Grants : LUSENET : A place to put our books, and make good music : One Thread

As I was saying, I spent the past week or so working on a grant for the support group network / advocacy organisation where I work part time; and later that week, I met with the board of directors. Two things came from that: I.) I'm further persuaded that there are grants available for this sort of endevour. We'd do well to investigate this; even along more tangential lines. For example, this is intended primarily as a collective with the purpose of furthering collabouration and co-creation among a group of artists and musicians. But, if there were occasional performances for the community, there would likely be community-minded sorts of grants available. If we explored possibilities of alternative energy use, or principles of sustainability / permaculture in the process of building and in the continuous act of living on that land, there would likely be eco-conscious, environmentally-minded sorts of grants available. On a possibly related note, how does one publicise that one will consider accepting commissions for work? How does one solicit these commissions? II.) Furthermore, there are grants available from some (in my opinion) rather unlikely sources: in any community with a large department store chain - for example, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, et cetera - these stores will often offer donations to worthy organisations. (And this, friends, is worthy. I don't agree with the ethos of most of those sorts of chains, but I'm not above taking their money to realise something positive and furthering such as this collective's coming into fruition.) The same is true with civic organisations (I myself was given a couple of hundred dollars by the local Moose Lodge with which to attend a writers' workshop when I was 18.) and local businesses.

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001


This all sounds good. A couple questions that come to mind would be, one, what sort of responsibility would we incur to the granting organization, and second, what case would we make to them that their money ought to go to us? These places often like goals, concrete "things" -- a piece of music, a statue, a national award, that sort of thing. "Building an artists' collective and a recording studio off the grid/using environmentally sound methods" strikes me as an angle likely to catch certain ears if it were fleshed out enough.

Re commissions: which kind of work? If you mean for compositions of "classical" music, it's kind of a multi-stage process. You need to start out by writing a piece you feel is really strong, and getting someone to play it; usually commissions are given in the spirit of "more-of-same", rather than "let's-see-what-you-can-do" -- in the sense that no one's likely to fund a composer whose works they haven't heard. Once you've gotten a couple pieces you feel comfortable showing, then if people dig your stuff, things start to happen. Or do you mean a different kind of work?

Taking money from Wal-Mart: as long as it doesn't involve answering to such an organization in any substantial way, I'm completely comfortable with it. But I'd need to be sure, as I expect everyone would, that there would be no answering to them, no Wal-Martification of this all, if you will.

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001

>what sort of responsibility would we incur to the granting >organization?

Well, we'd have to commit to do certain things which we would state in advance that we would in fact do. Build according to certain principles, have a certain number of public performances, contribute a certain number of free hours in our studio or assist a set number (or more) of artists in recording and / or temporary or long-term lodging. And we would more than likely have to write regular reports on this (quarterly seems to be the most common interval), and document the expenditure of funds.

>what case would we make to them that their money ought to go to us?

We'd draft a grant proposal. And yes, we'd promise certain things, if we were to receive funding, whether a piece of music or something else.

>"Building an artists' collective and a recording studio off the >grid/using environmentally sound methods" strikes me as an >angle likely to catch certain ears if it were fleshed out enough.

Yes, I fully agree. We ought to start talking with grant writers and researching the process, and sources for funds, and draft a preliminary proposal. The biggest grant, and the most difficult one to secure, probably, would be one to actually aid in the purchase of the land. Difficult because we'd either have to decide on a more specific geographic locale, or eliminate a lot of potentially- available local funding. We couldn't take a grant from the county of Bennington if we were going to purchase land north of Middlebury, and we couldn't accept a grant from the state of New Hampshire if we ended up deciding on land in Canbridge, NY.

>Re commissions:

I mention this as another possible source of funding, as in, soliciting commissions for the collective, whether for 'classical' music or another sort.

>Taking money from Wal-Mart:

My understanding of it is that it wouldn't be much different from accepting money from a state of federal institution. In fact, it could likely be a much simpler process, with fewer obligations.

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001

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