Practicing Artist Grants

Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines living in the Arkansas counties of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Sebastian, and Washington.

Artists 360 is designed to elevate and energize greater Northwest Arkansas practicing artists by providing them with:

  • $7,500 grants to support creative practices and career advancement;
  • Peer-based learning experiences to develop entrepreneurship skills and build enduring creative practices; and
  • Connections to a dynamic regional artist network.

Fourteen project and professional development support grants are awarded annually. Grantees receive financial support for touring, works in progress, creative research and professional advancement, or social practice projects and participate in peer-based learning experiences, including an in-person retreat, One-On-One mentorship, and small group discussions. These experiences develop entrepreneurial skills, while expanding a network of leading regional artists.

What is a ‘practicing artist?’

A Practicing Artist will have an active and current artistic practice. Has specialized training in the field (not limited to academic training). Has demonstrated success in the arts through the creation of high-quality work and/or contributions to the field. Is recognized as a practicing artist by peers (artists working in the same discipline and by experts in the field).

What types of practicing artist projects will be considered?

  • Touring (Projects that involve the touring/presenting of your work within and outside of Arkansas).
  • Works in Progress (Projects that involve a specific phase of a work in progress that has a clear end goal).
  • Creative Research and Professional Development (Projects that focus on professional advancement and creative research opportunities that strengthen an artist’s expertise and advances their creative practice).
  • Social Practice (Projects that activate Northwest Arkansas communities and address social issues, opportunities, and challenges. Projects must focus on the creation and presentation of art and have a public component).

Download an application guide here: A360 Practicing Artist Grant Application Guide.pdf

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Artists 360 Practicing Artist Grant program, you must:

  • Be a resident of the State of Arkansas and have established residency of at least one year at the time of application, in one of the following counties: Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Sebastian, or Washington.
  • Retain residency within the five-county region for the duration of the grant period (September 2023 through October 2024).
  • Commit to participating in peer-to-peer professional development activities during the grant year, including the Artists 360 Grantee Retreat at the 21C Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR from 9:00 a.m. Saturday, October 21, 2023 through 1:00 p.m. On Sunday, October 22, 2023 (meals and private lodging provided).
  • Be 18 years of age at the time of application.
  • Must be a citizen, permanent resident, or have non-resident status.
  • Be a practicing artist that creates work in any discipline, including, but not limited to dance, film, literary, music, theatre, and visual art.
  • Propose a project in one of the following four categories:
    • Touring Project applicants should include a plan for touring, and how the touring project fits into their overall body of work.
    • Works in Progress applicants should specify the stage of the project the grant will support and how the project fits into their overall body of work.
    • Creative Research & Professional Advancement applicants should articulate the artistic strength, quality, and reputation of the proposed residency, workshop, laboratory, apprenticeship or research opportunity, and how the experience fits into their overall body of work.
    • Social Practice Project applicants should include clear outcomes; impact/benefit for the community being served, and how the project fits into their overall body of work.
  • May not be currently enrolled in a degree seeking program.
  • May not have previously received an Artists 360 Practicing Artist grant.
  • May not be a full-time employee of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Requirements

  • Each Artists 360 Practicing Artist application should include:
  • Completed online application form
  • Proof of residence (Arkansas driver’s license, bill from a bank, mortgage company, utility company, credit card company, doctor, or hospital, bank statement, property tax bill, current valid homeowner’s or renter’s policy or motor vehicle insurance card or policy, current valid Arkansas motor vehicle registration, 2022 tax filing (IRS or state of Arkansas).
  • Artist Statement or Description of your Artistic Practice (maximum 250 words).
  • Artist Biography (maximum 100 words).
  • Artist Resume/CV (maximum 3 pages, pdf format).
  • Project description, project title and short project description
  • Project timeline
  • Project budget (maximum 3 pages, pdf format).
  • Up to five artwork samples (images – 1MB max. Per image, audio files, film files, or urls to audio and film files).
  • Work Sample Summary (maximum 1000 words).

Review Criteria

  • Artistry: Successful applicants will demonstrate artistic excellence, variously defined by the practitioners and norms in their discipline, and show a deep commitment to their work.
  • Project Design: The project description clearly addresses the identified criteria for their selected project category (touring, works in progress, creative research & professional advancement, or social practice).Applicant provides a realistic timeline, an appropriate budget, and identifies clear artistic and/or community-based objectives, and achievable goals.
  • Program Readiness and Collegiality: Selected artists will have the desire to advance their career and deepen their practice, engage in an active strategic management process surrounding their practice, as well as an interest in sharing their work and process as part of a network of artists in a peer learning environment.
  • Balanced Cohort: The overall balance of the group of grantees will be considered to ensure a broad representation of perspectives, disciplines, and experiences.

Practicing Artist Grant Program Timeline

  • Applications
    • May 1, 2023 – June 28, 2023: Application Period
    • May 1, 2023 – June 28, 2023: Application Support from M-AAA staff
  • Application Reviews
    • July – August 2023: Panel Review
  • Notifications
    • September 1, 2023: Applicant notification
  • Grantee Important Dates
    • October 21-22, 2023: Artists 360 Grantee Retreat
    • January 2024: Funding distributed
    • April 20 – 21, 2024: Artists 360 Alumni Retreat & Full Circle Showcase
    • December 13, 2024: Final Reports due