to schedule an appointment today!!

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