Secrets to getting grants….shhhh!

A missive from the boss…

Barbara St. Clair
Ex. Dir. Creative Pinellas

I happened upon Creative Pinellas CEO Barbara St. Clair at the pop-up show in downtown St. Pete by CP’s Emerging Artist Kenny Jensen.

Kenny Jensen’s show

I moaned. I was behind in my blogging. My life applying for grants seemed to leave me nothing interesting to write about. Surely she would disapprove.

But instead she told me that some of the most-read blogs were those that offered solutions to problems that artists often have – problems in writing grants, for instance. Or getting grants.

I’ve learned over the years that it is often up to the whims of judges to determine whether or not you get a grant. Judges can be capricious! But there are some things that are helpful in grant writing. I have received many grants since my first one in 1984.

At that time, I applied to private foundations, corporations, and government entities for funding for Tampa Bay Oasis, a PBS film that explored marine ecosystems, filming over an entire year in the Tampa Bay (body of water). I raised $80,000 in a relatively short period of time. Since then I’ve raised more than a million and more for my films, with grants from NEA, NEH, Ford Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, humanities councils in eight states, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and many others – including a Creative Artist grant from Creative Pinellas.

My next blogs will explore the process of grant writing, based on what I’ve learned. Like I said, getting grants has a lot to do with what the judges are looking for, in that particular grant. But you also need to be able to state an argument for your project and defend why you deserve that grant.

So stay tuned for more.


Leave a Reply

Become a Creative Pinellas Supporter