Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact

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The Investing in Artists: Tools & Equipment program (the Fund) will award grants of $1,000–$5,000 to individual craft artists to purchase artistic tools, materials, or equipment that support their ability to make object-based work. The Fund is open to individual craft artists, craftspeople, and folk and traditional artists in the United States and its Territories, with geographic eligibility rotating over the 2024–2026 funding cycle.

Funding will be awarded through a competitive grant application process. Competitive applicants will present a clear request, demonstrate a sustained commitment to their craft, and illustrate how funding will provide linchpin support, such as enabling the artist to get started in their field, meet demand, address safety requirements or other regulations, replace outdated or damaged equipment, or reach a higher standard of quality or craftsmanship. In other words, funding will support craft artists’ careers and ability to make work. A total of $50,000 is available in each round of funding.

Diverse panelists with craft expertise will be invited to review eligible applications and make award recommendations. Panelists will aim to ensure that recommended grantees reflect the diversity of the craft landscape, including those who are under the radar in their field or discipline, such as people of color, folk and traditional artists, and women.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for funding consideration, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as an individual working craft artist1. (see definition below).
  • Align with CCI’s definition of craft2. (see definition below).
  • Reside full-time in an eligible region. Investing in Artists: Tools & Equipment's 2024-2026 funding cycle will rotate geographic eligibility.
    • For the 2024 round of funding, craftspeople residing full-time in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming are eligible to apply. Additionally, craftspeople residing full-time in the U.S. Territories of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible to apply.
    • For the 2025 funding round, craftspeople residing full-time in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, or Wisconsin will be eligible to apply.
    • For the 2026 funding round, craftspeople residing full-time in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, or Virginia will be eligible to apply.
  • Presented artistic work in a public context—including online/digital platforms—within the last three years (i.e., since 2021).
  • Are 18 years or older at the time of the application deadline.

1. For the purposes of this Fund, eligible “working craft artists” are defined as adults who are self-taught or have received training in an artistic discipline or tradition such as through an apprenticeship, trade school, undergraduate or graduate program, spend ten or more hours a week on their artwork, self-define as professional artists, and attempt to derive income from work in which they use their expert artistic practices and skills. While serious artistic activity performed as a hobby or as part of volunteer community service may, in some cases, be considered technically eligible, successful applicants will have demonstrated a history of artistic accomplishment and a sustained commitment to deepening and expanding their artistic practice.

2. CCI uses the definition of craft put forth by the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+), which describes craft as the creation of original objects by the skillful manipulation of materials. While objects may be created from traditional or non-traditional materials and be functional or nonfunctional, both types derive part of their meaning from their association with traditional functional forms such as chairs, vessels, garments, or implements and/or their association with cultural tradition. CERF+ also acknowledges that artists working in craft disciplines may self-identify as makers, designers, potters, ceramicists, mixed media artists, etc. To be inclusive of all eligible materials-based artists, regardless of discipline, CCI uses “artist,” “craft artist,” “craftsperson/people,” and “folk and traditional artist” throughout the Fund’s guidelines and other program ephemera.

 Examples of eligible requests:

  • Repairs to broken equipment
  • New/used tool or equipment purchases
  • Installation of equipment
  • Materials needed to build equipment
  • Tool/equipment storage

The following applicants/requests are ineligible for funding consideration:

  • Artist collectives, coops, or collaboratives;
  • Nonprofit or fiscally sponsored organizations;
  • Recipients of the Maxwell/Hanrahan Award in Craft, administered by United States Artists;
  • Incomplete applications and those with inaccessible work samples or other required files;
  • Full-time or matriculated students;
  • Applicants who submit more than one application;
  • Requests to support training in or experimentation with a new medium;
  • Requests for routine art materials or supplies;
  • Requests for fixed costs (e.g., studio rent, equipment/tool insurance and ongoing maintenance, utilities);
  • Requests to support capital improvements or repairs, purchases made before the award of the grant, consultant fees, personal compensation, or payment of debts, credit cards, loans, or other financial responsibilities; and
  • Applicants who have a conflict of interest (family or financial relationships) with the boards, staff, and directors of CCI or the Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation.

TIMELINE

Application Opens

July 10, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Application Information Session

July 24, 2024, from 12:00–1:00 p.m. PDT 

Register Here

If you cannot attend, the info session recording and presentation deck will be posted on CCI’s website by July 26 at 5 p.m. PDT.

Drop-in Q + A

July 31, 2024, from 12:00–1:00 p.m. PDT 

Register Here


August 14, 2024, from 5:00–6:00 p.m. PDT  

Register Here


August 21, 2024, from 12:00–1:00 p.m. PDT  

Register Here

Please note: These are not formal presentations, nor will they be recorded. The Drop-in Q&A is an opportunity to have your questions addressed by CCI staff in real-time. So that everyone's time can be used efficiently, we ask that you review the grant guidelines, application preview, and Frequently Asked Questions in advance!

Application Deadline

September 4, 2024, at 11:59 a.m. (Morning) PDT

Panel Review

October–November 2024

Application Notifications

November 20, 2024, by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) 

Period of Support

December 2024–December 2025

APPLY

Coming Soon - Application materials will be posted in English and Spanish. 

images/pdf_icon.jpgGuidelines 

images/pdf_icon.jpgApplication Preview  logos/Word Doc Image Application Preview

images/pdf_icon.jpgFrequently Asked Questions

images/Excel icon Sample Project Budget Template

images/pdf_icon.jpgSubmittable Quick Tips

Applications will be accepted from July 10, 2024, at 9 a.m. PDT until September 4, 2024, at 11:59 a.m. (morning) PDT. Complete applications must be submitted by the deadline—no exceptions will be made. In addition, applications with missing or inaccessible content (e.g., corrupted or password-protected files) will not be reviewed.

Note: The Investing in Artists: Tools & Equipment grant deadline, notifications, and technical assistance workshops utilize Pacific Time. Please plan accordingly. For help converting to the Pacific Time Zone, see here.

START MY APPLICATION - COMING SOON!

QUESTIONS

CCI staff are here to help! For questions about the grant guidelines or application, email us at grants@cciarts.org (include "Tools & Equipment" in the Subject Heading) or call 415.713.7650. Deaf applicants and those with hearing loss can contact CCI using the California Relay Service. Our staff are trained in making and receiving these calls.

If you need technical assistance (e.g., password or upload issues), request support at https://www.submittable.com/help/submitter/. Submittable’s business hours are 9 am–5 pm MT. They aim to respond within 24 business hours.  

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Investing in Artists: Tools & Equipment is supported by:

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