Category Archives: Art Grants

Art Grant Policies

Art Grant Policy for 2009-2011

  • The BURN art grant budget is based upon a percentage of BURN’s previous year’s net income.
  • Awarded art projects must adhere to the detailed production schedule. Artists will work with a Project Director to assist them through the process.
  • Grants are intended to cover materials and transportation. They are not intended to cover labor costs.
  • Funding requests for renovations of past projects can also be submitted.
  • No funds will be dispersed without a signed contract between BURN and the artist, and a signed IRS W-9 Form
  • Funded artists will need to provide the BURN Art Grant Committee and their Project Director with progress reports at each milestone as detailed in their contract.
  • Disbursement of a percentage of each grant (tbd per project), will be given to each artist at the outset of their project. In turn, the artist agrees to provide the Art Grant Committee with receipts equal to or greater than the initial payment in order to receive additional funds (if applicable).
  • Artists must create the proposed art project within the time frame stipulated in their application.
  • Funded art projects must appear at one or more events well attended by BURN supporters – to be specified in the contract. These include, but are not limited to: BURN-sponsored events (including We Burn and Decompression), Resonate, Lakes of Fire, Burning Man, Burners without Borders activities, etc.
  • Artists should indicate whether their project can be taken elsewhere.
  • There will be addiitional judging points for taking the piece to additional locations.
  • Detailed receipts greater than or equal to the final grant installment amount must be submitted within 30 days of the last grant disbursement.
  • Artists must provide photos and a short follow-up report, as well as sign a release for publicity purposes.
  • Artist must return funds if project is not completed.
  • The artist is free to sell their BURN grant-awarded artwork in accordance with the following stipulations:
    1. The phrase “Funded in part by Bold Urban Renaissance Network NFP” should appear on any and all promotional materials in relation to any publication of or public showing of the awarded work, even after its sale.
    2. The awarded work will be made available to BURN after sale for presentation at BURN-related events upon request; collectors’ names will be included in any promotional materials “From the private collection of ________” along with “Funded in part by Funded in part by Bold Urban Renaissance Network NFP.”
  • Grant reviews require a minimum of five (5) committee members per review round. The final round will be judged by a Select Guest Juror.
  • IRS 1099 forms will be filed for those recieving at least $600 in one year. Artists are responsible for reporting income and deducting expenses.

FAQ – Art Grants

Q: What is the purpose of this grant program?

A: These art grants are intended to help defray the costs of materials related to creating and presenting works of art. They are not intended to cover labor costs, buy tools, or pay for personal transportation costs.

Q: Where can I show my work?

A: Anywhere you want, but we would like to know your plans, and for our supporters to see the finished project. In your grant agreement, one or more events sponsored by BURN, or well attended by supporters of BURN, will be required. Events sponsored by BURN include Chicago Decompression, the “We Burn” gallery show, Town Hall and Pow Wow. Events well attended by supporters of BURN include Burning Man, Lakes of Fire, Burners without Borders-Chicago programs, Chiditarod, Resonate, and Ripple Effect. Other events may be eligible if you convince the committee in your application.

Q: Who is eligible?

A: Anyone is eligible to to apply for an art grant.

Q: What if I don’t complete my project?

If, for any reason, you cannot complete the project, BURN requires the return of the funds granted. If there are funds remaining after the project is completed, those must be returned to BURN so that they may be “recycled” and used to support other artists.

Q: Can I get more than one grant?

A: You can only get 1 grant per grant cycle.

Q: Can I re-apply for a grant?

A: Yes you can. You may ask for funding in as many grant cycles as you wish. You may also apply for funding for some other aspect of your project that you didn’t seek funding for on the last go-around. When you submit your grant in the first place, there is a check box on the app to be considered for the next grant cycle. You can email us to let us know that you already have an application in queue, and ask us to re-evaluate it for the next cycle. (Keep in mind: If there were problems with your proposal last time, they’re probably still there.) BUT!! You can update your application! Make changes to respond to previous feedback, and make it even slicker and better, and even more irresistible.

Q: Once I win a grant, I’m In like Flynn, right?

A: Not exactly…. Since the grant process is competitive, the award of a grant in one cycle does not guarantee funding in subsequent cycles. It all depends on how well you explain that magnificent creation you’re building. Also, the panel will consider compliance with previous grant contracts and reporting requirements. The committee might fund the entire amount requested, or a portion, or even none. We have approved some elements, and rejected others of some of the projects we’ve funded. For example, the grants are never intended to pay for a performer’s gas to get to an event, so a line item in that amount would be removed from the requested grant.

Q: How are grant applications evaluated?

A: We carefully review all the grant applications received. We consider the vision that you’ve described, what it is for, how well it is described, how feasible the project is, and how reasonable the cost estimates are (accurate budgeting is very important!). When considering funding a project we look at the following aspects of your proposed project:

QUALITY:

  • Creativity
  • Interactivity
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Originality
  • Excitement
  • Inspiration
  • Social value

EXECUTION

  • Feasibility: Planning, Budget, Time line
  • Safety procedures
  • Leave-No-Trace plan
  • Past work

The committee may also consider other areas but this gives you an idea of what we are looking for in your application.

Q: Budget? Do I have to have a budget?

A: Yes. You HAVE to have a budget. For several reasons: Part of being a successful artist is the ability to track and manage your funds. You have to figure out if what you want to do is even remotely realistic, financially. Your budget is your BEST tool in explaining what you’re doing, how much it’s going to cost, where you think that money might be coming from, and why you want and need us to share these valuable, community-raised resources.

Q: What are the sizes of the grants?

A: The grants awarded to date range from just a few dollars up to $500 or more! That all depends on the amount of funding and the number of applications received. Just remember – no one person (or group) will get more than 25% of the total grant amount per year.

Q: Who ‘owns’ the work?

A: The artist or collaboration that produces the work retains both ownership and copyright. BURN is simply helping artists, and asks for no ownership of the produced work. BURN does ask for publicity rights, though.

Q: You ask for publicity?

A: BURN asks that all grant recipients place the phrase “Funded in part by BURN – Bold Urban Renaissance Network, NFP” in any printed documents (and web pages) about the work. We also will request a license to display images and descriptions of the work for publicity (such as on our web page) and for not-for-profit purposes.

Q: What’s the application cycle?

A: Grant application deadlines are published on the BURN website. There are two to three major grant cycles each year, typically: Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Q. What are the artist’s responsibilities?

A: Here’s a summary (there is a more complete description in the grant contract):
Complete your work. Keep BURN updated via progress reports. Abide by the contract. Save and submit ALL receipts. Talk to us. Let us know how things are going. Let us know where you are displaying your work. (Arrange tickets if necessary so a BURN representative can see the work.)
Provide credit for the support given in print and web materials. Give a final report for the project and your experience with BURN.

Q. Do I have to write a huge book to get a grant?

A. Nope…we encourage short, sweet, but thorough descriptions. Your statement of purpose is used to describe what you are trying to communicate with your project. What is your mission/philosophy/goal/inspiration…if any? Please keep this short and to the point at 400 WORDS or less. Simple answers are not judged harshly. (Hey, we have to read all these things.)

Q: How is this related to Burning Man?

A: The Arts Grant committee is a sub-committee of Bold Urban Renaissance Network (BURN), an independent Illinois not-for-profit organization.  Members of BURN’s steering committee include Chicago’s Burning Man Regional Contacts.  BURN does align with Burning Man’s 10 Principles through our events and general ethos.

Q: Does our art have to be interactive / participatory?

A: One of the 10 Principles is that everyone should participate. In keeping with this ethos, participatory art is encouraged and interactivity is a judging category.

Q: What about Transportation Costs?

A: The Art Grants Committee may include an allotment for transportation to help transport larger art pieces over and above the cost an artist might incur for their own personal transport. For example: if an art piece needs a trailer, because it won’t fit into the back of your ’62 VW Beetle, then a grant might include a transportation component. Grant funds are not intended to cover your own personal transportation to/from an event, or the transport of any materials, costumes, effects, supplies, tickets, etc. that you would normally carry yourself. The very essence of Burning Man is participatory. We all spend our time, money, and efforts to give back to our community. Hence, the grant won’t cover costs to transport something that we are already bringing. The spirit of the grant process is to help support art that can’t be created, or created as ‘big’, or can’t get to ‘the show’ without those grants.

Q: What about Performance Art?

A: Damn it, we love you all, we really do. Let us kiss you, because these grants are probably not the way we will get to show you love. Really, with this money, we’re supposed to be looking to the creation of “stuff.” The conception of the program, at this time, is oriented toward “pieces” of art rather than “performances” of art, placing the focus on materials. Unfortunately, for those that come and ‘do’ something, that is a harder, up-hill battle.
As we stated above, everyone’s got expenses, so we aren’t paying for the usual costs for performers, including most tools of the trade. If you have something else in mind that’s new and doesn’t land in those no-no categories, send us an application. Write a really excellent proposal that explains what materials need to be purchased for your performance art (art being a widely defined concept), how they are not part of the ‘usual’ activities, and show that there is a realistic budget and timeline. Blow our minds.

Q: My project doesn’t seem to fit into your guidelines. Should I still apply?

A: Yes! “Art” is a pretty broad term. We’ve already talked about what we want to fund, and can’t fund…but hey, we’re open to being convinced. Tell us a compelling, original story. Describe your vision. Give us a legitimate, well thought out budget and application. Convince us. Come on, we wanna do it…talk us into it.

Q: So if I apply for a grant, I’ll probably get one?

A: Not necessarily. See everything above. We do say “no” if an application is poorly written, doesn’t describe what the art project is, has a craaaaazy budget, is clearly not feasible, or is just not in keeping with the goals of the grant process. If this happens, we’ll tell you why we said ‘no’ so you can evolve your project for re-consideration.

Q: I’ve never filled one of these out before.  What do I do!?

A: Read through the entire FAQ. Read the Sample Application. Get a friend to help you. Ask us…we might be able to provide some guidance. Take a swing at it – you might find that you like writing after all. We can offer our advice on why a particular grant wasn’t approved after the grant cycle is concluded – to help you better prepare for the next grant cycle, if you want it. It’s not like we’ll chase you down and take money AWAY from you just for applying.

Q: Will you be placing my art at events?

A: No, you’ll need to contact the event placement coordinator. Sure, we’ll work with the event planners to let ‘em know what we’re funding so that they have an idea of what to expect – but we aren’t the placement folks.

Q: What is the purpose of this grant program?

A: These art grants are intended to help defray the costs of materials related to creating and presenting works of art. They are not intended to cover labor costs, buy tools, or pay for personal transportation costs.

Q: Where can I show my work?

A: Anywhere you want, but we would like to know your plans, and for our supporters to see the finished project. In your grant agreement, one or more events sponsored by BURN, or well attended by supporters of BURN, will be required. Events sponsored by BURN include Chicago Decompression, the “We Burn” gallery show, Town Hall and Pow Wow. Events well attended by supporters of BURN include Burning Man, Lakes of Fire, Burners without Borders-Chicago programs, Chiditarod, Resonate, and Ripple Effect. Other events may be eligible if you convince the committee in your application.

Q: Who is eligible?

A: Anyone is eligible to to apply for an art grant.

Q: What if I don’t complete my project?

If, for any reason, you cannot complete the project, BURN requires the return of the funds granted. If there are funds remaining after the project is completed, those must be returned to BURN so that they may be “recycled” and used to support other artists.

Q: Can I get more than one grant?

A: You can only get one grant per grant cycle.

Q: Can I re-apply for a grant?

A: Yes you can. You may ask for funding in as many grant cycles as you wish. You may also apply for funding for some other aspect of your project that you didn’t seek funding for on the last go-around. When you submit your grant in the first place, there is a check box on the app to be considered for the next grant cycle. You can email us to let us know that you already have an application in queue, and ask us to re-evaluate it for the next cycle. (Keep in mind: If there were problems with your proposal last time, they’re probably still there.) BUT!! You can update your application! Make changes to respond to previous feedback, and make it even slicker and better, and even more irresistible.

Q: Once I win a grant, I’m In like Flint, right?

A: Not exactly…. Since the grant process is competitive, the award of a grant in one cycle does not guarantee funding in subsequent cycles. It all depends on how well you explain that magnificent creation you’re building. Also, the panel will consider compliance with previous grant contracts and reporting requirements. The committee might fund the entire amount requested, or a portion, or even none. We have approved some elements, and rejected others of some of the projects we’ve funded. For example, the grants are never intended to pay for a performer’s gas to get to an event, so a line item in that amount would be removed from the requested grant.

Q: How are grant applications evaluated?

A: We carefully review all the grant applications received. We consider the vision that you’ve described, what it is for, how well it is described, how feasible the project is, and how reasonable the cost estimates are (accurate budgeting is very important!). When considering funding a project we look at the following aspects of your proposed project:

QUALITY:

  • Creativity
  • Interactivity
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Originality
  • Excitement
  • Inspiration
  • Social value

EXECUTION

  • Feasibility: Planning, Budget, Time line
  • Safety procedures
  • Leave-No-Trace plan
  • Past work

The committee may also consider other areas but this gives you an idea of what we are looking for in your application.

Q: Budget? Do I have to have a budget?

A: Yes. You HAVE to have a budget. For several reasons: Part of being a successful artist is the ability to track and manage your funds. You have to figure out if what you want to do is even remotely realistic, financially.  Your budget is your BEST tool in explaining what you’re doing, how much it’s going to cost, where you think that money might be coming from, and why you want and need us to share these valuable, community-raised resources.

Q: What are the sizes of the grants?

A: The grants awarded to date range from just a few dollars up to $500 – but that all depends on the amount of funding and the number of applications received. Just remember – no one person (or group) will get more than 25% of the total grant amount per year.

Q: Who ‘owns’ the work?

A: The artist or collaboration that produces the work retains both ownership and copyright. BURN is simply helping artists, and asks for no ownership of the produced work.  BURN does ask for publicity rights, though.

Q: You ask for publicity?

A: BURN asks that all grant recipients place the phrase “Funded in part by BURN – Bold Urban Renaissance Network, NFP” in any printed documents (and web pages) about the work.  We also will request a license to display images and descriptions of the work for publicity (such as on our web page) and for not-for-profit purposes.

Q: What’s the application cycle?

A: Grant application deadlines are published on the BURN website. There are two to three major grant cycles each year, typically: Winter, Spring, and Summer.

Q. What are the artist’s responsibilities?

A: Here’s a summary (there is a more complete description in the grant contract):
Complete your work. Keep BURN updated via progress reports. Abide by the contract.  Save and submit ALL receipts.  Talk to us. Let us know how things are going.  Let us know where you are displaying your work. (Arrange tickets if necessary so a BURN representative can see the work.)
Provide credit for the support given in print and web materials.  Give a final report for the project and your experience with BURN.

Q. Do I have to write a huge book to get a grant?

A. Nope…we encourage short, sweet, but thorough descriptions. Your statement of purpose is used to describe what you are trying to communicate with your project. What is your mission/philosophy/goal/inspiration…if any? Please keep this short and to the point at 400 WORDS or less. Simple answers are not judged harshly. (Hey, we have to read all these things.)

Q: How is this related to Burning Man?

A: The Art Grants Committee is a sub-committee of Bold Urban Renaissance Network (BURN), an independent not-for-profit organization.  Members of BURN’s Steering Committee include Chicago’s Burning Man Regional contacts.  BURN does align with Burning Man’s 10 Principles through our events and general ethos.

Q: Does our art have to be interactive / participatory?

A: One of the principles of Burning Man and its art is that everyone should participate. In keeping with this ethos, participatory art is encouraged.

Q: What about Transportation Costs?

A: The Art Grants Committee may include an allotment for transportation to help transport larger art pieces over and above the cost an artist might incur for their own personal transport.  For example: if an art piece needs a trailer, because it won’t fit into the back of your ’62 VW Beetle, then a grant might include a transportation component.  Grant funds are not intended to cover your own personal transportation to/from an event, or the transport of any materials, costumes, effects, supplies, tickets, etc. that you would normally carry yourself.  The very essence of Burning Man is participatory. We all spend our time, our money, and our efforts to give back to our community. Hence, the grant won’t cover costs to transport something that we already are bringing. The spirit of the grant process is to help support art that can’t be created, or created as ‘big’, or can’t get to ‘the show’ without those grants.

Q: What about Performance Art?

A: Damn it, we love you all, we really do. Let us kiss you, because these grants are probably not the way we will get to show you love. Really, with this money, we’re supposed to be looking to the creation of “stuff.” The conception of the program, at this time, is oriented toward “pieces” of art rather than “performances” of art, placing the focus on materials. Unfortunately, for those that come and ‘do’ something, that is a harder, up-hill battle.

As we stated above, everyone’s got expenses, so we aren’t paying for the usual costs for performers, including most tools of the trade. If you have something else in mind that’s new and doesn’t land in those no-no categories, send us an application. Write a really excellent proposal that explains what materials need to be purchased for your performance art (art being a widely defined concept), how they are not part of the ‘usual’ activities, and show that there is a realistic budget and timeline. Blow our minds.

Q: My project doesn’t seem to fit into your guidelines. Should I still apply?

A: Yes!  “Art” is a pretty broad term. We’ve already talked about what we want to fund, and can’t fund…but hey, we’re open to being convinced. Tell us a compelling, original story. Describe your vision. Give us a legitimate, well thought out budget and application. Convince us. Come on, we wanna do it…talk us into it.

Q: So if I apply for a grant, I’ll probably get one?

A: Not necessarily. See everything above. We do say “no” if an application is poorly written, doesn’t describe what the art project is, has a craaaaazy budget, is clearly not feasible, or is just not in keeping with the goals of the grant process.  If this happens, we’ll tell you why we said ‘no’ so you can evolve your project for re-consideration.

Q: I’ve never filled one of these applications out before.  What do I do!?

A: Read through the entire FAQ. Get a friend to help you. Ask us…we might be able to provide some guidance. Take a swing at it – you might find that you like writing after all. We can offer our advice on why a particular grant wasn’t approved after the grant cycle is concluded – to help you better prepare for the next grant cycle, if you want it. It’s not like we’ll chase you down and take money AWAY from you just for applying.

Q: Will you be placing my art at events?

A: No, you’ll need to contact the event placement coordinator. Sure, we’ll work with the event planners to let ‘em know what we’re funding so that they have an idea of what to expect – but we aren’t the placement folks.

Grant Judges

2017 Committee Judges

Rob “Robrob” Robinson (BURN Art Grants Committee Chair and Jury Moderator)
Currently one of four Burning Man Regional Contacts for Chicago, Rob is active in the community in a few ways-  Aside from chairing this committee, Rob is active with BURN OPs (hooray meetings!), the Sound Co-Lead at Lakes of Fire (Hooray Clipboards!), and a Black Rock Ranger in Black Rock City. He also co-runs a theme camp on playa with his wife called “Love Drippins” (it’s a real classy establishment)! Several years ago, Rob himself was a recipient of a BURN Art Grant for Shaft and Scroat, a dartboard that shot fire. It was pretty sweet.

Samantha “Dearie” Orick
Witty prose inbound!

More TBD
Interested in the gig? Email robrob@gmail.com

 

Past Committee Judges

Alex Cohn (Former BURN Art Grants Committee Chair and Jury Moderator)
Alex grew up in the Chicago area and lived and worked in Boston, Los Angeles and Atlanta before moving back home to Chicago. He also is a founding member and the former CEO of illmeasures, inc. as well as an active member of Synchronicity. Alex is a founding member of the Viking Youth Power Hour, named Chicago’s favorite podcast by the readers of New City Magazine for three straight years. He is a founding member of the Radio Free Valhalla Burning Man theme camp and his interests include structural art, sculpture and green engineering. Alex has collaborated on several large scale projects including a 30’ bucky-dome and a 15’ tensegrity tower for display at Burning Man. He is also part-owner and operator of The Ragnarok, a full-size school bus converted to run on waste vegetable oil. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Film and Television from Boston University and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from Northwestern University.

Heather “Pynecone” Albekier
Heather is an urban transplant from the northern woods of the Midwest. She moved to Chicago in 1996 to attend college, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design from Columbia College. She has worked professionally as a graphic designer since 1999, and is co-owner and -founder of HMA Design + Print (www.hmaprint.com), an independent, family-owned and operated graphic design and printing business. In her spare time she utilizes photography, costuming, interior design and decorating as creative outlets. She has been a participant in the Burning Man community since 2005, joining the Uber-Carney crew in 2007. Heather enjoys participating in the local Burning community primarily by utilizing her creative talents, designing the 2008 and 2009 Resonate flyers, the tickets for LoF 2009 and the B.U.R.N. logo, and by creating wearable costume art for events.

Pat Hilander  (Former BURN Art Grants Committee Chair and Jury Moderator)
A longtime art director/dj/photographer/musician, Pat popped his Burning Man cherry in 1998, returning subsequent years to contribute to such playa projects as: Black Rock Motor Speedway, Zonation, Whistle Works and Camp Tanabata. Pat enjoys helping build large temporary structures and watching them burn down.

Steve the Ghost
Steve’s playa name is ‘Ghost’, but to keep him separate from other haunts out there he’s known as Steve the Ghost. He enjoys participating in the Chicago Burner scene, and has become increasingly active in the local community over the last few years, helping with events such as Precomp, Resonate, and Decomp. For the 2009 Lakes of Fire, he was part of the Effigy Build and Burn crews, and he rangers for major local events. He will reprise those roles for 2010 as well. He’s been to the playa multiple times, both on his own and as part of some spectacularly fun theme camps. One of the most intense experiences he has had was as a Temple Guardian for the 2009 Burn. Ghost has a science and technology background, with a BS in the sciences, so he’s far more of a tech geek than anything else. Nevertheless, he likes getting dirty playing with clay, and making pottery and clay works. He’s also a survivor of various performance work (live art) pieces here and there, and helps to produce several events. He comes by his Burner background honestly – enjoying firebuilding, structured burns (such as the LOF Effigy), art, and pyrotechnics.

Shayna Norwood
Shayna has spent the last 15 years in and out of art school. She graduated from San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in interdisciplinary art and has shown her work in group and solo exhibitions at galleries in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, St Louis and New York.  Having lived all over the country, she recently settle in Chicago, where she runs a print and letterpress operation and helps organize a collaborative urban farming project in Logan Square.  For her work on the garden, Shayna was awarded the Aiko Fellowship and was made a featured artist in Chicago Artist Month in 2009.  A veteran burner, she has worked on many large-scale playa installations including, The Poetry Shack, The Bird House, and most recently The Brass Tax BoomBox project.  She believes art should be everywhere for everyone to enjoy.

Carol “Soda Pop” Karaguez
Carol was born and raised in Chicago till the age of 7, when her parents stole her away to California. While there, she found her passion in theater and received a BA in Theatre Arts at CSU Stanislaus. In 2000, she returned to the Windy City to attend the Theatre Conservatory at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, earning a double MFA in Directing/Dramaturgy and a certificate in Nonprofit Management. Further training includes the Steppenwolf School, Second City, and the California Summer Arts Program, in which she was a five-time recipient of the Dean’s Grant. Carol has directed over 30 plays in the Chicago area, working with companies such as Silk Road Theatre Project, Urban Theatre Company and Chicago Dramatists. In 2008, she served as part-time faculty at the College of Lake County where she directed the fall production of REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES. Carol is a committed regular at all Burner friendly events in the Midwest. She is very excited to visit the Playa for the third time in 2010!!

Pants Laroo (Former BURN Art Grants Committee Chair)
Is a local artist who enjoys live painting and building fire sculptures. She has worked as a live painter in clubs and at parties since moving to Chicago in 2001 when she began painting along side her favorite DJ’s and closest friends. Pants along with many devoted contributors has designed, built and burned down effigies at Syncronicity’s annual retreat.

She has also built large scale fire sculptures such as “Glory” the Unicorn at Burning Flipside and Mr. Narwhal at Decomp. She is a founding member of illmeasures and an active member of Syncronicity. She holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Ohio Weslyan University.

Keith “Flipit” Privett
Keith is a veteran producer-director-teacher of improv and sketch comedy. He was mentored by the late madman/guru/fire-eater Del Close and is a founding board member of Salsation Theatre Company, an NFP for whom he directed the Reader Critic’s Choice “Touched by an Anglo.” He also volunteers for Burning Man’s Media Mecca as a shift captain and registration liaison and was editor of burningman.com’s press coverage page from 2007-08. He is also a ranger for major local burner events and is bringing his registered-but-yet-unfunded mega-collage project “APE to MAN” to the playa this year (if he finishes in time). He loves that his mom donated materials by mail to two 2008 playa art projects. He has a BA in Sociology and Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Past Special Guest Judges

Winter 2010

Sharon Wolfson is a Chicago native who resides in Wicker Park. She’s currently working as an artist with local businesses on the Green Office Challenge as part of the Chicago Climate Action Plan. Before returning to Chicago in 2007, Sharon was heavily involved in the local arts communities of Cambridge, Somerville and Boston where she lived for 12 years. Partnering with the city of Somerville, she lobbied for zoning to improve accessibility and space for artists. She created a gallery exhibit that explored the renegade sound system cultures of Kingston, Jamaica, London and Harlem which culminated in an underground outdoor multimedia party, the likes of which Boston had never seen. She also received various grants from the Somerville Arts Council to create interactive scavenger hunts, street plays, and food tours of local ethnic businesses. Fascinated by the proportions of the Big Dig project, Sharon sat on the design committee of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which is the park that now exists where there used to be an 8-lane highway through the heart of downtown Boston. Sharon received her undergraduate degree at Tufts University and just finished a graduate degree from Northwestern. Now that she’s a permanent fixture in Chicago and done studying, she’s excited to get involved with projects that build the community in dynamic and sustainable ways.

Summer 2009

Dan Hatch is a partner at Grounded Design Studio (www.groundeddesignstudio.com) in Chicago, a small graphics, web, and architectural rendering studio that is committed to making green organizations, businesses, and projects successful. He is also a national board member for the non-profit organization Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR). Locally, Dan has helped to facilitate various projects that ADPSR is working on in partnership with the Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Living: such as an earthbag and cob garden wall, a student garden at the Betty Shabazz International Charter School, and collaborative design charrettes for the Black Oaks Center’s farm in Pembroke Township. He can often be found playing in the dirt, scribbling, making music, or trying to calm down his angry elderly dog, Holly.

Winter 2009

Greg Worthington is the Director of Operations for The International Expositions of Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art (SOFA), held annually in Chicago, New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition, he coordinates SCOPE shows across the states and in Basel, Switzerland, as well as the annual NADA show (New Art Dealers Alliance) in South Beach, Miami. Mr. Worthington holds a BFA in Ceramics from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a double MFA in Ceramics and Religious Literature from Kent State University. He is a founding member of the pioneering Chicago burner collective, Burning Chicagoans, and the artist/creator of the Whistleworks Steam Whistle Project presented at Burning Man 2002-2004, the Corning Museum of Glass, several Synchronicity retreats, the Chicago-Detroit 2008 Decompression, as well as at the inaugural Midwest Regional Burning Man event, Lakes of Fire. He has served as technical advisor on the Beaming Man Project presented at Burning Man 2000, The Acid Tongue (a BURN art grant funded project) presented at Lakes of Fire 2009, The Vikings’ Ragnarok Bio-Diesel Bus (Burning Man 2006-2007), and he regularly opens his home studio to a sordid lot of vagrant artists who make use of his vast array of welding, carpentry and glass-making equipment.

Grant Application Sample

Here are the questions you will find on our web application, you can use this page to help prepare your answers, but use the web form at http://boldurban.org/grants/ to submit your responses. If you have problems, contact us at artgrants@boldurban.org and we’ll do our best to help.

1. GENERAL INFO:
a. Title of Project (if applicable):
b. Real Name:
c. Preferred Name or Alias, if any:
d. Mailing Address:
e: Phone Number(s):
f: e-mail address and Website (if relevant to your application)
h: Organization/Collaborator(s), if any:
i. Where will the project be presented? (include all scheduled events of interest to the Chicago Burning Man community and/or outreach on its behalf):
j. What other sources are you also seeking funds from?
___ Black Rock Arts Foundation
___ Burning Man/Black Rock City, LLC
___ Other Burning Man Regional, specifically: ________________________
___ Other Grant Program, specifically: _____________________________
k. If you are not awarded a grant would you like a critique of your application and project?
_____ yes _____ no

2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE – What you are trying to communicate with your project? What is your mission/philosophy/goal/inspiration… if any? Please keep this short, to the point and less than 500 WORDS. Simple answers are not judged harshly and humor is greatly appreciated.

3. STRUCTURE / APPEARANCE- How will it manifest itself in the physical world?
Discuss materials, dimensions, sound component, and interactivity (if applicable).
Provide sketches or other illustrations if applicable.

4. EXECUTION – Provide a work plan that addresses the following elements:
a. Build Plan: How will you build and install, or otherwise prepare for your project. Include medium/materials collaborators, transport, power, etc. Feel free to include any designs or schematics that will illuminate your build process.

b. Schedule: Provide a pre-event construction schedule that reflects your answers above.
Discuss when materials will be purchased, when stages of construction will be completed, etc. Grants may be distributed in installments related to your schedule. This should include a list of dates and what you hope to accomplish on or by each date. The Committee may use this as a guideline to produce funding milestones.

Example:
04/29/10 Materials Day Purchase/Junk for metal
05/07/10 Build day Complete tentacles 1-4 of Octopus
05/14/10 Build Day Complete tentacles 2-8 of Octopus
05/21/10 Build Day Complete head and assemble Octopus
06/07/10 Build/Test Test and integrate tentacle motors
06/14/10 Decorate Add lights and paint Octopus
06/28/10 Transport Setup and display at Lakes of Fire – frighten children – rule world

You get the idea. Show the Committee how you intend to go from design to completion in the time allotted. Spreadsheets are acceptable.

c. Fire Plan: If your project utilizes flame effects, open flame, or will be burned on-site, describe in detail how this will work and how participants and the surrounding area will be protected. Includes names of anyone other than yourself who will be responsible for fire safety.

d. Safety Plan: Consider how else your project could be dangerous and describe in detail how you will prevent these dangers. Is your project large enough to pose a potential danger should it fall or get blown over? Do you have a foul weather plan? Are there any other safety concerns? Flammable materials? Sharp edges?

e. Exit Plan: Describe how the project will be safely removed and Leave No Trace. If it will be presented at multiple events, describe how will it be stored between events and restored for later events.

5: EXPENSE – Provide an itemized budget: list all expenses for material costs and/or transportation of the work outside Chicago. Research your costs carefully and be specific as to quantities and unit costs. Do not list “contingency costs”, “artist’s fee”, or “labor” as this grant is not intended to cover those expenses. We fund material and transport costs only. Please keep in mind that we have a limited amount of funds

a. Total request for purchase/rental of materials: $
b. Total request for freight transport of materials/completed work if any $:
c. Attach itemized budget (See Budget Form for example. Feel free to modify to fit your project’s needs) *IMPORTANT*

6. EXPERIENCE: Describe any past projects that may be of interest when reviewing this application.

7. CLOSING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Tell us anything else we should know that we didn’t ask about.

Art Grants

Have an idea for an art project you want to bring out to Burning Man? An interactive light installation for Resonate? A solar-powered art car that you want to drive around at Lakes of Fire? A lavishly-staged and costumed performance? Short on funds? You’ve arrived at the right place.

Resources

Our Spring Art Grant cycle for 2017 is now open (just in time for BURN BURN! among other things) !

The submission deadline for the Spring cycle is 11:59 PM CST,  March 31, 2017.
Awards announced on April 3.

The 2017 Fall Cycle will open in early July and close in early August.
The submission deadline for the Fall cycle is TBD.
Awards announced on TBD.

Even if your project won’t be displayed until Burning Man, or Decompression, there’s no penalty for submitting early.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following (in no particular order):

  • Quality: creativity, interactivity, thoughtfulness, originality, excitement, inspiration, social value
  • Execution: planning, feasibility, safety plan, clean-up plan, budget, time-line, past work, exhibition program

The Committee may ask for additional information or explanation from applicants.

Grant winners will sign a contract stating their intent to:

  • Create the proposed art piece within proposed time frame
  • Present the art as promised in the distribution plan.
  • Present copies of detailed receipts greater than or equal to grant amount within 30 days of final grant award reimbursement.
  • Provide photos and a short follow-up report, as well as sign a release for publicity purposes
  • Return funds if project is not completed or be included on a public “deadbeat list”
  • Include the phrase “Funded in part by the Bold Urban Renaissance Network” on any and all promotional materials
  • (grant winners may have to sign some other paperwork as required by the committee).