in Artists Who
Shape the Future.
Creative Capital is an impact-driven arts organization that supports adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, and career development services.
Our pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices. Creative Capital provides each funded project with up to $50,000 in direct funding and career development services valued at $45,000, for a total commitment of up to $95,000 per project.
Disciplines We Support
In February 2018 we will accept submissions in 34 disciplines. These include works in film, literature, performing arts, visual arts, and a number of other media. Take a look below to see what type of work we will consider funding.
Creative Capital takes chances on artists by supporting your bold, challenging, and genre-stretching ideas. Over the past 20 years, we have developed a four-part approach that includes support for you, your project, your community, and your audience. Through funding, professional development, individual meetings with close colleagues, and consistent engagement with our staff, we provide you with the resources you will need at strategic moments in your process. These include: consultations with legal, financial, marketing, public relations, and web consultants; an orientation meeting, Artist Retreats and Regional Gatherings; ten meetings with a strategic planning coach; and much more.
We make a commitment to work with you for the time you need to get your project done. Most of the projects we fund have a three-to-five-year timeline; even if yours is longer, we will stick with you every step of the way.
First, our application questions are designed to help you better articulate your project, your goals, and how you would like to position yourself in the field. Many people have told us that the application itself taught them a lot about their project and their life goals.
Additionally, our application evaluation process ensures that your work will receive additional exposure. In the first round, two colleagues from your field will read about your project. If you make it to the second round, two more people will read about it and you can elect to post on On Our Radar, a searchable online database featuring more than 300 projects per award cycle that advanced to the second or third round. If you make it to the panel review stage, five to seven more people will know about your work. That means that, just by applying, up to ten professional curators, programmers or editors in your field will have been informed about your project, not to mention our mailing list of 50,000+ contacts when we launch On Our Radar.
Creative Capital is not only an extraordinary organization, but also a thriving community. It pioneered a vision for how artists can sustain themselves, each other, and their work.
In all the chaos and the crisis and the unfairness of the art world, Creative Capital has been my rock... it makes me feel like an artist every day.
Creative Capital is without a doubt the pre-eminent grant making organization for artists today.
Letter of Inquiry
Along with your project title, descriptions, and selection of up to two disciplines, you will be asked to respond to six questions (.PDF) and provide a total budget number for your project. Letters of Inquiry will be accepted Feb 1 through Feb 28 (Midnight GMT.)
If your project is selected to move to the second round, you will be asked for work samples, a project update, confirmation of your residency status and a full line-item budget. No edits can be made to your letter of inquiry.
Projects chosen for panel review will be asked for another project update. No additional material will need to be submitted.
December 2018–January 2019
Panel meetings will be held in New York City in the fall. 46 projects will be chosen for support and submitted to our board of directors for final approval.
We will notify artists whose projects have been approved for funding before the end of the calendar year. A public announcement of the 46 Creative Capital Awards will be made in January 2019.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Along with your project title and description (50 and 250 words respectively), below are questions from the LOI:
• Please place your work in context so that we may better evaluate it. What are the main influences upon your work as an artist? How does your past work inform your current project? Please use concrete examples, which may include other artists' work, art movements, cultural heritage, research/work from outside your field, etc. (150 words)
• How does your project take an original and imaginative approach to content and form? (100 words)
• What kind of impact—artistic, intellectual, communal, civic, social, etc—do you hope your project will have? What strategies will you employ to achieve the desired impact? (100 words)
• Who are the specific audiences/communities that you hope to engage through this project? Please think beyond the broad art community where possible. How are you hoping to reach them? (100 words)
• How might your proposed project act as a catalyst for your artistic and professional growth? In what ways is it a pivotal moment in your practice? (100 words)
• Given Creative Capital's comprehensive system of support, how would you envision our nonmonetary services and resources helping you realize your goals for this project as well as those for your long term artistic and professional growth? (100 words)
Creative Capital funds artist projects in all disciplines. No matter what genre or discipline, the most competitive projects take risks and articulate an original vision. For general information about our awards and to download our full Award Guidelines, see Our Award Program. You can learn about previously funded projects on our Artist Projects page. Please note that we are actively interested in many kinds of projects that may or may not be represented there.
This is not an ideal award for artists just beginning their creative practice, thus our requirement for five years experience in your field. In addition, we do not fund documentation or cataloguing of past work, nor do we fund projects whose main purpose is promotional or educational.
Creative Capital identifies prospective applicants in three main ways:
• Open call for Letters of Inquiry
• Recommendations by artists and arts professionals
• Active solicitation by the Creative Capital staff
All submissions are reviewed using the same evaluation process. See Selection Process for more details.
An artist must be:
• A U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident
• At least 25 years old
• A working artist with at least five years of professional experience
An artist cannot be:
• An institution (If you are an artist who is a principal in a 501(c)3 organization, you should apply as an individual artist. If you are selected for funding, the award may be made payable to you through your organization.)
• A full-time student in a degree-granting program or its equivalent
• A current employee, consultant, board member or major funder of Creative Capital, or an immediate family member of such a person
• An active or alumni artist of Creative Capital
• An applicant or collaborator on more than one proposed project
We accept proposals for collaborative projects and work by collectives. Please choose one collaborator or collective member to serve as the main contact for the project. Each collaborative team may have up to five members in total and each of their names, roles, and bios should be included in the project proposal. Each and all collaborators must meet the above eligibility requirements. Creative Capital defines “collaborator” or “collective member” as someone who is considered to be a co-owner of the project and generative part of the team, not someone who provides services on a “work for hire” basis. Please note that each artist/collaborator can apply with only one project in any single award year.
Collaborative projects fall within one of two categories:
• Ongoing Team or Collective Collaborations: Two to five people who have an established history of collaboration, sometimes organized under a group name, all of whom are committed to the completion of the proposed project.
• One-Time Collaborations: A working arrangement between two to five people who have agreed to stay in partnership while completing the proposed project.
Please note that one-time collaborators will need to make a very strong case regarding their commitment to work together for the entire three- to five-year length of the award in order to be competitive. If granted an award, all parties in the collaboration will be required to sign a letter of agreement stating their intention to finish the project together.
Requirements for submission are the same for either type of collaboration.
In each of our funding years, Creative Capital will support approximately 46 projects at initial levels of $10,000 each. Including follow-up monetary support, a project may receive as much as $50,000 in direct financial support during the life cycle of the award, with the average amount closer to $35,000. This is in addition to advisory and professional services with an average value of $45,000, bringing the potential support per project up to $95,000.
We have attempted to design a system that serves artists at every step.
• The questions on the inquiry form and application are tailored to be artist-centered.
• At least two arts professionals learn about your work at each stage, and for those proposals advanced to the panel stage, eight to ten arts professionals will have been exposed to your work by the end of the process.
• For those artists who advance to the last two stages of our process, shortly after the award announcement you are eligible to opt in to On Our Radar, an online searchable database open to others in the field—curators, programmers, artists, potential resource providers—who may want to support the work. This information will be shared only with the applicants’ permission.
• Upon request, we offer a summary of the panel discussion regarding the proposed project to artists who make it to the panel stage but do not ultimately receive an award.
No. We only offer project grants to artists through an open application process. See Our Award Program for more info.
We are unable to provide emergency funding for disaster relief of finishing funds.