21 Art grants for growing your art business

As artists, we understand the challenges of pursuing our creative passions and finding the resources to bring our unique visions to life.

Art grants play a vital role in our artistic journey, offering financial support to help us overcome these hurdles and focus on our craft.

In this guide, we'll discuss the importance of art grants for artists like us and provide an overview of the various types of grants available in the United States.

Art grants

1. National Endowment for the Arts: Grants for Arts Projects

This grant is designed for nonprofit organizations, units of state or local government, and federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. Funding ranges from $10,000 to $100,000 and can be used for various projects that promote the arts.

2. Fundación Botín Art Grants

This grant awards six international grants worth €23,000 each, supporting individual projects in training, research, or production. Projects may consist of academic or non-academic training, non-academic research, and production.

3. South Arts Individual Artist Career Opportunity Grants

South Arts offers grants of up to $2,000, designed for artists seeking funding for specific projects or opportunities that will significantly impact their career advancement and business growth.

4. Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation provides grants to visual artists, including painters, sculptors, and artists working on paper, such as printmakers. Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $30,000, based on the artist's needs and circumstances.

5. The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

This grant is available for artists working in a representational style of painting, drawing, sculpture, or printmaking. Grants are awarded in the amount of $15,000, and artists may reapply for additional funding after the grant has been expended.

6. The Harpo Foundation Grants for Visual Artists

The Harpo Foundation provides grants of up to $10,000 for visual artists, including those working in installation, sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography. The goal is to support artists with demonstrated financial need, while encouraging and promoting their work.

7. The Puffin Foundation Artist Grants

The Puffin Foundation offers grants to emerging artists in the fields of art, music, theater, dance, photography, and literature. Grant amounts typically range from $550 to $2,500, and they support projects that have a progressive social impact.

8. Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grants

The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation provides two types of grants: Individual Support Grants and Emergency Grants. Individual Support Grants offer financial assistance to artists working in painting, sculpture, or printmaking. Emergency Grants are available to artists facing unexpected financial hardships.

9. The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant


This grant awards $25,000 to 25 artists annually, focusing on painters and sculptors who demonstrate exceptional creative ability and a commitment to their practice. The grant seeks to provide artists with resources to further their work and careers.

10. The Awesome Foundation Art Grants

The Awesome Foundation awards monthly $1,000 micro-grants to projects and initiatives in various fields, including art, science, and technology. These grants support innovative ideas and help artists bring their creative projects to life.

11. The Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant

This grant provides annual awards of $1,500 to individual artists working in various disciplines, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and mixed media. The Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant aims to help artists with financial need further their careers and creative work.

12. The Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant

This grant supports artists and writers who are also parents. The Sustainable Arts Foundation awards $5,000 and $10,000 grants, providing financial assistance for artists to balance their creative work and family responsibilities.

13. The Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship

The Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship offers funding to artists, scholars, and scientists who demonstrate exceptional creative ability and a record of achievement. The grant supports individuals with significant achievements in their field, allowing them to focus on their work without financial constraints.

14. The Artadia Awards

The Artadia Awards provide unrestricted financial support to visual artists in selected cities across the United States. Awardees receive up to $10,000 and gain access to a network of resources, including professional development opportunities and connections with curators and collectors.

15. The Center for Craft Artist Research & Dialogue (CARD) Grant

This grant provides up to $10,000 to support research and dialogue among craft artists. The CARD Grant aims to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovative research, and intellectual curiosity within the craft field.

16. The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers Emergency Grants to help artists facing sudden, unexpected expenses, such as material or equipment loss, project cancellations, or unanticipated opportunities. Grants typically range from $500 to $3,000.

17. The Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship

This fellowship offers financial support to artists working in photography or photo-based art. Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded to individuals based on artistic excellence and the potential impact of their projects.

18. The NALAC Fund for the Arts

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) offers grants to Latinx artists, arts administrators, and cultural organizations. The NALAC Fund for the Arts supports various artistic disciplines and provides financial assistance for professional development and project implementation.

19. The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship

This fellowship provides financial support to Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian artists. The Artist Fellowship offers up to $20,000 and aims to promote the artistic excellence and cultural preservation of Indigenous artists.

20. The Light Work Artist-in-Residence Program

The Light Work Artist-in-Residence Program provides support to photographers and artists working in photography-based media. The residency offers access to a well-equipped facility, a stipend of $5,000, and an exhibition opportunity in the Light Work gallery.

21. The Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellowship

The Rauschenberg Foundation offers the Artist as Activist Fellowship to support artists working on projects that address social, political, or environmental issues. The fellowship provides financial assistance, networking opportunities, and access to resources to help artists bring their activist projects to life.

How to apply for art grants

As an artist, I understand the challenges of funding our creative projects and sustaining our art business. That's why I want to share my personal experience and knowledge about the importance of successful grant applications. Art grants can provide the financial support we need to bring our ideas to life, expand our practice, and grow our businesses.

The Importance of successful grant applications

When it comes to applying for art grants, it's essential to remember that the application process can be quite competitive. Securing a grant can be a game-changer for our careers, giving us not only the financial resources but also the recognition and credibility that come with winning prestigious awards.

But what does it take to submit a successful grant application?

From my experience, it all comes down to being well-prepared, knowing your audience, and presenting a compelling case for your project.

Here are some key points to keep in mind as you embark on the journey of applying for art grants:

  1. Do your research: Spend time researching the grant opportunities available to you, focusing on those that are most relevant to your practice and your project. Understand the eligibility criteria, requirements, and the grant's mission and values.
  2. Plan ahead: Give yourself plenty of time to develop a strong project proposal and gather all the necessary materials, such as your portfolio, artist statement, and letters of recommendation. Rushing through the process can lead to a subpar application, reducing your chances of success.
  3. Tailor your application: Each grant has its specific goals and criteria, so make sure to tailor your application to fit those expectations. Show how your project aligns with the grant's mission, and explain why you're the right candidate to receive the funding.

By keeping these points in mind, you'll be well on your way to crafting a successful grant application that can help propel your art business forward.

Remember, persistence is key, and even if you don't win a grant on your first try, don't give up – learn from the experience, refine your application, and keep trying.

Understanding the application process

Navigating the world of art grants can be overwhelming at first, but I've found that understanding the application process is crucial to increasing your chances of success. Let me share with you some insights I've gained from my experience in applying for art grants.

Research the grant requirements and eligibility criteria

Before diving into the application, it's essential to research the grant requirements and eligibility criteria thoroughly. I've learned that spending time doing this groundwork helps ensure that my efforts are well-directed, and I'm not wasting time on grants that don't match my profile or project.

Make a list of the grants that you're eligible for and that align with your artistic practice. Pay close attention to the application requirements, such as deadlines, required materials, and submission formats. This information will help you plan your application process more effectively.

Familiarize yourself with the grant's mission and values

As an artist, I know that connecting with my audience is vital for my work to resonate. The same principle applies to grant applications. To create a compelling application, you need to understand the mission and values of the granting organization. This knowledge will allow you to tailor your proposal to their specific goals and expectations, increasing your chances of success.

Take the time to read about the organization's history, previous grant recipients, and the types of projects they typically support. This information will give you a better sense of what they're looking for and how you can present your project in a way that aligns with their vision.

Plan your project proposal according to the grant's guidelines

Once you're familiar with the grant's mission and values, it's time to plan your project proposal. I cannot stress enough the importance of following the grant's guidelines closely. Failing to do so can lead to your application being disqualified or overlooked, regardless of the quality of your project.

Carefully review the grant's proposal requirements, such as word count, format, and supporting materials. Make sure to address all the points mentioned in the guidelines and structure your proposal accordingly. By doing this, you'll demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to the application process, which can go a long way in making a positive impression on the grant reviewers.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to understanding the grant application process and increasing your chances of success. Remember that applying for art grants can be a learning experience, and with each application, you'll become more skilled in presenting your projects and ideas in a compelling and persuasive manner.

Crafting a strong project proposal

Creating a strong project proposal is an essential part of securing art grants. Over the years, I've learned that a well-crafted proposal can make all the difference when it comes to standing out from the competition. Let me share some tips on how to make your proposal shine.

Clearly define your project's goals and objectives

The first step in crafting a strong project proposal is to clearly define your project's goals and objectives. Remember, grant reviewers may not be familiar with your work, so it's crucial to make sure they understand what you're trying to achieve. Clearly articulate the purpose of your project, its intended impact, and what you hope to accomplish with the grant funding.

Demonstrate how your project aligns with the grant's mission

Next, it's essential to demonstrate how your project aligns with the grant's mission. This is where your research into the granting organization's goals and values will come in handy. By showing that your project is a good fit for their objectives, you'll increase your chances of being seen as a worthwhile investment. Make a strong case for why your project is both relevant and beneficial to the grant's mission.

Showcase your unique artistic vision and perspective

As an artist, your unique vision and perspective set you apart from the competition. Make sure to showcase this in your proposal by describing your creative process, the inspiration behind your work, and the elements that make your project distinctive. This will give the grant reviewers a better understanding of your artistic voice and why your project is worth supporting.

Detail the project's timeline and budget

Finally, don't forget to include a detailed timeline and budget for your project. Grant reviewers want to know that you have a realistic plan in place to execute your project and that you're able to manage the grant funds responsibly. Break down your project's timeline into manageable steps, showing the key milestones and deadlines. Also, provide a clear and detailed budget, outlining how the grant funds will be allocated across various expenses, such as materials, labor, and marketing.

By crafting a strong project proposal that addresses these key areas, you'll increase your chances of securing the art grants you need to grow your art business. Remember, persistence and practice are essential, so keep refining your proposal-writing skills and applying for grants that align with your artistic vision.

Creating a compelling artist statement

In my experience, creating a compelling artist statement is a critical component of a successful art grant application. Your artist statement should provide grant reviewers with insight into who you are as an artist and what drives your work. Let me share some tips on crafting an engaging and persuasive artist statement.

Share your personal story and artistic journey

Begin your artist statement by sharing your personal story and artistic journey. Give the grant reviewers some background on your life experiences, education, and how you came to pursue a career in the arts. Remember, your story is unique, and sharing it can help the reviewers connect with you on a deeper level.

Explain your artistic practice and creative process

Next, discuss your artistic practice and creative process. Describe the techniques, materials, and methods you use in your work, and explain why they are significant to you. This will help the grant reviewers understand how you approach your craft and what makes your work stand out.

Discuss your influences, inspirations, and themes

Take the opportunity to discuss your influences, inspirations, and themes in your artist statement. Share the artists, movements, or experiences that have shaped your work, and explain how they have impacted your artistic development. By discussing the ideas and themes that resonate with you, you'll give the reviewers a better understanding of the meaning behind your work.

Relate your statement to the specific grant opportunity

Lastly, it's crucial to relate your artist statement to the specific grant opportunity you're applying for. Explain why your work is a good fit for the grant's mission, and describe how the grant funding will support your artistic growth and the realization of your project. By tying your statement to the grant opportunity, you'll demonstrate that you're not only a talented artist but also a thoughtful and responsible candidate for the grant.

Assembling a high-quality portfolio

One of the most crucial aspects of a successful art grant application is assembling a high-quality portfolio that showcases your best work. Your portfolio will be the primary visual representation of your art, so it's essential to make it as compelling and professional as possible. Here are some tips on creating a top-notch portfolio that will impress grant reviewers.

Select diverse and representative samples of your work

When choosing the pieces to include in your portfolio, it's important to select a diverse and representative sample of your work. Aim to include pieces that demonstrate your range of skills, techniques, and subject matter. By showcasing your versatility and artistic growth, you'll give grant reviewers a comprehensive understanding of your abilities and potential.

Provide context for each piece with titles, dates, and descriptions

Providing context for each piece in your portfolio is crucial. For each artwork, include the title, date of creation, and a brief description. The description should touch on the materials and techniques used, as well as any relevant themes or concepts. This information helps grant reviewers gain a deeper understanding of your work and the creative process behind it.

Ensure professional-quality documentation and presentation

The quality of your portfolio's documentation and presentation can have a significant impact on how your work is perceived. To make the best impression, ensure that each artwork is professionally photographed and accurately represented. If you're not confident in your photography skills, consider hiring a professional photographer who specializes in documenting artwork.

When presenting your portfolio, pay attention to the layout and organization. Arrange your work in a visually appealing and coherent manner, and consider using a clean, minimalist design to let your artwork shine. Whether you're submitting your portfolio online or in print, make sure the images are high-resolution and well-optimized for the chosen format.

By carefully selecting diverse samples of your work, providing context, and ensuring professional-quality documentation and presentation, you'll create a high-quality portfolio that can help you stand out in the competitive world of art grants. Remember, your portfolio is a direct reflection of your art practice, so invest the time and effort needed to make it exceptional. With a polished and compelling portfolio, you'll be one step closer to securing the art grants you need to grow your art business.

Seeking letters of recommendation and support

Securing strong letters of recommendation and support can significantly enhance your art grant application, adding credibility to your proposal and demonstrating your commitment to the project. Here are some tips on obtaining effective letters that will help bolster your chances of winning that grant.

Choose appropriate references familiar with your work and project

When selecting references, it's important to choose individuals who are familiar with your work and can speak to your artistic abilities and the specific project for which you're seeking funding. These could include mentors, colleagues, professors, or even past grant recipients. Their insight and endorsement will give grant reviewers additional confidence in your project's potential and your capacity to execute it successfully.

Request letters well in advance and provide guidance on the grant's criteria

Asking for letters of recommendation can be a delicate process. Be sure to give your references plenty of time to write thoughtful and compelling letters—ideally, at least a month before the grant application deadline. When making your request, provide your references with clear guidance on the grant's criteria and the aspects of your work or project that you'd like them to emphasize. This will help ensure that their letters directly address the key factors that grant reviewers will be evaluating.

Follow up with your references and thank them for their support

After your references have agreed to write letters on your behalf, be sure to follow up with them as the deadline approaches. Gently remind them of the due date and offer any additional information or materials they may need to complete their letters. Once the letters have been submitted, express your gratitude with a heartfelt thank-you note or email. Not only is this a polite gesture, but it also helps maintain positive relationships.

Submitting your application

Submitting a well-prepared and timely application is essential for making a positive impression on grant reviewers. Here are some steps to ensure that your application is submitted correctly and on time.

Double-check the application deadline and submission requirements

Before submitting your grant application, double-check the deadline to make sure you don't miss it. Additionally, carefully review the submission requirements, which may include specific formats, file types, or other instructions. Following these guidelines to the letter is crucial, as non-compliance could lead to disqualification.

Organize all required materials in the requested format

As you prepare to submit your application, ensure that all required materials are organized in the format requested by the grant organization. This may include organizing your portfolio, artist statement, project proposal, and other documents in a particular order or layout. Presenting a well-organized application demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail.

Submit your application well before the deadline to avoid technical issues

Submitting your application well ahead of the deadline allows you to avoid any last-minute technical issues that could prevent a timely submission. It also provides an opportunity to contact the grant organization for assistance, should any issues arise during the submission process.

Staying persistent and learning from rejection

It's important to remember that art grant applications can be highly competitive, and not receiving a grant doesn't necessarily reflect poorly on your work or project. Stay positive, keep refining your application materials, and continue applying to various opportunities.

Use rejections as opportunities to refine your application and project proposal

If your grant application is unsuccessful, use it as an opportunity to grow and improve. Solicit feedback from the grant organization if possible, and use their insights to refine your application and project proposal. This will help you become more competitive for future grant opportunities.

Continue applying to multiple grants and seeking other funding opportunities

Persistence is key when it comes to securing art grants. Keep researching and applying for multiple grant opportunities that align with your artistic goals and projects. In addition to grants, consider other funding sources such as crowdfunding campaigns, sponsorships, or artist residencies. By staying persistent and exploring various avenues for financial support, you increase your chances of obtaining the resources you need to grow your art business.