Gearing Up For Grants #1: You've Got to Know What You're Creating!
Updated: May 8, 2022
I'm going to start a series of blog posts based on questions I get frequently about my opinions on the creative world at large and how to make things work for you as a creative. Various topics (that are within my niches of course) will be covered here - from the unique voices covered in Frettin' Friday, new music that's out, theatre I've seen...among others. But the thing is, a lot of the large scale projects that require a lot of money to produce don't happen except for fundraising. And you know what is a common form of fundraising?
Besides GoFundMe, IndieGogo, Ko-Fi (more on that later!), Patreon...
That's right, for those of you who have been on the business side. I'm talking about GRANTS. And yes, they're relatively easy to get.
But the thing is, before you can even thing of applying for a grant, you need to know what your project is going to be, and what it will look like.
So determine what you do best. What would be the most realistic for you to create? Think big. If you're a playwright, yeah, I'm sure you could do a staged reading, but what if you had the aid to produce a small-scale production? If you're a musician, tours and the like to promote an album are fun, but what if you could create something else that's so out-of-the-box?
So with your brain for a minute, brainstorm, condense all your ideas and once you have a more solid idea, ask yourself: does it solve a problem? Does it introduce something new? Is it something you’re enthusiastic about?
This is what I learned from writing "This is Not A Bill," a commission that eventually got a professional production. It definitely solved a problem. The script was born out of what little was done to talk about the African-American history in the North Shore of Massachusetts except for a self-guided tour to the various locations around Salem. And since audience members, including myself, didn't know about this history and the people it affected initially, it introduced something new. And since it was an unknown story, and I'm such a fan of the unknown stuff, I was enthusiastic about the project and how it spoke about my own history as an African-American. And that's what secured me THREE DIFFERENT GRANTS from Massachusetts Cultural Councils.
Starting from step one, knowing what you're creating and why it would be important, is the key to securing grant funding. You've gotta think bigger than your confines.
Stay tuned for my next blog article about this topic! Stay safe, creative and educated!
Love and light as always,